My doctor’s eyebrows shot up considerably when I mentioned that I was used to Restless Leg Syndrome. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember – that itching, burning, tickling, almost-pain coming from inside my limbs – and so I couldn’t quite fathom the possible significance of this. I would soon find out.
It began with night cramps. You know, those strong cramps you can get in your feet and then those truly brutal “Charley Horses” in your legs. My sleep was disturbed and, therefore, my disposition was anything but sunny.
The pain then spread to my hands, and then my ankles swelled. My coordination disappeared completely. I spent most of my days in bed and had to get around the entire house with a walking stick.
My doctor gave me painkillers (strong ones), but after ten days I was still crying with pain and back to my doctor I went. Blood tests were ordered. I have been sleeping with my feet on pillows, if I can manage to sleep at all. My feet and ankles swelled so much that I had to remove my socks (which I never do, as I cannot abide bare feet) and start wearing my husband’s slippers – twice the size of mine – which I am still having to do.
These little pills were part of the answer: Vitamin D – and a very strong dose. On my side of the pond they are Tardis Blue, but over in the States they appear to be green. Just three days in and I am feeling better; I am still in pain, but I can walk around the living room again – even if I’m still wearing Dom’s slippers.
I am posting this because Vitamin D deficiency is far more common than people think; some of us actually can’t get much exposure to sunlight due to location and/or colouring and so this is something we should all be aware of. Fifty percent of people in the British Isles are vitamin D deficient. My colouring is true Viking, and so I can’t go out in the sun for long, and neither can many other people.
Symptoms of Vit D deficiency:
Early on: cramps that you might dismiss as nothing
Restless Leg Syndrome, that you may never have experienced before
Itching from the inside all over the body
Later: Swelling of the ankles and possibly the wrists
Loss of appetite
Being in too much pain to walk
A blue colouration around the ankles and feet
Please see a doctor if you have these symptoms; all vitamin deficiencies have the potential to make you very sick or even to kill.