After hearing about Mayor Kay Halloran’s much-chronicled sleep apnea diagnosis this week, I wondered whether any famous people had the same problem.
A Web search on apnea came up empty, but I did find a Wikipedia list of noteworthy people with narcolepsy, another disorder that causes people to nod off at inopportune moments, like at City Council meetings, for instance.
One name that caught my eye was Jimmy Kimmel. Imagine being a late-night talk show host with narcolepsy. I found some excerpts from a an Esquire magazine piece he wrote in 2003:
“I had no idea I had it until recently. All I knew about narcolepsy was a character on Hill Street Blues, Vic Hitler the Narcoleptic Comic, who would fall asleep in the middle of his act. But I did know that every afternoon between about three and six, I would get very tired for no reason. I would doze off in meetings, watching TV, even driving. You know how when you’re regular tired, your whole body is tired? With narcolepsy, just the inside of your head is tired. It’s like somebody’s gently sitting on your brain. You have almost no focus.”
Also on the list is former Clinton White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ikes. You might remember his last gig was trying in vain to line up legions of superdelegates for Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary fight this year.
Here’s an interesting snippet about how Ikes coped with his problem from the Mental Floss Web site:
“During staff meetings, he stood in the corner and took notes, rather than sitting around the table. But Ickes wasn’t being rude; he was trying to keep from falling asleep.”
Earlier this week I wrote that I’m not going to jump all over Halloran for nodding off during council meetings. I’d certainly rather she didn’t take these unscheduled micro siestas, and I’m glad to hear she’s getting medical treatment. If it works, maybe we can go back to debating the merits of what she’s doing or not doing while she’s awake. If not, there will be trouble, right here in Cedar city, with capital ZZZZ.
But I ask her critics, have you ever once offered to buy her a Red Bull? Seriously. OK, not seriously.
Anyway, Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fagan appears to be fully conscious at last check. He’s really the one people are looking to on the council for leadership right now. That’s one reason I’m not losing any sleep over napgate.