Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

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It'sMe

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Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby It'sMe » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:16 pm

Around 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. I have had issues with fatigue during law school. However, it has become more prominent when studying for the Bar Exam. I am a repeater (Massachusetts Bar). During the prior exams I noticed at times I would have "sleep attacks". Basically I would nod in and out. To wake myself up I would use the restroom and tried to move around in a stall. The sleep attacks are worse when I'm studying. Yesterday I completed the Kaplan Mid-Term MBE, and scored 113 out of 200. This time the sleep attacks were worse. I am currently on a low dose of medicine (have been reluctant to increase dose), and consume coffee and energy drinks everyday. Furthermore I work full time (around 40 hours a week).

Has anyone with narcolepsy (or know someone with narcolepsy) had similar experiences with the bar exam? If so do you have any advice/suggestions?

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rcharter1978

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby rcharter1978 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:59 am

have you requested accommodations? With more time, you may be able to overcome the sleep attacks by walking around more often.

I don't have the disease, but I think a 113/200 isn't a terrible score on the practice exam per se. It wasn't for Barbri IIRC. The biggest concern I would think you have is that the practice exam is meant to simulate exam day conditions and you were even more fatigued. In which case, you hopefully have accommodations for the exam so you can combat the fatigue by going to the bathroom and moving around.

L_William_W

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby L_William_W » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:41 pm

This is just my suggestion. It may or may not work

Bring small pieces of candy during the big day ("fun size"). If you keep chewing on something sugary then it should give you energy to stay awake. You should also drink a lot of water (wear adult diapers. Yes, it's embarrassing, but the ends justify the means). Cold water will make you feel rejuvenated.
Last edited by L_William_W on Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:42 pm

L_William_W wrote:This is just my suggestion. It may or may not work

Bring small pieces of candy during the big day ("fun size"). If you keep chewing on something sugary then it should give you energy to stay awake. You should also drink a lot of water (wear adult diapers. Yes, it's embarrassing, but the ends justify the means). Cold water will keep you rejuvenate.

What? no. That's insane.

Aristogeiton1

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby Aristogeiton1 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:07 pm

One of my friends was on Provigil once his narcolepsy started to interfere w/ his work (around 1L), that seemed to be the best solution.

It'sMe

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby It'sMe » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:08 pm

Thanks for the replies!

I wish I was allowed to bring candy. In law school I always had WarHeads or Sweetarts on hand. Massachusetts does not allow candy or gum within the testing area. Regarding accommodations, I now regret not looking into this option. I assumed since I didn't need accommodations for my other exams, the bar exam would not be different. In the past I was so embarrassed and afraid of letting others know about my narcolepsy. It was not until recently that I realized by hiding and ignoring the situation, it only became worse. I found out two weeks ago that the neurologist that I saw a few years suggested Provigil. My primary doctor never mentioned this suggestion to me.

I have noticed that by drinking more fluids I am more alert. Currently I have adjusted the times and dosage of my medicine. I am more aware of "triggers" right before I have a sleep attack (I even resorted to recording myself while answering questions sets or reading). I am concerned about exam day and being more fatigued. I am now forcing myself to continue to study for longer periods of time, especially on the weekends. Since I am a morning person I force myself to wake up around 3 am or earlier, move around for 30 minutes and begin to study the latest by 4am. I have noticed an increase in endurance. This week has been a challenge including state subject material and continuing MBE questions.

Thanks for suggestions!

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hopefuljumbo23

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby hopefuljumbo23 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
L_William_W wrote:You should also drink a lot of water (wear adult diapers. Yes, it's embarrassing, but the ends justify the means). Cold water will keep you rejuvenate.

What? no. That's insane.


Legit just died laughing.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby rcharter1978 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:51 pm

OP -- so, it's a stretch but in California you're allowed to bring medication in the room with you. If you can get your Neuro to maybe write a letter to support that the use of candy is medically necessary to keep you awake you may be able to get away with bringing it in the room.

It's not a lie, you do need it for a medical condition.

I have t1 diabetes, and even though I didn't have official accommodations I had a letter from my doctor and I was allowed to bring glucose tablets in the room with me.

Now, a glucose tablet looks pretty legit which is part of the reason i think I didn't get much pushback. I don't know how sour warheads in a bag from the grocery store is going to fly. So if you're going to try this maybe find a way to get it package the candy to look more like medication. If you can use glucose tablets I would try those. You can get them at target or Wal-Mart. They are a lot like giant sweet tarts.

However if it helps, it may be something worth looking into. You may also want to make a call to the bar to see if there is a way to get emergency accommodations since your condition has been getting worse.

calisunshine88

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Re: Dealing with Narcolepsy and Studying For the Bar

Postby calisunshine88 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:45 pm

Edited*



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