GMC DeWitt Helps Patients Snooze

Bud Caldwell's Story

All his life, Bud Caldwell of DeWitt has fallen asleep only to have his legs thrash uncontrollably about -- like a puppet.

"I could go to sleep just fine, but I'd wake up every hour-and-a-half to two hours jumping around in bed. My legs and body would jerk. I never got a good night's rest."

That is, until he spent the night at Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt under the watchful eyes of a registered sleep study technologist from the Genesis Sleep Disorders Center and received a diagnosis from Stephen Rasmus, M.D., a board-certified neurologist and board-certified sleep specialist. With the hospital's $7 million expansion and renovation, the center now boasts a satellite lab with two testing rooms in DeWitt.

Now, the 70-year-old Mr. Caldwell is getting help for his lifetime problem.

"I came to DeWitt Community Hospital and spent the night in a room that looked just like a bedroom," Mr. Caldwell says. "A nice technologist hooked me up to a machine, and a camera watched me sleep all night."

He was diagnosed with Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep, meaning the constant or rhythmic jerking of one's arms or legs during sleep. His legs jerked an average 84 times per hour, continually kicking him out of the deeper stages of sleep. The problem had worsened with age, causing excessive daytime sleepiness. "It was getting to be monotonous," he says. "My wife, Joyce, has had to get used to it."

"This disorder increases with age and can be quite annoying to individuals with repetitive awakenings and daytime sleepiness," Dr. Rasmus says. "It can also be unpleasant for the bed partner, who frequently gets kicked and awakened. Fortunately, it usually is easy to treat with medications taken before bedtime."

Periodic limb movements are still not completely understood. However, they usually respond to dopamine -- or medications similar to it - that calm the continual body movements, he adds.

The sleep center, offering programs at Genesis Medical Center, DeWittl and Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, evaluates and treats excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, narcolepsy, apnea, and childhood sleep problems, such as bedwetting, nightmares or night terrors, sleepwalking and sleep talking.

Genesis is one of only several centers accredited in Iowa and the only one accredited in the Iowa and Illinois Quad City region. But patients coming to the DeWitt lab can be assured that the same registered sleep technologists are performing the evaluations, Dr. Rasmus says.

Mr. Caldwell appreciates having the service at his hometown hospital. "It was a lot more convenient to have this test done in DeWitt," he says.

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