Monday, February 6, 2012

Hell aka Restless Leg Syndrome

Does anybody else out there suffer Restless Leg Syndrome (see also RLS)?

It is a horrible condition that usually sets in around the evening/night time and kind of feels like you have creepy crawlies crawling under your skin, along and around the surface of your bones and makes your legs move involuntarily in jerky, twitchy motions. It really gets started when laying down, although I do sometimes get it when I'm sitting for long periods, eg in the car or at a concert, as well. I've mentioned it briefly before here.

Picture borrowed from here.

RLS is like a form of torture. It disrupts your sleep and makes you feel like you're going mad. There is no known cure for it and relief is hard for some people to come by. Walking helps - but who wants to be pacing around their home in the middle of the night, like so many suffers do? I also find some relief with hot baths and stretching out my legs. I have had many a bath in the middle of the night, desperate to find relief. Also, magnesium supplements are suppose to assist, but I have not found this in my case. Cutting back nicotine, alcohol and caffeine is also suppose to help minimise symptoms. Well I don't smoke or drink and I only have about 1-2 cups of coffee a day and I've kept my Diet Coke intake to a minimum lately.

I've just found this on Wikipedia regarding Other methods of relief:

Orgasm, whether achieved by sexual intercourse or masturbation, 
has also been found to provide satisfactory relief of RLS symptoms.

Wow! What an incentive to get back on the dating scene!

But seriously, the only real respite I can get is through taking a benzodiazepine just before bed. Either Zanax, Valium or Normison offer relief. Opioid painkillers like Diagesic also help. But there is a downfall to that. These drugs are extremely addictive and getting scripts for them is really hard. They also make me super tired the day after, making it very difficult to find the motivation to do anything.

People with RLS most commonly experience the pain and discomfort in their calves, but for some reason I get mine in my hip joints. And occasionally I feel it in my ankles as well when it is really bad. I cannot tell you how I hate this condition, which is getting worse as the years go by.

Before my first psychiatric hospitalisation in 2007 I had only experienced RLS a couple of times. I didn't even know what it was then. But since I was first admitted to hospital for depression and drug and alcohol abuse (which is a huge story in itself) I was given a massive cocktail of psychiatric drugs that set my hips twitching and they haven't stopped since.

The last three nights have been particularly bad. The last week or so actually, but for the last three nights I couldn't bear it any more and so I took a Normison (tempazepam - sleeping tablet) each night. The relief was almost instant. I've slept better than I have in months because it helped with my night time anxiety which leaves me clenching my jaw through the night and has me waking up with headaches every morning. My dreams were all anxious ones as usual but at least I my body was too relaxed by the benzo to move as much as I normally do.

I've read that antidepressants can bring on RLS and so can having low iron stores. As I am on an antidepressant I really need to look into weening off slowly so I can see if it is my Cipramil that is causing this horrible problem. This of course scares the hell out of me because I haven't gone without an antidepressant for four years! I have also been iron deficient in recent years but I haven't been tested for a while. I'm way too terrified to take iron tablets to see if that might help because of the constipation they cause. Anyone who's read recently will know that has been giving me a lot of grief recently too (you can read about it here and here - surely everyone wants to know about how backed up I've been!).

So anyway, why am I talking about this? Basically because this whole thing then really fucks up my motivation and will to exercise and eat well. I was so tired today that after taking Noo to daycare I slept on and off all day. That is until about 4pm when my hips started twitching again. I know some say that exercise helps but I find this is the opposite to me. When I have walked a lot through the day or have done a work out my hips suffer terribly later in the night. Add DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) to that and I'm tremendously uncomfortable.

It is a vicious circle: exercise, get bad RLS, take sleeping tablet, wake up exhausted, too tired to exercise, lay around, eat comfort food, feel bad/anxious, get RLS.... it goes on. I am going to talk to the doctor about it on Friday. Now that I know that my thyroid function is fine (my blood work came back all good), I can now look into this issue.

That is enough for now. I'm depressing myself with this post. Next time I promise to write something more positive!


PS I've gone back to Blogger comments because Disqus wasn't showing that I had comments on the bottom of each post. I haven't been able to get the 'threaded comments' option to work yet but I'll keep trying.

PPS I have lost 1kg since last Monday which is probably because I was able to 'go' at last! TMI!!!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Comment changes at the BB

So my day was suppose to start with a spin class over at Fitness First in Bondi. I was so anxious about it yesterday. Mainly because I hate having early morning commitments. I'm always so worried I'm not going to get there on time.

