Tuesday, 13 December 2011

gotta keep moving;

I am going to cry, I am going to cry on a Thursday.
Thursday everything will be done, I'll either have my project complete or 75% complete.
Lets hope for a complete...
I haven't cried yet, I don't have time, I am in too deep.
This is the time of the year I wish I had normal classes with a normal final. The final would require me to study, and if I had a good enough grade I could say "screw it" and take a nap. With final projects, you can't say screw it, if you say screw it you don't have anything to show. I have spent more time in the darkroom making/developing prints than I have spent sleeping in three days. Last night I got 5 hours. Even if I try napping right now I just have vivid dreams of school, failing my projects, or anything that leaves me waking in a panic. I have never been this stressed. I don't even know what to do. Thinking straight is not an option anymore. Alright, my complaining ends here.
I did good on my Digital Project Final, it turned out real pretty. I love black and white photos, and I love night shots. I'll post the pictures below as well as one from my parents 25th Anniversary. Should have done it a while ago.

Charlie, Dave, Lisa, Me
I get to see these precious people in 4 days =) 

Monday, 5 December 2011

A much needed update;

Here we go on an update on the past 10 or so days! School is hell, honestly it’s crunch time right now and I am stressed through the roof. I can’t function; my dreams have turned into nightmares about my homework. Napping is a chore; I sometimes am too stressed to even shut myself down for 10 minutes. I want December 16th to come so I can be done this semester. At the same time I want more time to finish my final assignments. With art classes I really don’t have exams…everyone is stressed about studying but here I am stressed about finishing my final projects to the best of my ability. I think with exams you can choose to half ass it or not, study here and there…with my art I have to go hard the entire time until that project is done! Oh my oh my! On the plus side though my current assignment for my darkroom class (film/b&w photography) is really going well. I am excited about it. We are allowed to do whatever we want; however we want. I am photographing this one girl in way that really exploits a bad girl lifestyle and such. Photographing her drinking, smoking, waking up in odd situations after nights of partying. It’s really turned out well; I think it looks awesome at least! Some people might see it as weird or revealing but I think it shows the choices that a lot of college students make because of the temporary pleasures it brings. I still have some developing of prints to do; blowing them up. All the final details!
Moving on, next on the list. I had an amazing soccer season with the school, really enjoyed myself. It wasn’t the highest level of soccer I’ve ever played but because of this I was able to have less stress from soccer. I was simply able to enjoy my time on the field. After all that’s what the sport should be about; doing it because you love it. Over the season not once did I go into a game saying “I need to score or get assists so I can get more points to be ranked higher”. Ranking as a team was more important to me, and if I so happened to get an assist and or goal I was ecstatic. A few times girls got off track in that sense; some games they would be looking for the points for themselves rather than just capitalizing on opportunities and not worrying whose foot was to put the ball in the back of the net. All in all though I can’t say anyone was overly that way, just a few times in the season it was really noticeable. My point is I was happy with a 41st finish or something in the league for individual goals/assists. Numerous girls on my team finished higher; in fact Taige on my team got 4th in the league! A really amazing accomplishment for not only a player but for a freshman! Either way our team accomplished a lot. Now, the other day awards were given out. The All American Award; an award given out every season to 20 players based on points and overall playing ability. Coaches and directors of the league watched games, decided and voted collectively to establish whom they felt were the “best” or however I should describe it. I really didn’t know much about it, honestly I had only ever heard a few girls talk about it…and when they did talk about it, it was said in terms of “I need more points if I want to be even considered for All American”. Those sentences really bother me, it really screams they aren’t there for the team but for themselves only. Either way what I am trying to say is when I heard the news that I got the All American Award for the season I was shocked. I honestly never even considered I would get it…I guess being Canadian doesn’t matter haha!! I was really excited about it, proud I guess. Reassured that all the effort I put into the season was worth it! Me getting the award wasn’t as accepted as perhaps I thought it might me. Actually to the point of me not telling anyone but those back home and a few of my good friends here. I guess a few girls were really hoping they got it this year and maybe perhaps expecting too. I kind of almost feel guilty for getting it, being a freshman and all. Anyways, the fact is I got it and Taige also received the award and we both worked hard and no matter what we both deserved it.
Next an interesting email came along and for those narcoleptics who read this, I thought you might like to hear about it! First I would like to say thank you for everyone who reads this, when I started the blog it was mostly just to establish a reflection on my experience with narcolepsy, college and life in general. I get a kick out of hearing from anyone that they enjoy reading my blog, it’s nice to know that someone gets something out of this silly webpage; so thank you! Anyways the email was from a Corinne Poole who from what I understand is working on putting together a website full of information on sleep disorders, one being Narcolepsy. Their goal is to inform and get out as much information about all forms of sleep disorders to the public. As most of you narcoleptics know, sleep disorders are often miss-diagnosed, untreated, etc. As she put in the email:
“…online digital network of video channels called the INTEGRIS Digital Network. Within this revolutionary network are four channels with hundreds of videos; each designed to tell the individual stories of patients, their families and doctors, and the journey that brought them to today. I am reaching out to you because I think your blog would be an interesting read and also a great resource for our visitors and I would love to be able to direct them to it. I am recently out of college and I think it’s important that our generation is aware of the risks of sleep disorders.

I have found that many people do not realize the severity of a sleep disorder and the way it can put a life in jeopardy. It is estimated that nearly 70-million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic - yet treatable - sleep disorders. Yet millions go undiagnosed and untreated, leading not only to extreme fatigue and increased risk of accidents, but also to many serious health conditions such as heart attack, diabetes and stroke. It is the mission of the INTEGRIS team to encourage those who are suffering to take their symptoms seriously and help them find the relief they need…”

Anyways I thought it was interesting and the website is still in the process of developing but so far it looks great. I recommend checking it out and looking again in the near future when more is complete. Basically I think that it’s great information for those who are looking for more answers and or just links to other blogs and or networks. The link is as follows:
She also recommended this story: Katie Cook

I think that completes my update, I got a week full of photography so I need my rest! First I got to make the ever so famous college dinner; Kraft Dinner Mac & Cheese!

