A career in International Travel & Tourism Management came to an abrupt end when Patti was diagnosed with an illness that was further complicated by a history of narcolepsy. This meant leaving her home in Hawaii and moving to the Mainland for 2 years of medical treatment and recovery. She began to volunteer at a local hospital where an interest in the medical field was born, leading to enrollment in medical management classes at the local community college and a new career managing medical practices in Seattle and marriage to a man from the Northwest.
Her diagnosis of narcolepsy by a family doctor came much earlier and attempts to manage the disorder through high doses of amphetamines were stopped when they produced other health challenges far worse than narcolepsy. Patti maintained a full schedule without medication for several years, although hiding her disorder from colleagues become increasingly more difficult and the close calls on daily commutes eventually caused her to seek professional help, which resulted in a succession of consultations with so-called sleep specialists and various medication regimens; however, none were successful. That is, until she was referred to a “real” board-certified sleep specialist who devised a combination of medications that worked for her. Finally, after a lifetime of struggling to hide what she thought was a handicap and struggling keep up with others, she was able to manage her disorder and live a fulfilling, healthy life.
As the Chair of the American Alliance for Healthy Sleep, Patti hopes to express her gratitude for this new lease on life by helping other patients with sleep disorders to achieve the same quality of life that she has, and works to spread awareness and advocacy for all patients suffering from sleep disorders. The American Alliance for Healthy Sleep is a 501(c)4 membership organization dedicated to partnering patients with sleep disorders, providers and the public to improve the lives of patients with sleep disorders and highlight the importance of healthy sleep.
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“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS