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Is Cataplexy More Of A Lack Of Computing Rather Than A Full On Disconnect?

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#1 Sleepingcrow



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

Hi everyone,


I don't fall when I laugh, I fall when I'm really stressed or very emotional on the negative side, but other than that, the weather is my primary trigger. Now, the weather is changing and my body doesn't like it.


When moving my body when I am 100%, I am strong, I am capable. These moments are rare as I generally walk around with about 60-(If I'm lucky)80% of that strength, and of course when I have an attack 0-2% of that strength, sometimes up to 40%, but there's no feeling of strength, because there's no feeling of my muscles. I have gone for weeks with attack after attack, one after another as if it's all one, laying there simply wondering when it's going to stop.


I'm sure many of you experience all of this, and find yourself debilitated by it. 


I do two different type of physical activities to keep my body strong, and to enjoy my life. The first is a very gentle exercise form called Callanetics, where you are urged to only do what you can do, which has at times left me egoly challenged. The other is for when I'm doing well, because I like to take advantage of having a body and relishing in al the amazing things I can do. That is parkour. Parkour is the efficient movement through obstacles that stand in your way, namely cement walls and bars (I'm sure you've seen it in the movies).


Recently, however, I started realising and discovering something.... Even if I can't feel the strength, it's still there.


So with this in mind I looked back. Even when I was at my weakest, I could do some Callanetics, and I thought about that. and applied it to parkour. I didn't do anything stupid or risky, but I did do a muscle up onto a short wall, all the while not feeling any muscle effort being made, because i was having a "medium" cataplectic attack (I could feel about 40% of my muscles - enough to support me).  In doing this, I concentrated on the movement, not feeling the movement with my muscles, but with the idea of the movement. I was mere energy moving, and I didn't feel any muscles moving or straining, because, well, they were paralyzed! 


I wonder now, and I'm going to play with this idea, that I still have the strength, but when I am cataplectic, I need to approach my relationship to my muscles differently, I need to recognise they are there and they are strong, despite my not being able to feel it. It's like being blind and finding your way through an obstacle course. Or maybe what would be a better comparison would be learning how to use a prothesis, only the prothesis is your entire body, or half of your body, or your hands, depending on the day. If I believe and have confidence that my initial urge to move will have results of movement, regardless of the lack of feeling, it seems to move them. To the outsider, I have full use of my muscles, and I do, have use, but to me it's like I'm in the matrix and the reason I can do things is only that I believe I can.


Is it possible a cataplectic attack creates the illusion we cannot move rather than not actually being able to move?


Anyway, it's an idea, an idea that seems to be working for me. I believe it will just take practice and a lot of faith in the idea and my body. What have I got to lose, eh?

#2 Sleepingcrow



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:32 PM

I'm not asking if I have cataplexy nor does what I wrote express all that I experience. I do have it, and have had it for well over a decade, so have a lot of experience in trying to work with it rather than against it, or letting it be my entire life. I didn't go into the details of what I experience, because this is for people who have it and don't need the explanation. You can see my other posts for that. But thank you. My point is in trying to help find a way to live with cataplexy more easily, more functionally. 


What I'm asking is if despite the paralysis, whatever the level, can we go beyond it energetically. And move our bodies by moving our energy, and allowing the body to follow. Tai chi is based on this, the body follows the energy. I tried to put it in terms people not familiar with energy could possibly understand.


If you don't understand the question, please don't answer with a judgement. Thanks.

#3 sk8aplexy



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:55 PM

Was not trying to judge and was not trying to say anything either way, as to what you have or do not. 

Wanted to offer my perspective as to me.

My bad, please know with words I can have difficulties. 

Your descriptions seemed, as to say that you wondered possibly if Cataplexy is psychosomatic.  (that's not a judgement, perhaps a misunderstanding)

And, as far as percentages of strength and the weather, I guess I was thrown off.

I deleted my post.


I very much do respect Tai Chi, yoga (exercise / stretch /meditation).  Such, all being extremely beneficial, it is what I do when Cataplexy hits me. 

It's helped to dissipate the paralysis or the freezes of/from Cataplexy, although unless I lived entirely always meditating it can not entirely prevent it; am not trying to attack your question.


Believe it or not, Skateboarding has taught me the most about dealing with and living with Cataplexy...

I'll add that I think Cataplexy is very much both the conscious and subconscious at play.  One looking out for and attempting to protect the other.  Yet, I can only speak from my own experiences with it.

Definitely, recognizing your boundaries and knowing your limits, then staying within them is important with Cataplexy; however of course you can cautiously go beyond or dive in head first.

In time you can begin to recognize your own boundaries and to know your own limits; yet, there still is no complete/entire predictability, and un/fortunately caution is most always required (safety first).
Think of Swimming.  One must always be aware of self, plus much more going on, along with cautious to remain safest; all fronts which require attentiveness, yet one can have fun, let-go-of the focus only-on-caution.

#4 IdiopathicHypersomniac


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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:43 PM

No -- cataplexy is real, and the result of neurological damage.  It's not within the realm of conscious control, unless you can stop all of your emotions, and even then, it can be spontaneous in some people.  I'm not trying to judge, but a lot of people have trouble accepting it.  If you had epilepsy, would you be saying the same thing?

#5 mysimulacrum



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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:34 PM

I think this is a legitimate explanation. It's very similar to sleep-driving, in my opinion. You've trained a habitual automatic response and extended your sensory and cognitive capabilities around climbing such that 'climbing a wall' is a one-thought motion for you, and not 'grab with this hand, push up, grab over here, use your weight as leverage, swing around'. An automatic routine like that could certainly execute even while your willful control of muscles drops - I know that I have swerved to avoid accidents while completely devoid of conscious mental activity.


Reflexes are weird - your brain 'remembers' that you felt the hammer, then kicked, but that's not what happened.