Night Dances

December 9, 2008

I really wish the night dance I was talking about was the Zumba (Latin dance workout) class that my Dear One and I did this evening.  We have faithfully been working out for a couple of months now and Zumba, spinning class, instructor led free weight classes, and the general machines have all become familiar to us.  We are really enjoying the increased vitality and stamina from working out three times a week. 

Unfortunately, tonight’s dance is not of any benefit except to my blog. 

I’m talking about Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).    I am out of bed for the second time since about 10 p.m. because my legs won’t stop torturing me.  I got up the first time and read for about 45 minutes, hoping my medication, which I took later than usual, would kick in.

It didn’t.  I climbed back in bed and was out again after about 15 minutes.  The legs just won’t stop.  I took more meds. 

If you don’t have it, it is hard to understand.  People describe the sensation a lot of different ways.  Mostly, it is so unique, that it is hard to accurately compare to sensations that others know.  Many people describe it as a creepy-crawly feeling.  TV commercial for the drug manufacturers usually show phantom ants crawling.  Strange, I thought that was the DT’s!  For me, it seems like a symphony that you just begin to hear, it builds, and BAM!  The cymbals go off. 

Only the cymbals are my legs.  They jerk and must move.  Sometimes one jerk at a time.  Other times very spastically.  The building sensation is torturous.  Not painful specifically, just an exquisite torture that forces me out of bed and into a standing position or a pacing mode.  Other than medications, it is the only thing that relieves it.  There just is no going to sleep when it is bad. 

And tonight, it is bad. 

For example, I am not sitting to type this.  It’s not possible.  I put my computer up on my high counter and stand here while I type, sometimes swaying my weight from side-to-side.  It keeps the sensations at bay.  Most of the time.  I’m waiting for the extra meds to kick in. 

At first, I thought it was bad because I took my medicine late, too close to bedtime.  Then, as I lay in bed trying every conceivable position to fool my legs into stopping, I remembered.

I did this to myself.

This morning at our Monday ladies’ Bible Study, I had a cup of coffee along with the tenth chapter of St. John.  The meds would cover me, I reasoned.  I had work to do today and needed to be alert.  Blah, blah, blah.  All the reasons for imbibing caffeine don’t make a lot of sense right now.  Caffeine, as you may have guessed by now is an antagonist to RLS. 

So now, as I joked this morning, I am paying the price.  I know better, but I did it anyway.  A trade-off for today’s productivity.  One that is really going to mess with tomorrow’s. 

We all do things we know we shouldn’t.  Not necessarily sin-related things either.  Just things we know aren’t good for us, things that we shouldn’t choose, things that we shouldn’t say, but we do it anyway.  The difference in my example is that I get some pretty fast turn around on the consequences.  I’ll say one thing.  I won’t be drinking any caffeinated beverages tomorrow.  Right back on the wagon for me!

Now, I’m not asking for true confessions in your comments, but perhaps this hits home with you in some way.  Be as transparent or opaque as you want.  And ditch the guilt.  Just get back on the wagon with me! 

Romans 7:19

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

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11 Responses to “Night Dances”

  1. Relaxed Says:

    My story is the same. I related to so many stories. When I worked people thought I was nuts because I stood up to type. I don’t take meds any longer due to augmentation. I use natural oils. They have worked for about 14 months now.

  2. Lynn C. Says:

    Awwww, I am sorry you have that, to think you can’t enjoy caffeine is the awfulest!!
    My weakness is chocolate, if I indulge, it tells on me, with headaches for THREE days! Or peanuts, I get cramps really bad in my belly! Why do we do it to ourselves?? LOL! Great write up! See you Monday!

  3. Kitty Grubbs Says:

    I have been speaking this message to myself for awhile now. I gave up the caffeine about a month ago…my body definitely responded positively to the decision(after the initial headaches and sluggishness :)…I am also giving up any artificial sweeteners, hoping for the same positive response. Could the other writer expand on the natural oils for the RLS…I would really love to come off my meds. Thanks!


  4. hello and am I glad to meet you! I am not happy to hear about your night because I too have suffered for many years. One thing that I can offer is that the more tired you become the harder it will be for the meds to work….
    I have to take my requip by 8pm (sometimes earlier) or I am guaranteed to not be able to sleep. Lately though, for about two weeks now, I just lay there even without the “Sleep Theif” wide awake all night. I am commenting on your post because I am reading a book called ~Sleep Theif, restless legs syndrome~ by Virginia N. Wilson. I have not made it through the first chapter and I am even more angry and determined to find answers. If you have the time I got an article published on ezine articles that is on my blog nearlythebionicwoman.blogspot.com that talks about my experience with this demon and some things I have done to help it. I am also starting to do a lot more research to write more articles to help people like us. Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated. There has to be more that we can do for ourselves and others and must fight to get the word out to be taken seriously. My husband finally believes me, I think…..
    Thanks and good luck. Christina

  5. Donna Says:

    wow, i saw your description of a bad night, and you have hit it right on the head! I would like to say that the later you take your meds and the more the RLS gets ahead of you, then it is harder to tame “the beast”.
    I just wanted to commend you o yur description. I describe it as almost small electrical charges going off, and then it builds to a crescendo, much like your music, and the electricity finally blows, and I am bouncing off the bed. I finally gave up caffeine when I went o disbility 6 yrs ago. While I was working there was no way, except when I worked for myself. Then, I was able to sey my own hours until I could not do the work physically any more from chronic pain issues due to a broken back. I mention that, because that is when my RLS started, at 14 after I broke my back.
    I moderate several online support groups, and we are always reaching for a good description. 🙂 Has it gotten any better since you first wrote this?

  6. Donna Says:

    I forgot to check the little box to get notifications of comments on your blog, so am posting this, as I stand up, so I can check the box this time. LOL I am very sleep deprived right now.

  7. dlkaufman Says:

    Actually, my RLS is worsening. I am told that with most women my age (50’s)that this torture begins to level off. Not so with men. But, since I have diabetes and have had surgery on both feet for Morton’s neuroma, I have things that aggravate it.


    • As far as the RLS worsening, I know that when I was drinking Mangosteen juice, the RLS got better. If I am not as active durin g the day, it also gets worse, so I have to make sure to get up and move around.

      I am not sure if a diabetes patient can drink the juice itself however, you may want to check into capsles (sp?) that are the rind of the fruit ground up and dried.

      I have written some articles on RLS, even published on Ezine articles and one of the biggest thing that I found to help is exercise and diet, diet, diet. For the diabetes, check in to a gluten free lifestyle. Thanks and good luck!

      http://nearlythrbionicwoman.com

  8. Donna Says:

    Clicking on ” Bionic” web site link here, and it comes up nothing. any ideas?

  9. Donna Says:

    Found it! You have the url typed wrong. You put an r instead of an e in “the”
    :o) Thanks for the info!


  10. Thanks and sorry about the mis-spelling. Thank you to the writer of this blog for bring awareness to this situation. Actually as I sit here trying to type, my right leg is going crazy!

    I am convinced that the whole RLS thing is afected by neurological issues and has a lot to do with the nerves in my spine. Some times I will feel a pinch in my back. Sometimes it’s something as simple as an itch on my leg that get’s it started.

    Keep looking for a solution and have a great day!


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