Sunday, 27 November 2011


This week was full of surprises, full of lies and full of fun! My parent’s 25th wedding anniversary is December 20th. It’s crazy in this day and age for couples to make it that many years, I am thankful that they did and that they have been wonderful role models! December is an awful time to get together friends, not an awful time but just people leave town, have family to see and are generally really stressed around Christmas. When planning a party I took that into consideration and decided American Thanksgiving Weekend would be a great time to have a party. I have school off and so I could potentially fly home to Canada for the party.
Keeping secrets is generally pretty easy for me, I am a good bullshitter…not my best feature…but in the situation of planning a surprise anniversary party it comes in handy! I hate lying to my parents, I hate having to keep track of my lies and make other people aware of what lie I told. Since July I have been lying and planning a party. Finally this weekend it all came to a sweet end!
First surprise went a little like this…My parents thought I was going to be spending American Thanksgiving with my friend Natalia. We were doing black Friday shopping…leaving at 3am to get to the Mall of America in time! My Dad knew about the surprise party for their anniversary. (I had to tell him because with his work I had to ensure he had it booked off well in advance!). My dad called 2 weeks ago and offered me a flight home for the party. He said mom would be disappointed to see a party I planned and not to have me attend. I told him that although I would love to fly home, I missed a week of school for New York and am super behind in dark room time. I need all the days in the darkroom I can get! He said he understood and appreciates that I take my schooling so serious. Seeing as paying for a plane ticket would show up on my credit card bill, which my parents can see with their online banking I had to borrow a little help. My brother has a credit card, with a small limit and only he ever see’s what is purchased with it. We paid off his entire bill and waited to find flights that were ‘reasonable’. Finally found one, had to leave on a Tuesday late at night but I’ll do anything to be home! Tuesday the 22nd I landed at midnight, my best friend picked me up and we caught up on old times! Next morning would be surprise #1! My friend went to my door, put my luggage on the step and rang the doorbell. My mother came to the door, was surprised to see Natalya and was confused when Nat said “Sarah sent me her luggage home, I don’t know what to do with it so I am dropping it here before I am off to work”. My mom looked at the luggage and pondered…seriously confused. Just as that was happening I came out from behind the tree and said, just kidding I brought home the luggage myself! My mom started crying, questioning how I got home without her knowledge and every other question that you could think of! It was a grand surprise and I seriously made her week! She suspected nothing of me coming home, just that I was simply home sick! Next my father was coming home that day and he was arriving around 6:30pm. I decided to do a little surprise for him too. When he got in the door my brother went and helped him with his luggage, talked with him in the kitchen…you know…the normal father son catching up. After about 5 minutes of normal conversation I tip toed down stairs and said “Hi Dad, SURPRISE!” He was shocked, happy to see me and said “No wonder mom wanted me to text her right when I got home!” Surprise number 1 check!
The whole 3 days I had before the party I kept lying and saying I was out with friends for dinner or out visiting friends for coffee. Really I was doing last minute things with my brother to make sure the party went smoothly!
Party went great, all the guests brought a dish of food, and it was like a potluck party. It saved us money on food. It was great amounts of fun, my mom was shocked and she was initially upset she didn’t dress up enough cause she thought it was just a “cafĂ© concert”…luckily her smart daughter packed her a dress a heels. The night went great, they were really happy to have had a party and that the turn out was so good! We had close to 50 people there!
Anyways I am at the airport because I have to fly back to Minnesota. 5 days is not near enough time to hang out with all my friends. I can’t wait for 20 days to pass and I can be home for a few weeks at Christmas!
Back to school for me, oh joy! 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

yes doctor i'll take some of that;

Maybe its the fact that Narcolepsy might be an Immune system disorder; it would explain why every time someone even gets the sniffles I get a real nice cold.
10 days of being sick, 10 days of having no voice in the morning, and 10 days of feeling sleepless. My body aches, I sleep for 12 hours and I still feel drained. Even thinking about going to the gym makes me tired. Last night I had 3 naps. I haven't done that since before I was medicated!! I had a nap before the boys came over for dinner. My 4 best guy friends here wanted a home cooked meal and I promised I would do so once my season finished. Cooking for 4 football boys, all over 200 pounds was a task! Anyways next nap was after dinner when we were on our way out to a girls bonfire in the country. My oh my she has a cute little farm house! We had fun, but 12:30 came around and I curled up on the lawn chair and started my nap... luckily one of the boys was leaving to go back home so he got me up to leave. I got home and of course since I napped I was up for another hour or so. 2am came around, and I was out.
Today I went to the doctor though, my body obviously needed some help getting over this illness. Got some antibiotics for this sinus infection and I hope to feel better in 5 days or sooner. Fingers crossed because I am exhausted!!
On a side note, i'll have exciting news for you all in about a 10 days if everything goes as planned! So i'll keep you posted!

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Can you say New York?

