a person sits in a house window holding onto the window panes like jail bars, they are dressed up in warm clothes as it snows heavily outside

Living With RLS in the Great White North

I am blessed to live in Canada, a.k.a. "The Great White North." Be honest, how many of you did the “Cooo, loo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coooo!” bit in your head? For those of you who are left scratching your head, I apologize. The characters Bob and Doug McKenzie were created on an old Canadian TV show called “SCTV,” the Canadian version of "SNL." If you live in North America, you may have heard their Christmas song over the holidays, “The 12 Days of Christmas" (“and a beer in a tree”).

My medication made me more susceptible to the cold

Anywho, back to it. So I live in Canada, and this winter was a particularly cold one due to an artic snap we ended up getting. Between the hottest day we had that summer to the coldest day in the winter, there was a 68-degree temperature change.

Through part of the winter, I was on a medication that made me even more susceptible to the cold than I normally am due to my fibromyalgia. When I get too cold, I start to shiver and everything starts to painfully seize up on me, even my neck.

Thermal gear helps in colder areas

Last Autumn I was able to get some good long johns (not the doughnut, the thermal long underwear that goes down to your feet) and a thermal undershirt when I went to visit my Dad. He lives in a colder region so the thermal gear is a lot better than where I live.

I also bought a thermal toque (winter hat) and a heavy-duty winter coat. That being said, there were many times it was too cold to go out.

Winter poses obstacles to safe activity

Another major issue is that there are several homes in my neighbourhood that don’t shovel their sidewalks, and it’s an unsafe challenge to navigate.

Before the pandemic, I would be able to at least go walking around places indoors like the mall or an indoor sports arena that has walking hours during the wintertime. Not being able to walk much has definitely made my RLS start to flare up sooner and the pain more intense right from onset.

Thankfully, temperatures are starting to climb and most of the snow has melted, so soon I will be able to get out for walks again. As soon as the dust advisories end.

A parody of a carol I wrote about my RLS

Now for something a little different. Here is me being silly and doing a parody of the Christmas carol, “Silent Night”:

Silent day, freezing day,
Legs aren’t calm, legs wanna move,
It's too cold to go out walking,
Holy I wish I could sleep tonight,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep without pain tonight.

Silent day, freezing day,
Legs quake from RLS.
Temperature minus 20,
Oh how I wish it was a spring day,
Oh my legs hurt so bad,
Oh my legs hurt so bad.

Silent day, freezing day,
Soon Spring will come my way.
But until then my legs suffer
From all the RLS aches and pain,
Let there be relief soon
Let there be relief soon.

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