- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Restless Leg Syndrome-living with
It bothers me most when I am sitting or laying down. Restless leg Syndrome is not a fabrication but a true, disabling disease that millions of people suffer from. People having RLS have varying symptoms. Most experience the worst symptoms when they try to sleep at night, after having been on their feet, exercising or sitting during the day.
I suffered from this ailment since I was a teen. I didn't know what it was however and the doctors back then, as well as my parents called it "growing pains". I would have to leap out of bed more than once during the night and stretch, beat on my legs, flex and tighten until I couldn't stay awake any longer and I'd finally fall asleep.
In college, my boyfriend found it difficult to share a bed with me because once I fell asleep, he claimed I kicked and ran in my sleep; often hurting him and I'd wake with no memory of this at all. I've been told by doctors that during certain surgeries, if I hadn't taken my medication for RLS, that a surgery aid or tech would have to lay on me to hold me still as my legs would have a mind of their own. I don't remember being in motion while sleeping but I do remember the pain of trying to fall asleep each night.
I remember driving in the car and having to take my fists and beat on my legs as hard as I could. If I was a passenger, it was even worse and I would have to hit my legs as hard as I could until the cramping subsided. It didn't even hurt; what hurt most was the continuous cramping that I had to deal with.
A few years ago, I saw an ad describing RLS and the symptoms. I was elated to know that my ailment finally had a name and a possible medication that would help me. I went to my doctor and described my pain and the years of suffering (I was a bit perturbed because he never once suggested looking into this problem for me) and I asked about the medication Requip. He prescribed it for me and amazingly enough, it worked! There are some evenings when I've forgotten to take the medication before retiring to bed and after laying down for 10 minutes,the twitching, jumpiness and pain begin and I am reminded that I forgot my pill!
Requip and the other medications used to treat RLS were originally developed to help people with Parkinson's Disease. It is unknown as to why these medications target RLS but they do. There are times when I need to take one pill during the day if I am going to be required to sit a lot. I take 1 mg. and it helps immensely. In the eve, I take a 2 mg. pill as the 1 mg. doesn't last the entire night for me. Requip can cause sleepiness and some nausea. I find it takes the medication about 20 minutes to begin to work as well. People react differently to these medications as with any medication and its unique side effects.
I am very thankful for the fact that doctors have found a way for people like myself to get some relief from this disabling disease. All of the exercise, changes in diet and will power never were able to provide relief from the cramping and spasms. I had dreaded night time because I knew the spasms and pain would begin almost immediately. I can finally get a good night's sleep and so can my guy!