Isn’t this charming…
November 29, 2012
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I’ve always struggled with sleep. The idea of sleeping through the night is alien to me. I wake up frequently. Years ago I had insomnia as well. That was 99.9% resolved when I had kids. Why? I have absolutely no idea.
But, sleeping through the night and feeling rested in the morning? No. Not really. Finally a couple of years ago I had a sleep study done. You go to the sleep center, they hook electrodes up to every body part imaginable. Almost. You sleep the night away while those electrodes measure every breath and movement of your body. I did not have sleep apnea. Did you know that to be considered sleep apnea, you have to stop breathing at least five times per hour. Since I only stopped breathing 1.7 times per hour, I didn’t have sleep apnea. Well, that’s a relief that I only stopped breathing 1.7 times per hour.
The only thing that came out abnormal was … my legs. The specialist concluded that the only possibility was that I had restless leg syndrome. Which made some sense.
He prescribed a drug for it. A generic version of the drug Requip, it is primarily used for the treat of Parkinson’s Disease. It also has apparently helps with the “tremors” and muscle spasms that can cause restless leg syndrome. The one caution he gave me was that it could cause compulsive behavior. So, you know, if I liked to gamble, I might become a compulsive gambler. I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t think I had any compulsive behaviors. And, besides, I am in control. Wouldn’t be a problem.
I’ve struggled the last couple of years with this … I want to kick my daily Pepsi habit and I can’t. Just absolutely cannot do it. After years of drinking a couple of beers a night, well, my consumption has increased, and I think that increase has matched when I started taking this drug. I used to be able to control it, I don’t seem to be able to anymore. There could be plenty of reasons for this, but I have wondered in the past few months, given my difficulty with controlling these two things, whether that is my compulsive behavior that has been aggravated by taking the drug.
My favorite big-time blogger has a piece on the drug today. Here’s the Mayo Clinic study mentioned in Andrew Sullivan’s piece. These are the reasons I hate the idea of taking drugs that mess with your brain.
I think it’s time to wean myself off this drug. Truth is, I’m not sure it made that much of a difference.