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Wide Awake and Dreaming

A Memoir of Narcolepsy
Narrated by: Julie Flygare
Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Julie Flygare was on an ambitious path to success, entering law school at age 22, when narcolepsy destroyed the neurological boundaries between dreaming and reality in her brain. She faced terrifying hallucinations, paralysis, and excruciating sleepiness, aspects of dream sleep taking place while wide awake. 

Yet, narcolepsy was a wake-up call for Julie. Her illness propelled her onto a journey she never imagined, from lying paralyzed on her apartment floor to dancing euphorically at a nightclub; from the classrooms of Harvard Medical School to the start line of the Boston Marathon. 

Winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for Biography/Autobiography, Wide Awake and Dreaming is a revealing first-hand account of dreams gone wrong with narcolepsy. It's the brave story of one woman trampling over barriers and finding light in the darkest of circumstances.

©2012 Mill Pond Swan Publishing (P)2018 Mill Pond Swan Publishing

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    5 out of 5 stars

The REAL Narcolepsy

Julie was able to put into words all the experiences of narcolepsy with cataplexy that I have struggled to explain to others. Her narration style may not be professional level, but hearing her words from her made it more personal. Anyone with narcolepsy, the family and friends of those affected, and medical professionals should read/listen to this book to better understand what this disorder does to us and how to recognize it sooner. More awareness may mean better medication or a cure one day.

3 people found this helpful

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Wide Awake and Loving This Book!

To call Julie Flygare’s memoir brave, beautiful and inspiring doesn’t do it justice. I was riveted by her story of first discovering, then living with and ultimately thriving with her narcolepsy. As her symptoms came on and progressed they went from embarrassing to frightening and even life-threatening. I love reading about people who’ve triumphed over seemingly insurmountable obstacles and this book did not disappoint. It was especially interesting to hear the story narrated in the author’s own voice. She did a beautiful job conveying her fear, confusion, struggle and finally her acceptance of her challenges and the sweetness of her victories. Nicely done and well worth a listen!

2 people found this helpful

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Inspiring Story of Bravery in the Face of Illness

If you are looking for a boring medical book about Narcolepsy... this is not for you!

Far more than a stark medical account, Julie weaves us through the discovery of her illnesses. Random symptoms are pushed aside when life is busy. Once they could not be ignored Julie went looking for answers. Her story is comical, inspiring, and raw.

Julie is so inspiring with all she has accomplished. Follow her on Instagram @remrunner to see how she is still crushing it! This book inspired me to encourage others always and to push myself to be a better person. Life with chronic illness is hard but that does not mean it is completely closed off to us.

A great read for anyone with chronic illness. Loved that the author narrated the story - it gave it an authentic feel. Would highly recommend ❤️

1 person found this helpful

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Totally Relatable

This book is powerful. It is honest, open and inspiring. I recommend this book to everyone, regardless whether you have narcolepsy or not. Julie goes through trial and error, triumph and defeat. We all have our own struggles. This book is a reminder that an illness doesn't tell who we are, but that it can show us who we're meant to become.

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A true inspiration

Julie is such an amazing voice for so many people. Wide Awake and Dreaming explains how myself and others feel, suffer and deal with Narcolepsy. Thank you for all that you do!

1 person found this helpful

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From a fellow PWN

Julie's story is compelling reading and she inspiration for me and other PWN. I amazed at her dedication to her running and PT exercises. Her voice is pleasant and her descriptions of the world around her is rich and detailed. Not like a lawyer, at all, despite one reviewer's comment.

I am also amazed at her courage to continue law school, but also to realize she didn't want to be a lawyer.

I finished the book in a day and a half. I have had narcolepsy symptoms since college in the 1970s and routinely fell asleep in lecture like Julie, but I have never had to cope with cataplexy. Falling asleep while driving sent me to the doctor and a proper diagnosis some 30 years after the first symptoms.

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Julie..

You are my inspiration.. just like you said in the end.. you helped me. You gave me courage... I hope to meet you one day because you are such a strong person. I am still struggling with my narcolepsy and don’t know how to feel better and become more positive. You’re amazing Julie, I am so proud of you.. i am so sorry about your dad. I cried hearing that part... you have such an amazing guardian angel now. he’s always going to watch over you.

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An Important Read

Wide Awake and Dreaming is a must read for anyone who loves, cares about, or just knows someone with Narcolepsy. Julie Flygare gives form and meaning to such an invisable condition. I finished the book with greater understanding and empathy for my loved one who has Narcolepsy.

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Like she lived my life

I really enjoyed reading this womens experience. If you have Narcolepsy you will understand and relate. If you have a family member you want to understand more, you will get a little peek into their life.

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Wish I'd listened sooner!

Listening to this book was the first time I have ever had the opportunity to hear someone recount their experience being diagnosed and living with narcolepsy.

It was so interesting to think through the parralels between Julie's experience and the experience I went through being diagnosed and living with narcolepsy.

While no two people's experiences are the same, I feel as though this book was incredibly helpful for me to think through how to explain what I am feeling when I experience narcolepsy and cataplexy.

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Profile Image for Judy Ferguson
  • Judy Ferguson
  • 09-01-19

The book that changed my life

I downloaded 'Wide Awake and Dreaming' during a time where I was going through lots of sleep studies and testing to sort out why I was falling asleep all the time. Julie's book showed me that I am not alone in my struggle and it sounded like my own story being told back to me. Shortly after reading this book I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, and I now share this book around to friends and family who want to understand what is going on in my life.