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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

3:30 Restless Leg Fail

Well, it's 3:30 in the morning.  Yes, I'm tired.....very tired.  Yes, I'd rather be sleeping.  No, I'm not online feeding some late night Internet shopping addiction.....that would be way more fun.  Nope, I'm sitting in the living room on my couch.  The middle cushion to be exact because it's the best one to relieve my restless legs.  The ends of the couch are recliners so their cushions are more firm, and my legs like the soft.  My life is fascinating.

I've decided recently to try to control some things without medicine as much as possible.  My acid reflux was a breeze to fix.  After a day or two of trial and error (and lots of Tums), I found that if I drink a glass of chocolate milk in the morning and one about a half hour before bed, I have little to no symptoms of the acid. Oh, and it can't be white milk with chocolate powder or syrup, has to be straight from the jug chocolate.  I don't know why, I didn't dig too deep to try and figure it out.  I found a fix, and ran with it.  It flares up every once in a while, but not usually bad enough to interfere with what I'm doing.  I haven't bought any acid reflux medicine in a month, and have hardly had to take any tums at all.

Why on Earth did I decide to mess with a routine that was so clearly working?  Well, let's see, at one point I was on medicine for migraines, panic attacks, acid reflux, and restless legs.  That's a lot of medicine for someone who wasn't even 30 yet.....and even though all my "issues" were controlled, I still had the side effects of the medicine to deal with (bloating, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth just to name a few of the fun ones).  I was tired of living life tied to a medicine bottle.  I figured there had to be a way to control at least some of what ailed me without putting more junk in my body.

The scariest one to let go of was my anxiety medicine.  Panic attacks are so terrifying to me that that prescription was more than a fix, it was a crutch.  I had to make that one my first attempt.  My doctor had told me that sometimes patients can come off the anxiety medicine and do just fine.  The particular one I was on didn't require to be medically supervised as I weaned off.  Heck, I didn't even have to be weaned off.  The doc had told me from day one that if I ever wanted to stop taking it, just stop.  So, I did.  I waited for the panic monsters to come after me now that I had let go of my shield of protection, but none have so far.  It's been a year.  I'm proud that I had come far enough with controlling my anxiety that I can live life outside of the anxiety bubble without medicine.  However, if it ever gets to bad again, I also have no shame returning to that medicine.  I refuse to live life the way I was when anxiety was running the show.  If medicine is what it takes to live life out of the shadows, so be it.  For right now, that medicine is not necessary.

Once I let go of that medicine I weaned off the migraine medicine.  That worked very well for about six months.  I've had a bit of a setback with that recently.  I had an eleven day migraine about a month and a half ago that would not go away no matter what I threw at it.  So, for now, that medicine and I are back on speaking terms.  Maybe I can try again soon.

As I've mentioned, I'm happily living life without having to fight with acid.  My lunch today consisted of jalapeno peppers and I loved it.  When I have a particularly spicy meal, I drink a glass of white milk with it.....just to be sure.  So far, so good.  I love spicy food, acid reflux doesn't.  The fact that I can enjoy food in all it's spicy glory without throwing up acid later is wonderful.  The fact that it's controlled without medicine is icing on the cake!

Now, the reason I'm up at, well, now ten to four in the morning writing a blog.  Restless Leg Syndrome.  Bright side, at least I found time to write an entry in the often neglected blog.  Down side, boy am I going to be sleepy, and grumpy too.  My poor husband will be glad to be at work today.  I knew this medicine was the one that would cause me to lose sleep more than any other.  Seriously, if you've never dealt with restless legs, I don't know if I can adequately describe the feeling.  I HAVE to move, no questions,  Those legs of mine won't sit still.  Constant movement is not good for sleepy time.  Restless Legs are mean and calculating.  When I'm ready to be up and moving, everything is good.  When it's time to relax, even just sitting on the couch watching TV, they want to be up and running.  Playing cards with the family, I might as well stand and march in place.  Sleeping, yeah, well, I already told ya that's not even a possibility.  The bright side to my current state of unemployment is that if I get no sleep tonight, I'm not going to be falling asleep at work tomorrow.  Trust me, I'd rather be working, just looking for the bright side to unemployment and found one.

I read up for a few days on home remedies for the restlessness.  I tried a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in a glass of water last night.  That held off the symptoms for a couple hours, but I caved and took my medicine to get some sleep.  I tried increasing the amount of vinegar in the water today to.....well, let's be honest, I have no idea because it got away from me and spilled over the spoon into the glass.  I also took a bath as hot as I could stand it right before I got into bed.  The vinegar water cocktail is awful.  I basically have to chug it to get it down.  It's like drinking Easter Egg dye without the pretty colors.  The bath was so hot I thought I was going to burn my feet off.  I stood in the bath contemplating draining the tub and starting over with cooler water, but as I stood there the shock of the hot wore off and it was actually the perfect temperature.  I was totally relaxed when I got out of there, which was exactly the point.  I put a pair of socks on which is supposed to help as well and laid down.  Well, I got no further than I did on night one.  By one thirty I was squirming all over the place.  So, I tried one last remedy for tonight.  Menthol rub on my legs.  I don't think I had enough left to do any good.

So, in the interest of letting my husband continue his night's rest, I moved to the couch.  To that wonderfully fluffy middle cushion.   My legs are not restless as I'm sitting on that cushion.  If I try to lay down on the couch, they go bonkers.  So, I'm sitting up.  I can't sleep like this, although I do have a pillow behind my head.  I'm just waiting it out.  They'll settle down eventually and I will get some sleep.  In the meantime, I think I'll look up a few more home remedies to try.  It's either that or find out what's on TV at 4:03 in the morning.

Until next time friends......


  1. Did a little reading, apparently migraines can become worse during SSRI withdrawal, and it's recommended that you treat them as your body adjusts. RLS is common as well, and should go away eventually. I had RLS while on Zoloft and actually getting up and moving was the most helpful thing for me. It's an obnoxious feeling though. Hope it goes away soon!

  2. Thanks! That was info I didn't know!