I am super excited about life right now! Today’s game was our make it or break it moment with soccer. If we won, we would be Regional Champions, if we lost our season would be over. The game was against a team we had played twice in normal season. We managed to beat them once, but also had lost to them once. The pressure was on and honestly the game could have gone either way. Whoever won this game, not only got the regional champion title, but also get’s to go to Nationals. Nationals are held in New York this year! My little Canadian self has yet to go there, and would really like to go when it’s paid for!
After getting our pre-game speech and warming up, it was time to start the game. We dominated the pitch, moving the ball around, creating chances; sadly not finishing any of our chances in the first 45minutes. It doesn’t matter who has the ball the most in the game, it’s really about finishing your chances. If the other team managed to get a single shot off and use there chance to the best of there ability…we’d be screwed. Second half went better; I managed to get a shot off from about 35 out and score. It was with 20 minutes left, we were playing defensive, at least attempting too. Everyone was so nervous, so worried that it got to us and we had a wee bit of a screw up in the back. Our opponent came back with a goal with 10 minutes to go. Both teams were well “freaking out”. You could tell by the way everyone was playing, it was a mess out on the field, something we call Kick Ball…its not pretty!
With a tie at the end of the regular 90-minute game we went into golden goal. Golden goal, which is played in two ten-minute halves. If a team scores, it’s over. Next goal wins is pretty much the basis of the rule. Neither team managed to score in either of the 10 minutes given. Now it was up to penalty kicks; the goalie of each team faces off with 5 different players of the team. One shot at a time from about 10 or 15 yards out; to be honest I can’t remember the rule. Either way, each player is given the ball, they can place it on the spot indicated, and when the ref blows the whistle you can take your shot. These are the types of shots that are the hardest to stop for a goalie. They have to first of guess which side you’ll be shooting to, and even if they guess right, there reaction is going to have to be quick. Our coach picked 5 girls who she thought have the best penalty kicking skills, I was one of them.
First shooters; both shooters scored… tied 1-1
Second shooters; our goalie stopped the shot…we scored… we’re up 2-1
Third shooters; bother shooters scored….3-2
Fourth shooters; our goalie stopped the shot… now I was the fourth shooter for my team. If I scored, we didn’t have to go to the fifth shooter. I always do my penalty kick to the left of the net (goalies right). Our opponent’s goalie though wasn’t standing in the middle of the net, and she was getting a glove or at least real close on the past three shots. I was extremely nervous and didn’t want to get my shot stopped. I’ve never practiced going to the right like I’ve practiced going to the left. Honestly when I was setting up my ball on the spot, I didn’t even know which was I was going to shoot. My mind was going a mile a minute, contemplating. I took my 6 steps back, tapped my right toe against the ground, and tapped my left. (I seriously have a ritual I do before every free kick, penalty kick…the exact same steps and the exact same toe taps. Haha.) The ref blew the whistle; I stood there for probably 2-3 seconds before taking my run. Seriously, didn’t decide which way I was shooting until about 3 steps into my 6. I went to the right (goalies left)… the goalie dived the other way so there was no way she was getting it. We won Regional’s on that note and now we get to go to Nationals in New York. It was an extremely exciting day. I can’t wait to leave on Halloween for the 19-hour drive. I have no expectations for Nationals; of course I would love to win, but making it to nationals is an accomplishment in itself.
I will be missing a week of school though, so that should be interesting! Working hard this week to get ahead!

Friday, 14 October 2011

midterm grade check;

From Team Trip to Chicago, IL
Near Downtown in Rochester

Near Downtown
Grade check, as in our Midterm grades have come out of hiding. Its that time of year where you see where exactly you're at; if you need to get your act together or if you're succeeding. Thankfully I am able to give myself a pat on the back; I have a 3.75 GPA. 
Darkroom Class: 91%
Digital Photography: 97%
Business Class: 89%
Drug Use & Abuse: 95% (GPA/Credit boost class)
That is seriously something I have not had since I was in my Sophomore year of high school. I am super proud of it, especially since it's soccer season and I have had to miss a few classes here and there. Looks like I will be continuing to keep up with my school work because these A's are satisfying. Just goes to show that when you're studying something you enjoy, it's that much easier to dedicate your energy to achieving good grades. I however feel that I would never be able to take more than 4 classes at once. Especially when I have my one class that is simple and I barely have to do anything; its basically just a GPA/credit booster.
Also these last few days have been a little weird. I have had some solid hallucinations before going to bed in the evening and when my alarm goes off in the morning. I don't think its because I am not getting enough sleep, I think it is a lack of naps. I need to start napping in the day again and get back on a better schedule. Also I have noticed a lack in my nutrition; although I eat healthy compared to many of the people I live with or play soccer with... I lack my daily intake of nutrients. I bought some supplements; the Women's Teen Advantage one a day. I bought the teen one because it had high levels of the vitamin A, B6, D, and magnesium. Technically I am still a "teen" as well...eight teen. With that I also got a Vitamin C-250 and an Iron supplement. I know for a fact I am not getting enough Iron because I find it difficult to eat a lot of red meat or seafood or almonds. I hate almonds unless they are chocolate covered!! Either way; I have found that in the two days I've been taking them I have more energy and I am more lively. Hopefully they help me get all the nutrients I need on top of what I already eat! I know they say freshman 15... but since arriving here I have lost 13 lbs. I didn't need to loose the weight, in fact I was happy with my weight, but with all the running and training we did I have managed to slim down. I feel that I am at a good weight and I feel generally healthier. If I gain any weight back I sure hope it's in muscle! That would be awesome.
I am staying in Rochester this weekend, no away games or any travelling with our team. It should be nice to just sit at home; go to bed in my own bed. Will keep you updated in the future. I can't think of anything else I have to say... am I forgetting to mention anything?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Still Alive, Still Awake.

