Kristi Woods

The REM R.N.

Orono, Maine

 

“It has been my mission to show people what the disorder really is and that people can not be judged based on their medical condition alone. It takes heart to do what you want to do."

Kristi Woods

 

I wanted to share a little bit about my journey with narcolepsy to the world: I started noticing the symptoms my 3rd year of college when I was 20 years old. I was falling asleep during classes and meetings and struggling to stay on top of my studies. This was new for me, as I was always an A student. This semester, it was even more depressing, because it was my first semester of nursing classes and I was failing no matter how hard I tried to study. After failing pathophysiology that semester, I considered giving up on nursing, and possibly even school so I could figure things out. I felt so defeated and found that even retaking that class with easy, random electives I just slept all the time. I finally saw a doctor in the spring and went through a series of different tests before the decided to do a sleep study. I was diagnosed with narcolepsy right before starting my 4th year of college in 2012. Now I am less than 4 months away from graduating with my bachelors of science in nursing with a minor in psychology. It takes a lot of planning and medication to accomplish everything that I have to do in the course of a day. The support from my family, boyfriend and sorority sisters has been unwavering, even when sometimes I am not the most pleasant person to wake up! I never imagined narcolepsy would happen to me, but it has changed my perspective on what being “healthy” is. Sometimes it is challenging trying to do all of things that I want to do, and overtime I have accepted my limitations. However, managing narcolepsy has made me a stronger person and has given me more motivation. It has been my mission to show people what the disorder really is and that people can not be judged based on their medical condition alone. It takes heart to do what you want to do. So soon I will be able to be an REM RN, so I can continue to educate others in the health care world about narcolepsy!