True Life: I Have Narcolepsy

This episode was about two girls who have narcolepsy and cataplexy.  Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks, and Cataplexy is a condition associated with Narcolepsy that causes sudden muscle failure.  The first girl Julie had had the disorder for about four months and was afraid to take medications for it fearing the possible risks that go with taking the drugs.  The other girl Katy had narcolepsy for about ten years and was taking a lot of medication for it.  Her boyfriend tried to get her to stop taking them because he thought they were bad for her health.  Both of them suffered from cataplexy attacks whenever they would start laughing at least while they weren’t taking any medication causing them to fall randomly.

I would say this narrative would be the Quest type mainly because of how MTV is trying to portray it for the show.  It is showing how they struggle with the illness and through that their life tends to improve in the end.  Julie was able to get on a low dosage of medication combined with chiropractic treatment was able to get into extra curricula’s at school and improve her  ACT scores and took part in a Narcolepsy research experiment and now wants to go to med school and become and anesthesiologist.   Katy learned she still needs the medication but she can get by taking a lower dosage.

It didn’t show there being much of a stigma or anything just confusion of what was wrong and them being embarrassed if they passed out in public.  It showed the effects of the medication treatments, good and bad, on their life and on friends and family.

Illness narratives seem useful to basically everyone involved.  According to lecture 4.2 the six parts to illness narratives can kind of a way of explaining everything to someone who doesn’t have the experience to they can understand the patient’s point of view.  It explains what happened but also why they should care.  It’s the closest most people are going to get to understanding what’s going on.

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