Friday, July 24, 2009

Counting Sheep

A few months ago Tom had to go to Myrtle Beach for a Dental Conference. On the drive home he had an incident where it felt like for a split second his eyes would roll in the back of his head and he can't move. It only lasts a second, but being in the car with me and the kids made him decide that he was going to see a doctor to find out what was going on. This has happened before, but usually he is alone and normally it has been on long trips or when he is going into higher altitudes. He has gone to the doctor before and they have said it is just allergies, or one even said panic attacks. Both of us knew that wasn't the problem. Along with this issue, he is always tired and has had memory issues at times. He just can't think of words, names, etc. He has been tested for mono several times since before his mission and nothing. He has never found a primary care physician out here and the staff at Urgent Care finally suggested the doctor they all go to. He told Tom he thought it was Narcolepsy and referred him to a sleep specialist. After a sleep study which included first a 8 hour sleep test, THEN 5 naps (you are awake for 1-2 hours, sleep 20 mins, awake 1-2 hours, then sleep 20 mins, etc.) Well the results came in right before we left for our trip to Utah and Tom DOES have Narcolepsy. That is what is causing the strange momentary paralysis. Tom passed the regular sleep test just fine, the problem is that he was going into REM sleep almost immediately during all his naps. Most people shouldn't be able to nap (at least not 5 times) after sleeping 8 hours. And you shouldn't go into REM sleep in 20 minutes. But Tom was within a couple minutes each time. So what does that mean? Well, now we know what is going on with him and can treat it. In case you are wondering, narcolepsy is one of the most misdiagnoised and underdiagnoised diseases. There is no cure for narcolepsy, but there are hundreds of different drug combinations that can be taken. His body already adapted to the first set of drugs prescribed so we are already trying a stronger dose. So, for right now, Tom is on leave from work since he is not really suppose to be driving. The doctor said he should be fine driving, but he couldn't put that in the chart for liability reasons and so right now Tom is a liability to his doctor which means he is a liablity for his work as well. Because of this, Tom was able to extend his trip in Utah for the whole time the girls and I were there (He was going to come home to work and go to a conference.) Selfishly, I have loved having him around these last few weeks. I know that it will have to end sometime. One of us...... me, until we get his meds regulated, will have to get a job. I have a few options open. I am going to wait another few days then try to make my decision on which way to go. But until then I am just really enjoying the family time.

Stay tuned for the trip to Utah blogs, which are coming soon!


Janelle said...

So I am a big slacker on reading, but my dad has the SAME thing!! He has his set of drugs he has to take and he can carry on like he doesn't have it, which I think it so wierd. Growing up though on vacation my mom would always make sure that there was at least one person to keep him engaged in conversation to try and help keep him awake. We didn't find out about my dad until I was a teenager!! I am glad though that you got a longer vacation with him.