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Narcolepsy: A Funny Disorder That’s No Laughing Matter

Maguerite Utley has had narcolepsy for over 65 years. She is the author of one of the first patient penned books about narcolepsy, titled Narcolepsy: A Funny Disorder That’s No Laughing Matter. She felt compelled to write the book when she tried to research the disorder and came up empty handed. Marguerite says, “The plan for the book started because I wanted to share all the funny stories I had about narcolepsy. As I started looking for a book, I realized that there was very little information about narcolepsy on the Internet at that time in the mid 90’s. I decided to detail what was happening to me as a way to help others.” When Maguerite was writing her book, she had all the classic symptoms of narcolepsy and decided that she would share what was happening to her, while adding humor along the way. She adds, “I realize that narcolepsy affects us all differently, but I hoped that I could bring some awareness to the disorder through my stories.”

Marguerite’s symptoms began at age 20 after her first year of college. She had no idea why she was so tired all the time, but she still managed to get through college. Just before her 30th birthday, her aunt sent her an article from Parade Magazine. The article was about narcolepsy and described all of her symptoms. She knew that this was the answer! She immediately went to a doctor in Dallas, TX. That doctor diagnosed her with narcolepsy with cataplexy on the spot -he even called his medical students into the room so they could meet someone with “a classic case of narcolepsy.” 

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