An 11-year-old writes…


School essay of Anna Tyler, age 11
East New Market, MD


“Problems are not stop signs they are guide lines,” said Robert H. Schuller. Getting a day time sleep disorder may be a curse, that never goes away; but now I think that I am blessed. With narcolepsy it makes me want to share my story about getting it with you, hoping it will inspire you, and I will inspire you. I wish one day get the word out to a whole lot of people.

Falling asleep in class and having your teacher wake you up is very embarrassing; especially when it’s during a test and your teacher used to be your babysitter. I felt so tired and exhausted, I didn’t know why. I went to bed on time and fell asleep fast. Still very exhausted, tired and starting to doze off, the bell rings, waking me up and scaring me out of my socks! My heart beating fast, I started rushing to get my things packed and ready to go. I was rushing down the hall as a cute little first grader that is just about getting trampled on by big kids, with long legs and mean faces. I finally made it to the bus, but as soon as the bus started moving I dozed off again. Almost making me miss my stop, just in time, I woke up before the bus doors closed and ran to get off.

Walking in the house, my mom is sitting at the kitchen table, and she asks,
“How was school today?”

I replied, “I don’t really remember, but I fell asleep a lot in class today.” Mom made an appointment with my doctor; who suggested a sleep study.

A sleep study didn’t sound bad to me. To me all I heard was the word sleep, out of that. So it turns out I was wrong. I had to take short naps, and then they woke me up, even though I wanted to go back to sleep. I had wires all over my body and my hair had goo in it with a rap covering it. I felt so tired and my eyes were blood shot.

The narcolepsy had an effect on me that changed my mood, it’s called mood swings. This changed the relationship between my mom and I. I would get mean with my mom and sometimes yell at her and make her cry. But we always made up. Even though it sometimes made us far away, other times it made us closer.

Three years later. It was a Friday and my mom was off from work. I was in class at school, when I got called to the main office all packed and ready to leave. My mom was there waiting for me, she had a big smile on her face but looked like she had been crying. I got in the car and asked her, “Why did you pick me up from school early?”

She shouted relief, “We have an answer; you have narcolepsy!”

So far in my life the day that my mom and I got an answer to what was making me so tired is the best day and moment of my life. I am currently still having a little trouble with my mood swings that I sometimes take out on my mom and dad. My mom, dad and I are trying to get through this struggle together. I have felt that what Robert H. Schuller has said has had an effect on me. Having narcolepsy is part of God’s plan for me in my adventure in life that is just getting started.