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Monday, 3 March 2008


There's nothing I love more than a really good laugh, and being a generally happy person, I laugh quite often. The only problem is that I suffer from narcolepsy with cataplexy, and so "falling about laughing" is absolutely literal in my case. My favourite television programme is "You've Been Framed", and for half an hour a week I am completely incapacitated by home video funnies.

It's only because of the brilliant support of Mr. Kizzy that I'm able to fully appreciate the show, though. In our house, it's Mr. Kizzy who looks after the video recorder, and always makes sure we get You've Been Framed on tape, even though he doesn't like it himself at all. The problem is that, once a particular clip has got me going, my head drops and my eyelids droop, so I don't get to see the next couple of clips, even though I can hear the soundtrack. By having a copy on tape, I can watch it again to see the bits I missed the first time.

Sometimes, I've thought that what I need is a soft neck brace, so that I can keep my head upright when I know that I'm going to laugh, but that still leaves the problem of trying to keep my eyelids open.
Then I found this device. It's called the "Lundie Loop", and I actually found it through the website of the Myasthenia Gravis Association.

Myasthenia gravis is a much more serious and debilitating condition than narcolepsy, and is characterised by - as the phrase translates from the Latin - excessive muscular fatigue. Its cause is entirely different to cataplexy, and affects a much greater range of muscular groups.
As with cataplexy, though, one of the signs is involuntary drooping of the eyelids. The Lundie Loop is designed to help sufferers to keep their eyes open, even when the muscles are too weak to lift the lids themselves. Whether it works or not, I don't know. I just found it rather intriguing and highly ingenius. I might try to get hold of one, and see how it works for me.

I am, of course, only being semi-serious, although I'd genuinely be prepared to wear almost anything that works - Lundie Loop included, if for example I'd paid for tickets to see a favourite comedian perfom live. I'd love to have the joy of laughing uninterrupted through the whole show, and without missing any of it.

There is a line that I'd draw, though. I cannot tell you how wonderful this "Pillowig" concept by Joon Youn Park looks to me, but I'd never wear it. Even for a person like me who is relatively unconcerned about what other people think, it's a step too far.

Even so, it just looks so wonderful - whenever I get one of my sudden, crushing, sleep attacks (and I'm talking about sleep now, not cataplexy) this photograph has the same effect on me as I think a picture of Willy Wonka's factory would have on a chocoholic. It is genuinely only a concept design, anyway.

This Sleeping Jacket, on the other hand, is just brilliant, and be ideal for both sleep and cataplectic attacks. As far as I can tell, it's genuine, too, from a designer called Matthew Gale. Finally, it brings me to my wonderful, newly discovered Latin word of the day...

...Excubo. I sleep outside.

1 comment:

Kylia said...

Good for people to know.