My Nagging Restless Legs
My restless legs are such a nag. I’ll be sitting at the computer, trying to get some work done after the kids go to bed, knowing that I’m tired but this is my time, and my restless legs will start nagging me.
“Go to bed.” They say. “Stop sitting in this chair!” They say.
“I need to work!” I tell them. “It’s only 9! I need to work until 10!”
“Go to bed.” They say, persistent. “You need to go to bed right now.”
My restless legs are incessant
If I don’t do what they say, they won’t shut up about it. I’ll be trying to concentrate, trying to read and write and type, and they’ll be chiming in over and over, more incessant than my 4-year-old when he wants a snack.
My restless legs, ironically, are hungry for a rest. They know I’m tired and trying to fight it. They don’t care at all. They want what they want. They beat to their own asynchronous drummer, making me shake my legs, tapping out an interminable rhythm as I try to work.
The anti-alarm clock
If I’m staying up past my bedtime to binge watch TV, like my mother before them, my restless legs will have their say again.
“Kick off that blanket!” They insist.
“But I’ll be cold!” I whine.
“MOVE THOSE LEGS!” They yell.
“I’m trying to watch this.” I tell them, trying to be patient. “Just one more episode?”
“TURN OVER!” They scream.
“There’s 5 minutes left!” I try. “Just 5 more minutes, please?”
My restless legs are the anti-alarm clock. They want me to go to bed NOW and they will sound the alarm until I go.
They don’t care that it’s my time to myself. They don’t care that I want to watch the end of the show. They’re going to ruin it for me. They’re going to tell me in no uncertain terms that it’s bedtime.
My restless legs demand to be heard
My best friend came to visit. Her flight was late. We sat on my couch, catching up on the everything and the nothing of our lives. I knew it was getting late, but I was so thrilled to see my best friend.
My legs had something to say about it, though. As my friend tells me a story about her work, my legs kick out, telling me it’s time to get going. I will them to be still. I will myself to focus on my friend, to nod at the right times, to ask the right follow-up questions, but my legs are speaking louder than my friend. My legs say it’s bedtime. My legs don’t love my friend like I do. They only love rest, and they will fight for rest.
Free at last
When I get to bed, my restless legs spread out under the covers, free at last. They linger against the sheets, luxuriating in their freedom.
They test the waters, asking me “Can you bend your knee a few times?”
I do. They like it.
“Can you straighten out the blanket on top of us, tuck us in better?” I try and they remind me, gently now, “Not too tight.”
My head is heavy on my pillow. My legs wander the expanse of my queen-sized bed.
“It’s okay,” I tell them. “You can rest. I’m here. We’re safe. Goodnight.”
How often do your RLS symptoms affect your mood?