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Why I'm Dedicating This Blog Post to My Dad's Snoring

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I dedicate this blog to my dad’s snoring.

I tease my dad endlessly about his nightly habit — it’s truly something out of “Looney Tune”s or an old Disney short (imagine a blanket rising up and down over the bed). But in reality, the sound of my dad snoring and the fact that he’s actually sleeping is music to my ears. Here’s why:

My first seizure was in the fall of my sophomore year of high school. I was on a high — I was in the middle of an extraordinary tennis season I worked hard for, my grades were great and I had an amazing group of friends.

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Then one night, I woke up, and my parents heard me slam up against the bathroom door and engage in a 4.5-minute full-body seizure. That’s it. There were no signs, no symptoms, no stressors. My folks were blindsided.

To hear them recount this tale then — “We heard a thud, we tried to push open the door, there was nothing you could do, you just want to hold them and know you can’t” — was horrible. But to hear them recount it now that I’m a parent is just devastating. I can’t even imagine what my parents were going through, but I try, and it makes us closer.

Up to 10 percent of the world’s population experiences one seizure in their lifetime, but epilepsy is defined as having two or more unprovoked seizures, so after my first seizure and appointments with neurologists, I was told to just wait it out and see.

Dad never really slept again.

I remember coming home at night, going to the bathroom at night, waking up earlier than him in the morning — in high school, during summer breaks in college, even as an adult when my husband and I briefly lived with my folks while our house was being worked on — and my dad saying, “Brig, is that you? Everything OK?” I remember me saying, “Go back to sleep” with a smile.

I did continue having seizures until my senior year in college, but now I’m 14 years seizure-free and a parent. I finally hear my dad snoring, and sometimes I think, “Yep, I get it. And, I love you too.”

Follow this journey on Step Up for Epilepsy Awareness.

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Originally published: July 23, 2015
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