|"Try not eating pea soup before bed."|
Seriously, over the last couple of weeks our sleep has become increasingly disturbed by periods in which our legs start spontaneously doing midnight calisthenics and high-kicking like Rockettes as we groggily look on and wonder "WTF?" This was happening several times a night.
Which is why we positioned a motion-detecting night vision camera to record video of us sleeping, a move to which our limbs clearly took exception. Because we've now not only got creepy infrared footage of our legs being possessed by Mr. Bojangles, but also a harrowing bit of video in which one arm pops upward in the dark, freezes while making a Bela Lugosi-style gesture at our face, then proceeds to start smacking us repeatedly.
And no, you can't see the video. But it's awesome and looks like it belongs in a "found footage" horror movie.
We'll be talking to our doctor about it tomorrow, but right now the smart money is on a condition called PLMD - Periodic Leg Movement Disorder. It's apparently an idiopathic condition, "idiopathic" being what doctors like to say rather than "I have no idea what's going on, but damned if I'm not going to bill you for something." And outside of causing severe sleep disruption, the condition is thought to be harmless. Unless, of course, your hand has hidden a meat-tenderizing mallet in the nightstand.
PLMD is thought to be related in some unknown way to RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome), a condition which occurs when people are awake and move their legs continuously to try to shake off the feeling that they're being bitten by millions of ants. This is also idiopathic, unless the victim happens to have a mattress teeming with actual hungry bed bugs and doesn't need a prescription so much as a can of Raid.
We're currently assuming that this weirdness is just a temporary condition related to the strong medicines we were taking for diverticulitis (all better now!) which came with such a long list of potential side effects that we bailed out after "...headache, nausea, bloody diarrhea, skin lesions, blindness, mutated offspring..." and didn't read down to the part that probably mentioned demonic possession.
We're not really worried, but if posts in the coming days seem a bit sleep-deprived you'll now know why. And if this blog suddenly starts spouting liberal dogma, by all means call in an exorcist. It means the hand has won...
|Saved by the CPAP! The suspect is described as arm and dangerous.|
From an old Seinfeld episode......you've got the 'Jimmy legs'. I hope it is only from the meds you've been on recently. All the best Doc.
Man, you need to drink a better grade of whiskey.
Best wishes with it all.
Stilton, as the attorney for your arm, I must insist that you stop your slanderous remarks about my client. Good luck with your medical remedies. In the meantime, I will try to attempt some kind of mediation.
At first, when I read the cartoon, my first thought was of the "Mad About You" episode where Paul was waking up tired & "achy" every day. (Here's a 15 second clip of the cause)
But after reading, I'm thinking, "Dayum! That sounds like "Restless Leg and One Pissed-Off Arm" syndrome.
Anyway, I hope you get it sorted out soon and get some rest. Good luck!
Duuuuude--that's rough, not only are you getting old you're body is trying to get rid of you! Hope you get better quick, or at least less active. If it were leg cramps I know several remedies that actually seem to work but this is a whole different case of weird.
Happy Feet! (and arm)
You might need to increase your intake of magnesium.
Does that new ObamaCare health thing you're now shackled to cover Eagle Rare? Any decent Doc should be able to fix you up with an Rx as long as you share a fifth with him/her now and then.
Reminds me of years ago, I went to the doc-doc for a checkup and he said he needed me to take Lipitor. To this day I thought he said I need to go to the liquor store. I was jumping up and down I was so happy as he gave me the oddest look.
Good luck with the body parts that are revolting. One thing I am sure of is you will figure it out and repair it. As Jimmy Stewart once said, "At our age, doctors don't fix nothing, they just patch, patch, patch."
This will sound weird, but it is, after all Stilton's Place. Try putting a couple bars of soap under the bottom sheet. It definitely works for nighttime leg cramps in elderly women. I have heard that it also works for Jimmy Legs. Give it a try!
My dog has the same thing.
Kramer: "You can get Jimmy-legs in your arms, too?"
Frank (Castanza): "Like you wouldn't believe!"
Stilton, is it your right or left arm that is acting up? If it's the left one, I think we can infer it is your long-repressed liberal leanings trying to foment an internal Jarlsberg revolution. Perhaps Lefty Lucy can help with some sort of "therapy".
In all seriousness, sleep disorders are a bitch, here's hoping that this too shall pass.
It's sleep apnea. My wife used to beat me up in the night till she started sleeping with a cpap.
Is it just happening when you're in REM sleep?
Because that could be its own weird thing. It also struck me that TrickyRicky (above) could be right, too: The "silent" right hemisphere of your brain could be using your left side to act out.
