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How Long Is A Typical Cataplexy?


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#1 angeline

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:48 PM

How long is a cataplexy spell supposed to last? Seconds, minutes, hours or can it last for days?

The reason I ask is sometimes when I have a spell my torso stops functioning for 2 or more days. I shake or my head drops forward then my body is limp and I can't talk for a few minutes but I can hear everything around me. After that I can't walk or sit up for hours or days. My limbs and torso feel like they are full of cement. Sometimes my head is too heavy to hold it up- just like a newborn baby. It isn't painful except when I try to force myself to sit up or hold my head up properly before the muscles are ready. The shortest spell has been 2hrs the longest has been 7 days. Does this happen to anyone else? Is this really cataplexy? or could it be something else?

#2 okami

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:29 PM

I haven't heard of anything like what you've been describing. However, I know someone that his Cataplexy is more like it's a weak feeling building up throughout the day (he still has times when it's sudden and unexpected) but the building up of weakness can last all day for him (basically until he takes a nap, which then it takes about an hr or two then is gone). Still, I would be hesitant to call it C since according to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Cataplexy lasts usually under 30 seconds and in severe cases, lasts for a few mins. Not saying it can't happen, but I haven't heard of it. Have you talked with your doc about not being able to walk or sit for two days at times? He might know what's going on cuz that sounds rather serious.

#3 angeline

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:02 PM

I agree that it sounds strange. From everything I've read on this site only one person said they have episodes similar to mine due to over exertion. When I over do I notice the spells last longer but they also last longer during monthly cycle. I can't figure it out...I have an appointment this month I will be sure to bring it up w/doc...

#4 Sleepingcrow

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 02:59 PM

My cataplectic attacks vary in intensity and duration. The majority of the time, regardless of the intensity, they last up to 20 minutes, sometimes lasting hours on end, so I've learnt to function while this is happening, since I live alone. What I'm not sure is whether the longer lasting ones are more like multiple cataplectic attacks, like multiple orgasms that all seem to roll into one another, but not quite as satisfying. ;)

The one thing I do notice, which might be part of what you're feeling, is with the more severe ones i.e. major ones which include my entire body, the affects are severe, and the intensity with which it effects my muscles means they are weakened significantly. The first time I had a major one, I spent a week learning how to walk again. I think my body has gotten used to it somehow, because now it only takes about 1 to 2 days, during which time, everything is very heavy and so week, it feels like I wouldn't be able to move my body part if I wanted to, but I can, it's just hard.

So the actual attack lasts a short time, just long enough to zap the muscular system, like lightening hitting a power line and killing the power. How long the power stays out might be what varies for people? I'm just guessing here, and thinking out loud, I don't know anyone else who has cataplexy, so I can only go on what I experience.