Why I Sometimes Sleep in Odd Places Because of My Epilepsy

A picture of a woman sleeping in her car.
A picture of a woman sleeping in her car.

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.

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.

Related:Celebrating the ADA as Someone With Epilepsy

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.

Related:Things to Know About Your Cool New Friend With Epilepsy

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

Read more stories like this on The Mighty:

What I Didn't Realize as a Teenager With Epilepsy

16 Signs You or Your Child Grew Up With Epilepsy

When Epilepsy Makes Me Tongue-Tied

Why This New TV Series Is a Win for Epilepsy