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What Fun! RLS Symptom Pattern Changes

Last updated: June 2022

I have been having some health issues lately, which is leading to some constant daytime fatigue and a need for a great deal of rest. It could be because I just am having a great deal of trouble recovering from the bout of COVID I had in February. It seems to have knocked my restless legs syndrome (RLS) cycle through a loop as well, with a lot of erratic daytime symptoms.

It's hard to tell the difference between my paresthesia and RLS onset

I have been getting some rather intense paresthesia lately as well, so crossing over the line between very intense tingling in my legs, arms, face, and so forth to the start of my RLS is really hard to tell. I can't exactly know when to start taking my medication until the RLS goes completely nutbars. And then I am playing catch-up all night.

It seems like the longer I have intense RLS symptoms during the day, the harder it is to manage with my medication dosage. I have to spread my medication out throughout the day, leaving me a lower dosage at night when I need it most of all.

My daytime RLS symptoms have become more noticeable over time

My restless legs syndrome at its worst, when I had no treatment or management, occurred in my legs, arms, and torso — and was rather painful at that. Due to the intensity and pain, it was literally impossible to sleep with. However, one good thing was that the daytime symptoms were generally rarer and mild.

Over time, though, my daytime symptoms have been more notable for sure. However, with medication, the painful intensity of my RLS is definitely reduced. I also wasn't really getting it in my torso and arms much at all anymore.

Intense restlessness in my feet and hands

But that has once again changed. Lately, starting in the early evening or in the afternoon, even, I am getting really intense RLS in my feet and hands — intense enough to need medication for sure. Not my entire arm or entire leg — just the feet and the hands, which is odd.

It drives me nuts in the hands. I shake them violently to just try and reduce it while waiting for the medication to kick in, or open and close my hand into a tight fist and release over and over.

When symptom patterns and causes are unpredictable

I question what causes these abrupt changes in the pattern and intensity of the symptoms when it isn't due to getting used to medication, lifestyle changes, or sleep dysfunction. In fact, because I haven't been feeling well, I have been sleeping a lot and quite well. Lack of sleep definitely makes me feel worse.

Does too much sleep also do that? Or poor health? Certainly, I have not been feeling well. And when you are not feeling well, it is hard to say what is causing that decline, so there could be any sort of factor there making my RLS go wonky.

All I can do is focus on recovery and rest with my health and hope the RLS reboots with the rest of me (maybe). And, of course, if not, discuss the issue with my neurologist.

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