Humpty Dumpty walking and humming happily, and then Humpty Dumpty on the floor looking hurt.

Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall

The titular anthropomorphic egg "Humpty Dumpty" has been on my mind since December. Maybe because in some ways I can relate to it.

In December, I decided it was time to take exercising and my overall wellness seriously and register at the gym. This was a decision I was happy about and I was quite proud of myself for how great and consistent I'd been, considering the fact that I'm a master procrastinator.

That was not to last very long.

I developed numbness in my legs

Prior to this, I had started experiencing numbness on my legs sporadically. Once this happened, I had to sit or lie down immediately else I'd fall over. I also noticed this happened mostly in the early hours of the morning, so I tried to stay in bed until I thought it had passed.

This worked quite well until it didn't. I had gone to the gym much like any other day, and like always, I worked out and decided to do a fast run on the treadmill before heading home, as this helps my legs and my heart. It was going so well when suddenly I felt numbness in my legs, and the next thing I remembered was feeling a sharp pain and hearing voices floating around.

Falling on the treadmill was the most painful experience of my life

Turns out when my legs went numb, I fell on the treadmill and my shirt got caught in the slides with the treadmill still moving rapidly. I could feel the hot slides of the treadmill tear at my pants and the abrasions and lacerations as they happened. It was the most painful experience of my life.

Eventually I passed out from the pain and when next I woke up, I was on the way to the emergency room. It so happened that I also had a leg fracture and a sprain on my arm.

I had been living in denial about the severity of my RLS

One thing stood out for me, though. I remember thinking, "Hey, maybe the pain of broken bones will drown out my RLS symptoms."

It was also in that moment that I realized how miserable RLS made me. I mean, I know I really, really hate having restless legs syndrome, but I also thought I'd learnt how to deal. But riding in that ambulance with that thought crossing my mind showed me how much I'd been living in denial about the true extent of how RLS has affected my life.

Caring for myself the way I care for others

I am the go-to person for others with RLS. I'm the one constantly having to give others comfort — I realized that I've bottled so much in. Like Humpty Dumpty, I had a great fall, and no one was going to be able to put me together again except maybe myself. The mental wall had come tumbling down and I didn't know how I was going to deal.

For days I was numb. The doctors would often comment about my high threshold for pain. If only they knew it was because my emotional pain was so great, it surpassed my physical pain.

After a few weeks, I started summoning the strength to get back up again. I couldn't stay down for too long. I have people who need me, kids who are dependent on me, and most importantly, I need me!

I now know where my boundaries and limits are

The long and short of it is that I know now how badly this affects me, so it's put me in a position where I know to seek help, I know to stop when needed, I know to cry when it gets too much, and I know to not shove it all into my brain compartments.

My legs are healing, my mind is healing the best it can given the circumstances, my old friend RLS is still here, but most importantly, I'm still here.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

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

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

What is the average amount of sleep you get per night?