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I Don't Know If I Am Experiencing Cataplexy


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#1 bluestarr78

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:15 AM

Okay, so I am 33 and undiagnosed. I do not money for a sleep study right now. I am going to highlight the details of these regular N symptoms in a different post because I would like some feedback on whether my symptoms are typical for N. They certainly fit according to what I have read on here and elsewhere. I have SP and HH. I dream and go into SP and HH during daytime naps. I have excessive exhaustion much of the time. Anyway, so I thought okay - I probably have N without C. Then I looked on the cataplexy board and found I could relate. Most of the stuff I am experiencing has come on within the last 2 to 3 months and I just want some feedback on what others with N and C think. I have written a few episodes below which I now believe could be related cataplexy:


1) I was in the kitchen getting coffee after being out of the house for a while and all of the sudden my arm just went limp. ? I don't know how to describe this either. I wasn't holding anything. It just suddenly felt like I had just lifted weights for an hour straight and that it weighed a lot more than normal. The muscles just weren't interested in working. No pain, just heaviness. I remember dragging my arm across the counter not because I COULDN'T move it but because it was just too much damn effort to bother. This only lasted probably 10 or 20 seconds. After, I was laughing because I couldn't for the life of me understand why in the world that would happen or what just happened!


2) I do a lot of exercising - 5 or 6 out of 7 days a week - both weight lifting and cardio. I have been doing this for about 3 years now so the stuff I am doing currently is NOT harder than what I should be able to handle. Here is the thing: Lately, when I exercise, especially weight lifting or using apparati such as steps, I will get this feeling basically of near absolute muscle failure. That is the best way I know to describe it. For example, I will be lifting 20 pounds on a bar doing bilateral arm work and it will feel as if the bar weighs about twice or 3 times as much as it actually does - I KNOW what I can lift normally and this is not normal for me to be THAT fatigued that early. It is very similar to the feeling you get when you are doing very heavy weights and the point is to take the muscles to actual failure. I feel as though I am right at that edge and I shouldn't be. Another example, when using a step it will feel like I just can't lift my leg up to get it onto the step - Yes I can move and do the exercise but when this occurs it is again about 3 times more difficult than normal. I actually instinctly looked around for a chair all of the sudden yesterday because I had this insane urge to rest and sit down in the middle of it! My knees Feel like they might go out on me or like someone kicked me in the back of my knees - same sensation - only I have not fallen down completely (yet?!). I will also suddenly start feeling anxious and stressed out when this occurs - very serious mood - and I leave feeling very unsocial and in a terrible mood. People (my family) love to tell me - well, you're just doing to much working out - you should take more days off. So I did. The same damn thing keeps occuring nearly every time I step in there to do weights.


3) I have always gotten extremely shaky and unconsolable when extremely upset and/or crying profusely. If I start crying, it is extremely difficult to stop. If someone is confronting me or I am otherwise fearful, angry, or in a confrontation, I will always get extremely shaky down to my core - like someone else mentioned on a different post - like I am in subzero weather naked shivering my bones off. I have not noticed this in others and they certainly look at me funny. I have always thought I was just extremely emotionally senstitive but after reading other posts I am not so sure.

4) Voice going out and slurring: During my divorce 2 yrs ago, we had a "mediation session" (great idea!). My now ex-husband was yelling at me so loudly and meanly that I broke into that state where I started shaking violently and crying and couldn't freaking stop! My voice went out nearly completely. It was like my mouth was too exhausted to make words. I didn't have any volume although I could mumble what was on my mind. When I am very anxious I feel this way. Like it is just a lot of effort to speak. I can do it but my voice is always very quiet when this happens.

Interested in what everyone thinks if you have time to comment. I thank you very much for your feedback.

#2 sleepywriter

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

What you're describing COULD be cataplexy.

1. Were you feeling any sort of strong emotion when the episode in the kitchen occurred?

2. Exercise can be a trigger of C.

3. People with C have reported getting the shakes instead of full-on C attacks, but I think there are also people without C that have this type of response to a situation such as what you described.

4. Slackening of facial muscles during an argument sounds like possible C for sure.

Okay, so I am 33 and undiagnosed. I do not money for a sleep study right now. I am going to highlight the details of these regular N symptoms in a different post because I would like some feedback on whether my symptoms are typical for N. They certainly fit according to what I have read on here and elsewhere. I have SP and HH. I dream and go into SP and HH during daytime naps. I have excessive exhaustion much of the time. Anyway, so I thought okay - I probably have N without C. Then I looked on the cataplexy board and found I could relate. Most of the stuff I am experiencing has come on within the last 2 to 3 months and I just want some feedback on what others with N and C think. I have written a few episodes below which I now believe could be related cataplexy:


1) I was in the kitchen getting coffee after being out of the house for a while and all of the sudden my arm just went limp. ? I don't know how to describe this either. I wasn't holding anything. It just suddenly felt like I had just lifted weights for an hour straight and that it weighed a lot more than normal. The muscles just weren't interested in working. No pain, just heaviness. I remember dragging my arm across the counter not because I COULDN'T move it but because it was just too much damn effort to bother. This only lasted probably 10 or 20 seconds. After, I was laughing because I couldn't for the life of me understand why in the world that would happen or what just happened!


