I am interested in hearing from people who are still able to drive what their experiences have been. Until two weeks ago I was happy to say that my driving was fine. However, two weeks ago I had an accident in which I hit parked cars after a very long day at work. I have no idea what happened, but I can only guess that I fell asleep despite the fact that I thought I was fine. This has totally turned my world upside down even though I was very lucky and there was no one in the other cars.
Never tell anyone you fell asleep.
Secondly, we must be very aware when we are tired and take a nap even for 20 minutes, before driving on safely. It’s a learning curve of our abilities and when we must listen to our body. Don’t be hard on yourself over this. Just be more careful and please don’t push past your limits - we all try harder than we should.
Maybe you were “distracted for a moment”.
I park and sleep or just don’t drive…
but I’ve had this all my life. Black coffee xtra strong
Hi! I recently noticed that it’s harder for me to driv at night it’s like as soon as it gets dark outside my brain says close your eyes if I’m trying to drive, so I stopped driving at night. Also I noticed if I’m out trying to run errands during the day after about an hour or two I began to feel exhausted, so on my trip home my head feels like it’s in a cloud but I always fight through it but the main thing is when I feel sleepy and or tired I just don’t drive cause I have a habit of pushing myself to the limit for my family all the time. Best wishes to you.
When I moved to the state where I currently live my new Neurologist told me that I could not drive. After one year of not driving I said to him: you cant be honest with yourself about how badly you should not be driving, until you stop driving. Its the decreased alertness that is dangerous. You should always check the laws in your state and if your insurance will cover you if you have a Narcolepsy related event.
In college I was making the drive to visit my parents one weekend and it took me 5 hours vs. 2. I had to keep stopping to sleep. This was pre-diagnosis, no meds, and I was tired on top of the narcolepsy. Thirty years later I love driving, have helpful meds, and still must not drive if tired. Shrinkmom, I’m so glad you didn’t get hurt! What a frightening experience. Since you got no warning you must wonder if it could ever happen again. I’m reminded that it can. Thank you for this discussion.
I know that my doctor has written in my medical chart "Patient is aware of risks in driving…medicated when driving.
This is a hard call for a lot of people. I don't have narcolepsy, but I do get what I call lame brained some days, as does my teenager male - everyone does. Its always good, no matter who you are, to assess before you get in the car, if today is a good driving day. If its not, then to use public transport, or get someone else to drive. I always keep a little pillow in the car and if I'm feeling tired, I pull over and have the power nap. To just ask yourself, on a regular basis (maybe on the quarter hour) whilst your driving, am I ok, or should I take a break. It always helps :)
So Ranger you said you've had this your whole life how did you learn how to drive? I'm sixteen and my parents want me to get my licence and so do I but I'm scared I don't want anything to go wrong. I'll have to do driver's ed along with practice test drives then I'll have to pass the actual test.
Never tell anyone you fell asleep.
Secondly, we must be very aware when we are tired and take a nap even for 20 minutes, before driving on safely. It's a learning curve of our abilities and when we must listen to our body. Don't be hard on yourself over this. Just be more careful and please don't push past your limits - we all try harder than we should.
Maybe you were "distracted for a moment".
I park and sleep or just don't drive...
but I've had this all my life. Black coffee xtra strong :-)
Driving is actually one of the most difficult times for me, being medicated helps immensely.
Now that I have been diagnosed, understand my condition, and know my limits, I sometimes nap before driving, or stop mid trip and nap, then resume driving. Short naps really do make a world of difference. Find a close, well-lit parking lot, lock the doors, and snooze for about 20 minutes. Chewing strong/minty gum or talking on the phone can also be helpful if you're only a little tired.Having friends/family that are aware of your condition also helps. If I'm with someone, they're usually more than happy to drive for me, or if I'm closer to a friends house than my own, they don't mind me crashing on their couch for 15 minutes before driving home.
I don't recommend this, but I'll share what I did before being diagnosed. I used to work really weird hours at Taco Bell (it actually prevented me from being diagnosed when I needed it, because I attributed my symptoms to my schedule) but I used to stop at the 24 hour McDonald's (don't judge) and get either a hot coffee in the winter or a large iced tea in the summer before driving home. I'd take the lid off and hold it in my hand instead of setting it in the cup holder. If I started to nod off, the drink would spill in my lap, and the extreme temperature would wake me up.
Again, I don't recommend the drink thing, but the other ideas are good :)