Two legs showing the bones inside that are radiating pain lines from the joints

Arthritis: One More Thing to Worry About

A few months ago, I started waking up with so much pain in my joints, especially my tibiofemoral joint. This used to happen once in while, but this time it was different.

At first, I just joked about 'getting old'

At first, I felt it was just a side effect of my restless legs syndrome (RLS), as usual, so I just joked about it. I'd tell my girls, "Mommy is getting old. That's why you can hear my bones speak now."

However, as time went on, it got worse. The pain would last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. I was fatigued more than usual. I was so lethargic and would get feverish from time to time.

My doctor said his RLS patients often end up with arthritis

I went to see my doctor, and he ran a few tests and deduced that I may have arthritis. I was so sad; I already had so much to deal with, and now this, so of course I had to ask what could have caused it.

According to him, there are numerous factors which include age (note that I'm in my early 30s, so this shouldn't even apply to me), family history,  gender (apparently, women are more at risk for arthritis than men — as if women didn't have enough to deal with already), the immune system not functioning properly, obesity, previous injuries to one's joints, and then he added the last one: "In my experience, people with restless legs syndrome that I have seen most often also end up with arthritis."

Yet again, I have something else to worry about

For some reason, this didn't even shock me. Restless legs syndrome has been the cause of most major health events in my life, so why should this be any different?

Anyway, I asked for a requisition for further tests to rule out the other usual suspects, but deep down I knew RLS would be the culprit.

When the results came back, of course they showed I was a paragon of health. So, ding ding ding! Restless legs syndrome does it again. I've been eating healthy, I've been exercising as regularly as I can, and yet here I am yet again with something else to worry about.

To anyone else experiencing RLS complications, hang in there

Anxiety started to creep in one more time; however, at the beginning of this year, I promised to get my anxiety in check and have been doing good so far. So I took a deep breath, pulled out my laptop, and began to write this article.

My name is Joy, and this is my villain origin story.

I kid, I kid. But I have an agreement with myself that I wouldn't die until I was, at the very least, 80 years old, so I am putting that into the world and holding God and the universe to it!

To anyone else going through other complications due to RLS, please hang in there. I do believe it will get better. I have to!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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