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Staying Awake To Study/work


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#1 poolpah

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hi everyone, I'm a 27 year old PWN and I need your help and advice!!

I have a masters degree in English and always loved to read, but since my symptoms started getting worse the past few years (I was diagnosed 2 years ago, have had symptoms since about 2005) I find I can't even read my favorite authors without nodding off 2 sentences in.

The problem is: My job is extremely stressful, which I think is a main cause of the symptoms being so bad. My bosses don't understand and are not sympathetic to me at all. One even "joked" that if I took a nap that I'd be fired! (very small company - less than 15 people, does not qualify for ADA)

I'm desperately trying to find another job and to learn some new skill sets to somewhat shift my direction in my career, but every time I try to do this, I get so exhausted, fall asleep, then I get frustrated, which makes me more tired. Then I just can't seem to get back into it for the rest of the day.

Does anyone have any advice on staying awake for this, or how to re-motivate to go back at the search once the exhaustion isn't so severe? I would really appreciate it.

#2 tdmom

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

What are you on for medications? What is your current schedule and is it flexible at all? What about breaks and lunch time. just trying to get a sense of things.





Hi everyone, I'm a 27 year old PWN and I need your help and advice!!

I have a masters degree in English and always loved to read, but since my symptoms started getting worse the past few years (I was diagnosed 2 years ago, have had symptoms since about 2005) I find I can't even read my favorite authors without nodding off 2 sentences in.

The problem is: My job is extremely stressful, which I think is a main cause of the symptoms being so bad. My bosses don't understand and are not sympathetic to me at all. One even "joked" that if I took a nap that I'd be fired! (very small company - less than 15 people, does not qualify for ADA)

I'm desperately trying to find another job and to learn some new skill sets to somewhat shift my direction in my career, but every time I try to do this, I get so exhausted, fall asleep, then I get frustrated, which makes me more tired. Then I just can't seem to get back into it for the rest of the day.

Does anyone have any advice on staying awake for this, or how to re-motivate to go back at the search once the exhaustion isn't so severe? I would really appreciate it.



#3 Kayra

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

What are you on for medications? What is your current schedule and is it flexible at all? What about breaks and lunch time. just trying to get a sense of things.







All I can say is micronaps, whenever you get breaks, a 10-15 minute nap is pretty handy.

#4 poolpah

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:45 PM

What are you on for medications? What is your current schedule and is it flexible at all? What about breaks and lunch time. just trying to get a sense of things.


Sorry for the late reply - it's been a rough few weeks!

I'm on Adderall and Effexor during the day and Xyrem at night. The adderall keeps me awake but the amount required to feel the most like I did pre-narcolepsy gives me anxiety, which makes me more tired, especially when I have to take a Xanax to treat it. My doc is hesitant to put me on anything else as I had a bad reaction to Provigil (extremely intense panic) concerta and adderall xr didn't work or kept me up too late at night, etc.

Every day I just feel so completely drained after work. I tried waking up really early at one point and studying before work when I was studying for an exam, which works, but requires really strict discipline with when I go to bed, and I can't do that every day and still be a "normal" person.

I guess the worst part is I don't ever feel refreshed after a microsleep. I always just want to sleep more or I feel really groggy. Is that not normal? I know "normal" is a relative term, I suppose :)

I've tried supplements like B vitamins, multivitamins, I currently take a seaweed pill called E3AFA which actually helps a some, I chew gum, try to stretch or get some fresh air, stuff I'm sure we all do to try to wake up. Nothing usually helps.

#5 Lorz

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:42 PM

Does anyone have any advice on staying awake for this, or how to re-motivate to go back at the search once the exhaustion isn't so severe? I would really appreciate it.


Hi there,

I don't know if this suggestion will help - you might already do it. I use google documents for everything. If I need to keep track of my sleeping etc, I have a document for it. I go in and add things when I'm thinking of them, and it saves them instantly. I can access it anywhere as long as I have internet access, even from my phone. I have been thinking about changing careers too, and my N is getting so severe that I am just writing ideas all in one document, going back and working on them whenever I'm awake and not too brain-fogged. Sometimes I send myself emails too.

