Tripping Over your own Legs

Restless leg syndrome is about 10 times more common in people with FM than those without, which might be just one reason we often report difficulty sleeping, according to new research.

RLSRestless leg syndrome is another condition doctors don’t totally understand; it causes people to want to move and stretch their legs constantly to relieve discomfort they feel deep in their thighs and calves.

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle describe their study of sleep quality in two groups. The first group consisted of 172 people, 93 per cent of them women, with FM and an average age of 50. The control group consisted of 63 people without FM, 56 per cent of them women, with an average age of 41. Both groups were asked a series of questions to assess their quality of sleep and level of insomnia. The results showed restless leg syndrome in 33 per cent of those with FM and just 3.1 per cent of those in the control group.

“Restless leg syndrome can be associated with a number of primary disorders, such as anaemia and kidney failure. I think this study suggests we should add fibromyalgia to the potential associations of restless leg syndrome,” says Nathaniel F. Watson, MD, one of the study authors and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“I think this is likely going to be new information to many. Restless leg syndrome is somewhat of an esoteric diagnosis that many providers may not be aware of.  They may not be asking their patients the right questions to get to the right diagnosis, so it may be something people have been experiencing, but didn’t know it was a treatable disorder,” Dr. Watson says.

“We do have good treatments for it,” he adds, such as ropinirole, or Requip, and pramipexole, or Mirapex, which are approved to treat restless leg syndrome. “[Medication] can vastly improve it in some instances. It can go away completely. It just depends on the patient.”

restless_leg_syndromeTheodore Fields, MD, an attending physician in rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, says (and we know from personal experience) that data going back for years suggests that sleep and FM are tightly connected. He believes restless leg syndrome could be a factor in a subset of people with FM.

“It makes sense to me that any cause of insomnia can be related to fibromyalgia, which has been clearly shown to be related to lack of sleep. Periodic leg movements during sleep have been previously associated with fibromyalgia, and the results of this study are not unexpected,” Dr Fields says.

dogHe points out that the study used a self-administered questionnaire, which can be less accurate than a personal interview. He also says medications were not controlled for and researchers did not gather information on other medical issues or sleep problems, but he still believes the conclusion could be useful for patients and physicians.

“Restless leg syndrome is a condition that physicians may not routinely ask about, so this information may make it more likely they will begin to query patients about it.  Since it’s treatable, that’s an advantage for patients,” Dr Fields says.

People with FM who have leg discomfort that keeps them awake at night should mention it to their doctor to have it assessed and dealt with. “It’s reasonable to think that more continuous, longer, better quality sleep would have a positive impact on fibromyalgia, as it does on many medical disorders,” he says.


Happy Australia Day!

australiaOn January 26, 1788, the First Fleet of 11 ships from Great Britain arrived at Port Jackson, which now forms Sydney Harbour. The First Fleet was led by Captain Arthur Philip. He established the Colony of New South Wales, the first penal colony in Australia. By 1808, January 26 was being celebrated as “First Landing Day” or “Foundation Day” with drinking and merriment (and not much has changed!).

Thirty years after the arrival of the First Fleet, in 1818, the Governor of Australia ordered a 30-gun salute, hosted a dinner ball at Government House and gave government employees a holiday. In the following years, employees of banks and other organisations were also given holidays. In the following decades, horse racing and regattas were popular activities on January 26.

In 1838, Foundation Day was Australia’s first public holiday. It was also the occasion of the first public celebrations of the founding of Australia. The shores of Sydney Harbour were crowded and there was a firework display. By 1888, January 26 had become known as ‘Anniversary Day’ was celebrated in all colonies except Adelaide. In 1888, the centenary of the arrival of the First Fleet was celebrated with ceremonies, exhibitions, banquets, regattas, fireworks and the unveiling of a statue of Queen Victoria.

The colonies of Australia federated to become a single Commonwealth in 1901. That year, Australia’s first Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Sir Edmund Barton announced an international competition to design a flag for the new nation. It attracted 32,823 entries. Five near-identical entries were awarded equal first and the designers shared the £200 prize.

The Aussie Flag was flown for the first time in September 1901 at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne, the seat of the federal government at the time. It can be flown every day of the year. As the nation’s foremost symbol, the flag should be used with respect and dignity.

The Aboriginal flag was designed by Harold Thomas, a Luritja man from Central Australia. It was created as a symbol of unity and national identity for Aboriginal people during the land rights movement of the early 1970s.

The Aboriginal flag was designed by Harold Thomas, a Luritja man from Central Australia. It was created as a symbol of unity and national identity for Aboriginal people during the land rights movement of the early 1970s.

By 1935, January 26 was known as Australia Day in all states except New South Wales, where it was still called Anniversary Day. In 1938, large-scale celebrations were held. These included a re-enactment of the landing of the First Fleet, which did not mention the convict status of many of the passengers on these ships. The re-enactment included the removal of a group of Aborigines. Shortly before the celebrations, a group of Aboriginal activists arranged a “Day of Mourning”. They used this to campaign for citizenship and equal rights for Aborigines.

From 1946, January 26 was known as Australia Day in all states. However, the public holiday was moved to the Monday nearest to January 26 to create a long weekend.  Since 1994, the Australia Day public holiday has been on January 26 in all states and territories.

