Sleep is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted. And then, suddenly, a beast called restless leg syndrome enters your life, and the whole world turns upside down. And now all you can think about is what you would give to get a good night’s rest.
The 20 Year Battle
For Bonnie Pederson, this battle had been going on for two decades. “About 20 years ago, I started having all the symptoms of restless leg syndrome,” says Bonnie. “Burning, tingling, numbness, the constant need to move, and pain especially on the inside and outside of my legs. There were very few nights I didn’t have at least one of these symptoms, and I was getting maybe 2-3 hours of a sleep a night, combined.”
No Diagnosis, No Relief
Determined to find an answer, Bonnie began going to a variety of doctors. “Back then, they really didn’t even have a diagnosis for it. They called it ‘nervous legs’ and there wasn’t really any known treatment or cure,” Bonnie recalls. “I went to a neurologist, a back doctor, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a holistic medicine doctor, an orthopedic doctor…Then I tried medication, got a trainer, went through sleep tests etc.
I tried everything. Not to mention scouring the Internet for any remedies I could find. You finally just hit a wall where you start to accept that this is just your life.”
“I live in Las Vegas, and I worked with Anderson Podiatry Center as a contractor to help with office administration,” Bonnie explains. “One day, I came in for a business trip and mentioned that I was having a little trouble “ramping up” that day because I don’t typically sleep at night and it becomes hard to focus after awhile. Dr. Anderson began to tell me about the treatment he offers for restless leg syndrome and I was shocked. No one ever mentioned seeing a podiatrist to me before.”
A Breakthrough Treatment Option
Dr. James Anderson, DPM, says “We believe that the source of restless leg syndrome comes from nerves becoming compressed in the legs. We can go in and surgically open up these nerve tunnels to allow the nerves to return to their normal function. The procedure is outpatient, only takes about 40 minutes, and we have found that many patients are experiencing long lasting relief. They can sleep, get off their medications, or at least lower the dose, return to their normal activities, and it significantly improves their quality of life.”
My Life Today
After she had nerve decompression surgery in October 2016, Bonnie immediately noticed sensation returning to her feet. “I could tell the difference in temperature and texture, I knew if I was stepping on carpet or hard floors and if they were hot and cold, and I began to sleep for 5 hours a night,” Bonnie says. “Now, on average, I sleep for 7 hours every night. I can work full-time and sit at a desk without trouble. Now, I am back to walking and biking and hiking. Just sitting down to read a book, and going to see a movie with my daughter without having to get up and pace the back of the room is amazing.”
A Word of Wisdom
For other people struggling with restless leg syndrome and neuropathy, and it feels like there is no hope, Bonnie says this. “Just pick up the phone and call. You have to be willing to step outside the box and continue to try something else. This surgery is something that no one else knew about and as a result, I struggled with restless legs for more than 20 years. Now, I’m just trying to wrap my mind around how my whole life has changed.”
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