As a child, I was called a “fidgeter”, a moniker that persists to this day.  However, my being an irritant is a direct result of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), not willful intent. The irritation I can do without moving.

For those that are not familiar with RLS here is what the NHS has to say on the subject:

“Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move the legs.  It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected too.  Restless legs syndrome is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS). [1]”

I am a textbook case.  My legs twitch in the evening and I jump in my sleep, often waking myself up and scaring the crap out of Mrs W.  It is very hard to explain how RLS feels and the best I can offer is the sensation you get with a heavy cold where the inside of your head itches and you feel like tearing your face off just to get to it, like that but on the inside of the legs and arms.

For me there is only one respite, moving.  Once my legs start to jump I have to get up and walk around.  Stretching and foam rolling helps to keep the symptoms at bay, but on bad days I just walk around the house or go outside for a while.

RLS looks to be hereditary as my mother suffers from the condition, however, to my knowledge neither of my children do.  There are also links to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and iron deficiencies [2], however, neither of these apply to me, I just fidget.

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Further Reading