I've never let my age bother me much, and I truly believe that age is just a number. Besides, as I get older, "old" people get a lot younger.
I have come to grips with the fact that I will probably never be slim. My water skiing days are probably over, although presented with the opportunity, I would certainly give it a try. I acknowledge that I will probably never do a round-off, back handspring, unless it happens in conjunction with the aforementioned skiing episode.
I try not to dwell on the fact that I take medicine every day to keep my blood pressure under control, nor do I obsess about the fact that I have sleep apnea and have to wear a butt-ugly mask to sleep in every night.
Some things about being middle-aged, however, make me seriously crazy. I could probably write an entire blog just dealing with the lamentations of growing old(er). This post, however, is about a condition known as restless legs.
I realized three or four years ago that I was sometimes afflicted with restless legs. It usually only occurred, however, when I was sitting in the recliner with my laptop on my ... lap. I would occasionally have to put the computer down and get up and walk around. My legs never bothered me after I went to bed.
Not so much anymore.
If you've never had restless legs, it may be difficult to describe. They don't hurt. They don't cramp. I just have to move them. Sometimes the movements are involuntary. I will lie there, trying to relax, practicing a little self-hypnosis, saying to myself, "I won't move my legs. I won't move my legs." Even while I am thinking those thoughts, my legs will move or twitch of their own accord.
It is maddening. I can't describe just how maddening it is.
Last night was probably the worst night I've had with the condition. I haven't mentioned it to my doctor during one of my regular visits, because it wasn't happening with any regularity. And it's not something I would make a special trip for.
I was exhausted last night after the mountain biking and kayaking, and I wanted nothing more than to go to bed before 8:00. We did go to bed early, and I dozed off quickly.
Only to be awakened moments later because of the need to move my legs. I squirmed, I tossed, I changed positions, I stretched, I meditated.
I got up.
I watched the rest of the Braves game. I played the Nintendo DS. I let the cat in because it was raining. I went to the bathroom. Multiple times.
I went back to bed, and the cycle started all over again. I got some extra pillows and put them in the bed, thinking that it might help to elevate my legs. It did no good. I don't know when I finally fell asleep, but it was after midnight.
Naturally I wasn't in the best of moods when I awoke at 6:30 this morning. You guessed it, my legs woke me up. They were sore from the biking, but that wasn't what woke me up. It was the twitching. I was sluggish all day, not only from sore muscles but from sleep deprivation as well. And depressed that getting old has to be so damned annoying.
I was on the verge of tears last night. I was angry and I wanted to throw things. I even thought to myself, "Damn, I know where there's a gun, and I CAN put an end to this." It was that maddening.
I did some research on the condition this morning, and some of what I read said that one treatment is to get enough sleep.
Seriously? Don't they think I WOULD GET MORE SLEEP if I COULD GET MORE SLEEP? Another possible cause of the condition is iron deficiency, but I don't think that's true in my case. I'll find out when I go to the blood drive this Friday, because they won't let me donate if my iron is too low.
I have tried to analyze factors to see if there is something different I can do. It doesn't seem to happen more or less according to whether or not I have exercised. Or exercised strenuously, like yesterday. Another thing the WebMD article said was to avoid caffeine and alcohol. (Is it just me, or do they say that for EVERY condition?) Well.... okay..... I did have a Diet Pepsi for dinner last night, which I don't usually do. Normally I only drink water, but I had already drunk so much water yesterday I felt like my eyeballs were floating. I also had a beer while we were kayaking and one while Hubby and I sat by the pool.
I hope I don't have to give up my morning coffee. But if I have to give up beer to guarantee not ever having another night like last night, I'll do it gladly. And that's saying something.
It was so bad last night that tonight I'm almost afraid to go to bed. I'm going to take a couple of those PM pain relief capsules before I go to bed and see if they help.
And I'm going to tell Hubby to hide the gun.