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#1 Heathrr

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:22 AM

I work the graveyard shift. Monday to Friday, 10pm til 6:30am. I've been here exactly 6 months and its the longest i've kept a job in a few years. Unfortunately, my narcolepsy gets pretty bad in the winter, and ...I was actually supposed to be at work 20 minutes ago. I dread going to my job and when I start thinking about it I get anxious and fall asleep, pretty much right before my bus leaves every day. I can't drive anymore so I'm forced to take transit. Nights are the only thing that works because it means I wake up at 5pmish and then I'm not waking up TO go to work, I'm waking up, and then going to work later in the day. I miss all of my alarms usually, my boyfriend is the only reason I get up at all.
I guess where I'm going with this, is I need to work full time to afford my bills, but working full time is killing me. I call in sick once a week and I'm late almost every day. From what I've seen in here, Canadians actually get *BEEP*ed over more than americans in regards to disability help. My sleep doctor pretty much told me theres no chance of me getting any financial aid and to suck it up and go to work.
I'm probably going to lose this job soon, the thought of it freaks me out and just makes me more tired.
I don't really know what i'm asking for here... anyone with info about disability, or help with work, or something. This isn't working, and I just don't know how to fix it.

- Heather from Calgary, Alberta

#2 munky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:08 AM

I wish I could think of something to say that might actually be helpful, but all I can think of is to tell you the way I've worked my schedule out. It works for me, but ... I'm not you.

I also work graveyard shift, 11pm-7am. Work is about a 45 minute drive from home for me, but I can still drive--which is a good thing for me, because I hate living in cities and out here in the middle of nowhere, there is no transit. I get up at 8:30pm, when I hear my alarm. If I'm not up by 8:45, my mother, who lives with me, will wake me up. We eat dinner and I take my Nuvigil around 9:00. I pack some leftovers for lunch, get dressed, and leave by 10:00 or so. Again, my mother helps me here. She'll point out to me that it's getting late if I'm moving too slowly. She also has the TV programmed to automatically switch to the news at 10:00, so when I see the news come on, I know I need to leave in the next few minutes. My goal is to be out of the house by 10:05, which gives me plenty of time to get to work.

Since I started the Nuvigil, I've not had any major problems, but having my mother as a backup timekeeper is a huge help to me. You said your boyfriend wakes you up when you miss your alarms, but would he be willing to serve as your timekeeper? I mean, make sure you're making it out the door to the bus when you need to, including waking you up if he has to?

And what about accomodations for a scheduled nap at work? I go to my car and take a nap on my lunch break, or use an empty office if the weather's too bad to allow that. Or is narcolepsy just not considered a disability at all in Canada, even for accomodations?

I honestly don't know anything about disability--either here in the states or in Canada--so I can't really offer any information there.

#3 Heathrr

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:44 AM

I wish I could think of something to say that might actually be helpful, but all I can think of is to tell you the way I've worked my schedule out. It works for me, but ... I'm not you.

I also work graveyard shift, 11pm-7am. Work is about a 45 minute drive from home for me, but I can still drive--which is a good thing for me, because I hate living in cities and out here in the middle of nowhere, there is no transit. I get up at 8:30pm, when I hear my alarm. If I'm not up by 8:45, my mother, who lives with me, will wake me up. We eat dinner and I take my Nuvigil around 9:00. I pack some leftovers for lunch, get dressed, and leave by 10:00 or so. Again, my mother helps me here. She'll point out to me that it's getting late if I'm moving too slowly. She also has the TV programmed to automatically switch to the news at 10:00, so when I see the news come on, I know I need to leave in the next few minutes. My goal is to be out of the house by 10:05, which gives me plenty of time to get to work.

Since I started the Nuvigil, I've not had any major problems, but having my mother as a backup timekeeper is a huge help to me. You said your boyfriend wakes you up when you miss your alarms, but would he be willing to serve as your timekeeper? I mean, make sure you're making it out the door to the bus when you need to, including waking you up if he has to?

And what about accomodations for a scheduled nap at work? I go to my car and take a nap on my lunch break, or use an empty office if the weather's too bad to allow that. Or is narcolepsy just not considered a disability at all in Canada, even for accomodations?

I honestly don't know anything about disability--either here in the states or in Canada--so I can't really offer any information there.


I cant rely on anyone to be a timer, my boyfriend and roommates have lives, and its not every day they can help.
Also, I act like a 5 year old for half an hour to an hour when I wake up. Like full on crying temper tantrums screaming about how I cant get out of bed and work isnt worth it and im going to quit blah blah. My priorities get *BEEP*ed up, I'd rather sleep than do anything... sometimes its a little much to handle. I lost my car cause I couldnt afford it so I rely on transit. Which is why Im late. I dont know anything about disability but my doctor says I have no shot. siiiiigh.

#4 SeeBee

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

I also can't offer much help on this one, at least not yet...my fiance is Canadian, but I know assistance varies by province (he's in Ontario,) so goodness knows how his policies might compare to yours. As far as disability, I wouldn't count on it, but I'll see what I can dig up.

So, I'll start with a couple of minor questions. Which province are you in, and are you taking any medications for your Narcolepsy?

#5 Outcast031

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:32 PM

Well this may be helpful and it may not. Im not a doctor although if id had the energy I mightve gone that route once upon a time. I have what the doctor called mild to moderate N. I feel sleepy almost all the time. But its worst in the morning since no amount of sleep ever feels like enough. I also find that stress and anxiety trigger my N. So the more depressed and anxious I get, the more sleepy and unable to handle my problems I become.

But there is one thing ive noticed. It was true before the narcolepsy and its true now. It also appears true of many others with N. the more excited and thrilled/happy you are then the quicker you are to wake and the sleepiness doesnt set in as often either.

I theorize that this has to do with the different chemicals our brains produce depending on our emotional state of mind. (Happy = equals dopamine)

so anyway. Without Getting technical in the field of study that im not authorized to preach. the point im getting at all comes down to cognitive therapy. if you are constantly feeling that your worried about the future. Anxious, nervous ect. Then your constantly reinforcing the pathways in the brain that says your anxious. It will produce the chemical that keep you on edge more naturally and it becomes habit.

So what can you do? Its not easy. But it has helped me from time to time. When you can barely stay awake, think of something that makes you happy. Something you look foward to. Analyze it. Whether its an event a vacation or a hobby. Think about something that the N doesnt effect and cant take away. You can also try to learn to meditate. People assume meditation puts them to sleep but it can actually bring you back to normalcy for awhile. Also I find foods that arent heavy or that make you feel good about yourself can help too.

It doesnt happen all at once but I found that for awhile, before it became clear I was going tp be fired from my job and the anxiety came back. I began to have days where I could swear I was actually beating this. I was almost normal. Just slept in pretty damn late, but I woke to my first alarm beep every single time.

I hope this Helps a little.