Thursday, July 19, 2007


New studies out of Iceland have found the gene causing Restless Leg Syndrome (jimmy legs). Certain skeptical physicians had never admitted that RLS was a real disorder, despite the fact that millions of dollars are spent for its treatment each year, most of it on a couple of preventitive drugs.

I am a self diagnosed (actually wife diagnosed) sufferer of RLS. Although the real RLS sufferer is the person that has the misfortune to sleep with you.Generally, they get less sleep and more bruises than the one who actually has jimmy legs. I have never asked for the drug because I knew I'd have to do a sleep study to get them. The last time I got a sleep study I was given a life sentence of sleeping with a C-Pap machine. I just don't want any more sleep studies.

It is also true that I have a fairly light case of RLS. I have never experienced the creepy crawly feelings in my legs described by those with severe cases. Sometimes, whem I'm lying in bed, my legs just feel like moving.Generally, I move them. Generally, my wife then throws an elbow into my ribs.Generally, this stops the problem. Now and then it does not, and my wife shouts something vulgar at me and takes the six foot long pillow she sleeps with and storms out of the room.She does not come back until it is time for her to yell at me about not making the bed.

Why Icelanders are being studied for RLS is beyond me. They are not a good control group because they are so far north. That means that the sun is always up or down there. When they get into bed they are either not tired at all, or dog tired. That could throw off the whole experiment.I know that the claim is that a gene has been isolated in the bodies of the Icelanders, but does anyone really know what that means ? Did they take a microscope and look at Icelandic legs until they fond a gene that appeared to be thrashing around ? Or is it just that Icelanders with a particular gene tend to thrash around more than others ? That's no proof at all, and even if it was, they would need to repeat the experiment for people who don't practically live at the North Pole. There's no telling what that cold does to your genes.

In the pantheon of disorders, malaises and diseases I suffer from, RLS is pretty close to the bottom. I have had paper cuts I have worried more about(primarily because I had just read another story about flesh eating bacteria). No one has ever dies of RLS, although a few have been murdered because of it. I'm going to stay the course of non-treatment for my jimmy legs and just hope for the best as far as the marriage is concerned. I would think that after 34 years of putting up with almost everything under the sun from me, a little light midnight kick in the shins probably will not be the straw that breaks the back. If I were you, I'd put my money on failing to make the bed. That can really get a guy in trouble.


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