Not a cure, but a helper

So I’m gonna talk about something that y’all might find strange, but it helps me sleep at night and sleeping at night is one of the things that keeps me sane-ish these days.  See, as some of y’all know, I have a plethora of ailments that make me “disabled” for lack of a better term.  Many of those ailments — arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and the hypothyroidism to name a few can lead to things like aching joints, restless leg syndrome and other side maladies that will keep one up at night. Getting a good night’s sleep is, to put it bluntly, pretty damned hard, even with the help of my psych meds — one of which has the side effect of making one drowsy.  Except I stopped getting that side effect two weeks after I started taking it. ^_^

800px-You_need_only_one_soap,_Ivory_soap_-_Strobridge_&_Co._Lith._-_Restoration_by_Adam_Cuerden

From the wiki

So anyway, after years of not getting a good night’s rest, I started scouring teh interwebs to find a solution. I tried different herbal teas. I tried taking sleeping aids, even though I knew those wouldn’t work (they never do). But when one is desperate, one will try anything.  So anyway, I was looking on some board somewhere for home remedies for Charley Horses  (that would be cramps in the calf of the leg for those who don’t want to click the link) because I was getting them wicked bad and even changing my diet didn’t help.  I believe the charley horses were a side effect of the statin I was taking at the time — aggravated by my piss poor diet.  Nothing wakes a person up out of a restless sleep like a charley horse, you know? So amongst all of the posts about massage, exercise, and essential oils, someone suggested that I put a bar of Ivory soap between the sheets of my bed. I remember thinking: Really? That can’t be right. They’re talking crazy. Nope. They were 100% serious.  The posters claimed that Ivory (or Dial) soap really does help with not only Charley Horses, but with Restless Leg Syndrome — a problem I don’t have all of the time, but I do suffer from now and again. And anecdotal evidence backs those claims up.  Well, though I, I’ve got soap in the cupboard, and it’ll cost me nothing if it doesn’t work, right? so under the sheets the soap went.  And damned if it didn’t work.

ivoryLet me tell y’all something. Not only did my leg cramps end immediately. Gone like they never existed, but my back pain disappeared too. Having a bar of soap in my bed alleviates nearly all of my aches and pains while I’m in bed and relaxed.  It doesn’t do anything for me during the day, but once I’m settled down and ready to sleep, all of my joint pain — leg pain, back pain, shoulder pain… all of it — is dulled to the point of non existence. I can always tell when it’s time to switch out the soap too, because every single bit of that pain will come roaring back (which is what prompted this post, I needed to change out the soap in my bed). Some say that scoring the soap will “refresh” it and prolong its use, but I’m here to tell ya that doesn’t work for me.  I need to replace it completely. And let me tell y’all this: Brand does matter. Because Olay soap (It’s what I had in the cupboard this last time) did nothing. Nothing! I’ll be sticking with Ivory thanks much. It’s pretty cheap, and it does the trick, so why change it? Besides, I used it to make my laundry soap (with something close to this recipe).

1280px-Bar_of_Irish_Spring_deodorant_soap

Some people use Irish Spring.

Of course, there’s no science (that I can find) to back this up, so y’all will just have to take my word for it — and the word of everyone else it works for. Is it the placebo effect? Could very well be. The mind is one of the great unknowns in the science world. And any scientist that tell you they know all about the mind is blowing smoke, because they know next to nothing about the mind and how it works. And even if it is the placebo effect, I’m certainly not gonna tell my brain to stop making it work. Nope, not me. I like getting a decent night’s sleep free of pain. And, yes I know it doesn’t work for everyone.  Like this article said:  It appears either to work consistently and well or not at all. As with everything in life, your mileage may vary.  But hey, it’s something I wanted to share, though, in case you, dear reader also suffer from nocturnal leg difficulties and haven’t heard of the “soap cure” which isn’t really a cure for anything.  But it does help. For me at least (and a few thousand other people). Maybe you have a bar of soap in your cupboard like I did — Ivory and Dial seem to work the best for me. Others have used Irish Spring, but I’ve never tried it. A lot of the articles say “Brand doesn’t matter” but it certainly does. Beauty bars — like Olay — won’t work at all. At least they didn’t for me.  And maybe, if you have a bar of the above mentioned soaps in your cupboard, you’ll think like I did that you have nothing to lose by sticking that bar under your sheets.  I mean, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but if it does… wouldn’t that be great?

I just wish it would work for my breathing.  Can’t have everything I suppose. ^_^

9 thoughts on “Not a cure, but a helper

  1. Donnalee

    Huh. I have never heard of this cure, but if it works for you, then great. Maybe placebo, maybe some chemical components that get to your body, or a smell of ye-olde that helps–? Whatever it is, good. I was told that pinching the part above your upper lip and below your nose, the ‘fulcrum’, those lines that are more natural usually and not necessarily the lines you get from age, helps a lot for leg cramps, and I find that to work too. That one may be acupressure or similar, but I read it somewhere 35+ years ago and told a partner’s mother about it in 1982, and it worked for her too. So that may be something else folks can try. Those leg cramps are the worst, and I was told they often have to do with not enough magnesium in the diet–whatever helps is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Willow Post author

      Like I said, totally not a cure (wouldn’t that be great if it cured us? ^_^) but yeah, it does help me sleep. I did try taking magnesium for quite a while and still got leg cramps. I even got my blood tested and they said my magnesium levels were fine. I’m always slightly anemic, but damn if I hate taking iron pills. Those things are nasty. Sticking a bar of soap under my sheets was like, minimum effort and next to zero cost. And I didn’t expect it to work. But it did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Willow Post author

          It depends. For me, it just has to be in the bed… One of my dogs actually sleeps on top of it (maybe it’s working for him too) but I’ve heard other people say they have to have the bar touching them through the sheet.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. Donnalee

            I’d probably put it in the waistband of my longjohns or something to see if that does more or less or just makes life really uncomfortable if I roll over.

            Like

  2. Pingback: Addendum… | Patience of Willow

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