W4 Activity: I can’t sleep

Talking about illness narratives, I think it is very useful and helpful idea for treating similar illnesses. The reason is that when hearing from other patient’s experience about certain illness, it helps other patients who have similar illness or same illness by listening about the symptoms, dealing with symptoms, and advising better way to cope with accepting illness mentally. In addition, illness narratives would also be beneficial to patients’ family and healthcare providers because they would understand more about the certain illness and able to learn about helping his or her family as the patients of that certain illness.

This week, I watched the episode called “I can’t sleep.” It is considered as chaos narrative because this episode is about 3 people who couldn’t sleep for a couple of years and were really hoping that getting their lives back on track by overcoming the sleeping disorder. The first person named Krystal who has had insomnia for a long time since her high school. Basically, she couldn’t sleep the whole day or only sleeps about 3 hours a day. Because of insomnia, she dropped out of college and currently works at a shoe store. The second person named Kelsey who has a delayed sleep phase syndrome which means that the person can’t sleep until really late at night. Because of that, her grades in high school are failing and she is not able to function well during the day. She tries to adjust her class schedules for her disorder, but she keeps falling asleep during most of her classes. The last person named Newell who has had sleep apnea for a long time. Because of that he quit his job which caused tiredness during his work hours. Now he is working at a flower shop to flowers. He couldn’t sleep at all sometimes because he has a problem of stop breathing couple times during the sleep which is a major symptom of sleep apnea. He tried surgery to fix his jaws to help the breathing better during the sleep. After all that, it ends up being useless because it didn’t help him at all about sleep apnea. Medical treatment for all 3 people are different. For Krystal’s case, she tried sleep study and realized that she needs more work with medication and seeing psychologist to get better. For Kelsey’s case, she tries to change her sleeping time accordingly to see how effective it would be. At the end, it worked for her, and she was able to sleep better after all. For Newell’s case, he also did sleep study, but there was no solution for him, so he hopes that there is a solution for sleep apnea in the future.

2 thoughts on “W4 Activity: I can’t sleep

  1. Hi Sunjoon,
    I agree that illness narratives are very useful and helpful when treating similar illnesses. They make patients more comfortable with their own illness, by comparing it to the stories other people might have about their own illness. They also can help them learn more about what they are going through, and help them cope or life with what is happening to them. Knowing that there are others out there who may suffer from the same illness is very reassuring.
    I think narcolepsy can be a very confusing illness that a lot of people may have a hard time understanding. There are just so many variations and different levels of severity that each person suffers from. I like that you described all of the people who were profiled in the video and how you explained how their versions of narcolepsy differed. The illness narrative I chose in comparison to True Life is actually the recordings of patient voices who suffer from narcolepsy and other similar illnesses. I found this site very informative just for my own knowledge on the illness. I only know what narcolepsy is on its most basic level; that it is a sleeping disorder. After having listened to some of their stories and what they’ve been through, I have a better understanding of the illness. I didn’t know that many of those who suffer from this have to take medication just to be able to sleep at night; as well as more medication from the side effects of the sleeping medication. One girl said that her nausea from the sleeping medication was so bad in the mornings that she always had to eat breakfast and get ready for school while still in bed. Having an illness like narcolepsy affects all aspects of your life, and that is not something I understood before finding this illness narrative.


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