I had a client years back whom I was trying (successfully) to get Social Security Disability benefits. He had RLS but it happened all of the time.
I hope you figure it out. It actually sounds scary, despite the tone of this post and the comments...
Hey Anonymous, the bar of soap trick really isn't gender specific! It's supposed to work for men too, ya know! I always found pickle juice worked better for that, personally.
Try taking one or two Magnesium pills before sleep. Beware; it can cause diarrhea.
Drink some pickle juice. It helped my wife.
I think it's due to acute alcohol deprivation.
Stilton, I think the problem is your arm thinks your face is James Comey! Wear a mask to bed and see if that helps. If it doesn't, you might try a boxing glove (to give your face a break).
PLEASE make a time lapse vid with Benny HIll theme song. God bless and get better.
Reminiscent of Bruce Campbell in "The Evil Dead" - and we all know what HE did with the possessed arm...
(By the way: I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today. I can say with authority that ALL of my body parts are revolting. Count your blessings that it's only your legs and an arm..)
@George- I love the "Jimmy legs" stuff!
@Will Hepburn- Actually, I've been off booze for about two weeks. I'm probably having the DT's!
@Mike aka Proof- Well, counselor, good luck proving your client is armless!
@Jason Anyone- Good clip!
@mamafrog- The good news is that this isn't cramping. There's absolutely no pain except when I forget to duck.
@M. Mitchell Marmel- That's it! I'm possessed by Cab Calloway! At least he's cool.
@MKC- Magnesium is way up at the top of factors I'm considering. I had to stop taking my usual magnesium supplements while on antibiotics for diverticulitis, which coincides with this nuttiness. Now that I've been back on it for a couple of days, I've slept better. The camera still shows a lot of PLMD leg movement, but not much in the way of mixed martial arts.
@Section147- My great fear is that if this starts happening during the day, I'll spill my drinks.
@James Daily- Jimmy Stewart nailed it with his observation about old folks. Patch, patch, patch is right.
@Anonymous- If the cure is licking your own nutsack, I'm in trouble.
@FlyBoy- Actually all of the references to Jimmy legs and Jimmy arms make me feel better. I'm not sick, I'm just jimmied!
@TrickyRicky- You're right, it's my LEFT arm that's staging a revolution. I'll test it by looking at a picture of David Hogg and seeing if that arm spontaneously raises a fist.
@Liberty Card- I DO have sleep apnea, though have been using a cpap for years (and it's a life saver). So this appears to be something else, like sub-standard brain wiring.
@Harry Hamid- I don't know if this is limited to REM sleep. For one thing, all this activity woke me up and I could actually watch my arm doing its thing. Which is actually pretty freaky. And I'm really not overly worried yet (I certainly haven't wondered about a BRAIN TUMOR) as I think this may be something I've had for a long time, but it was amped up by my recent change in meds and supplements. Of course, even if it WAS something more concerning I'd make fun of it (and myself). As the author of "Johnny Optimism," I'd be a hypocrite to do anything else.
@Anonymous (the "soap" anonymous)- I've heard of the soap trick and am not averse to trying it if this keeps up.
@mamafrog- Pickle juice? Really? Because I could definitely drink pickle juice.
@Anonymous- Do you still get diarrhea if you take the pills orally?
@Anonymous- I'll try the pickle juice thing. Because who doesn't like a nice mouthful of garlic-flavored brine at night?
@John Canfield- It's possible. I'll start taking a medicinal dose of cheap ass scotch in the evenings to test the theory.
@Bruce Bleu- I'm thinking that I might get a fencing mask. Assuming I can find one that fits over a cpap.
@Anonymous- You're right that the video absolutely needs "Yakkity Sax" as an underscore. Also some Warner Brothers cartoon sound effects.
@Emmentaler Limburger- I was actually going to link to a Youtube video of Bruce Campbell being attacked by his possessed hand. If I ever start signing this blog as "Chainsaw Jarlsberg," you'll know why.
I suffer from RLS to some degree, or I did. After seeing an advertisement somewhere or other I did a little research on the concept of consuming 8 oz. of Tonic Water before going to bed. Some will likely say that the cure is at least as bad as the malady. In my case it works. It's apparently the quinine in it that does the trick.
Stilt, your face is rebelling against your CPAP mask. It has enlisted your arm to help it win the war.
I have found pickle juice to have many medicinal properties. When I told my Dr. that it helps with my acid stomach, he said that was crazy because that juice is toward the acid side of things. If crazy works, it's folly to be wise. I think Nero said that. Or my grandmother.