Also, the most important thing is probably just working on getting your medications correct. I'm having issues with this right now too, and I never know if I've reached the point where I've called my doctor too much, or maybe I don't call him enough.

#6 jstjoehere

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:07 AM

When I was on adderall I had the same problems felt really good for a few hours then it was like I would crash on it for a while and then pick back up. Too bad you cant take the provigil. When I started provigil yea I felt a little anxiety mostly got the paranoid feeling I take effexor as well but only the quick release works XR has no affect on my cataplexy. My dr told me that the provigil would make me feel this way but I should get used to it. Its very hard to taylor meds to meet lifes demands. A couple little tricks I learned to stay awake is when you start feeling sleepy stretch, take some quick deep breaths. anything to stimulate yourself naturally. even shaking your foot while reading sometimes helps. I was diagnosed in 1998 with N/c I take high doses of provigil, effexor, and some ritilan through the day and xyrem at night. I worked til 2010 as a diesel mechanic but the day time sudden tired episodes and the cataplexy got to the point I would loose concentration on what I was doing or dose off while doing it and I would have to go back and try to remember what I was doing to make sure the job was done properly, when this happened I got scared. I was afraid I was going to miss something on a repair that would cause an accident. So I applied for disability and after using a lawyer I was approved. It was the hardest decision I ever made and I miss working terribly but I do what I can to stay busy. Good luck I know how people DONT understand your condition and they can be so cruel. Hope something works out for you.

#7 poolpah

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:52 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one to experience this with adderall. Sometimes I even wonder if my diagnosis is correct since I just feel so groggy all the time. I'm trying to get the meds straightened out - I want to try nuvigil even though the provigil didn't work for me. I feel like adderall gives me so many side effects, but it's scary to try to change these things, as I'm sure everyone on here knows. Plus my doctor is somewhat hesitant since the effexor was fairly recently added and he doesn't want to change things too quickly. :(

#8 jstjoehere

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

I'm glad I'm not the only one to experience this with adderall. Sometimes I even wonder if my diagnosis is correct since I just feel so groggy all the time. I'm trying to get the meds straightened out - I want to try nuvigil even though the provigil didn't work for me. I feel like adderall gives me so many side effects, but it's scary to try to change these things, as I'm sure everyone on here knows. Plus my doctor is somewhat hesitant since the effexor was fairly recently added and he doesn't want to change things too quickly. :(




Nuvigil is the exact same drug as provigil from what I understand with the exception provigil has a small amount of a quick release drug in it to help you wake up in the mournings. the company put it out in hopes to replace provigil because in 2013 pharmacies will be able to sell generic forms of provigil in the US. Getting the meds adjusted to suit you is one one of the problems I had as well I had a cataplexy attack right in front of the first DR that treated me and he didnt reconize what was happening he simply put it off as a panic attack and told me to see a psychiatrist. I had already been down that road since I had cataplexy before the narcolepsy even set in. So I changed DRs and wouldnt ya know it I had an attack in front of him on the first visit luckily he knew exactly what was happening and put me on effexor. There are a few different meds your dr can try and finding the right one is somewhat of an experimental process and there is a good possibility it may take a combination of meds to get you where you feel better. I take effexor provigil and ritilan with xyrem at night and I do fairly well. I do have to have usually 2 or 3 naps through out the day or evening.

I can remember times I was so tired I would literally fall asleep standing up. I would wake up when my knees buckled out from under me lol. Other slow release meds Ive read about are concerta, metedate, ritilan, ect. Provigil and Nuvigil are the most popular ones from what I understand. Eventually you will get yourself straightened out so that you do feel better but even with the amount of meds I take I literally have to make myself get up and do things. Being a single full time dad complicates things as well to. Hang in there>