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symptom help?

I've developed a new scary symptom ( I see my PCP on Monday but I would like to see if anyone else on similar meds have a similar symptom) I'm currently on 75mcg fentanyl every 3 days, 75 mg topamax, 300mg of gabapentin 3x a day and 5mg of roxicodone as needed. Recently I've began having what I call "sleeping attacks" ill be sitting there and be fine, not tired at all and all of a sudden I just fall asleep for a few seconds then I wake myself up. It happens very suddenly, almost instantly. It happens while typing or while having a conversation and recently while drinking a hot cup of tea which landed on my lap. The scariest time of all is it happens while I'm driving. I don't think its related to my meds because I have been on them for awhile..has anyone had similar symptoms?? I'm freaking out :( along with everything else that's wrong with me that's the last thing I need
(12.24.13) L2-L3 Laminectomy, Discectomy and Coflex insertion. DX'ed with Ankylosing Spondylitis on 5/13/14


  • It happens to me, I get "sleep attacks" very often. It only seems to happen to me when I'm looking down, for instance, typing, reading or texting. I have also spilled more than one cup of coffee in my lap. I have considered talking to my dr about narcolepsy & having her give me a referral to a sleep specialist for a sleep study. Have you ever considered narcolepsy? It is actually described as "sleep attacks" I have thought about asking others if they have ever experienced something like this but I figured it was just me, I hate that you are experiencing this but I'm glad I'm not alone, I don't feel so crazy now. As if we needed something else, huh??

    Knowing that I'm not alone here with these symptoms has me convinced I need to discuss this with my dr. & I think, maybe, you ought too as well, Jesse.
  • It also happens to me instantly and suddenly as you describe--exactly!! And, yes, while driving too-I won't drive at night anymore because of it. Many times I have rolled my windows down in sub-zero temps with the air on, turned the radio up loudly or had to pull over and get out and walk around or go into a store to get a drink just to wake myself up :-(
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  • Taren, I'm going to talk to my PCP about it on Monday, it scares the crap out of me because I never know when its going to happen, I was driving with my baby today and had to actually call someone while I was driving and told them if there was a pause in my talking to scream in my ear because I couldn't control the attacks they were so bad and unfortunately I was an hour away from home. I just hate that I get a decent amount of sleep a night and I'm not tired at all when it happebs . Luckily when I'm doing dangerous things like driving or drinking tea etc my body will jerk me awake within a few seconds but when I sit down to relax and watch TV I'll sometimes make it past the credits and wake up 2 hours later and I'm like ugghh :/ reaaaalllyy?? But Taren I'll let you know what my Dr says on monday
    (12.24.13) L2-L3 Laminectomy, Discectomy and Coflex insertion. DX'ed with Ankylosing Spondylitis on 5/13/14
  • My Dad's been having similar! He's just done a sleep study. They made him stay awake for 24hours then my Mum drove him in & he spent the day hooked-up to all kinds of monitors & did things like read a magazine, quietly sit with his head face forward etc. We're still waiting for the results, it's been nearly 2 weeks. This was in England & results can take a while though. Good luck in finding an answer. It's frightening for you. It's a relief to know he isn't alone.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I would NOT drive, until you know what is causing this, and it does indeed sound like it could be narcolepsy.
    If you were to have an accident, and you, your child or someone else were injured, you could wind up in serious legal trouble.
    It might also be something about the combination of medications you are taking, or how you are taking them that is causing this as well but it is unwise to continue to drive until you know what is causing it and that it is under control.
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  • Yes I'm refusing to drive until I see my PCP tomorrow and he can give me some idea of what's going on, I'm terrified honestly. I looked up narcolepsy and I think I'm experiencing what they call "micro sleeps" and I think you might be too Taren. I'm gonna mention it to the Dr.
    (12.24.13) L2-L3 Laminectomy, Discectomy and Coflex insertion. DX'ed with Ankylosing Spondylitis on 5/13/14
  • @Taren,

    Ive spoke to my PCP, he is positive its a mild case of narcolepsy and is sending me to a sleep specialist. I highly suggest you talk to your Dr, he really told me how dangerous it is to have undiagnosed and untreated narcolepsy. Hes suggested I dont drive at all until I see the specialist but hasnt pulled my drivers license. Cheers to another symptom to add to my undiagnosed problem thats causing me all these awful symptoms.... ughhh. :(
    (12.24.13) L2-L3 Laminectomy, Discectomy and Coflex insertion. DX'ed with Ankylosing Spondylitis on 5/13/14
  • TarenTTaren Posts: 524
    edited 04/29/2014 - 8:17 AM
    I felt it was narcolepsy cuz when I read your symptoms they were same as mine. I had researched narcolepsy before and knew I had the symptoms, just always been hesitant to mention them to my dr. but now, because of what your dr told you, I will. Did your dr tell you the dangers of undiagnosed and untreated narcolepsy?

    I'm sorry that you possibly have this and have to do the sleep study, just adds something else to the list, I know. Maybe that is the reason I didnt mention it to my dr, cuz I just didnt want to deal with something else. But at least you now you can get started on your treatment & I will be right behind you...

    Do you suffer from insomnia also?
  • Taren I did suffer from mild insomnia. He mentioned the dangers including that I could kill someone or myself while driving or falling down the stairs etc from falling asleep just doing dangerous things while having a sleep attack, I have my sleep study tomorrow night
    (12.24.13) L2-L3 Laminectomy, Discectomy and Coflex insertion. DX'ed with Ankylosing Spondylitis on 5/13/14
  • Best wishes, I know it must be terrifying. Sometimes it feels like 'if it's not one thing, it's another!', I truly feel for you. At least they're treating it with the urgency it deserves. Sounds like you're in good hands. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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