Narcolepsy: A Teenager’s Story

Imagine watching movies with friends, not knowing that you have narcolepsy and struggling to stay awake.

Your eyes keep rolling and you keep fighting to stay awake. Yet you cannot. Each time you are in class you happen to drift off to sleep without warning. This is how life has been for Dakota Meyer ever since he was 11.

He stated that each time he has a sleep attack; his head will not stay up. No matter how hard he fights to keep it facing forward, with his chin up, it feels as if something is weighing it down. Dakota compares it to paralysis when he no longer has control of his muscles.

At first, doctors told him not to be concerned. “Get more shut-eye!” they said. The doctor even told him to drink caffeine-laden sodas to keep him up.

Michelle Feaster Dakota’s mother, was not satisfied with those suggestions and decided to keep looking for a better explanation. Furthermore, it took many years but finally after visiting a neurologist they received a diagnosis.

Dakota has narcolepsy.

It is a health condition that can affect someone’s ability to regulate his or her sleep-wake cycles. Over 200,000 Americans have narcolepsy yet only 25% are formally diagnosed.

Now at age 19, he accepts his condition and wants to bring awareness to the condition. The more society is aware of the condition, the easier it will be for people to seek treatment. Also, more people would understand how it is living with narcolepsy.  Dakota wants to spread awareness in his community and has thoughts about creating a support group.

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