A devoted woman needs to remind her husband every morning that they are in love because he has a rare disease that causes memory loss.
Christopher Robin Turner, 36, says his life mimicked the blockbuster film 50 First Dates as the first thing in the morning he had narcolepsy, which causes vivid dreams known as hypnagogic hallucinations and memory loss.
His wife Chelsea, 28, leaves notes next to his bed explaining his life.
The notes will tell Christopher his name, job, his wife’s name, the names of her two six-year-old Australian cattle dogs, Fox and Panda, and will explain his condition.
The window maker from Victoria, Canada, said it made him feel less alone.
He said, “She’s been taking notes for about six years. It’s very kind of her and I really appreciate it because it’s unexpected for someone to understand so fully.
Do you or a loved one live with narcolepsy? Contact us with your story at [email protected]
“The notes really help when I wake up in the morning because I know I am not alone.
“There were times when I woke up and didn’t recognize her or I wander around the house trying to find out who I am and she asks what I’m doing.
“A couple of times she said I woke up and just stood there and said I don’t know where I am.
“It’s so hard to explain, but I have two to three dreams a night and they are so realistic and vivid that I relive my past like past relationships and when I wake up I’m stuck in the past and don’t know where I am I.
“They are so realistic that I can physically feel it when I am stung by a bee in my dream.
“There have been dreams where I’ve walked miles on gravel and when I wake up my feet are in pain.
“When I’m up for a while, my body adapts and I come back.”
Christopher Robin admits that people usually liken his condition to the movie 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, in which a woman suffers from short-term memory loss and her life starts over every day.
Christopher Robin and Chelsea met at work 10 years ago and admit that it was love at first sight when the couple immediately moved in together and married five years later.
He said, “After the first date, that was pretty much it, it was love at first sight.
“I was really honest with her when we first met. A lot of narcoleptics get into relationships that don’t last because it’s just as difficult for their partner.”
Narcolepsy is a rare long-term brain disease in which a person falls suddenly asleep at inappropriate times. It can also cause sudden muscle loss, which can be triggered by strong emotions or loud noises.
Christopher Robin was diagnosed when he was 16 years old when he crashed his car after falling asleep at the wheel.
He said, “Nobody knew about narcolepsy at the time and the internet wasn’t around, but when I went to see a neurologist they said I was the most narcoleptic person they’d seen.
“I used to fall asleep all day, but with years of trial and error, I have the right medication and routine, but I usually nap once or twice a day.
“I’m doing pretty well now, I’m older, but when I sneeze or laugh I have to grab a chair and I make sure I sit down a lot so I don’t hit the floor.”