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People don't understand.

by Michael Robinson (no login)

I am in the Rotc and I am studying Electrical Engineering at a school thats number 2 in the country in that program. I don't want to tell ROTC that I have narcolepsy because they will drop me and I will no longer be able to pay for college. The Engineering program is the toughest program at the school and not only do I have to struggle with that, but balancing ROTC and Narcolepsy with it is almost impossible. My doctor prescribed me to take provigil 200 mg every mourning and it worked initially but now the sleepiness is creeping back. My concentration is off, I want to just sleep all the time. I have to wake up at 5 am MOn-WED_Friday to workout for RoTc and then I have mostly mourning classes after that. Of course I miss a couple of classes and it is seriously hurting my grades because of the tough classes I am taking. I am fatigue all the time, I often forget completely about homework assignments even if I just remembered to do them a hour before. I can't commit to the strict schedule required for narcolepsy because being an engineering major requires you to pull many all nighters which is something I can't do. Nobody I talk to about it understands this condition and just think I'm lazy and unmotivated. The more I try to explain the more hopeless I feel that people just won't understand. Even my parents think its something that I can just correct. I feel constantly pressured to stay in Engineering and ROTC because I am the youngest and my two older siblings did not want to go the army route despite my dad being a soldier for nearly 27 years. Even though my two older siblings later received bachelors degrees, both of them had to come home first after being kicked out of their universities for grades and both already have two kids with one being 26 and the other being 22.And because my brother got his girlfriend pregnant and had to drop out his first time in college, I feel pressured every time I'm with a girl. I'm scared to even have sex because I don't want to take any risks that might lead to me getting a girl pregnant. But Even when I was with a girl, I once fell asleep while she was kissing on my neck. My mom constantly reminds me that I am the last one, and she wants at least one of her children to make it through in one try. I want so bad to make my parents proud and each year I try harder and harder to succeed but I don't have the energy and concentration it takes to get through the intensely rigorous engineering program along with the ROTC. I am a junior, but I am still basically a freshman in engineering courses. Most of my credits are from Gen-eds and even then I only have 2.3 overall G.Pa because I fall asleep in almost every class. This is my first year on my medication. My first two years was almost unbearable. My first semester I had a 1.57 G.Pa and I had to spend the next semester and my sophomore year trying to get off. This is my first semester since freshman year that I am not on probation. But now because I completed all my Gen-eds, i have to take technical classes for the rest of my semesters in the program. I don't even know how i got to my Junior year because I can count with just one hand how many times I stayed awake during lecture in any given class. And now that I am on medication, it has helped tremendously but still I am struggling. I know that I am smart and that is evident because I was asleep all through high school and managed to get accepted in the program, however College is way different and I can't afford to miss one lecture let alone almost all of them. I have gotten into two accidents because I fell asleep at the wheel and dozed off the road even more. One of the accidents I had my two year old niece in the back seat. I haven't told my parents about these accidents and even though its been three years since it happened, I am still burdened by them. I also crashed my car through a blockbuster store( my whole car was in the store), thankfully it was at night during closing and no one was hurt. I don't this was because of Narcolepsy because I didn't fall asleep, I just accidently pressed both pedals at the same time and the car went speeding, but who knows if i was or wasn't. I feel my time at the University is closing and even though I can change my major, I don't know what to change it to. I don't want to do a useless major. I know my time management is not perfect but I can't seem to do anything right. I find myself doing homework at the last minute because I struggle to juggle all my classes along with RoTc. I write them down but it just doesn't help. I know I'm in over my head and I know I can't make it like this much longer, but I'm scared to face the disappointing looks of my parents. I plan on going to a community college until I can get a full grasp of my condition because I can't do it while I'm at the university, I don't have time to do anything. I just want to get a lot off my chest because I feel that I can't find anyone who understands what I am going through. Everyone thinks I'm just lazy and don't study enough. They don't understand and its hard to make them understand because they don't know what I'm going through. I will admit that I can do some things better, but once one thing goes bad its like a domino effect. I know I will be successful in whatever I do, but I feel lost right now. When I'm energized, I can compete with the best in Academics and Fitness, but I'm rarely 100% alert. I am probably going to leave the university and go back home, but its hard to leave my friends and roommates, knowing that they think that I didn't study enough to stay. Everybody I talk to just say Im making excuses. Maybe I am. But it really feels that I am trying to do good but the fatigue is overwhelming. When I want to study sometimes, I go into Robot mode and just want to rest. In my mind I try to push myself but most of the time it doesn't work. I'm going to talk to my Neurologist so he can up the dosage because 1 200mg pill every mourning is not helping all that well. I still suffer from sleep paralysis(although not as frequently) and I am still tired for most of the day. How many of you experience a similar situation? How much does Narcolepsy hinder you? And by the way, I am not depressed(even though with this stress I am inching toward it). I love myself and I don't EVER contemplate suicide even though this post sounds like I am thinking about it. I just want to put my thoughts on paper. I am confident that when I sort the condition out and how to properly manage it, I will be ok, but right now I can't get a grasp on it and it is hurting me bad.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010, 11:38 AM
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