Pickle juice does cut the cramps pretty good, or if you don't have any plain yellow mustard will work but it's harder to get down. I recommend the sourest pickles you can find. Hubby was using the tonic water, but the quinine can mess with some meds so be careful. Here's what I found on it:
It does say tonic water usually doesn't cause any problems, but be aware. Don't know if it will help, but a G and T at night couldn't hurt?
I've got nothing.
I’ve had a couple episodes when during a dream where I’m fighting against an attacker I’ve actually hit my wife. Fortunately, not hurting her. That may say more about my punching strength than anything else.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Well, with the quinine, at least you'll never get malaria. I find tonic water goes down much easier if cut with and equal portion of Tanqueray and a slice of lime... And that pickle juice might be an interesting addition to a dry martinini.
See? There's ALWAYS a spoonful of SOMETHING to help the medicine go down!
I'm not a doctor, but this is obviously a malady similar to Doctor Strangelove's. Your arm has apparently become a liberal and it's trying to show you the liberal version of harmony, peace and love by punching you in the snoot. If I were you, I'd wear a neck brace in addition to your CPAP.
Or maybe it's booze and food withdrawal.
Russels leg syndrome , had great results with extra vitamin D pills. Good luck.
@Gumby-damn-it!- Tonic water, huh? I'll see if they've got a sugarless variety for me to try...
@David Roberts- Finally a scientific explanation!
@Sortahwitte- I can easily try prophylactic pickle juice (and yes, it's sophomoric fun to say "prophylactic pickle") as I love things that are salty.
@mamafrog- Thanks for reminding me to look deeper into quinine before I start self-medicating. And I suppose I could TRY a gin and tonic, but I must admit that gin is about the hardest liquor for me to get down. I think it tastes like the smell of burning hair. But then, that's another story.
@John the Econ- Wait, what?! No comment about the socio-economic and cultural significance of my sleeping habits? It's things like this that sometimes make me think that I'm not the center of the universe after all (grin).
@Bobo- Oh, I'm also an occasional dream puncher. Also, about 5 times a year I let loose with a scream at night. It's a wonder that Mrs. J hasn't already poisoned me.
@Emmentaler Limburger- A pickle juice martini? Okay, now we're getting somewhere!
@Colby Muenster- Trust me, Dr. Strangelove has been running through my mind a LOT since this nonsense started. Maybe I should get a black leather glove for my errant hand...
@kimobear- Thanks for the suggestion. I'll up my dosage of Vitamin D a bit!
Actually I think there is a sugarless one, can't remember the brand but I'm pretty sure there are store brands.
Good to hear that you are doing better with the diverticulitis. And about meds with side effects... I was recently prescribed a couple of meds whose side effects list included, wait for it..... DEATH!
I really do believe my CPAP (actually a BiPap) has saved my life. I was getting so sleepy during the day I could hardly keep my eyes open. I finally decided to get checked out when I leaned over my desk to sign a get-well or birthday card for a coworker and as the pen touched the card, I fell asleep. Scared the hell out of me. (As did also finding myself opening my eyes while driving home from work. Several times I found myself staring at an oncoming log truck.)
As far as a nice mouthful of garlic-flavored brine at night, no biggie since with your mask on, it's pretty unlikely that there'll be spontaneous middle-of-the-night osculation with the spousal unit.
Stilton, I hope you soon get over your nighttime sleeping discomforts. Sleep is supposed to be healing and soothing. My earnest good wishes to you for a return to peaceful sleep.
Stilton, I have to say you may go down in history for this!
Fist in sleep, fist in the head, fist in the face of our countryman!
I know you and Johnny O are best buds. This makes for a funny cartoon, but not life. Hope you get better soon.
@mamafrog- Oh, I'm sure I'll find a nice CHEAP generic brand to try!
@Bruce Nelson- The good thing about Death as a side effect is that you don't get all the other side effects.
@Dan- Yes, there's no way to look cool and sexy while wearing the cpap mask. Oh sure, I can try to pretend I'm a jet pilot, but it still doesn't seem to be much of a turn on for anyone (myself included). That being said, I'm thankful for the improved sleep the cpap has given me.
@Dick Paetzke- Wait, sleep is supposed to be healing and soothing?! That settles it...I'm doing something wrong!
@Mike aka Proof- I'm genuinely moved.
@Anonymous- I think it can be made funny in life, too, if I attach bells to my wrists and put hand puppets on my feet. Which I only mention because I was actually going to do the puppet thing last night for the video camera. But then I decided if I had to show the footage to a medical professional, I might be facing an involuntary psychiatric stay.
