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3 Weeks With No Meds!


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#1 gutterpunkprincess

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

Hi, I'm new here!! I have a sleep study in a couple of weeks to test for narcolepsy. I've had extreme daytime sleepiness for pretty much as long as I can remember. I never made it through a day of high school or college without falling asleep at least once. I remember falling out of my desk sometimes actually while I was sleeping in high school. Then in 2009 I went to see a psychiatrist about it because I thought maybe the reason I'm so sleepy is because I'm depressed.. Even though I didn't feel sad or hopeless or anything.. She prescribed me Lexapro and I noticed that I was less sleepy during the day. I still get super tired but I can control whether I actually fall asleep or not so it's been helpful. I work in a hospital doing really important work so, if I fell asleep at my job I would probably get fired. Or kill someone. Or probably both. So anyway, I changed psychiatrists recently and the new one decided that I don't have depression or any kind of psychiatric problem really, and felt like the problems I have are out of his scope as a psychiatrist, so he referred me to a neurologist, who said he is fairly sure that I have narcolepsy. But of course we have to do a sleep study to confirm it. And to do that, I have to stop the Lexapro for 2 weeks before the sleep study, so that it won't interfere with the results.
At this point I'm at 5 mg, which is 1/4 of what I was taking normally. In about another week I will be at 0 mg, and I'm kind of scared. I have to go to work and somehow not fall asleep.. The neurologist's suggestion was, 'Drink lots of coffee.' LOL. That should totally work.
So does anyone have any suggestions for ways to stay awake while I'm not on meds?

#2 Hank

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:49 PM

I fought to stay awake for years so well that nobody knew I was fighting sleep- even me. I did it but I have no idea how other than adrenaline. When I worked in a hospital I was in the ER so that kept me moving and awake. Would it be possible for you to take some time off or work half days. Or could you schedule your tests when you can. I took short term disability in preparation for my tests in April. I had to go through a disasterous withdrawal from Klonopin and could not have functioned at work. I know for me that time off saved my job. I know sometimes hospitals can be the least accepting places to be ill- and everyone has specific question to ask so it is hard to be vague- so much for HIPAA. If you can find a way to request medical leave, it was helpful for me. I had considered requesting FMLA, for which you do not need to provide a medical reason, but that was unpaid and we are a one income family, so not an option. Maybe a stimulant med would carry you over if your doc is willing. I only had to stop Adderall and Provigil 2 days before my tests, but stop Klonopin for 1 month before. I hope you get some good opinions and support to make the best decision for yourself.

#3 gutterpunkprincess

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:56 PM

I took some days off in September because I know I'm going to be really tired.. I don't want to go on FMLA or anything though. I like my job, and I don't want to stay home for days/weeks. I think I'm going to just eat a lot of no doz. And if I start to get sleepy at work I'll go walk around or something. I work in the blood bank so it's not like I sit in a chair all day. I sit in a chair for like 5-10 minute intervals between which I have to get up and walk around or do something.
I'm starting to feel horrible already from the lack of meds.. and my car is broken and I can't even deal with it because I'm so tired. At least my friend is letting me borrow his truck. I have this huge pile of things in my life that I need to deal with that I'm just kind of ignoring for right now until I get diagnosed and hopefully get on better meds because right now all I can manage is sleeping and working and hopefully feeding myself and keeping up with personal hygiene.. anything other than that is just too much to deal with if you have to sleep for 12+ hours a day. Wow that sentence is long. I fail at English.