Sorry for the time I’ve left in between this post and the last. I’ve been busy; busy enough not to completely loose my mind, but too busy to even process what’s on my mind. I think it’s time for a break from life. Just two days would be enough. On those two days I would like nothing but a pillow, blanket, couch and unlimited supply of food that will not go straight to my hips/ass/thighs. Oh shoot…is that too much to ask?
I had two awful days since we last talked. I had one night I was up doing homework late, practice the next morning at 6am, and then class from 8am-2pm. I had gotten 5 hours sleep, and had practice and had two classes worth 2 and half hours. The day was hell; I barely made it through to say the least. I fell asleep in the one class. I will pray that I won’t be doing that again anytime soon; let’s be honest though I am in college now this is apparently semi normal? Next awful day was when I got little sleep, missed my alarm and woke up just in time to run to class. I forgot to take my meds, preceded to try and get through the two and half hour class, with scribbling and doodling to keep my awake. My teacher asked after if I really thought he was that boring. How exactly was I suppose to answer that? I probably didn’t answer it the right way but I told him I used doodling to help me stay awake. I failed to mention I forgot my drugs, that’s how zonked out I was. I ran home and took my drugs and had some caffeine in my tea…just enough to get me through my second-class and afternoon practice!
So far I have kept my grades up, have an A in two classes and a B in the other two. I have never use the letter grade system, so to me a B sounds just awful. A B however is around 85-89%. I can’t complain when I think about the percentage. I am proud of these grades so far and look forward to keeping them up! Study sessions and long nights in the photo lab/darkroom will be the only answer to these hopes!
Currently I am in Chicago, Illinois, of course for soccer. We have three games over the course of three days, so far we have won two and tomorrow will be our last game before heading home to Minnesota. I’ve had two great games if I do say so myself; gotten 4 assists and 1 goal. My leg is obviously healed and obviously in great working condition now! Lets keep it this way! 
My parents came down to visit me and were quite wonderful company! I had missed my parents, I wasn’t quite homesick but I will admit I missed a home cooked meal and the little things my Mama would do for me. Moving out hasn’t been a rude awakening, people always said you’d learn to do things that you never thought you had to do. Well I have to say my parents raised me in the best way possible. They taught me to take care of myself; I learned a lot of the hard lessons while I was living at home because my parents forced me to do so much for myself. Yes I might have been spoiled here and there, but I was well aware of what my parents were doing for me and I knew one day I’d be cut off. Living on my own has allowed me the independence I wanted with a good learning curve to keep me grounded. I appreciate my parents far more now that I have moved out. For all the times I fought with them or told them I hated them or yelled at them for giving me a curfew, thank you.
Hopefully my life stays steady, I’ve been pretty tired but this trip to Chicago has allowed me some extra sleep time. The bus ride from 5-6 hours, we went to bed early to get 10 hours sleep. The girl I shared a bed with was a dream to sleep with. She can sleep with me any night, she didn’t move or steal sheets. I wake up a lot in the night because of insomnia, but I only woke up three times. It was amazing! Haha.
Happy days are ahead and fun times are around the corner. I need sleep though, my game is at noon tomorrow and I have had an adventurous day with no room for naps.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Happy Belated Birthday to me;

Another year older and this one is different; I am now 18 and that’s considered an adult. I can go do crazy things now, get a tattoo, buy booze (in Canada), smoke, gamble and vote. None of which I will do; well if time for voting comes around I will for sure get on that.
Well let me see here, where shall I start in filling you readers in! I have managed to keep a fairly OK sleep schedule. It’s not great, but it’s manageable. I attempt for 8 hours each night and I do get 8 hours on 5 of the 7 days of the week, but 2 of the nights I have class so early and I can’t seem to come home on time or get to bed on time. I suffer 2 days of the week and right now that is OK with me. The moment I start dying 2 days of the week will be the moment I start coming home before 10 and going to sleep before 10:30. Until that day, I am working with what I got.
I have been insanely busy, and when I say I am busy I mean I have loads of down time but it just doesn’t seem to be enough to keep my narcolepsy content. I love socializing and I love being around my friends, but one thing I miss was the hours alone I would spend catching up on television shows or sleeping. Sleeping when I didn’t need to sleep. I sleep now because it’s a must, it’s a survival thing. I reminisce about the days when I could sleep with no reason but for the fact that I had the time too.

Right now my time that I am not in class or not at soccer practice I am working on my homework or at my friends apartment. My homework is a joke, its insanely fun but insanely time consuming. Majoring in Photography has been like asking for no life. Its great for my narcolepsy, my assignments keep me active/interested and awake but it’s awful for a time toll. I spend countless hours in the darkroom developing film and then making prints. It’s been so fun learning, but just last night I literally spent 4 hours working on an assignment I only half completed. Thankfully it is not due until next week, but you get what I am saying when I say time consuming!

Soccer is going well, slow. See I ended up pulling my quad 3 weeks ago, and I was getting treatment. The treatment was helping but I kept playing in games and it was just a sustainable injury, never getting much better. If it got better it was back to square one after the game. Crazy stupid me decided that was alright, play through pain, until on Sunday I took a free kick and BOOM… burning extreme pain was overpowering. That pain was the partial tear that just happened in my quad. I went to the doctor and got an ultra sound to properly diagnose. Well yes, it’s a partial tear; meaning no more playing until it’s healed! I now spend my time getting treatment when I could be practicing. It sucks, but hopefully I should be better to start playing in 2 weeks or less… Fingers crossed!! =)
Anyways that’s my update for now. I have my first business exam tomorrow, hoping it goes well I’ve been going over flashcards like it was my “day job”!
Happy napping!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

narcolepsy & 9 hour bus rides;

