Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've Fallen In Love And I Can't Get Up

I listened to a great story the other day on This American Life.  The theme for the show was "Held Hostage" and Act 3 was about a man with a very unusual condition.

recommend listening to it for the full effect, but here's the gist:

A man named Matt Frerking started having attacks where he simply couldn't move his body.  He would be in the shower and suddenly find himself sitting on the floor, completely unable to move.  After lots of doctors and questions and falling down stairs, he realized the cause of the problem was ca

The process in your body that causes cataplexy is the same process in your REM cycles that temporarily shuts down your muscle system so you don't physically act out your dreams. (so cool)

For Matt, this process is triggered from strong emotions -- in particular happy emotions -- while he's awake.

His grandchild's laughter.
His wife's smile.
The mere thought of his brother's wedding.

All these things trigger an "attack" and his body goes limp.

The entire time listening to this story I kept thinking about Sunshine of the Day.  And all the days I cursed it a little bit and thought -- 
bleh, today sucked, I don't want to write about something good.

Man, what if I COULDN'T write about something good? (without hitting my head on my desk)


  1. Or what if every time you did, you couldn't move afterward?

  2. amazing! and I love This American Life, too.