Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is Brutal

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Restless Legs Syndrome

I am sure you have all heard of Restless Legs Syndrome by now…the commercials have brought awareness to this horrible, creepy thing.

I have been plagued by RLS for many, many years now, but until recently there was not a name for it – at least not a name that I knew about. When I saw the commercials I let out a big “Hallelujah” – it’s not all in my head.

restless-leg-syndrome,RLS,jumpy legs,can't hold legs still

If you don’t have Restless Legs Syndrome, you cannot fully understand how awful it is. I remember about 25 years ago (wow it seems weird to say that) when I was a teenager, and my mother and I flew to Europe. Sitting still on the airplane for that length of time was no easy feat. You cannot keep your legs still when RLS occurs. It feels as if there are worms, or ants, or something creepy crawly in the calves of your legs. I have also heard it described as tingly or achy. I thought I would lose my mind – it was horrible. I am petrified to take a long flight now.

I started a medication about a year ago, and it seems to help, but I am afraid I will have to increase my dosage now. It is happening in the afternoons when I lay down to nap. UGH.

My poor husband has had to deal with my RLS too, as he frequently got kicked in the shins. One night I kicked him so hard it brought a tear to his eye (he told me this in the morning).

There have been so many sleepless nights.  I remember being so sleepy, but not being able to fall asleep because of RLS. Walking, stretching and other movements only bring temporarily relief (and by temporary, I mean 5 seconds or so). I have tried hot bathes, compresses, cold, ice packs, quinine tablets – you name it, I’ve tried it. It can be debilitating, as you become more and more sleep deprived. I remember watching Seinfeld one night – the episode where Kramer has a girlfriend with “Jimmy Legs”. My husband and I now call my RLS episodes Jimmy Legs. It is not funny when it happens, but the name did tickle me just a little.

My legs are killing me and have been for the past few days, and I fear that my Jimmy Legs are back. Oh, I do not want to deal with this again. I cannot sit in a movie theater for two hours, I cannot watch a concert or sit in a car for a long car ride. Luckily my husband understands as he watches my legs twitch and watches me struggle to stop the uncontrollable movements.

I was just curious if any of you also have this dreaded “syndrome” known as Restless Legs Syndrome. Have you found anything that helps? I am once again, getting desperate.

UPDATE: 6/18/11:  I have been taking a medicine called Sinemet that has been working very well!  I still sometimes get that slight restless feeling in the afternoons, but nighttime isn’t quite the nightmare anymore.  Sinemet is a drug for Parkinson’s Disease (as most RLS medicines are), but that’s okay – as long as it is working.

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Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!

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