I can't say I enjoyed waking up at 5am in order to get on a bus that drove 9 hours to get to a different state in order to play one game. I can't say I hated it though, the 8 hours I slept on the bus were much needed. Narcolepsy had caught up to me by Thursday/Friday, I wasn't paying as close of attention as possibly I could/should have. I did not notice how exhausted I was until the moment came when I woke up not quite realizing when I had fallen asleep. Thankfully this did not happen during class, but it was a bit of a wake up call that I haven't been doing the best I can in the department of taking care of my body.
First week of classes and the die hard need/want to still remain social can be blamed for my lack of care for my body. Classes were stressful/fun/nerve racking. I was getting assignments left right and centre, new information on how to do certain things like using the darkroom properly. My mind was just loaded and on top of all this I had practice everyday, homework every night and the desire to keep up with that social life I have created here. Not like I was doing wild things each night, but my bedtime became non existent because I knew the weekend was coming up. Stupid idea, I will be making sure my 8 hours are achieved every night with the exception if I have homework that needs to be attended too, not a social life.
So far I love my classes. I finally got my schedule sorted out. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I have one class at 10am. Tuesday and Thursday's though I have quite a morning. Two classes that last a total of 5 hours together. They are practically back to back, I have half an hour in between the two, just enough time to eat and if I am lucky I can maybe squeeze in a nap! I love the classes and they are interesting enough that staying awake is not really a problem but it's only been a week. The two classes on Tuesday/Thursday are my two photography classes, so a lot of art work and a lot of darkroom activities! I am also taking a course online, a health class on Drug Use and Abuse. It sounded interesting, I have always been curious of people involved with drugs and addiction. I chose to take it online just because of all the travelling the soccer team does and the fact that the less time I spend being lectured in a class the happier my narcolepsy is!
Anyways our game in Bismarck, North Dakota was a success and we came out with a win of 2-0! I played the entire game and was quite pleased with my performance. I am now on the bus ride back home, catching up on reading material for my one business class and catching up on sleep.
Talk soon.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

the best thing about knowing nobody;

This may sound stupid, or may sound weird but I absolutely love not knowing anyone. I love that I moved here not knowing anyone and I love that everyone has to get to know me to judge me. Not one person can talk to someone I knew back home and get a pre judgement about me. I love that, I love not being judged for what one person thought of me back home. I am not saying people have bad opinions of me, but these people have seen me at my best and at my worst, or others have just judged me because of the people I have been friends with. Here they have no information to go off of so they are forced to get to know me and make a judgement of me off their OWN opinion. It's awesome, and I am happy I moved here by myself and did it not knowing nobody on any personal level.
School started on Monday and with it now being Wednesday I am still trying to figure it all out. The awesome part about school starting is the fact that the two practices a day have turned into one. No more running everyday twice a day!!!
I have yet to fall asleep in class, which is a huge plus. Although I do go home every day from practice and I run straight for my bedroom, turn on my iPod and drift asleep. I don't even set my alarm, I just know I will wake up within the next 2 hours. Sometimes I sleep for ten minutes, sometimes I sleep for 2 hours. Either way I earned the huge nap, and after my nap I get to do homework and make myself dinner. Occasionally I get to see friends and occasionally I get to go out with my friends.
Every teacher has been understanding about my narcolepsy and so far I really am quite fond of my teachers. They all seem super nice, I would worry to get on a few of their bad sides but for the most part they have a good sense of humour and they seemed understanding about my narcolepsy. I simply told them... "I have narcolepsy, it may cause me to fall asleep randomly. I have my fingers crossed it wont but their is a chance. If you seem me scribbling or playing with a pen or piece of paper it is not because I am day dreaming, it is simply out of habit to keep me awake." They all seemed pretty good about it. I can't see them being more lenient about any of my assignments, but that is not what I want. I want to be treated like any other students, no special privileges but with the knowledge that I have a disorder which could affect my ability to learn all things in a class if I should fall asleep.
Anyways, I am waiting to talk to my councillor about switching my class to another time, the website wont let me do it myself so I have gone to seek out some help! I will post soon, I have my first game this weekend in Bismarck. It's a 9 hour drive I am looking forward to sleeping through! =)
Wish me luck


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

it's only the first week;

I've been here one week, I've had a lot of fun within only one week but now that the tough stuff has started i have found that these two a day work outs/training are tiring! In between the two sessions I barely have enough time to sleep and eat. Practice ends at 10:15 if we're lucky. What i mean by lucky is if everyone finishes the sprints or drills in the allotted time given. If not, we stay for extras until we make up for what we don't make. So far it has been pretty good, stayed later a few times. I then have just enough time to walk home, grab a bite and set my alarm for 10 minutes to nap. After this all i have to hustle back to the locker room, get my back stretched out (still injured from car accident! =( ) then we are on for practice at 12:30. If you're late you force your team to do some major running! No one has been late.... yet.
After the afternoon practice which has been lasting on average 3 hours is over we get our ice baths, and our stretch on because Oh Lord do we ever need it! I have been SO sore, waking up in the morning is a shock, mostly a jumble of me trying to get my legs to walk properly and to keep me balanced. My calves have never hurt this bad every step for three consecutive days. I'll tell you one thing though, all this conditioning is making me a skinny girl! I honestly think it'll all be worth the tired moments! Haha.
I have been keeping my schedule the exact same every day, sure I'll do different activities but my naps are at the same time everyday (within reason). I've got my nap between my two sessions in the day and then when i come home and shower around 4:00 i get some comfy clothes on and sleep for a good 30 minutes. It has been working and it has allowed me to be somewhat active in the evening with meeting people in my building and around my apartment complex. Most of my new friends either play football or basketball. They are all so much fun, their accents are so great! We've got people from Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota (obviously), Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Everywhere! It is awesome listening to all of their slang terms or just the way they express things so differently! I am really enjoying my time, although exhausted I am getting through the day and getting my 8 hours sleep minimum every night!!
With the accent difference I've ran into a few interesting moments! And with me being the only one from Canada i have been given the name "Canada". I quite like it, Sarah is a generic and common name these days so their is no confusion with Canada.. I am the only Canadian down here! =)
Here are a few things i have said that have caused a big "ruckus" or being called weird or crazy!
"Yeah I'll phone you" - I said this to a teammate and everyone froze, stared at me and asked "You'll phone her? You mean you'll call her?". Its insane, they never use the word phone unless you're referring the object. I learned this quick and people get a kick out of it!
"I don't snowboard or ski, I toboggan!" - They were shocked that me being a Canadian that i should probably ski or snowboard or both! I don't, i have before, and i don't mind it... It just isn't something that i loved. Anyways they thought the word Toboggan was the best thing ever. They killed themselves laughing, said it over and over, and often found ways to use it in a sentence. It was a good laugh, I'll be sure to use the word sledding next time!
Their are probably more but i need to have my shower and nap now! I'll keep you posted after preseason is over on the 22nd, and school starts on the 23rd!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

too good to be true;

