22, Pennsylvanian in Florida
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I remember, a few years ago, an advert on television about Restless Legs Syndrome— it was presumably for a medication; I don’t quite remember. What I do remember is my mother scoffing and saying ‘Why do you need pills because your legs are twitchy?’
And that does seem to be the standard reaction. People often ask me to stop shaking or bouncing my legs, and then refuse to understand when I tell them that I can’t. It hurts to stop.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, I’m a runner. This is almost exclusively due to the RLS, especially as I didn’t run much as a child. And I suppose it’s good in that it keeps me in shape, but it also occasionally ruins my life.
Not all the time. Sometimes I have the muscle spasms and I shake, but I go to bed and it’s okay and I can sleep. But about once or twice a week, I have to go entirely without sleep, at least until it stops.
It’s a tugging muscle pain like the muscles feel dry and raw that starts in the knees and radiates outwards, particularly on the topside of my thighs and in my calves. And it feels like I want to stretch them, but that just makes it worse, so I lay there and try as hard as I can to stay still, because I know moving will make it worse, but all I want to do is move. The longer I stay still, the worse the burning and itching becomes. I shift around, trying every possible leg position in the hopes that something will hurt less. It never works. I have gotten so desperate, so sleep deprived that I have entertained the idea of just cutting the muscles off of the bone to escape the pain. It has, at times, gotten bad enough to bring me to tears.
It did last night. And this is the second night in a row that it has hit me. So I’m sitting here, legs shaking, pondering whether three in the morning is too early for a jog.
Best description I’ve heard thus far