31 August 2005
Restless Legs Syndrome is an overwhelming urge to move the legs
usually caused by uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations in the legs. The sensations have
the following features:
I've been doing some research into Restless Leg Syndrome lately. I first heard of this condition through typing for the psychiatrist. The more I typed, the more I began to decide that I suffer from a mild form of it.
I am sitting here at 4:30 a.m. typing this because I woke up and could not go back to sleep, mainly because of the sensations in my legs which made me so tense that the only way to deal with it was to actually get up and start moving around.
My legs always get "restless" in the evening. I can sit down and watch TV at any time of the day and be fine, but once the sun goes down, the legs start twitching, not exactly involuntarily, but it becomes kind of like compulsively taping my fingers on a table. I can't seem to stop myself.
The problem doesn't prevent me from going to sleep, and it doesn't wake me up, but if I wake up for any other reason, it often makes it impossible to get back to sleep, at least not without a period of being up and moving around.
This has actually been going on with me for several years and I just figured it was "the way I am" until I discovered here is a whole organization devoted to the discussion of RLS, so enough other people have the same problem that someone thought it valuable to devote a web site and research to it.
The thing about it, though, is that "treatment" seems to be catch as catch can and what works for one doesn't work for another. People have tried various medications, exercises, etc. One woman discovered that orgasm seemed to help the problem! (Now there's an interesting treatment to write in a patient's chart!)
The only commonality is that everybody seems to suffer from some sort of variation of the symptoms. By putting a name to it, you somehow justify it, or explain it or something.
I remember back when I was a kid how I just assumed that whatever odd quirk I had was just the way all people were built. So it was that I was ten years old before I was discovered to have ambliopia (lazy eye blindness) because it never occurred to me that everyone wasn't designed with one good eye and one bad eye and I just never thought to mention to anybody that I couldn't really see well out of my right eye.
By the time they diagnosed my vision problem, I had passed the point where the usual treatments (exercises to strengthen the "bad" eye) were effective. Usually you do that sort of thing when a child is fairly young.
(Now, of course, I can't see well out of either eye, so it's a moot point!)
If one seeks medical treatment for RLS, you get into heavy duty meds, which have their own downside, and I've never been an eager pill seeker or taker. So I'll live with my RLS and when it's 4:30 a.m. and I can't get to sleep, I'll just do what I've always done and play around on the computer.
Either that or try that orgasm therapy, which sounds like fun whether it works or not!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Peggy went back to where she used to walk to dogs every day