As mentioned in one of my other posts, I have RLS. RLS stands for Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s just a nice medical term for “I want to kick the shit out of the mattress at night.” I’ve had it since I was a kid. On the best days, my legs are achy and sore at bedtime. On the worst days, I’m up all night tap dancing my husband out of the bed.
I have been to several doctors over the years about this. I’ve been told it’s in my head. No. It’s in my legs, but thanks for your medical opinion. It’s stress related. It’s because I drink too much Diet Pepsi. Eat too much chocolate. Not enough bananas. Lack of potassium. Lack of calcium. And of course, the easiest medical diagnosis to make when estrogen is involved: it’s hormonal. Ok. Thanks for playing.
Finally last year, after many years of searching the earth, I found a doctor who basically prescribes anything I want. At first, said doctor didn’t seem to take my RLS any more seriously than the other doctors. Sent me home with lots of Tylenol extra strength samples. Umm… my legs are wiggly, not fractured. But after starting in the nursing program and arming myself with my drug guide, I marched into his office, and presented him with the name and dosage of the drug that I needed.
Ta-da! I’m all better.
Not only does the drug ease the restlessness in my legs, but it’s a sedative. So even when I am stressed out, have had too much caffeine, too much chocolate, not enough bananas, and have estrogen coursing through my veins, the sedative knocks me out. I used to have the sleep pattern of a cat: short 1 hour bursts of sleep. Wake. Stand up. Turn around in a circle. Then curl back up. Purrrrr…. Now, I’m like, holly shit, I just slept for 6 hours straight!
Problem though: I have become accustomed to the dosage of the pills, and now I have to snap off an extra little piece on some nights when the RLS kicks back up (no pun intended).
So I go back to my doctor’s to explain this to him. I don’t want to have to snap off little pieces, the pharmacist would prefer I didn’t snap off little pieces, much safer to have new exact dosage that I require. I’d like the doctor to prescribe a mildly stronger dosage. Reasonable.
But my usual doctor is no longer at this office. Shit. New doctor isn’t quite so agreeable.
Now this is the funny part…
You have to know that I’m a pretty bubbly, exuberant person. I know, right, unbelievable. I smile. I laugh. I giggle. I joke. It works for me.
So when I explain my predicament to the kind doctor, Dr. H., he’s like, “Why are you going through your pills so quickly? Why do you want another prescription?”….ok, here’s the best part, he then says, “Are you a pusher?”
I’m sitting in his office with a 6 year old on my lap that I’m nuzzling, referring to as my “monkey,” and taking phone calls from my other kids who want to know where the pancake syrup is. Am I a pusher? Was I expected to answer that?
But instead of saying a simple “no” in a sweet, innocent tone. I start to laugh, and say, “No, I’m not a pusher. I much prefer to crush the tablets into a fine powder and snort it.” Funny, right. Well, he must be having visions of Nurse Jackie ’cause now he’s scowling at me and eyeing my pupils.
Anyway, to make a long story longer, Dr. H. agrees to increase my dosage, but is referring me to a neurologist who will prescribe the proper medication for RLS.
A-ha! So RLS does have a proper medication! Funny how this is never once mentioned in all the years I’ve been seeking treatment.
So good news: looks like I will be cured after all. Bad news, the doctor informs me that the proper medication will have harmful side effects. Lovely.
So I may no longer wiggle my way from one side of the bed to the other, but my eye will twitch and I’ll grow a mustache. Or something. You just know facial hair will be involved.