Livi, I'm too busy to go digging for you on other forums but I have seen it mentioned by others on them.
I experienced the "weak knee" dips for a good four years before I had my first major cataplexy episode. They were momentary and in response to laughter. I thought, at the time, that it was a little weird but also that it was no big deal. Fast forward to a life where I was working 12 hour days and under a great deal of stress...then my sweet Doberman, Taggie, was hit by a car. I got her into the Vet but, when they told me she died on the operating table, I completely collapsed. That was May of '86. Then came the cotton wool for a brain and more collapses. I was diagnosed in July of '86 and put on Ritalin and Tofranil (Imipramine). To say that those drugs just changed my personality would be the understatement of the year. My hubby finally sat me down for "the talk"...said I had to get off the drugs or it was divorce time because I sure as hell wasn't the person he married and he sure as hell knew why.
Considering that I was never told that you had to wean yourself off that $hit (and maybe they didn't even know that back then), I stopped them cold turkey.
Then came the rebound Cataplexy, fierce and frequent. Sleep paralysis, terrifying H.H and what I call Out of Body experiences...I was a basket case for eighteen months at home. I was exhausted just having a shower. I'd gone from a high achiever to mush in less than two years and I was still toting the 50 pounds that the Tofranil put on.
I didn't feel like me and I didn't look like me. So, I started reading medical books, changed my diet to eliminate triggers for me and started taking regular naps. The BIG breakthrough for me came at a Christmas party in '89. Everyone was smoking, so I picked up a cigarette and lit it. The fog cleared immediately...I mean instantly...and I've been smoking ever since. I have tried to quit a number of times but, every time, within two days, I start to have trouble speaking, feel floppy and start to have more frequent cataplexy and the dense brain fog settles in.
I've been researching e-cigarettes and am motivated to try them. I'm a little scared...but it won't be the first time.
The short answer...from my personal experience, cataplexy started small and progressed.