An Irish student who collapses every time she laughs or gets angry has spoken out about the rare condition she suffers from, explaining what life is like for her on a daily basis.
Jodie Kelly, 19, is much like any other girl her age, but when it comes to laughing, she suffers from chronic muscle paralysis and falls to the ground at least ten times a day.
The unfortunate condition, known as cataplexy, triggers muscular weakness derived from strong emotions rendering the sufferer helpless on the floor.
The attacks last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the situation.
Things got so bad for Jodie that she had to stop herself from watching her favourite comedy TV shows, due to the fact they made her collapse.
As Jodie told reporters, “I can literally feel my knees going from beneath me as soon as I start to laugh. I’ve been on nights out before and collapsed from laughing when I’m having a good time and people will rush over thinking I’m paralytic and need help. It’s really difficult not to laugh sometimes and I’ve had to learn to try and control my emotions.”
As well as needing to control her laughter, Jodie also spoke about how she has to be careful not to cause herself a serious injury when she collapses, “I used to worry that one time I’d fall and really hurt myself, but now I can sense when it’s going to happen. The first time I noticed symptoms was when I’d gone to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I can’t remember what made me laugh but thankfully I was sitting down.”
Jodie added, “I felt a strange sensation in me neck, it became so weak it just flopped forward and I struggled to support it. I didn’t understand what was happening and I was too scared to tell my parents for a while.”
Jodie also revealed that she often sleeps around 15 hours per day, and always needs a nap during the day, as she explained, “The more tired I am, the worse my cataplexy is so it’s important to sleep when I need to. Thankfully I have incredible friends and family who have all been fantastic.”
[Image credit: searchpp]