The anniversary of the first permanent European settlement in Australia is not a cause for celebration for all citizens. Indigenous Australians often feel that the celebrations on Australia Day exclude them and their culture, which was thriving for thousands of years before the arrival of the First Fleet.

thNotwithstanding, it is an opportunity for ALL Australians to come together to celebrate their country and culture (most at BBQs & picnics). There are reflections on the achievements of the nation and explorations of way to make the country even better in the future.

Australia Day is a public holiday in all states and territories. All schools and post offices are closed. Some public transport services do not operate and others run a reduced service. Stores are often open, but most have reduced opening hours.

In some places, particularly Lake Burley Griffin, spectacular public fireworks displays are held. In addition, the Australian of the Year Awards are presented. These are awards for Australians who have made an outstanding contribution to their country or community.

So I’m off to celebrate but here are some interesting facts:

  • Australian_Coat_of_ArmsThe Australian Coat Of Arms has on it a kangaroo and an emu. The reason for this is that the kangaroo and the emu cannot go backwards but can only walk forwards.
  • Australia is the sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the United States of America and Brazil. However our population remains relatively small at just over 20 million.
  • Australia is the only country that is a continent. The mainland is the largest island and the smallest, flattest continent on Earth.
  • Australia is the driest, inhabited continent on earth. The only continent drier than Australia is Antarctica.
  • The interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi-arid.
  • More than 40 000 years before the arrival of European settlers, there were an estimated 300,000 indigenous Australians living on the continent. 
  • victoria-bitter-beerThere are many claims to the fact that the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per head of population than any other community in the history of mankind.
  • Australia, founded by convicts. The homicide rate is in Australia is 1.8 per 100,000 of population. The United States was founded by religious zealots. It’s homicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000. Almost 400% greater than Australia.
  • About 160,000 convicts arrived over 80 years. That compares with free settler arrivals as high as 50 000 a year. 
  • Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well-behaved Convicts.
  • About 30% of the Australian population was born overseas 
  • Aborigines, the indigenous people, now only make up 1.5 % of the population. There are no Tasmanian full-blooded aboriginals left. 
  • Bob Hawke, a prime minister of Australia, became inserted into the Guinness Book of Records by drinking 2.5 pints of beer in just 11 seconds in 1954 (it happened before he became PM)
  • Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea on 17th December 1967, and was never seen again. The event has been referred to as ‘the swim that needed no towel’.
  • If you happen to be near The Great Barrier Reef and need to mail a letter or a postcard, you can. There is a mailbox located on the reef and uses the only stamp licensed by The Great Barrier Reef.
  • Much of the world’s opals come from Australia, which is usually anywhere from 85 to 95% at any given time.
  • Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
  • Mm_21-39When a specimen of the platypus (a native Australian animal) was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
  • The name Australia comes from the Latin Terra Australis Incognito which means the Unknown Southern Land.
Australia Day Cards by

Australia Day Cards by

Happy Australia Day to everybody – you should all go out and have a beer to celebrate!


Please Share…

Fibromyalgia has many, many more symptoms than I have included here – but I feel it is important to get some knowledge out into the public sphere, without inundating them with too much information.

This is just a start.
Please join the VISIBLE Army by checking out:…

No Condom Necessary – Please Share!

Safe to share (no protection necessary!)

The REAL Fibromyalgia Awareness Video

Back what seemed like a long time ago, I put out a request for photos of you guys to go in my new video. 81 people shared their photos and details with me so I could produce this video.

All the names and faces in this video are real people who suffer with fibromyalgia everyday. Not one of them looks that much different from you.
Fibromyalgia is invisible – it needs to be brought out of the dark!

Please share this video  with EVERYONE you know so we can shine a light on Fibromyalgia.

Start Wearing Purple for Me NOW!

So, it’s 5pm on Friday (here) and the weekend is about to start. Bring on International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

My family has a traditional Shabbat dinner every fortnight – so tonight the theme is PURPLE. I have started to dress the table with my purple accessories (and, of course, photos will follow). I have dyed my hair (or at least, the regrowth from the shaving) a colour called ultra-violet. Mommy and I will be wearing purple.

Anyone else got special plans this weekend to celebrate Fibromyalgia awareness?


On February 27 of this year, I started my Facebook page. I quickly became addicted and started my Blog (March 16), joined Twitter and Pinterest, and started a Fibromyalgia Awareness shop.

I am lucky enough to have 2000 LIKES (FB), 124 Blog followers and 71 Twitter followers.

I thank you all very much for making my efforts feel worthwhile. I am humbled by (and so proud of) your support.

In celebration, I made a new video – this is for ALL of US.

Dear Family and Friends…

I saw this video by FibroTV.

Two things happened:

  1. I wanted to share it (even though it’s a bit soppy; and
  2. I want to make my own.

Firstly, I need to learn how to make a video (so far all attempts have not been worthy of even a viewing, but Hey! I only just learnt how to put a video into my post) and so do YOU! …I’m thinking a Fibromyalgia Awareness Day video competition

What do you think? More details to follow when I’ve thought this through a little more.


The competition is now open with a great Fibro Fighter prize package. Click HERE for details on how to enter. All entries (when there are some) will be available HERE.