As Different As Night and Day
As a long-term sufferer of RLS, my symptoms predominantly show themselves at night, leading to prolonged episodes of my life being turned upside down.
Recently I have been experiencing symptoms more frequently during the day, leading me to experience what it is like to have to cope with my condition whilst others are around me.
Visible RLS symptoms can frustrate others
It comes with the realization that, try as we might, RLS is easier to handle when there is no one else around. The pacing that is involved in trying to either distract your mind or legs, methodical as it must be, can frustrate others in your company.
Due to other comorbidities, I cannot sit or stand for long periods of time. This results in bouts of either sitting and jiggling my legs whilst waiting for the crawling feeling to abate, or pacing up and down, or round and round, wearing a pronounced groove into my flooring.
Unannounced visitors caught me at a bad time
Visitors popped 'round to see me the other day, uninvited and unannounced. My RLS was having an "arse-about-face" moment, where it had decided to show itself during the daytime hours just to keep me on my toes!
Apart from the Walking Dead that answered the door to them, they didn't seem to recognize that anything was wrong, cheerily striding in and commenting on the fact that I was still in my pajamas at 2 PM (which they seemed to find hilarious!) and hinting at the fact the house looked like a bomb had hit it.
These jolly interlopers made themselves at home — moving my pillows, duvet, and heated blanket to one side so they could sit on the sofa, grasping my remote control and thoughtlessly turning my TV over. Once again, the penny hadn't dropped that maybe I wasn't in the mood — physically or mentally — to entertain guests.
Unable to keep still in front of my company
As any RLS sufferer knows, the most annoying symptom of the condition is the inability to sit still. In my case, heat helps sometimes. Considering my callers had scrunched my blanket up, it most definitely wasn't covering me, leading to the return of the creepy crawlies.
RLS is not a subtle ailment. When it is in full swing, you and everyone around you know it. Enter Nikki the "expectant father," tramping around the flat and shaking out my arms mid-lap as they were threatening to join in the fun, too. You could see my companions looking at one another with a suspicious look on their eyebrows: 'What the blazes is she doing?'
I wasn't being rude, I have a medical condition
Unsure if it was me tutting at them that gave them the idea that maybe just dropping in on me was not the best idea they had had that week so far, or the fact that I hadn't stayed in the room for more than a minute during their whole stay up to that point, they made the decision to "leave me to get on with it."
Just as they left the threshold of my front door, I stated loudly, "Apologies for my unsportsmanlike conduct today. My restless legs syndrome is in full flow!"
Watching it dawn on them that I wasn't being rude, and that my medical conditions are the last things on their minds as my friends, was miraculous.
I wish I was as able to forget my pain as they are.
Do you feel comfortable advocating for yourself in a medical setting?