2) I do a lot of exercising - 5 or 6 out of 7 days a week - both weight lifting and cardio. I have been doing this for about 3 years now so the stuff I am doing currently is NOT harder than what I should be able to handle. Here is the thing: Lately, when I exercise, especially weight lifting or using apparati such as steps, I will get this feeling basically of near absolute muscle failure. That is the best way I know to describe it. For example, I will be lifting 20 pounds on a bar doing bilateral arm work and it will feel as if the bar weighs about twice or 3 times as much as it actually does - I KNOW what I can lift normally and this is not normal for me to be THAT fatigued that early. It is very similar to the feeling you get when you are doing very heavy weights and the point is to take the muscles to actual failure. I feel as though I am right at that edge and I shouldn't be. Another example, when using a step it will feel like I just can't lift my leg up to get it onto the step - Yes I can move and do the exercise but when this occurs it is again about 3 times more difficult than normal. I actually instinctly looked around for a chair all of the sudden yesterday because I had this insane urge to rest and sit down in the middle of it! My knees Feel like they might go out on me or like someone kicked me in the back of my knees - same sensation - only I have not fallen down completely (yet?!). I will also suddenly start feeling anxious and stressed out when this occurs - very serious mood - and I leave feeling very unsocial and in a terrible mood. People (my family) love to tell me - well, you're just doing to much working out - you should take more days off. So I did. The same damn thing keeps occuring nearly every time I step in there to do weights.


3) I have always gotten extremely shaky and unconsolable when extremely upset and/or crying profusely. If I start crying, it is extremely difficult to stop. If someone is confronting me or I am otherwise fearful, angry, or in a confrontation, I will always get extremely shaky down to my core - like someone else mentioned on a different post - like I am in subzero weather naked shivering my bones off. I have not noticed this in others and they certainly look at me funny. I have always thought I was just extremely emotionally senstitive but after reading other posts I am not so sure.

4) Voice going out and slurring: During my divorce 2 yrs ago, we had a "mediation session" (great idea!). My now ex-husband was yelling at me so loudly and meanly that I broke into that state where I started shaking violently and crying and couldn't freaking stop! My voice went out nearly completely. It was like my mouth was too exhausted to make words. I didn't have any volume although I could mumble what was on my mind. When I am very anxious I feel this way. Like it is just a lot of effort to speak. I can do it but my voice is always very quiet when this happens.

Interested in what everyone thinks if you have time to comment. I thank you very much for your feedback.



#3 bluestarr78

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:46 PM

Thank you for your input. I really would like to know definitely one way or another as I just want an answer one way or the other. All of this is so confusing to say the least! And I know from what I have been reading that what one person experiences can be quite different from what somebody else experiences. I remember when I was in the kitchen and my arm went limp - that this was right after I got home after going to the gym to exercise. I got in a conversation with someone a couple days ago and started getting emotional and then I starting having really violent internal shaking - I don't believe this shaking is visible to an outsider because they didn't say anything. Today when I left the gym this morning my legs felt so weak I felt as though I could barely walk - like lifting my legs was a huge ordeal. I actually felt as though I might collapse but I have never collapsed yet - this is why I question it really being cataplexy. But whatever it is - it is definitely not normal. I went there to try to wake up because I just COULDN'T wake up - so groggy all morning - practically slept through the workout!

#4 Lorz

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:34 AM

Bluestar,

I'm going to try to describe the different ways that it happens to me and hopefully it helps a bit.

I have experienced an internal feeling of shakiness during heightened emotion as well. I've had my jaw slack and lips feel sort of numb or immovable. I also will find that my hand muscles will sometimes give out if it happens while I'm holding something, and I'll drop it. Once in a while, a leg muscle will buckle while I'm walking, or if I am laughing really hard both knees buckle a bit or I have a full body attack. My full body attacks started happening once every few years as a child, and then gradually became more frequent, last year it happened about four or five times.

During my full body attacks, however, I always wind up on the floor whether I sit right down or fall on my butt, then I can't move my arms and legs for a bit. My vision goes a little white, I hear a buzzing sound, and my blood pressure goes down a bit, my mouth gets dry, I sweat, and I hear what is going on around me (like my boss calling the first aid team on me lol) and then suddenly I can move again and everything returns to normal.

I kept a medical journal b/c I couldn't figure it out for a long time - I'll paste my description of how it feels, but it's different for everyone:

I feel it coming on for a few seconds, happens to my body, can’t stop it but am aware the whole time.
First, either my mouth goes dry and I slur my words or my vision goes white and I stop in my tracks, or all of the above. As my vision starts to get out of focus and go white, there is a slight buzzing sound. Then, I lose control of my arms and legs, and cannot move my body, slump over, sit down quickly or fall down. I am completely aware and yet cannot do anything to stop it, so I panic, sweat, and breathe really hard, fearing loss of breath. I try to move my arms but can’t seem to lift them. Then, it subsides quickly, with my vision returning to normal within a minute. I feel relieved in no time and then have to console anyone who saw it happen because they're freaking out.