Some of you may be interested in knowing how I cope with narcolepsy on a daily basis. It’s all a matter of knowing your alert times and tired times. I can usually carve out two hours a day to go food shopping or do some errands. If I misjudge my alert time, and miss that window of opportunity, I have an unproductive day. If I listen to my body and go out during my most alert time of day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It doesn’t matter whether I have had quality sleep the night before, my body has a mind of its own. If I know I have an appointment or obligation that I must keep, I have to mentally gear myself up for it by either resting before or after the event. For instance, I had to attend an engagement party last week. I slept on and off all day and waited to take my alert medication until just before we had to leave. After two hours at the party, I am spent both emotionally and mentally. I can’t engage in small talk anymore and I can’t wait to leave. I start to feel anxiety over the number of people in one room, so I move into another room. That’s no good. There’s too many people in this room, so I move to another. Then, I feel a panic attack coming. I need to leave or I will have a cataplexy attack. (sudden loss of muscle control) I have an overwhelming fear of losing control over my body, which increases the likelihood that I will have an episode. I grab my husband and tell him we have to leave. He is very accommodating in these situations because he sees the signs. My eyes get very small and tired-looking. (My eyes actually start to hurt me!) I start to talk very slowly, sometimes slurring my words. I look like I am liable to keel over. If we can’t leave the situation/event for some reason, he will bring me to a quiet spot where I can close my eyes for a while. Sometimes this is all I need, sometimes it’s not enough — sometimes I just have too much anxiety and am too restless. Either way, he supports my decision to stay or leave. He’s a good guy.