Friday, August 31, 2007

And Now Caffeine

I have a dear friend who has suffered for many years from restless leg syndrome. While I have probably said the appropriate things: "Poor baby," "That's rotten," etc., I know now that I should have bought him a drink and given my profound sympathy. Because I've got it bad.

It sounds idiotic, "Help, help, my legs gotta move!" But instead it is three hours of itsy, skin-crawling, hyper-body awareness that makes you feel like you've got marionette strings pulling you this way and that or else the aftereffects of really bad Speed.*

At first I patted myself on the back, told myself not to worry, that it would pass and not to be such a wuss because it wasn't like it was cancer or something serious. And then it lasted for days. Research told me that there was no known cause for it (like tinnitus, which is also harmless but a drag), but that caffeine and iron deficiency seemed related, and quitting one and adding more of the other--iron--could make a difference. The iron part was easy and a good idea--I've nearly passed out the last three times I gave blood--but the caffeine part was daunting, especially after giving up Diet Coke.

This is day 17 on the No Diet Coke watch.

But I'm doing it and it seems to be working. One hour of restless flopping instead of three. I do feel a bit pouty however. Decaf coffee is a drag and losing iced tea after using it to replace Diet Coke is Wrong. The Good Part is that I spent a guilt-free birthday on Tuesday, knowing that I was doing things for my health that I'd wanted to do for ages, and that I was turning a page in my life to choose Health over Instant Gratification.

If I could only add exercise...
*I have no actual experience in this area, but have seen it in action in others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi beren--

I'm here via your website, which I found through Women Studies. And I like your writing. I've got a blog too: Feel free to check it out.

I'm a Restless Leg Syndrome Survivor as well. One of the things that I found that helped me was consciously curling and releasing my toes about a dozen times in a row. Sometimes that times the Wild Beasties.