A Day in the Life of an RLS Patient
Most times I don't know when my day starts or when it ends. I could go to sleep as early as 6 PM, and at 1 AM my RLS has taken center stage and will remain so for the rest of the day.
Other days it's 3 AM and sometimes I manage to fall back asleep for a few more hours and wake up at about 5 AM. I have no say in what time my day starts; most times I just toss and turn and wonder what I wouldn't give for a good night's rest.
What the start of my day looks like
However, regardless of what time I wake up, my day properly starts at 5:45 AM. First thing I do is snooze my alarm, then say a prayer. My prayers vary, depending on my mood. Sometimes it takes a few seconds, other times some minutes.
Afterwards, I scroll through my Instagram feed to see what's going on. Finally, I get up and take a leisurely stroll to the bathroom. I sit on the toilet and pee, and this is when I check my to-do list for the day as well emails that came in from different time zones during the night.
Then I brush my teeth and drink some water. It's usually sparkling water, as I detest actual water (I know, I know. Don't judge me, I'm working on it).
For some relief for my legs, I grab my skipping rope
While I'm drinking water, I set my daily alarms. These are meant to remind me of meetings, pick-up time for my kids (I tend to get engrossed in something and lose the time), medication times (else I just forget to take them), and any other thing that might fall through the cracks throughout the day.
I figure out and make breakfast and pick out clothes for my kids and I. By now it's about 7:30 AM; the majority of the time, the noise from the kitchen would wake them up and if not, this is when I wake them up.
They brush their teeth. I bathe them and help my younger one get dressed, and then they sit down for breakfast. This is when I grab my skipping rope and get about 100 skips in. I have found that this helps my legs exponentially throughout the day. Then I take a shower, get dressed, and by 8:30 AM, it's time to leave the house.
How I manage my work day: tea, meds, and walks
Once I drop off my kids at school, I drive to the office. Now, this varies. Some days, if my legs are acting up more than usual, I take a cab, as it is safer than driving with chronic RLS.
I generally get to my office at about 9:15 AM; then I make a cup of raspberry tea, as I am not really a fan of breakfast. Then I take whatever cocktail of meds I need that morning and proceed to start my work day.
I make it a point to get up and walk around every 45 minutes to relieve my legs even when I have meetings. This is the only way I can get through the day without screaming.
I generally eat lunch at about 1 PM on work days. It's cheaper to bring food to work, but most times I opt to go out for lunch as it gives me time to also stretch my legs, especially in the summer and fall months.
After work, I head to the gym for a workout and hydro massage
I leave work at about 4 PM, pick up my kids, and head home. Once we are all washed up, I give them a light snack because I don't want them to be too full for dinner. I either then start on dinner, or if it's already pre-made, I take an overview of my day and make plans for the next day.
Then the kids and I head to the gym, where I typically spend about an hour working out and then 30 minutes getting a hydro massage. This is a practice that I have also found helps me sleep slightly better at night.
Once the kids go to sleep, it's the Restless Legs Show
Once we get home at about 7 PM, we all have dinner together and catch up on all the day's activities. We do any homework afterwards and watch one episode of whatever show we're currently watching. Then we pray and I send the kids to bed at about 9 PM.
Once they go to sleep, I take my night meds and also try to get some sleep. Very few times, it works, but the majority of the time it doesn't. From this point onwards, it's the Restless Legs Show.
I toss, turn, skulk around my house like Casper, scream into the pillow, eat ice cream, watch 5 episodes of "Sex and the City," read a book, call my mum, cry, write, wonder who created God, think of ways to become a millionaire! Gosh, the list is endless.
A lot happens at the Restless Legs Show. It would be epic if it wasn't so sad and frustrating. It's 10 PM now, so we know what kind of night I'm having. I'll just go back to my almost-melted ice cream now.
How often do your RLS symptoms affect your mood?