Things were going great, I think a little too great. These past few weeks I have spent them with friends, family and working out. I haven’t been exhausted for sleep, but when needed I have found the time for my naps. Lets just say I had a lot of fun with all my friends over the past two weeks and was looking forward to my last 2 weeks with a trip to my friends cabin and a trip to a rodeo out of town. Things are now looking down for my next two trips; in fact I have already cancelled one.
This past Saturday was my families annual keg party; the party all our neighbors and friends look forward to. My mother makes the best appetizers, and the greatest pork pull and my father buys a keg and some other assortments of liquor. We invite all of our neighbors, all of our friends and well most of our family. The party lasts from around 3 in the afternoon till the last person leaves. It’s great, I get to see everyone who has been around since I was little and I get to invite my friends over to have a few drinks. This year was great; it allowed me to see a few of my friends for the last time before we all go our separate ways. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I believe my friends did as well.
Sunday was a day to clean up, and attend my soccer game. All went just swell, my team dominated and managed to win our game. I was now packing up for my much-anticipated trip to Edmonton with my best friend. We had been planning it for ages, we would go shopping the one-day, stay the night and hit the famous water park the next day. This water park has been on my mind for ages, I never went as a young child. All the soccer tournaments I attended (whether it was mine or my brothers) I always ended up with something silly that prohibited me from joining in on the water park adventures. Needless to say I was feeling as though that I had missed out on my childhood and going to this water park would be the best thing in the world.
I am pretty sure I was not meant to go to this water park, or maybe it just seems this way. When I was younger, cast’s prevented me, and the cold or flu I was enduring made my mother choose “what’s best for me”.
Now on my way to the water park after checking out of the hotel, no cast and or illness prevented me from having fun at the water park. Well nothing but a huge stupid incident that has prohibited me from going to the water park once AGAIN!
I was driving my mothers nice Honda fit, she had let me use it for the trip simply because it was better on gas and a more trustworthy car than the one I currently declare as my own car.
Basically this is what happened, I ran a yellow light, I could have stopped; may have hurt the brakes a little bit but I could have stopped. I chose to proceed through the amber light. Now the way the intersection is set up, the lights are in unison, so when this light that I “ran” turned yellow, the light just ahead turned yellow. I of course shifted down gears and was beginning my stop because the light ahead was about to turn red. As I was coming to a stop I noticed a truck who also ran the same amber light I had just ran, I also noticed he was going to hit me at quite a hefty speed. This truck was not your average truck, it wasn’t quite a semi, but it was a large industrial sized truck. With half a second to spare, I went to shift into first in hopes of moving. He was coming way to fast and he was failing to stop, he instead used my vehicle to stop. My car was crunched up, windows were shattered and my vehicle was pushed straight into the intersection. I checked to make sure my friend was all-okay, restarted my car and moved my car out of the intersection and into the nearest parking lot. My car was totaled and with the adrenaline rushing I was doing what it is I was taught. You exchange information, license and registration. The other driver was creepy to say the least, and not cooperative. He couldn’t find any of his documents and he wasn’t saying much, just smoking his cigarette. I had my friend dial 911 and get a cop on scene because I was not dealing with the man who rear ended us especially when he was being as weird as he was. With an hour wait for the cop to show up adrenaline slowly left and pain slowly kicked in.
Thankfully my vehicles seatbelts locked and the car took the impact rather well for the amount of impact it was given. I had talked with my parents over the phone, and my friend had talked to hers. In fact my friends mother was way too nice and drove up to get us to take us home, seeing as my vehicle was no longer drive-able. We had decided to tow the poor car all the way home, and the cop generously offered to phone AMA for me because she would be able to get them here faster than if I was to phone. To be honest this cop that we got was seriously the best. She made the best out of this bad situation; she dealt with the creepy guy and wrote him a ticket. Our parents had asked we go to the hospital to get checked out to in sure no breaks or damages since we were feeling pretty damn sore. The cop offered to drive us there and she even helped us get everything out of my car.
This was the awful end to what was suppose to be our awesome day at the water park. We thankfully were cleared at the hospital. My friend has some good whiplash and pain in her shoulder and I myself have whiplash, a seatbelt bruise and pains in my back in which I am going to physiotherapy today for. I also managed to bruise my hand, when I went to go shift gears we got hit so my hand took impact into the shifter. Ha, the smallest of all my injuries but really is annoying! Anyways, I am happy my friend and me are alive and well, nothing too serious. A car can be fixed and replaced and that is the least of my worries right now!
For now I will be sleeping, eating, taking painkillers and watching movies. I will keep you updated!
Maybe when I am home from school I can go to this water park with no problems, but as for now I need to heal up quick before I am off to college! Two weeks and counting!

the damages

Monday, 4 July 2011

i really do know better;