You just reminded me of an incident when I was in high school. I woke up one night and my arm had gone to sleep. I lifted it with the wide-awake arm and shook it. The awake arm got tired so it let go of it's sleeping sibling. The dead-weight arm fell like a rock and gave me a black eye. Had fun explaining that the next day. :D
Nothing as practical as a pickle martini (well, maybe a vodka tonic, w/ lemon?) but until you find a cure you might be able to contain it w/ a bathrobe belt? Tie it as short about the waist as you can, there might be enough left to corral the wrist?
Just a thought.
The hand puppets sound hysterical, but yeah, from a docco standpoint, it might not be the statement you want to be making...
Hope it goes away even faster than it came on!
@LenSatic- Bodies are funny things...
@Pete (Detroit)- The bathrobe belt isn't a bad idea, except that so far both of my legs and the left arm are in on it (the right hand just drums its fingers. Literally.) so I'd pretty much need all my extremities tied down. Basically "50 Shades of Grey Hair."
You have my sympathy! I, too, have PLM Disorder which was the diagnosis after 'Sleep Study' a few years ago. I was not aware of the problem but my Sweetie was because he surely suffered from my legs' movements. Unfortunately, a solution is separate beds.
I don't know about restless legs but keeping a bottle of tonic water which has quinine in it and it is stated on the front label, (but is not included among ingredients), by Schweppes or by Canada Dry, on the bedside table, and drinking it when needed, or taking some OTC potassium pills and eating bananas, sure kills nighttime leg cramps. (It is probably best to avoid artificial sweeteners.)
The OTC bottle I have of potassium states that taking 1 tablet equals 3% of a daily requirement. The bottle suggests 1 a day with food, but I only take 1 at night when I feel a leg cramp and hobble into the kitchen and take it with water.
"Wait, what?! No comment about the socio-economic and cultural significance of my sleeping habits? It's things like this that sometimes make me think that I'm not the center of the universe after all (grin).
Nope, even though the economic impact of your sleep disorder are probably considerable. Not spending a half-hour considering it meant more time working, which also meant an increased federal and state tax liability.
Actually, it didn't. I woke up with a migraine and really wasn't in the mood for much of anything.
@GRITS- Apparently it's fairly common for folks with PLM disorder to be made aware of it by their spouses. Like, for instance, when they get tired of you kicking and hold a pillow over your face. (grin)
@Tmay- I'll pretty much be trying all of these suggestions. Thanks!
@John the Econ- Oh, man...I'm sorry about the migraine. If I had to choose between migraines and haunted extremities, I'd definitely take the latter. Hope those headaches don't happen too often.
@Readers- Just a quick update; I went to the doctor today and we enjoyed a jolly laugh over the video of my smacking myself around. After which he said I need to see a neurologist and probably get an EEG and an MRI. It seems to me like it would be simpler if I just miracle-glued a bowling ball to my hand so I couldn't lift it at night.
Dear Lord, more tests and hopefully they are covered! He didn' think it was the meds?
Thanks. Fortunately, they are relatively rare with me and not as severe as for some people I know. But when they do happen, they have the tendency to trash my entire day. I really feel for those who get them on a regular basis.
Good luck with your Dr. Strangelove arm. Hopefully it's proclivity can be harnessed for good instead of evil.
@mamafrog- Actually my doctor does think there may be a drug side-effect to blame, albeit not from the antibiotics I was recently on. I think he wants me to go the neurological route in an abundance of caution, and also to give him solid data on whether or not my meds will be changing in the future. And theoretically Medicare should cover my testing.
@John the Econ- I have special sympathy for those afflicted with headaches because I spent much of a year (long ago) with daily headaches that were enormously disruptive to my life at the time. There's no place to hide from the pain.
If you can't adjust to the CPAP get a chin strap. Snore Shield is a good one.
@Anonymous- I've been using the cpap for years and do just fine with it. I do own a chin strap but really never need it, except maybe to keep me from overeating (grin).
Years ago after moving to higher, dryer environs, I started getting early-morning sinus headaches that would transition to migraines by morning three or more times a week. That was strange, because that had never happened before when I'd be at where I now live. While the nature of most of my work could tolerate an unpredictable lost day now and then, two or three during the work week was not sustainable. After seeing an allergist and starting treatments, the problem largely disappeared after about 3 months. They are no mercifully rare.
I find migraines are the worst, because unlike normal headaches where a good nap usually vanquishes them, there is no escape. Fortunately, I don't get the really bad ones that some people do, with the "auras" and all. Just enough to wreck your mood for doing anything.
OK. I gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome and a torn rotator cuff from sleeping in the wrong position for too many nights but punching yourself in your sleep? Man, that’s something.
Oh, and be careful with the bowling ball. Your arm might be determined.
Prayer will help your situation.
Post a Comment