There is a good book written by Dr. Harold Levinson:”Phobia Free”. In it he describes how to fall asleep, if one has a habit of sleeplessness. One to 2 teaspoons (12.5 – 25 mg) Benadryl Antihistamine (Liquid) prior to bedtime will cause one to fall asleep readily. If one awakens during the night, repeat dosage. I have tried it and it works well. Now I sleep well. It is not habit forming like sleeping pills and it does not drug a person. It is said to work in the cerebella vestibular system. He describes the whole process in his book. He treats phobias. If the discomfort of RSI is keeping one from sleeping well, it is relaxing. He lists quite a few more over the counter remedies that are helpful.
Comment 1: Anti-histamines do make people drowsy and aid sleep, yes. And they can be bought over the counter, yes. Pharmacists here will advise on their use, too. Unfortunately some people have a “paradoxical reaction” to anti-histamines, as some do to tranquillizers. They become agitated instead of drowsy/calm. No-one here need be worried by my comment (it happened to me when I took a cold cure product, it is no fun but I was fine by the next day), I just want to point out that it may not work. I imagine anti-histamines are a drug and I know they do “drug people up” because I know people who have to take them; so I imagine the dose is the key. I’ll look out for the book – treatment of phobia is an interesting field.
Comment 2: In the book, “Phobia Free”, Dr. Levinson carefully goes over all the reactions people may have using the many different types of anti-histamine. There are several chemical components, and each antihistamine is made up of differing chemicals. So he explains one must try differing brands and in different doses. Until one is found that does not produce unwanted symptoms. He has also written several other books, some on ADD. He is a psychiatrist and has continued the work of Sigmund Freud. Freud knew there would someday be medicines to cure/control some “Psychiatric” disorders and insomnia. Some of these conditions, Freud thought, were not mental, but physical problems. But since he did not have the medicines, his only recourse was to use counseling and behavior modification. Dr/ Levinson finally have applied the necessary medicines and have helped many thousands of people eliminate some of these phobias and other problems, which are not mental, but merely physical damage to the cerebella vestibular system. This was considered a major breakthrough in therapy.
If you have a chance, read the books. They are quite enlightening. He states phobias are not a mental condition, but rather, a physical problem which is readily treated with over the counter medicines. The book is 20 years old now, and I imagine he has written more on the subject, with added treatments. Insomnia is one of the problems one with RSI does not need, and it is readily treated, sometimes eliminated with the over the counter medications. I also read in the Merck Manual, Physicians Copy, that some peripheral neuropathy (which mimics RSI), can be caused as a result of a urinary tract infection or renal failure, wherein the bacteria or viruses travel along the nerves throughout the body. Some bacteria when we become ill, cause joint pain. Others nerve disorders, like numbness or pain. With a chronic bacterial or viral infection, then the joints or nerves can be chronically affected. So see if your symptoms of RSI are decreased or eliminated while taking antibiotics.
The bacteria, Chlamydia pneumoniae has been implicated in Multiple Sclerosis, many of whose symptoms mimic RSI. However, a defective gene is present in MS patients. This defective gene is not the case in RSI and some MS patients are improved on Antibiotics. Dr Luther Lindner is researching this bacteria and looking for more possible bacteria in the blood as a cause of nerve disorders. Your own blood can be shipped to him for study via your neurologist. A good day to all of you.
Comment 3: Thank you for the additional detail. I am anyway going to ask my doctor about better ways of getting to sleep than sleeping pills! — I do know not all anti-histamines make people drowsy. I have RSI. But I am sure this will help people who have conditions that mimic it. (I hardly ever take antibiotics; I have taken them only once since I got RSI — at least 5 years ago — my symptoms did not change in so far as I was capable of telling, but then antibiotics knock me out (because I take them so rarely). I think we all need to be aware that other conditions can cause “RSI pain”, that is why we should all be referred to rheumatologists (and others if necessary): then the other conditions can be excluded, as they were in my case. (Or, diagnosed and treated) PS I think most UK members of this List use the National Health Service so shipping blood via neurologists here is not practicable. I as it happens have a friend whose siblings are all (US) doctors, quite well known ones. I will ask him about this.
Comment 4: Although the wine is becoming more useless, there’s not much more I can take. I cannot risk definite “sleeping aids” because of a possible “low sugar” event during the night, which at present will wake me up anyway. Hot baths, straight to bed and an electric blanket with an extra pillow/s to be used alongside to me to rest the offending arm/s and a really good book resting on my knees.