In my defense though I leave my hometown in less than 30 days to an entirely different country to be with people I’ve never met. Trying to keep up with my friends that I won’t be seeing for five months straight is hurting my sleep schedule.
Staying up until 3am and drinking sugary drinks and eating all the bad food I could get my hands on was so much fun, but so stupid to have to deal with the after effects.
My two good friends haven’t seen Transformers one or two; so I said we should probably watch them because I believe they are just the best things ever. Not to mention that the third movie, the one that just came out is AMAZING! I shed a tear, not going to lie!
We decided to have a movie marathon, and watch them both in one night. I am happy to say I got through the first one successfully, but when we started up the second movie at 1am I was having a tough go of it. I drank all the sugar drinks, had all the candy and popcorn I could but I fell asleep at around 3am. I did not finish the movie and to be honest I barely remember watching the second movie because I was so focused on trying to stay awake that the head bob took over and all though I was awake I wasn’t really awake.
This morning waking up at 10am was a real treat, not to mention I forgot my meds at home so I piled all the sugar/food in my body just to make it on the drive home.
I got home, took my meds and well crashed for about an hour nap. I am still exhausted; my body just aches from being so tired.
I know all the sugars and bad food makes me crash harder, but man oh man I had forgotten was exhaustion really felt like. I do not know if anyone else gets the body aches when they are feeling tired but basically it feels like I have the flu or I just had the most exhausting workout. Either way it’s safe to say my decision last night to hang out and stay up late with my friends is going to be a two-day recovery catching up on sleep. I am not sure if it was totally worth it, but spending time with my friends before I leave is super important to me. I just need to find a better balance!
I am off to work out, as I have mandatory workouts five days a week in order to get ready for the demanding pre season for soccer!
Lets hope I don’t fall asleep running! =)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

class of 2011;

A day in which I looked forward too was a day in which my narcolepsy and I feared. Graduating High School. I was no longer stressed about actually graduating, because I managed to meet all the requirements to get my diploma! I was now shifting my worry and fear towards the actual walking of the stage and the mass we had to attend in the morning. I honestly can say I have not attended one Mass during the entire time I attended a Catholic High School. If you don’t know what “Mass” is, search up catholic religion or whatever. Basically it is a ceremony and it is extremely long.
I am not Catholic; I attended this catholic high school because of the structure of learning it had to offer. I could attend school, have time for naps and teach myself the courses with help and guidance of teachers. It was ideal for the narcolepsy and ideal for not having the embarrassment of falling asleep in class; there are no ‘classes’!
Anyways the day of my graduation the day’s events went a little like this.
09:00am-11:00am    Graduation Mass
01:00pm-04:00pm    Convocation
It was a little demanding, especially with the time in between the two events being given away to having lunch with my best friends and their family members.
I am delighted to say that it went better than expected! The mass was the most difficult; there was nothing but a few songs to help keep me awake. I nodded off a few times, has the famous head bob going on. Luckily after a few bob’s I managed to notice one of my fellow graduates goofing off and imitating people, as in the pastor/priest or whatever name he goes by. Anyways I found it entertaining, although not nice, it kept me more alert and I was able to get through the dreaded two hours and onto the next stage of the day!
Lunch went good, I had my friend’s entertainment and their parents asking me about my life and I was able to engage in conversation. I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch a quick nap before convocation so I ran across the street to grab an energy drink. I try desperately not to use caffeine to get through things, just because of the crash afterwards and cause it really isn’t healthy. This however was my grad day; I had to make an exception.
I ended up drinking most of the Monster Energy drink, and I managed to make it through convocation without sleeping! The speeches were well put together, a good mix of humor and inspiration that I enjoyed listening too. The listing off of the names and the walking of the stage was a dreadful process. My eyes were extremely tired, luckily the person I was sitting by brought her phone. She had some interesting text messages for me to creep about/read. Haha, that sounds awful. Next thing you know it was my turn to walk the stage.
They managed to get my name right, thank you to my teachers! I walked across, got a good amount of applause, then my father decided to yell out.
Got to love the papa, he always knows how to embarrass me! He could have said worse though, at least no little nicknames came out! Right?
Graduation was a success. I got my diploma in the regular time, I passed all of my courses and I managed to meet some of the greatest people ever. I am happy to move on to the next chapter of my life. College!
I will be moving to the states to play soccer and attend college to take Photography! I am excited, nervous, worried, and happy to go on the experience all by myself. I clearly have a lot of learning to do, but am looking forward to being more responsible and taking on new challenges! Preseason for soccer will be a nut case, two practices a day. Practices will be mostly running, running tuckers me out making napping a higher priority. I have faith that everything will work out and it will be a huge learning curve for me in the best possible way. Hopefully I won’t have to cheat too much with the energy drinks and caffeine; but I am willing to take a few in order to keep up to everyone else. I will be updating this blog as much as possible to tell everyone how I handle a full load of courses and a full load of soccer/travelling!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


I thought I was crazy, you laugh at me for saying that, but man did I ever think I was loosing my mind. I think part of the reason as to why I did not say anything about my issues at the time was because of my fear of just being mentally ill or diagnosed with “way to messed up to even try to fix’ . I would literally wake up ... or come back to reality wondering where I had been, when I had wondered off into my dream mode. I was just surviving and just getting by; it would be safe to say I was a totally different person. I just merely existed, I was certainly not living.
You wonder if people noticed if I was acting strange; I would say yes most definitely! I remember friends replying to my texts saying uh what are you talking about? I would literally sleep text! I would fall asleep and have realistic dreams and upon awakening I would think they happened... believe me with the looks I got from people I know they didn’t happen. My Mom noticed a change, she figured it was due to more homework, more stress, high school, soccer.. anything but narcolepsy.
I give credit to my one team mate I use to carpool with for giving me a huge eye opener. The one day that changed my opinion of me possibly being insane. We were sitting in traffic on the way to practice, my mom was driving. Doing as us teenagers normally did we were gossiping and talking about silly things; next thing you know she said “oh my god, I am so tired! I didn’t sleep the whole night through last night”. I must have looked puzzled; I must have looked like a retard living in a bubble. Even better I probably sounded like a retard asking “do you always sleep the whole night through?”. With a reply like “yeah I occasionally wake up the odd night why?” I knew I had an issue.
Next thing you know at practice I was asking everyone the same question; I couldn’t believe I had been so oblivious and just thought it was a norm to wake up 2-12 times a night. Its been going on so long, I never really thought much of it! No wonder waiting for Santa clause and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny felt like a million years, I would have trouble getting to bed from excitement... more than once each night!
From then on I knew I had a problem, I knew it was with sleeping, I just now needed a proper diagnosis! I did not get a sleep study done until June of 09 and that has been a turning point in my life. I was devastated when he told me I had narcolepsy; I was overwhelmed with the endless issues I would be faced with and I was relieved that the mystery was over. I had a mixture of emotions, I honestly did not know how to feel other than frustrated. On the plus side, my parents and team mates could stop calling me lazy, could stop nagging me for not doing something and I could find relief in knowing I was not crazy.

