Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

For everything and anything else not covered in the other RLS sections.
Post Reply
rudedoodle
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Northern Ireland
Contact:

Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rudedoodle »

I've asked on here before has anyone been able to just keep still and ride out the RLS feeling, I certainly can never manage it.

It's 12.48am here in Ireland and I'm on the sofa to let my husband sleep because my arms keep going nuts. I was trying to mentally out-think it tonight. Imagining it's just pain rather than the weird feeling. Didn't work though and I had to move.

Anyone else ever tried to convince their brain to stop taking the signals from your arms and legs to wriggle?

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7989
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by Polar Bear »

I have tried to out-think it many times - and it doesn't work for me.
It is now 5.30am here in N. Ireland and I am up doing lots of legs jiggles.
Also getting myslef mentally interested/mentally stimulated does not work for me.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

badnights
Moderator
Posts: 5852
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:20 pm
Location: Northwest Territories, Canada

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by badnights »

Distraction works for me if the WED is not too bad. It hasn't been too bad since I've been on hydromorphone.

But out-thinking it? No way. You can relax and absorb it, try to welcome it, like I can do with intense pain, but this thing is totally different. The more you ignore it, the more it grows. No, it demands movement. If I don't move, eventually it moves me. Perhaps the movement is voluntary, but it doens't feel like it. In any case, it's inevitable.

OK I will tell you the one time I exerted some control over it, but I have been embarrassed to say this ever before. I was getting my knee operated on. I had a spinal aneasthetic, so I was awake. And the sensations came, those awful creeping building building-up ..... my knee was all cut open and my legs were paralyzed. I was starting to panic. At that point, I didn't have a name for it and I had not sought a diagnosis, it had not been a big issue in my life (though it was about to become one), but I had been aware of it forever; it was just something I had. What a horror - to feel that need to move and not be able to !!! What was I to do? I was verging on panic, freaked ... so I did something very like "welcoming the pain" - I re-directed it to my genitals. I focussed it there somehow. It was the same thing, an intense building up of sensations, but it was bearable, not pleasureable but somehow bearable because it could be mistaken for a sexual thing. Now, you see why this could be mortifying to speak of, and here I am speaking of it in (effectively) public. I suppose I will regret it some day. This thing that I did in the moment of panic was effective: it let me live through the operation without whatever explosion would have happened otherwise. The RLS just did its miserable thing in that part of me, and by focussing there I could ignore the legs. It was still doing its thing in the legs too, but I could ignore it.

That's the only time I ever came close to winning over it. And you can't really call it winning. As soon as I could move again, I was moving; up until then it was in me, in one part or another.

I heard of a lady who died on the operating table; I read of this in one of my books (don't know which one right now), and they cite the "files of the RLS Foundation" as the source of information. They also say it is just one story of many. This lady died of heart failure while three doctors were trying to hold down her legs in order to insert a catheter in her vein for (I think) an angioplasty operation. She was experiencing an RLS/WED attack, and they had no clue what it was.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

rudedoodle
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rudedoodle »

Thanks for sharing that, Beth. That must have been so distressing for you. I might try the technique of attempting to mentally deflect the sensation to a different part of the body though. Interested to see if I could control it.

rthom
Posts: 1530
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:03 am

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rthom »

When i read this question i was very intrigued and my initial response was not likely. However i have always prided myself on being able to go through painful things without the aid of meds, like tooth extractions, setting bones, shoulder re-setting, stitches etc. So it seems that if i could relax or put myself in a better place for those long painful things why not the rls/wed?
On a gut level the answer stills seems to be no, but maybe i'm just copping out? I don't really think so, but maybe it's the energy and the long length of time it goes on that would make it not possible, (for me anyway) as everything else came to an end and didn't return soon.
However i also thought that in repeated trials, over days,it may just lessen it a bunch, because at least one would be more relaxed deep down and how bad can that be?!
That's as far as i got.
About your experience on the table--i found that a lot of the meds they used in surgery made my rls unbearable. (I tried to leave immediately after lung surgery, as they were taking me to ICU, they didn't have anywhere to try to push me back down, poor nurses trying to restrain me without actually touching me! They finally had to get my wife to be at my side to verbally restrain me, all because the rls was over the top.
Also, about the other thing, it's a good thing to know you have something that you can rely on to help, in cases like that. Mine is everywhere and have always been aware of that--not at all comfortable--carried confusion and shame because of it, till i found u guys, it's hard but i'm glad when people share the hard things--sometimes it helps ground others. In theis case me.
thanks Beth

rudedoodle
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rudedoodle »

RThom, that's the situation I was trying to describe, you put it more clearly- you can out think pain successfully if you are strong mentally, but could RLS be defeated with thoughts alone.
It seems from replies so far that it just can't. As much as you couldn't out think breathing for any length of time.

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7989
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by Polar Bear »

Thanks Beth, for sharing your experience.

Fortunately I have been so far able to be in a position of being well medicated and hope for the best
when at more minor events like the dentist . Once at the chiropodist I was in the chair, feet up, and
really deep breathing and trying to control my legs when all of a sudden I jumped up like a
jack in the box, '''''out of my way...... You'll have to do something else while I walk about. Neurological
movement disorder... can't help it.'''''''
Poor guy mustn't have known what hit him. :)
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

rudedoodle
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Northern Ireland
Contact:

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rudedoodle »

Luckily I've only suffered RLS ten years so far, and only from 7pm onward, so any medical situations I've no problems. I realise with the degenerative nature of the disorder, it'll be something that will be a problem in the future.

jan3213
Posts: 1706
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 8:46 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by jan3213 »

How horrible for you!!! I've had RLS since my mid-30's (well, probably all my life) and I've had numerous surgeries, including spinal fusion T6 through T12. Most of my surgeries were done under general anesthesia. However, I did have carpal tunnel surgery, which was supposed to be done under local anesthesia. They ended up having to put me out completely because I couldn't keep my hands still, even though i believe my arms were strapped down. I may not be remembering that correctly, it's been several years, but I think they were strapped down. Anyway, I've never been able to think my way out of an RLS episode. What I can do, though, is get involved in something that occupies my mind, like painting, and that does seem to help a little bit. It always scares me when I need surgery because of all the medications that make my RLS worse and the fear that my caretaker won't understand that I need my own medication to even be able to lie in that hospital bed. And badnights, the last part of your post about the woman dying was pretty frightening to read. That just emphasizes the fact that RLS is nothing to take lightly.
No one is alone who had friends.

rthom
Posts: 1530
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:03 am

Re: Can you think your way out of an RLS episode?

Post by rthom »

jan
I believe what-ever you think happened likely happened. You likely were tied down if that's your gut response to it. I believe this because three times in my life i thouht that something happened under anesthetic and was told not, just ti find out it in fact was. My psyche carried the info through to me. In the most recent occasion I thought (or dreamed) while i was out. It was about someone putting their boot up against me and that's what i asked the Dr. right after i awoke. They denied it. The dream dept re-playing during the day as a large boot shaped bruise came up. It had a clear tread print--no mistaking it there..
Just thought you'd find it interesting. Always trust your gut. :roll:
randy

Post Reply