Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Restless Leg Syndrome

Another body trouble that I've endured. (The other being the hemifacial spasms that I had surgery for). "Mom, your problems are always so weird," is what Kim said to me one day. I have had this restless leg syndrome for as long as I can remember.

If you have it you know how overwhelming it can become. The other night I kept jumping out of bed and trying to walk, rub the back of my knees or shake my legs. I can't be doing that all night for Doug goes to work during the day and he needs his rest! So I ended up downstairs wandering around in almost tears. This was the worst attack I can remember having. When it is bad like this I also have the restless feeling in my arms. The back of my knees and the inside of my elbows are the worst, I can feel it in my fingers too.

Sometimes if I can think straight I will take that time at night to pray. You will notice when you begin to pray sleep comes so fast that before you know it you wake up in the morning. My kids used to cry, "Mom, I can't sleep." "Pray for your family," I would reply. Soon she/he was sleeping quiet!

Most of the time all I can do is think about how I can be relieved when it is happening. Recently I learned that my sister Kotya's husband also has RLS. When I found that out I felt like we had been reluctantly inducted into some sort of club ---all on merits we didn't even know we had.

What is this RLS? According to a RLS support site for people like myself, it is a neurological (there is that word again) problem. In cases like mine where it begins in adolescence it is hereditary. I once suspected that my granddaughter Ashlee might have it since she moved her legs so much when she was a baby and trying to fall asleep. Here's a picture of my grandkids. Ashlee is the one with the hair blowing up! How about that RED hair on my grandson, huh? This was taken early in the morning on a racing day this past summer when the wind was howling through Kincaid Park.

I can remember having this irritation when I was a young girl, moving my legs before falling asleep. After the 1964 earthquake and the tidal wave in Old Harbor my sisters and I sometimes had to share beds and I heard one of my sisters complain, "I don't want to sleep with her, she moves her legs too much." I could not help it. If you do not move when this creepy feeling is at it's strongest I think one can probably go completely insane!

When I tried to explain what it feels like, one of my kids said, "Is this all in your head?" "Nope, it's all in my legs!!!!" I have no idea why, it just is.

Today I have tried an ointment, Tiger Balm. I've also self-treated myself with iron. I have since found out online that sometimes RLS can be caused by anemia. I found that ferrous sulfate iron helped me once when I was so low on iron that my doctor said he considered giving me a blood transfusion. (Another body trouble which I've had treated with a partial hysterectomy.) I had noticed that RLS which had been so horrible before I was prescribed a high dose of iron had completely gone away! I began taking iron when I was having strong bouts with RLS. The other night I did the same, I finally fell asleep in my Mom's bedroom that night.

There are medications that doctors use to try to help their RLS patients, but these meds come with warnings that sound like they might be worse than the trouble such as:

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION ABOUT ________: _________ may cause you to fall asleep without any warning, even while doing normal daily activities such as driving. When taking _________ hallucinations may occur and sometimes you may feel dizzy, sweaty or nauseated upon standing up. The most common side effects in clinical trials for RLS were nausea, headache, and tiredness. You should talk with your doctor if you experience these problems.

I've recieved several emails about a new holiday movie coming out: "The Golden Compass." (A lot of Flash at this site.) This movie will most likely be the first in a series of movies in response (anti) to C.S. Lewis stories "The Chronicles of Narnia." According to Snopes.com he author of the books, Philip Pullman, wrote stories that he said, "My books are about killing God." Philip Pullman is a self-proclaimed atheist. The "His Dark Materials" triology fans are upset by how the director of the movie has watered down the anti-God, anti-Christian lines found in his books. FoxNews.com writes about this.

I predict that even if this author is openly fighting God, this movie will be well attended in our world. So many have no idea what pleases and displeases God anymore. We as parents and grandparents must instill in our families a deep love of God which is based on God's word. This will help them chose right from wrong themselves, which is getting harder to do. God's word is a Light that brightens our paths to Himself. God is real! All those that have closed their eyes and hearts to Him will be sadly surprised someday! For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment, if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood of its ungodly people but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly, and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)---if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. 2 Peter 2: 4 - 10.

Well, I best get moving again.



I am so sorry Connie Marie. I think my husband may have this to some extent. He can't keep his feet still at night even in his sleep. I hope you can find some relief. I have noticed a new med. they have for it and the side effect are very scary. You could start to gamble or something about sex. I would be scared to death to take something that could cause such things.

I do hope things get better for you, I know somethimes I can't sleep with the authuritis but at least it is just pain. God bless and keep you, my friend. connie from Texas

Constance said...

So many thoughts!

First of all, I'll have to check into the Golden Compass. I am very disappointed to say the least since Sam Elliott is one of my favorite actors and I just read an interview he did in my "Cowboys & Indians" movie. I was actually looking forward to seeing it, now I don't know!

RLS, I've never suffered from it but I can remember in the early days of treating my ITP my Oncologist had me on 80mg of Prednisone a day! The worst was at nighttime. I'd ly in bed and it would feel like something was crawling underneath my skin, I scratched myself sore a couple of times! The other part was how my joints would ache. I would be in tears becasue it would feel like someone was crushing my hips or my shoulders slowly with heavy weights! The "cure" sometimes IS worse than the problem!

Praying at night...
Our church has just begun a series on the Holy Spirit. Just yesterday I was praying about a specific child who weighs heavy on my heart right now and for the Holy Spirit to give me insight, sensitivity & wisdom.

I woke up this morning at 2:15 and wrestled with the situation going on. As I lay there in bed, sick to my stomach and unable to fall back asleep I begun to think that the Holy Spirit has roused me from my sleep for a specific reason. Human reason and satan's lying lips were telling me otherwise. After an hour, I got up because I wanted to pray and read some of my Bible. Imagine my shock when the Holy Spirit had me turn to Romans 13:11b and following to the close of the chapter which, without going into any detail, applied to the situation I'm praying about! It says,
"The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber..."

I was blown away! So much for human reasonm and lying lips of satan! God does answer prayer and the Holy Spirit is giving me insight, sensitivity and wisdom!

Sleep Disorders Guide Blog said...

Hello Connie Marie,

Great post on RLS thank you for sharing a healthy information...

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by crawling, tingling and prickling sensation in the legs.

The people who have restless leg syndrome, have to take their foot and just move it around. This helps in bringing the blood circulation back. If they don’t have too much pain, getting up and walking for few minutes until the discomfort stops. If the restless leg syndrome is not severe, changing the sleeping position in bed can stop the discomfort.