Because Noo and I share a bed I usually don't have to set an alarm to get up - Noo rouses me with a "It's wake up time! It's wake up time!" and then "What are we going to do today?". He usually opens his eyes wide awake anywhere between 6.30am and 8ish which is pretty reasonable time to be getting out of bed I think.

Because I had to transverse the city during peak hour I set my alarm for 6.30 and when it went off Noo snoozed on. I had a shower, dressed in my gym gear, had my usual coffee and then breakfast. Checked my emails, Facebook, Twitter and the front page of The Australian (my favourite paper). All was going along nicely. Noo woke and mum gave him his oats. I text my friend who I was meeting at the gym to double check she was all set to go. She finally text me back at just after 8 saying she wasn't going to make it.

Damn! That's all it took to lose my motivation.

Still in my gym gear I dropped my parents at the Quay because it was still pissing down with rain and then dropped Noo off at daycare. Just as we were getting out of the car mum called to say they got their days wrong and would I come get them again. It is lucky we only live five minutes drive away! I finally got back to the apartment sometime after 10.

By this time I wasn't feeling too crash hot. Without giving too much detail, all that fibre I've been added to my diet started having an effect on my tummy.

TMI: Adding FibreBoost and Benefiber is finally having an effect

So I ended up spending an entire day at home, dressed in gym gear, reading blogs all over the net, as well as making a few changes to mine, most notably adding a third party comment management system Disqus. I wanted to be able to easily reply to any comments being left on each post and that didn't seem possible directly through Blogger. Let me know if you like it or not.

In the afternoon my sister dropped in with the beautiful Mala. I made lunch and while Yo ate, I nursed Mali Moo and took photos of her sleeping on my lap.

Crunchy cabbage, carrot, apple, pecan salad with pork schnitzel
served with lite sour cream and Hanks Chilli Jam

My gorgeous niece. Ooooh, I love her!

So I had quite a good day getting more ideas for improving my blog and trying to get inspiration for my upcoming uni subject (advanced web design) as well as having an ok day foodwise. I just didn't FDI and go to the gym! I have my guts as my excuse though. They still feel weird. Looking forward to my blood test results tomorrow.

Good night for now.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photo post catch up

It is absolutely pouring down here in Sydney which sucks because it makes it difficult to find things for Noo to do, but if he is ok about being home for a few hours this morning I'll get a chance to write my blog.

I ended last week being very piggy about my food choices knowing I was going to crack down on Monday. Although I did have a number of healthy meals as well. On Monday I weighed in at 82.5kg which is at the upper range of the 80-83kg I've been hovering around for ages.

Australia Day - half a grilled chicken burrito shared with Noo

Without trying to gross you out too much, I've been very backed up for months which is not helping with my mood or my weight. It is something people hate talking about, I know, but seriously constipation is one of the worst physical afflictions in my opinion. And is all too common - especially in women. Without going into too much detail I'll just say that I've been feeling sluggish, tired, irritable, heavy, down, bloated and generally all over yuck.

I went to the GP to get some advice and to have my thyroid function tested again because constipation is one of the symptoms of a hypothyroid. I had severe postpartum thyroiditis just after Noo was born so the risk of my thyroid going hypo is high. I'm waiting for the blood tests and hoping desperately that it is just my diet that is making me feel like shit (excuse the pun) and not some pain in the arse (another one - sorry!) auto immune disease that I could be saddled with for life!

Here are some random pictures I took using my iPhone's Hipstamatic app over the last few days:

Chicken drumstick and salad

Gorgeous pup Noo and I saw out at the park over the weekend

Just an observation - who buys CDs any more? Digital all the way for me!

Bakers Delight Cheesymite roll - this doughy white bread treat goes through
the band surprisingly easily. Majorly calorific though!

Hazelnut coffee scroll from Don Campos - my favourite coffee shop - didn't get
past one bite before I got stuck so gave it to mum. Bloody delicious though!

Sharing a mixed fruit and veg juice with Noo

The delicious mixed salad plate from Bread & Circus in Alexandria. Only $12.

Hot and sweaty after a 1 hour workout of walking/running.
Completed day three of week 1 C25K. Burnt 560 calories. Happiness.

Deliciously healthy quinoa, smoked chicken, orange and herb salad.
Made by moi!

Although I'm not doing Michelle Bridge's 12wbt I am enjoying following a few of the inspiring blogs around of people about to embark on this life changing journey (notable mentions go to 77noni and Tina at Currently Clueless). I didn't have the discipline to follow through with it last year. It really takes commitment to stick to such a rigid plan.

Good luck to all of you!

Well that's enough from me at the moment. It stopped raining a little while ago so I better get on with the day!