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Why I Sometimes Sleep in Odd Places Because of My Epilepsy

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Over the years, I’ve learned of my seizure triggers. One of them is simply being too tired and not getting enough rest. Because of this, when I need it and when I can, I rest. I might not always be sleeping, but relaxing even for 10 to 20 minutes can do a world of good.

People think it’s weird that I carry blankets in my car, but they have come in handy from an impromptu stop at a beach to taking a nap in a park. Most often I’m just taking a rest in my car, but I’ve slept in the chair at my dance studio, on the bus, and even in a restaurant booth – along with many other locations over the years.

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Today was one of those days where I just needed to rest.

Instead of rolling out of bed around 8 a.m. (my ideal wake-up time), the alarm was going off at 4:30 a.m. Why? Because at 6:35 I was going to be on KCAA radio with Erin, Tobin, and Todd Brinker for their morning talk show — “On the Brink!” Over the years, I’ve learned it’s much more fun to be live, than to call in to the radio.

After the interview, I went to my monthly National Association of Woman Business Owners meeting to indulge in a panel discussion on marketing with Kim Lewis from “Creative By Design,” Margaret Brown from “Socialize LA,” and Allison Gutierriez from “Jack Nadel.”

Afterwards, I needed to rest. I pulled my car into a shady parking spot, rolled down the windows, and leaned back to rest. Suddenly, I heard, “Meghan, are you OK?” It was a woman named Joan wanting to make sure I hadn’t had a seizure.

If you see me resting, 99.99 percent of the time, everything is OK. Just over 20 years ago, though, above the clouds I was on a plane and woke up in an emergency room.

There was no emergency landing. There was no ambulance waiting for me when we pulled up to the gate.

I was traveling alone and they simply thought I was sleeping. When the flight attendant from Continental (now United) couldn’t wake me up, they knew something was wrong and called for help.

It turns out I had a major seizure, worse than I’ve ever had before. The last thing I remember was looking out the plane enjoying the view of the clouds in the sky. I found out I had another seizure trigger — flickering lights as the sunlight was flickering between the propeller blades.

To the crew that day, thank you for taking care of me — and I still wonder how all my belongings made it to the hospital.

And to Joan, thanks again for checking up on me today — just in case!

Getty Image by demaerre

This story originally appeared on What’s on Meghan’s Mind.

Originally published: July 26, 2018
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