Ain't that the truth? The biggest disruption of sleep for me lately is restless legs syndrome. I've always had it, but for some reason taxol has made it so much worse. I can't tell you how many nights I go to bed completely exhausted, only to get up an hour later because I can't keep my legs still. It doesn't matter how tired I am - RLS doesn't care. It could be from any one of the many supplements I'm taking to counteract the side effects I have. It could be a residual effect of the taxol itself (although thankfully I did NOT have RLS during my infusion this time). It could just be my body going wonky and my nervous system being unable to handle everything being thrown at it.
It would probably help if I exercised even a little. However, on the few evenings I've managed to work up the energy to walk around or ride a few miles on my bike, the mean old RLS still kicked in, so what's the point? Taking a shower and getting dressed leaves me out of breath - exercise is out of the question these days. I have discovered that using Hubby's Tens machine helps a bit. Have you ever used one? Basically you apply these sticky patches around the area that's bothering you, and then those are hooked up to a little control unit that delivers electrical pulses through the patches. If you can get through the initial tingly, sore feeling of the electricity zapping you, it does feel really good. I wore it for about two hours tonight on the leg that was bothering me and so far so good. Unfortunately I would need another Tens unit to properly use it on both legs, so I guess I'm lucky my right leg is usually the one that acts up.
I've dealt with this annoyance for years, and have done tons of research on what helps and what doesn't. I've been on medicine for it which helped in the past, but it also caused my muscles to break down, so that's not a good trade-off. Magnesium is supposed to help. I take it every night and it hasn't helped. Potassium is supposed to help. I eat bananas at night and that hasn't helped.
I complained to my oncologist about how bad it has gotten and he prescribed Clonazepam. This is a sedative-type medicine that may not specifically target the RLS, but it does help you relax and sleep. If I'm sleeping, I'm not pacing the living room at midnight, so I'll take it.
Sleep well everyone!
(By the way, I am on page 89 - that's a lot of writing - and I have chemo brain, so if I'm repeating myself, I have a good excuse.) :-)