Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Life of the Sleepy Person Conference - One Person's Opinion

On Saturday, July 21, 2012 - the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Narcolepsy Sleep and Health Research sponsored it's 8th version of their Sleepy Person's Conference. They hold the conference every three years to benefit all of the sleepy people in the Chicagoland/Midwest area who are able to attend. 

Due to funding considerations, this year's conference was delayed for over a year. For this conference the focus was on Narcolepsy - not sleep apnea or any of the more notable sleep disorders. And, lets face it, narcolepsy just isn't as "sexy" as the other sleep disorders. So getting funding isn't as easy if you don't combine narcolepsy with something more "profitable". 

The conference focused on helping people with Narcolepsy learn how to live with it in their everyday life. 

The agenda was diverse and well rounded covering a wide variety of topics ranging from an overview of Narcolepsy in general, to both traditional and non-traditional treatments, to the status of Narcolepsy research to how it is diagnosed. There was even a panel discussion featuring several members of our support group where they were asked to share their various ways of coping with the challenges of being a narcoleptic in 2012.

The conference was free and both a continental breakfast and a very nice lunch were included. The biggest concern I heard from most guests was that the speakers were so enthusiastic about their topics that every one of them spoke longer than they were scheduled for so that one of the speakers didn't get to present on their topic at all. It made for a long day ( from 9 am until about 3:30 with a break for lunch and two short breaks to get up and stretch ).

All and all it was a very successful conference and I look forward to the next one, hopefully in 2015!                                                                                                                             

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