"I am all too familiar with that horrible feeling of lying in bed, desperately trying to fall asleep BEFORE your legs start twitching. I know the deep despair of lying there and feeling that FIRST little spark. That tiny rustle that signals the inevitable.
That small rustle is the signal that it's going to be ANOTHER restless night. The twitching is going to get worse until you finally have to get up and walk around (my wife called it travellin') or sit at your desk and work, until you're so exhausted that you feel there's a SLIGHT chance you may be able to fall asleep before the twitching returns again.
During the evening, I could barely SIT beside my wife Barb, let alone HOLD her hand as we would watch TV. Often, my legs would be buzzing so intensely, I would have NO choice but to watch TV standing up.
I used to FLY to a lot of MUSIC conferences. I remember how I would try to mentally prepare myself DAYS before the trip. There's nothing more intimidating to a RLS sufferer than knowing you'll have to sit STILL in a plane seat for FIVE HOURS. Sure enough, after a SHORT grace period, the twitching would begin. I can't tell you how many times I WALKED up and down the airplane aisle pretending that I had to go to the bathroom, just to walk off my wonky legs.
And sadly, many times, during the early hours of the morning, in the exhausting depths of ANOTHER sleepless night, I harbored the extreme fantasies of how peaceful life would be if I had no legs.
I would by lying if I said that thoughts of suicide also didn't enter into my consciousness.
I can't remember exactly when it all started? I didn't even know it had a name until a few years ago. Barb told me one morning that she had run across an article about Restless Legs Syndrome. Up until that time, it was just my "wonky legs" acting up again.
I started researching and found that the only remedies that were being used were horrific drugs created initially for Parkinson's patients and for those suffering from seizures & epilepsy. I thought about it, but decided that they were not for me.
Through the years I tried all sorts of teas, diets, oils, vitamins and massage. I tried workouts, bicycling and jogging. Nothing helped, or at least NOT for very long.
Several years ago, Barb suggested that I go see a Chiropractor ... so I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised that it actually helped a bit. However, after the INITIAL relief, the treatments started LOSING their effectiveness. After about a year, I gave up and stopped going.
A few years later a local Acupuncturist was recommended to me. I went and saw him for a treatment. I was amazed at the relief I gained through his combination of electro-acupuncture followed by a DEEP tissue massage. The massage was excruciating, but I stuck it out because I was DESPERATE to get rid of my twitchy legs. He had hands like a mechanic, and TEARS would shoot out of my eyes as he massaged my legs, but I kept going to see him. It was the MOST relief I'd ever had from my restless legs.
I saw him periodically for a couple of years, and eventually, as was the case with the Chiropractor, the treatments became non effective. I was DEVASTATED. I felt like I was COMPLETELY out of options.
The acupuncturist had told me that my issue was inflammation in the legs. I thought, if this is the cause, maybe there is some sort of herb or supplement that could lessen my inflammation, and therefore lessen my symptoms?
I went to my local health food store and the clerk told me that curcumin was a good natural anti-inflammatory.
I took the curcumin with each meal and within days was feeling better.
Over the next few years I continued researching and trying out different natural anti-inflammatories including Omega 3, Ginger Root, Cayenne, St. John's Wort, Licorice Root and Skullcap, along with Carrot Juice, Vitamins and Minerals. Slowly but surely the RLS went away.
As I continued educating myself, it became apparent that a healthy diet was crucial. I could take all the anti-inflammatories in the world, but if I was still eating inflammatory foods, then there wouldn't be a lot of healing going on.
So, I radically changed my diet and continued to take supplements. I rarely eat meat now and my sugar and fat intake is way down. I slso keep away from starches as much as I can including rice, potatoes and pasta. I switched from regular milk to almond milk to pour on my ceral and make my smoothies (I found that I had an intolerance to soy and soy milk).
I recently learned about the importance of probiotics and are now taking them to help my digestive system function properly.
I also learned that stress is another big trigger of inflammation. I meditate every day, which helps to lessen the stress.
I have never even remotely felt this good in my entire life. Even pre-RLS.
My advice to those of you still suffering is to ignore those that say there is no cure. Even the doctors. Actually, especially the doctors. They really have no clue about the cause. They may have read an article or pamphlet. or glanced at a study, and that's truthfully all they know about it.
It really bothers me when someone says I couldn't have really had RLS because there is no cure. Since I got better, it must have been something else.
My RLS was as bad as anyone that I've ever talked to, and today, I feel like a million dollars - like I've been freed from a hellish prison. "
- David Wimble, August, 2008
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