This may be the oddest story I’ve ever read, and I’d be very skeptical if this were April 1:
Matt Frerking, 39, from Portland, Oregon, is left immobile if he even has a romantic thought or sees others showing displays of affection.
The affliction has been diagnosed as a combination of the chronic sleeping disorder narcolepsy with cataplexy, a sudden weakening of the muscles which renders the person temporarily immobile but still aware of their surroundings and able to hear.
For Mr Frerking the feeling that sparks an attack is love and being around his family can send him into a state of physical paralysis.
He is unable to put his arm around Trish, his wife of 13 years, and suffers attacks on anniversaries. He can suffer attacks several times a day.
“Holding hands in public is something that we can do for a few seconds at most, and that’s about it,” Mr Frerking said.
“Putting my arm around her is something that I don’t do unless we’re sitting down and I know that it won’t matter that much if I just flop over. I have to limit those things very carefully.” During an interview with ABC News, he described having to avoid “warm and fuzzy” feelings before passing out after looking at photos in his wedding album.
Attacks are also triggered by trailers for romantic films and Mr Frerking said he tries to stave them off by thinking about scientific research.
Adding to the surreality: Mr. Frerking is a neuroscientist.