I have had sleep problems since adolesence but have never even considered narcolepsy as a possibility until I recently watched a real-life program and noticed that the narcoleptic woman looked and behaved when off her medications almost exactly like I do in the mornings.
However, once I am really up for the day, I do not have EDS or sleep attacks unless I am sleep deprived.
I do have an excessively hard time waking up, pretty much regardless of when I go to bed the night before. Until I really get up for the day I often experience an overwhelming urge to fall back asleep. When I do I must go very quickly into REM sleep because I most often experience very vivid dreams during these morning "nap times." I have also experienced sleep paralysis when trying to wake up in the mornings. (And by "mornings" I mean whatever time of day I am trying to get out of bed. On bad days this might be in the afternoons.)
I have never had an unmedicated day where it was easy to just hop out of bed and get going, but some days are less abnormal than others. The sleep paralysis has occurred during periods when my inability to wake up or feel rested were the worst. These periods of exacerbation seem to occur perhaps seasonally.
I wonder if I have experienced cataplexy. I have regular episodes of my knees buckling but have never associated them with emotional stimuli. I never knew why it happened, but it is mild so I didn't worry about it too much. For other small events I have always just felt I was "clumsy."
I know I do not have normal sleep because it has caused me problems or taken work on my part for the past 25 years. It seems unlikely to me that I could have narcolepsy without the excessive daytime sleepiness. It feels like a dumb question to even ask.
I started thinking more seriously about there being a problem underlying my symptoms after my doctor put me on Prednisone for an extended period of time in 2011 for an unrelated issue (autoimmune). I found the steroid to be energizing and I woke up at a normal time and felt energetic and rested every day for the first time in my life. Despite the unpleasant side effects of the Prednisone, part of me really hated to give it up. I felt for perhaps the first time what I'm pretty sure regular people feel like when they wake up at 8am every day after a normal night's sleep.
Does anyone have any feedback for me? I'm not obsessed about getting a diagnosis if I can focus on a treatment that helps instead, but I don't know if I even feel confident enough yet to bring this up to the doctor.