I feel more peaceful now. Finally. I took enough Restless Legs medicine for THAT to settle down. This leads us onto today’s medical condition topic!
Restless Legs Syndrome and Me:
I think if I could get rid of one of my myriad of conditions, it would have to be my RLS. It is the worst – it affects my mental and physical health in SO many ways.
One major example – until I was officially diagnosed with it (in the fall), I attributed the burning/twitching/creepy-crawly sensations to laziness. What I mean is – I made the connection in my brain that exercise and movement made it go away. Then I made this association that the sensations meant I was being lazy or was going to gain weight. I used to majorly over-exercise to compensate for this. When I developed my nerve disorder, you can imagine how hard it became to not be able to exercise much and have the RLS. I just want to go on a walk to get rid of it but on really painful days I can’t do it. I will walk around my block but that’s about it. I want to walk for miles and miles like I used to, it would feel so good.
But my diagnosis of RLS was so relieving for these reasons. I honestly cried out of joy to have someone tell me what was going on. I would always complain on a car ride how my legs were burning and everyone thought I was crazy. Even I started to think it was all in my head. I realize now what it is and that it isn’t my fault (although I still struggle a lot with dealing with the sensations and not being able to move like I want to).
Then it was a battle to feel like I deserved to take medication for it. But now I do. Itt doesn’t get rid of it but it lessens the burning a lot. I still have to take a lot of moving breaks and can’t do things like sit through a whole movie in the theater or go to a whole play comfortably. And road trips? No way! I could do it, but boy do I whine on a road trip. Just ask anyone who has ever been on one with me. 😉
RLS remains one of my biggest triggers for my eating disorder, anxiety (its like the agitation in my legs spreads to my whole body and then to my mind), and despair many days. But I am thankful that I know what it is now and that it isn’t my fault. I just have to remember that I DESERVE to manage it.
Things that help manage my nerve pain and RLS at the same time:
- Not spending too much time doing any one thing. This means I alternate activity around the house or mini-walks with computer work/sitting activities over and over all day.
- Exercise helps of course but in short bouts for my nerve pain.
- Hot baths or showers
- Taking my medicine. Right now I take Tramadol and Clonazepam when it gets really bad.
- Not fighting the urge to move and not moving excessively either. Keeping it in my mind that its not all in my head and that I can use these tools to deal with it.
If you have any questions about Restless Legs Syndrome, feel free to ask! I am a major biology freak and would love to help any way I can.
———-Today I swam and am just DOING task after task (as I call them) to stay in the moment. Tomorrow I would like to talk about another condition and what I need to do to manage it, as well as what I already do right. Just to reiterate it to myself and set some goals.
Hope everyone had a great weekend!