Tuesday, December 20, 2011


No matter your religious beliefs and holiday practices (or lack thereof); this seems to be a season of reflection for many people. 2011 is drawing to a close and as with most years, it has been a mixed bag of accomplishments and memories. I feel that I have accomplished a lot, both personally and with the Foundation but there is still so much left undone.

We aren’t where we want to be in the matter of RLS/WED. There still is a huge need for better medications, more understanding doctors and most importantly of all—there still is no cure. We often focus on the negative side when it comes to this disorder and that is completely understandable. Even if we go through a period where our RLS/WED is mostly under control and we are getting some rest, we know that it is unlikely to stay that way.

However, this blog is going to be about blessings. “Blessings”, according to Webster are “things conducive to happiness or welfare.” So in the case of RLS/WED, here are a few of my blessings to share with you.

1. I know what I have and how to deal with it. It wasn’t that long ago that I had no idea what was wrong with me. I was told all kinds of things—none of which were right. I was made to feel like I was a hypochondriac, looking for sympathy or just plain crazy. Now I know what I have. I know the medications that will work (at least most of the time) and which ones won’t. I know what things to avoid to prevent an attack. Yes, there are still times when nothing works but it sure beats the times when I HAD nothing.
2. There is on-line, reliable information. When RLS started running my life, there was no computer access for the average person. If I had a question or needed information, I had to rely on my doctor-and we all know how helpful that was. Now, within seconds I can look up practically anything I need to. The problem is to make sure it is reliable information and the solution is to know your sources.
3. There are medications and treatments available to me. They may not always work and some don’t work at all but I do have options. Supplementing my calcium (which was my early doctor’s only suggestion) did not work, since that wasn’t the problem in the first place. And while we wait anxiously and impatiently for new medications, at least now there is research being done on RLS. We wish it would go faster but just a few short years ago, there was next to no interest in research or in us as patients.
4. I am not alone. This is the biggest blessing of them all. There were so many nights of walking the floor, feeling like I was the only person awake in the world. And why was I awake? No one could tell me. Now, I am in contact daily with people who understand exactly what I am going through. I have a network of people I can call on for support or just to listen to me vent. I have friends from around the world who care about me. I have some who have become heart-family. We are connected. Through exchanging bits and pieces at meetings or on the discussion board, we became friends and now we are family.

I am blessed. So are you. A new friend on the RLS Facebook site recently suggested that we keep a list. “Think of something good about the day and write it down. Keep writing down the good things and keep the list where you can see it. Read it as often as you can and every time you do, be thankful for these things. Keep your mind on what is good.” Thanks, Penny. Another blessing to be counted!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Have a Great Day. To each his blessed own.

Moon and Stars,