Stumbled by accident upon this forum over Christmas, which I’ve been spending in bed courtesy of a nasty chest infection. I have suffered from both RLS and OSA for the past 10 years but, fortunely, both have been under control for most of this time, thanks to Pramipexole and CPAP. I’m located in the UK.
The OSA was diagnosed first at a local general hospital, but fortunately I was referred on to a specialist sleep unit, where OSA was confirmed and RLS also diagnosed by more sophisticated sleep studies.When I was shown some of the CCTV images alongside the physiological monitoring records, it was readily apparent which episodes of sleep disturbance were due to wild leg movements and which were due to apnoea. No wonder my poor wife had reached the end of her tether, what with my horrendous snoring and frequent attempts to kick her out of bed! It would be no exaggeration so say that CPAP and Pramipexole have transformed my life.
What strikes me on browsing through recent Forum posts is the very wide range and severity of symptoms that are lumped together under the heading RLS. I guess it’s not surprising that there’s no “best solution” for everyone, especially when (as seems, from the Forum, to happen not infrequently) RLS and OSA are managed by different specialists in different locations. I must be very fortunate to be cared for by a single sleep specialist, at a famous specialist Sleep Unit. Treatment is all evidence-based: no “let’s try this” or “let’s give that a go”!
I’m also fortunate in that pain has never been a major feature, although my feet do get painful at times. No, it’s the involuntary leg movements that are my main difficulty. Unless I take Pramipexole before going to the theatre, my legs start jumping about by the second half of the performance, and I had been known to throw myself violently out of bed in pre-Pramipexole days.
Interestingly, whilst I’ve been in bed over Christmas, I stupidly ran out of Pramipexole, and feared the worst, both in terms of leg movements and withdrawal symptoms, but I have experienced neither. I have, however, been taking the antibiotic, doxycycline so perhaps this is having an unexpected secondary effect. I’ll stay off the Pramipexole for the next few days and see what happens!