“The Battle with Narcolepsy”
My name is Trinity Gantt. I am 12 years old and in the 6th grade at Buford Middle School. I play basketball on the 7th grade Buford Lady Wolves team. I love painting my nails in bright colors because it inspires me to have a bright mood for the day. I am a straight A student AND I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy.
I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy & Cataplexy in 2012, but began having symptoms in 2010. I remember it just like it was yesterday. I was in class, and SMACK!!!! All you could hear was my head hitting the desk. At first, I thought I was just staying up too late, until I started falling asleep nonstop in ALL my classes. It was very frustrating at that time, because my teachers would tell me to wake up and then have me stand up in the middle of the classroom so I could stay up.
Even my parents realized I was changing. My mood was unpredictable, I started gaining weight and puberty happened really early. My issues with cataplexy also began at this time, when my parents received a call from the PE teacher stating that I almost fell in class. My brain was asleep but my eyes were wide awake. During my start of Narcolepsy in 2010, I started developing mood changes.
Before all this happened I was always the silly acting one in my family. My brothers and sister always would fight over who I would sit by me in the car or everywhere we went. After my symptons started but before my diagnosis, my family diagnosed me with having the “anti-social illness.” I tried very hard to change my moods, but as hard as tried to push myself to be the social type, I just could never snap out of being in a grumpy mood. We had no idea how Narcolepsy was affecting my social skills.
Finally, my parents had enough of it and it was time for them to find out what was really going on with me. I had several tests done: thyroid, iron, and even had my tonsils and adenoids removed for the cause. But the sleep and cataplexy continued.
My sister told my parents about a girl in her class that possibly had the same symptoms I was experiencing. Our parents met and finally I was recommended to a doctor that could help me. The diagnosis was Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. I was finally placed on medications that help me stay awake during the day and also help me sleep during the night.
I was happy that I was able to attend the Narcolepsy Network Conference in October. I met so many people my age that also have narcolepsy. It made me feel good to know that I was not alone. I found lots of ways to help my mood during the day and also ways to stay up in class.
My favorite way to help my mood is by painting my nails. Painting my nails bright, exciting colors allows me brighten up my mood. I normally do them every day:>).
Also Just Dance helps me lighten my mood because my favorite songs are there and it allows me to exercise. Eating a gluten free diet has helped me tremendously. It helps me to stay awake and also I am eating more healthy choices. I have found some very interesting ways to eat delicious snacks while still being gluten free. I enjoy eating applesauce, gummy bears, Ruffles potato chips, and Ore Ida French fries. But I can only eat a few.
Trinity Kiara Gantt
Straight "A" Student
Basketball Player - The Buford Lady Wolves
Gatorade Player of the Game - Gwinnett County Basketball League Championship Game 2013
Buford Middle School, Buford Georgia
Buford Lady Wolves - Trinity Gantt
Trinity Gnatt - Gatorade Player of the Game - Gwinnett County Basketball League Championship Game 2013
“Narcolepsy is not going to stop me from doing the things I want to do. It does not define me. I have Narcolepsy, but it does not have me..." Trinity Gantt
My new love is sewing. Even though I’ve only sewed one item in my whole entire life I still love the sewing machine. It lets me express my feelings and makes me feel all fancy like I’m a famous designer.
I have great teachers that are all aware of my diagnosis. They always encourage me and I have continued to make straight A’s.
Even though it was hard, I never stopped playing basketball before my diagnosis. My 5th grade team won the Gwinnett County Basketball league Championship game and I was named the Gatorade Player of the Game. My parents and coaches encouraged me to try out for the 7th grade team….I made it and I am the only 6th grader on the team!!!! My basketball coaches are also aware of my Narcolepsy and they always push me to the next level. I met lots of friends who care about me on the team, who help me whenever I get sleepy on the bench during practices. Some friends even tried my gluten free food and actually enjoy it.
Having Narcolepsy has not kept me from doing the things I enjoy. It just forces me to make a few adjustments and push a bit harder to become better at what I want to do. I used to wonder “Why me?” “Why couldn’t things be the way they were?” “Why did I have to have Narcolepsy?” But now I think “Why not me?” Narcolepsy is a special gift; you just have to learn how to work with it. I want to continue playing basketball and maybe make the WNBA. I want to go to college and do something that involves helping people with other diagnoses. I know it will be difficult but I am up for the challenge! Narcolepsy is not going to stop me from doing the things I want to do. It does not define me. I have Narcolepsy, but it does not have me. If anything I’m a princess, I’m a Sleeping Beauty.
Buford Lady Wolves #5 Trinity Gantt