Norfolk, Va. - Famous meteorologist Dr. Duane's honesty about his lifelong battle with narcolepsy touched many NewsChannel 3 viewers.
We shared some of their emails and posts with him.
“My ex-husband thought it was either hilarious or annoying and would determine I was lazy,” said one viewer.
“It is finally great to see so many people stepping forward about this disease as so many do refer to us as lazy. She's absolutely right. Not only lazy but crazy. They used to tell me it's all in my head. Turns out it was,” says Dr. Duane.
Dr. Duane's narcolepsy also includes attacks of cataplexy where his body simply goes limp and he falls to the ground.
“I am well acquainted with cataplexy and the embarrassment and the stigma and it is embarrassing. I told doctors for years how I had periods of pure fog and utter uncontrollable fatigue. I had every blood test only to be told well of course I was tired, I had three children,” says Dr. Duane.
“It took a wonderful neurologist and sleep studies to tell me I wasn`t imagining this. Boy you know I could have written this,” says Dr. Duane.
Dr. Duane, who lives alone, can't drive because of his condition. He walks everywhere. Last Friday on the way to the Doctor's office to pick up a prescription, he fell.
“I slid and it just tore the skin open about a quarter of an inch or so. Now I have stitches and may have to have surgery,” says Dr. Duane.
Duane would like to get a service dog which would be specially trained to help him when he falls and to wake him from violent dreams. He is grateful for the support of NewsChannel 3 viewers for the chance to share his story and raise awareness.
“This is why I did it. Is to teach people about narcolepsy,” says Dr. Duane.
And he's grateful for the chance to say something he hasn't been able to say since his abrupt departure from NewsChannel 3 nearly 20 years ago.
“I never got to thank the people, I just disappeared one day. So I want to thank everybody out there who watched over the years,” says Dr. Duane.
PAWS Training Center, which recently opened a branch in Virginia Beach, provides Service Dog training for many unique needs… including Narcolepsy. A Medical Alert Assistance Dog can be specially trained to wake up their handler, or keep their handler from going in the wrong direction or doing something dangerous. They are also trained to alert their handlers to specific times of day to remind them to take their medication.
Share your memories and leave your well-wishes for Dr. Duane in the comments section below.