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Did you tell your employer?

Did you tell your employer you have narcolepsy? What was the conversation like?

  1. No, I worked as a electrician and within 3 weeks I was out of work. So my advice is hang on as long as you can do your job safely

    1. Recently did a podcast episode about this. I only chose to disclose once I have been hired. I would tell the HR or my SuperVisor at the time " Hey this is what I got going on..." If they don't know a thing about Narcolepsy then you might have to do some educating, which is entirely your choice. I find it to be helpful. From then you might start having a discussion on possible accommodations. has a really great series on Work Place accommodations. Check it out here, Tre, Team Member.

      1. I worked from just about 17 to 25. I havent worked since my oldest was born. Anyhow, I don't recall not one of the slew of jobs that I had where I didn't fall asleep. I was unmedicated for most of those years, so it was bad at some points. I wasn't diagnosed but knew I had an obvious sleep issue. I never did get into trouble. But I had to try and accommodate getting sleepy. Like take naps on breaks. Or finish work and find a little corner to nap. It didn't always work out that way. Also got teased alot for dozing.

        1. I was actually diagnosed with narcolepsy during my first teaching job. I worked there from January-September before I got a formal diagnosis. I had to tell my principal about the sleep study because I had to miss work that day. Once I got the diagnosis, I was very open about it all. I explained that she was going to learn about this just like I was.

          After working for a few months post-diagnosis, I learned that taking short naps during the school day really helped me. I had my doctor write a note, and I explained to my boss that I need to lay down for 30 minutes each day. She was totally okay with this, so I made a "do not disturb" sign and emailed the administration team to please respect this sign unless they want to walk in on me laying behind my desk! (That would have been very awkward for school tours!!)
          nterestingly, once COVID hit and we returned to in-person learning, I didn't have a classroom that was "mine" anymore. Being a music teacher, I had to give up my classroom as the designated music room to become an extra homeroom so students could be socially distanced. During that time, I talked to the school counsellor asking if I could come to her office during my lunch break and lay down. Thankfully she was all for it, even offering me a blanket and pillow she keeps in her office for students.

          I am a firm believer in being open and honest with people about living with narcolepsy. I am very lucky in that I haven't had any bad experiences with this, but I've heard some horror stories about others who aren't as lucky as I am. However, there is no way to end the stigma about narcolepsy without being open to those who don't understand!
          Xoxo/zzz, Gabrielle

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