Rachel Leigh Keith

Rachel Leigh Keith

Rachel Leigh Keith

Rachel Leigh Keith

Soon to be Art Teacher

Former Airman First Class (A1C)

Box Elder South Dakota

"I want to be an art teacher.... And so I shall. For others that are so young being diagnosed... I would like to say... If one dream fails, don't give up...find a new dream and pursue it... Since we dream all the time anyway :) ...”

 

I am 20 years old, my name is Rachel. I used to be A1C Keith for the USAF until about 3 months ago. I was devastedly release from duty due to my narcolepsy and cataplexy. Before being released I was an aerospace engineer and worked on the b1-bomber for Ellsworth AFB. It all started once I was in basic training, falling asleep mid sentence while talking to my T.I was embarrassing, having crazy hullusinations at night in the dorms was just as embarrassing, and lastly my cataplexy... I was an element leader of a few other trainees and when I tried to be stern with them my cataplexy thought it be a good time to show up... Through the hardships faced I still graduated BMT and moved on to my technical training. Studying the B1B and all it's mechanical components was a struggle... I would do anything to try and stay awake.. 3,4,5 red bulls a class..they really didn't work... So I knew something was wrong with me.... But I graduated from training and was sent to South Dakota where I would finally be sent to a neurologist! I was diagnosed sadly October 2012 only 8 months into my service.... I was medicated which helped some but still I caused a threat to maintenance and often worried I would be the cause of something horrible happing to the Jet... So I was slowly removed from maintenance while I still worked just wasn't aloud to do much... Then I had to battle the medical portion of the AF.. Pressing for a medical evaluation, which ultimately after after a year, I was medically released. So my once dream of being a Master Seargent of the AF or futher... Had just been ripped away from my reach.... Sad, depressing ... Yes very much.... So this is my road block in life... Where is my success you wonder... We'll I haven't gotten there just yet... Reading the other stories has inspired me to keep pushing forward and find another dream... I want to be an art teacher.... And so I shall. For others that are so young being diagnosed... I would like to say... If one dream fails, don't give up...find a new dream and pursue it... Since we dream all the time anyway :) .....I'm just nicknamed Narco to some of my friends... But while I worked with all my brothers in the AF.. The called me sleeping beauty. ...thank you for this websit Danielle.... You are an amazing person. "Those who can endure the most are rewarded the most."

 

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