To begin with, I have always felt tired. Whether or not I slept 8 hours or 18 hours, I would be exhausted and would fall asleep anywhere I can't stay active either physically or mentally. This meant it was hard to stay awake in classes during college; I would fall asleep during band and choir concerts (even fell asleep at a really loud concert once where everyone was standing up or jumping up and down). I would get a strong urge to fall asleep during ** chores around the house, especially cleaning my room. I have had to pull over while driving to take a nap. I could go on and on but you get the picture. Me = Sleep zombie.
I had a sleep study done on 3/16/11 and I got the results back already. Very fragmented sleep (42.5 arousals per hour; 17 of which were spontaneous). I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea (AHI of 7.5). Since the results appointment, I have been on an APAP machine which has yet to prove more beneficial than making me yawn less (note: I am still as tired, I just don't yawn as often). I realize it can take a few months on it to show any improvement but I thought I'd see something more.
The basics of the sleep study are:
- Sleep latency 7.4 mins (notably fast)
- Sleep onset to REM latency 59 mins (also notably fast)
- Did not reach stage 4 sleep
- very fragmented sleep
- high number of Respiratory Arousals even though my AHI was low-ish
- No limb movements whatsoever.
- Doctor's notes said to use CPAP for a trial and if I'm still complaining about EDS, comeback to do an MSLT to rule out 'comcomitant Narcolepsy or Hypersomnia'
Since a few days before my sleep study, I have been keeping a sleep journal/headache journal to show my doctors. Because I am now ** keeping track of symptoms and sleep habits, I have noticed a few different things. First, I notice I experience on a daily basis Automatic behavior/Microsleeps ( ** = times when I had a microsleep just writing this). Second, ** recently I've started experiencing Sleep Paralysis; most notably last night. Third, I ** think I've experienced cataplexy at times. Automatic behavior/microsleeps and sleep paralysis could be a number of different sleep disorders from what I understand; however, cataplexy is unique to narcolepsy and is only rarely seen outside of N.
What I feel is cataplexy that I've experienced. Those in italics are ones that happened since I started the journal. I feel I'm getting C episodes larger and more frequently but that could be because of stress.
- There have been times in the past where I've fallen down while laughing but I got up pretty quickly and I wasn't paralized.
- When I'm carrying something heavy or bulky, and someone makes me laugh, I can't hold on to it and it falls.
- When I get startled/nervous, I feel weak
- I slur my speech when nervous or angry
- I experienced an inability to stand up after some alone time and fell down a couple times. went away after a few mins of lying on the floor
- One day, I had a 'build up' of weakness in my legs throughout the morning. Took a nap which refreshed me for a few hours and slowly took away that weak feeling.
- Driving home at night, I feel many times this sensation where it feels like I'm fighting against 'sleep' where I would just slump and feel numb. Once, I fully went into this 'sleep' where my whole body slumped, my eyes stay open, but I couldn't move. I yanked myself out of this somehow a second later and my muscles hurt pretty bad. My muscles feel this way after SP episodes too (but not usually as bad as that).
- Could this be Cataplexy I'm describing?
- Does this sound like it could very well be Narcolepsy?
- If this does sound like both, how forceful should I be with this opinion if my doctor doesn't think it is? Should I find a new one? I'd like to minimize any misdiagnoses if I can help it.
- Where do I go from here? (sorry to be so vague but I've researched this many many times while waiting for my follow up appointment and just don't know what to do about this...I'm not very good with waiting lol)
Anyhoo, I'm starting to ramble now. Sorry again for the novel but this is something I needed to get out coherently.
PS has anyone been on Propranolol/Inderal? if you have, what are your experiences with it? I just started last night and I don't know if it increased my SP or if my SP was increased because of stress.