I watched the True Life episode “I have Narcolepsy.” This episode followed the lives of two young women, Julie 16 and Katy 25, who were suffering from the disorder of narcolepsy, as well as cataplexy, which is when a sudden loss in muscle control. I believe that both Katy and Julie start out with a quest narrative, but run into a problem which brings them into a chaos narrative, but then are brought back to the quest narrative. With this and many other illnesses, the most effective way of getting better is to seek out help. This could be going to your doctor and seeing what can be done to alleviate some of the symptoms, or get rid of them entirely. Another thing you can do is talk to someone who is also suffering from the same illness. You may not get any medication or anything, but you get to talk with someone who knows what you are going through and understands how you feel which can help relieve some of the stress that you may feel. Also, that person may be able to help with some non medical approaches to alleviating some symptoms.
Julie had been diagnosed with narcolepsy for 4 months and she tried to go through her daily live as she used too. She would go out with her friends, tried to go to her dance class, and go to school. Eventually the narcolepsy and cataplexy got to be too much for her, and with some coaxing from her mom she went to see her doctor. He told her that her condition would probably not get better, and not taking anything to help with sleep and her cataplexy was not helping. At this stage she goes from a quest narrative to a chaos narrative. She feels lost and alone, not wanting to take the medication because she is afraid of the side effects. Her mom eventually points out some alternatives to medication and she begins to go to a chiropractor. After doing so she says she feels better than ever and has had no major cataplexy attacks in over a month.
Katy has had narcolepsy since she was 15, and has been taking a large amount of medication for her condition. With the help of her boyfriend she has been able to get through her normal day to day life. But recently her boyfriend has been worried about the amount of medication she was taking so he tells her she should try not taking any medication for a while and see if that helps. She quits taking the medication, and her condition begins to worsen. This is when she takes the path down the chaos narrative. Her condition is worsening, she is having cataplexy attacks, and through all this she is beginning to lose her boyfriend. Eventually they make up and Katy begins to have more control with the amount of medication she takes. She is down to less than half the medication she used to take and she has never felt better.
Narcolepsy is not a very well known illness so it is taken differently in different cultures. With Julie, whenever she would have a cataplexy attack her friends would worry about her and wonder if she was alright. With Katy, when she was at the bar with their friends and she had an attack her friends would help her out but everyone else would talk softly and ask each other what is wrong with her.
From lecture, the sick role is the practices, rights, and responsibilities that come from being a person suffering from an illness. These things include following instructions from care providers and other officials. Both these women followed this to try and take control of their situation. Julie was a little reluctant when she found out her condition would not get better, but once she took control and started to do what was asked of her, her condition started to improve. With Katy, she was very dependant on her boyfriend and took too much medication. But once she realized what was important and what she had to do, her reliance on her boyfriend and the medication lessened and she was able to cut her medication usage my more than half, and improve her relationship with her boyfriend.