Woman with narcolepsy 'lives a full life' despite

Woman with narcolepsy 'lives a full life' despite condition

Dorothy Young said she has not let narcolepsy stop her from living a normal life.

The 88-year-old was officially diagnosed with the neurological condition in her late 20s after years of suffering.

Narcolepsy is a rare long-term brain condition which can prevent a person from choosing when to wake or sleep.

Dorothy, who lives in Eastleigh, endured strong symptoms when she was pregnant with her first child, at age 18.

Daily Echo: Eastleigh woman Dorothy Young has described her experience of living with narcolepsyEastleigh woman Dorothy Young has described her experience of living with narcolepsy (Image: Newsquest)

She underwent countless medical tests to receive a diagnosis and now must take around 12 tablets each day to manage her condition.

But she was not one to rest on her laurels.

Dorothy said: “I was told I must have been bitten by gnats, but I had not been abroad, and I told doctors I was not bitten.

“I went to Kings College Hospital in London and was eventually diagnosed.

“If someone were to say to me, ‘let’s go out to a dance tonight’, I would take it steady during the day and I could manage being out.

“I still decided to learn to drive, despite being told I would have an accident if I did.

“I only drove locally to the shops.

“I am very lucky living in Eastleigh as people in the town have always looked after me.

“Nearly every shop in Eastleigh I have had to lie-down in as I’ve had a funny turn, and all the staff know to leave me, and I will come back to my senses shortly.”

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Despite facing bouts of faintness and tiredness every day, Dorothy was keen to continue working – as a housewife and in a pub built by her ex-husband.

Dorothy said: “My former husband and I built the Brigadier Gerard pub and I worked there in the evenings for three years.

“I even did work with Avon as well.

“I was married for 29 years and I could go out with my two children. We went swimming, caught the bus together, and did lots of things.

“I know this is not much of a life to some people but it is a life.

“I have a nice home and friends of my own.

“For some people, having narcolepsy means being stuck at home and that is such a shame as you can lead a good life.”

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