DEAR ABBY: I am a female in my mid-20s. My whole life I have been in a constant state of exhaustion. When I was in school, I'd try so hard not to fall asleep in class. (I actually enjoyed school and got good grades.) But when I got home, I'd have to take a nap before doing my homework or chores because otherwise I would fall asleep in the middle of it.
Fast-forward to now: I am a working adult. I'm going back to college, and I have been recently diagnosed with hypersomnia/borderline narcolepsy. I'm on stimulants to help me through the day, but they don't always work. Some days I struggle to find the motivation to do the simplest tasks because my body just wants to rest.
Do you know of any support groups for this condition so I can talk with others who deal with this, too? No one I know seems to understand, and I'm often regarded as lazy. Please help! -- SLEEPY IN WASHINGTON
DEAR SLEEPY: There are misperceptions about narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder that affects 1 in 2,000 individuals in the United States. Fortunately, there is an organization you might find helpful. It's the Narcolepsy Network, which is based in your state. It provides support and education for persons with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, their families and others. It also helps with coping skills, family and community problems. There are support groups in many states as well as online support. To learn more, go to narcolepsynetwork.org or call toll-free 888-292-6522.
DEAR ABBY: I am 64 and have been reading your advice my entire life. Now I need some for myself.
At the end of my mother's funeral, my sister was very upset that I had not set aside some flowers for her that had been sent by her friend. My sister did not plan or pay for any part of the funeral. After the service ended, I told the attendees to take what they wanted to relatives who had asked for them. My sister became so upset she even searched their vehicles to find the plants her friend had sent.
Mom received a lot of flowers that day. I allowed the grieving people to have them because I felt the flowers had been sent to her. How should I address this with my sister, who has told everyone who will listen that I failed to follow funeral plant protocol, which is why she acted out the way she did. -- PERPLEXED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR PERPLEXED: People who are grieving are often not their best selves, and you and your sister are no exception. While the disposition of the floral tributes can vary from family to family, no rule of etiquette dictates what "must" be done. Some suggestions include leaving the flowers on the grave, offering them to family members and close friends, and donating them after first removing anything that identifies them as having been used in a funeral. Because you didn't offer the arrangements to your sister, apologize to her for the oversight.
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