Hello again everyone!
As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy relatively recently and went on Ritalin to manage the sleepiness. I have felt AWESOME since being diagnosed and medicated and truly didn't know how bad my symptoms had gotten until they'd been so greatly reduced! EDS was my most prominent symptom, however now that it has been managed I've focused more on the other symptoms I experience and how I can manage them (hopefully without meds!)
The next biggest problem is waking up in the morning. I've always lived with family and while they've truly hated waking me up for years, it's gotten worse in the last year or so (partially why I went to the doctor to begin with) I literally CANNOT wake up on my own. Since I was a small child my parents have had to go to extreme measures to wake me up. (Ice water, frozen marbles, shaking, fog horns, the works) It makes their morning hard, it makes my morning hard, and half the time even the 'extreme' measures aren't totally successful. I have a big problem with thinking I've woken up to the point where I legitimately think I'm getting ready to go to work, only to wake up 20 minutes later to realize I was dreaming (or hallucinating, can't always tell the difference). Not only am I in a bad mood because I have no energy/motivation, but I'm irritated because I'm also running late now.
I am getting married in March and will be moving in with my soon-to-be-husband. (yay!) Unfortunately, because he's a firefighter, there will be mornings I will wake up alone and I'm so worried. I know about 3 out of 5 days I would arrive at work HOURS late if it weren't for my family!
I tried talking to my doctor about it but he gave me the same generic, lame tips I've already found on Google (use sunlight, maintain a schedule, etc.) Noises/Light have little to no affect on me. (I had a sonic boom alarm, learned to sleep through it in about 3 weeks.) Touching/Shaking me is better. Interestingly though, I almost always hear my dog when she has to go to the bathroom (she scratches on the door.) My sister complains she scratches for 20 minutes before I wake up, but the point is I DO wake up. Unfortunately, she always has to go around 3 a.m. when I really need her to wake me up around 6. lol I had seen some articles about Narcolepsy service dogs before, but I don't really think that's what I'm in need of. In addition to being more expensive than my car, I really don't think my symptoms would even qualify me for one. Mostly, I just need to wake up. Can I train my current dog to wake me up in the morning??? If so, HOW? She's an adult dog, do I need to start with a puppy? How do y'all overcome these struggles? Do you have a magic system you could please, please share? or perhaps the best alarm clock ever? Thank you all so much in advance!!!