Archive for January, 2010

I’m such a bad blogger
January 12, 2010

A good friend of mine is taking the MSLT in a couple of days, and I thought, oh yeah, narcolepsy.  Didn’t I blog about that once?

I have a good excuse though, I promise.  In early November, I found out I was pregnant again and promptly fell asleep for twelve weeks.  Between the exhaustion, crazy hard semester, work, and a toddler whose intestines literally collapsed (no, I am not exaggerating,) the blog has kind of fell by the wayside.

Sorry.

But now I’m in the second trimester and can manage to stay awake past eight.  At least for a couple nights a week.  So here’s hoping you’ll hear from me more often.

Anyway, I remember seeing this article before the end of the year: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091228/NEWS03/91228032/1002/NEWS01/Driver+suffered+medical+crisis+before+fatal+wreck+++++

And it got me thinking.  Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate based on medical history, but as a narcoleptic myself, I would never ever consider a job that was centered on driving, especially after my accident last year.  No matter what medicine you’re treating with, with a job as important as ambulance driving WHERE THE LIVES OF OTHERS ARE IN YOUR HANDS, why risk having a sleep attack?  I can’t speak for the epilepsy part, since I’m unfamiliar with that particular disorder and the restrictions it imposes, but I think it would be completely fair to say a narcoleptic should not have a driving or piloting job.

I know this sounds strong.  Maybe unsympathetic even–which, to be clear, I’m not saying this poor man deserved to die.  But the most common treatment for narcolepsy is amphetamines, and I know on my Ritalin bottle, it cautioned against driving and operating heavy machinery.

The only problem is, if narcoleptics weren’t allowed certain jobs, where would it end?  Can a person with cataplexy be trusted to care for small children?  Can a narcoleptic be a spinal surgeon and perform 12-hour surgeries?  A soldier?  A cop?

What do you think?