A lot has changed since my diagnosis, I feel as though I have knowingly had narcolepsy for years but the facts state it's only been 2 years since my diagnosis. I switched schools, to a self directed school. The school honestly changed me in so many ways. It forced me out of my comfort zone, it forced me to leave everything I knew, everything/everyone I grew up with. I did not know a single person in the school, it was all a new experience. I switched have way through my grade ten year, which made things even more difficult! Cliques were built and at this High School there is no such thing as 'class', it's like online learning or self paced learning in a school type environment. Meeting people seemed impossible, it made my decision to switch schools feel like a massive regret.

Luckily after a few awkward encounters in the hallways, I was invited to lunch by three wonderful ladies. I did not know it then but they have turned out to be the most understanding and accepting friends I have to this day. When I had first met them was when I was in the stage of knowing I had an issue; a sleep issue. I did not share this with them, but if you ask them about those months when they first met me they would say their was a few awkward or funny moments. I once had a nap in the backseat of my friends car, I woke up to realize I was sleep talking about the dream I was having. I always fell asleep at my desk and I also managed to send them a few creative 'sleep texts'. We laugh about it now, but boy do I remember feeling that embarrassment.

Once I was diagnosed I told my new friends about my disorder, to them it all made sense. They had seen me at my worst, and this Narcolepsy explained my weird behavior. As for the friends I had from Jr. High and my 'old' High school, well they were less understanding. They knew me at a time when I wasn't in survival mode, I had generally kept it together for the times at school when I saw them. Sure there was the odd off moment, but they never thought twice or analyzed my every motion. It was apparent that my Narcolepsy wasn't really a big deal. They brushed it off and overtime we drifted apart. They often complained about the lack of time I made or committed to visiting them. I'll be honest though, my priorities changed. The new friends I had were accepting me and making the best of a tough time, and the 'other' friends were blaming me for something I was desperately trying to understand myself. On paper it was not that tough of a decision to just move on.

I have to admit, that summer was awful. I had one too many silly arguments with my 'best friends'. I felt misunderstood and blamed for something I couldn't control. They felt neglected and forgotten about. I tried to fix things, I honestly gave it my best shot but we drifted apart. Their wasn't a big blow up or a huge fight; we just lost touch. I still say hi to them, I still chat them up every once and a while but I wouldn't be the first to call them up to go grab coffee or a movie. We were immature then and we were all in different parts of our lives. I don't regret switching schools, I don't regret loosing touch, I regret nothing of that year. It is a fact of life, and part of life that allowed me to see what it is I want from my peers and friends. If your friends or peers are trying to understand what your 'illness' or 'disorder' is like you should commend them. They will never understand, they will never get it, but they are trying. They are trying to see what it is like to be in your shoes, and that's all I will ever ask from my friends. A little effort in both directions goes a long ways, I just happened to learn that the hard way.

My friends these past two years have been phenomenal, they embrace my narcolepsy. If I am tired and am in need of a nap, they either let me have my 10-20 minutes or they join in! I love it and appreciate them for being so understanding. I met a few people along my path who have narcolepsy, some over Facebook and some in person. One common thing that I have found, is that they only tell their close family and friends. I can understand where they are coming from, and I understand that Narcolepsy can put a damper on a relationship or have people treat you differently. I use to be the same in not telling anyone. I realized though that the more blunt and honest I am about my Narcolepsy the easier it is to take care of my extra needs. Now when I go off for a nap they don't think I am weird or think I am getting special privileges for unknown reasoning.

I embrace my Narcolepsy, I joke about it more often than not. My close friends know it bothers me, but they also have seen Narcolepsy at it's finest, before all the medication. Often I use it as an icebreaker, I am over the fact that it should be hidden. If people thought  I couldn't do something because I have Narcolepsy, I'd be sure to prove to them I can. Narcolepsy is a part of me, I just make sure that it never defines me. I am just as normal as any other kid out there, we've all got problems, it's how we deal with them that defines us.
I would say I am a totally different person now, all because of my narcolepsy. I matured quickly that’s for sure. It definitely was a huge wake up call as to how I need to better take care of my self and in turn be more responsible. My actions and decisions I sometimes make to do silly things like skip a nap, or stay up late... affect me for days to come. It’s a risk I take often; you only live once. But it is also a risk I have to learn to be responsible in deciding when I can be stupid and when I can neglect my sleep disorder.
To be honest some days I hate narcolepsy, I hate the things I have to do because I’m classified as some kind of special. It bothers me when someone knows I have narcolepsy and they 'wish' they had it. I hate being treated differently, and I hate when people ask me or suggest I use my narcolepsy as an excuse. Sure I could use it as an excuse, and some days I do, but my only wish is that people don’t treat me like I am some sort of wild case that should get special treatments that are unnecessary.
If narcolepsy were to ever get a cure, I am not totally sure I would jump on board right away, its shaped me as a person and allowed me to grow significantly as a person. As much as i hate it, i love it for giving me the wake up call i needed <-- no pun intended.. ;)
"the things I sometimes wish I never had are the things I wonder what or who I'd be without"