Screams in the Night II: When the Doctor Is Right


A few weeks back, I again began suffering those horrible leg cramps at night.

One memorable Saturday night, the cramps were so bad that I peed myself, and they recurred numerous times during the night, each episode lasting for 10-15 minutes.  The cramps would start at my toes and cause the muscles to seize the entire length of both legs right up to the hips and abdomen.

These cramps had been getting worse over a number of weeks, and I became concerned.  Especially since the next morning, I could still barely walk.  Especially since during the worst episodes (like that Saturday night), the pain would cause my chest to tighten and leave me somewhat nauseous (of course, some of that might have been simply the stress of going through that hell).

So, when I woke up that Sunday morning still suffering the after-effects, I dragged myself to the nearest Urgent Care center.  I considered going to the Emergency Room, but surely it didn’t qualify as a true emergency, right?  I wasn’t bleeding or unconscious.

The Urgent Care doctor said going to the ER would not have been unreasonable, and he immediately sent me to the ER for a sonogram of my legs, after which I dragged myself back to Urgent Care to await the report.  Yes, people, I drove myself.  Brave, or stupid?  Who knows.

Thankfully, I was not having a stroke, a heart attack, or undergoing some other life-threatening event.  The doctor prescribed rest, elevating the legs, warm packs – and muscle relaxants.

The muscle relaxants worked beautifully.  The pharmacist suggested taking just half a tablet the first time, which I did – and boy, talk about being knocked out!  I only have a small supply, and I’m stretching that out by only taking half a pill when I really feel it necessary, usually on a Friday evening after running up and down stairs all week at the office.

But in the course of the conversation that Sunday morning, the Urgent Care doctor mentioned that many people have a glass of wine in the evening and that wine acts as a blood thinner and muscle relaxant.

A light bulb went off in my brain!  I had stopped drinking wine when I started my new job because I was concerned the wine would cause me digestive problems which could become embarrassing in an office with bathroom rules.  The leg cramps had started up again only a week or two after that.

Cause and effect?  Maybe, maybe not.

In any event, a few weeks ago, I returned to my nightly glass of wine – and the Good Lord be praised, the leg cramps have ceased!  Or at least, mostly.

What would I like for Christmas?  Wanna guess?



I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at


Image by Cordelia’s Mom


This entry was posted in Health, That's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Screams in the Night II: When the Doctor Is Right

  1. I’ve always heard that a glass of wine will keep the doctor away. I used to get leg cramps really bad when I would exercise a lot and the cramps would always wait until the dead of night to wake me up. Sleeping on a waterbed would make it difficult to “jump” out of bed to help relieve the cramps. Surprisingly enough I would make it to the kitchen to drink me some pickle juice. That seemed to help almost within five minutes or so. Good luck and I hope your cramps continue to get better.


  2. I can’t take muscle relaxants OR drink wine, so my only defense against those cramps is (yuk) those sport drinks with electrolytes. For me, the cause seems to be low blood sodium. Or, not enough salt. How weird it that? I’d rather have the wine.


  3. LOL! I have heard that before, some people do report that a glass of wine helps prevent leg cramps. Something else that works really well, a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. There’s some actual science behind both of these cures.


  4. They say a small glass of red wine is good for you. My Dad’s homemade elderberry wine was very popular with my Grandfather in the winter for keeping the colds at bay. In truth, any germ coming within a millimeter of my Dad’s wine was toast!


  5. Well, that must have really scared you. Leg cramps…haven’t had many since pregnancy, when the kids were taking all my “good stuff”. Glad the wine was helpful, sure beats the pills. ☺


  6. Tippy Gnu says:

    Must be scary as heck having leg cramps like that. Glad you found the cure.


  7. joey says:

    Well that sounds like a scary problem with a delicious solution! Glad it’s sorted 🙂

    Also, I am alarmed by the bathroom rules. Seriously. May those trying to enforce bathroom rules pee down their legs, bleed through their pants, and get a stunning bout of colitis. :/ I’m an adult, I bathroom when I want to.


  8. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Wow…I hope you get this figured out ASAP. I have never really worked at a place with “bathroom rules” so I find that somewhat odd too.


  9. willowdot21 says:

    I suffer from cramps too …like you real nasty ones! I take a glass of wine nightly (Red) ..I also take one Quinine Tablet every evening, and drink tonic water .. as long as it has tonic in it!


  10. Vicky V says:

    That’s sounds so scary. I get mild cramps. I was thinking of trying the wine cure but some of the comments mentioned quinine. I love a good gin and tonic so I may give that a go first. If not, it’s red wine before bed 🙂


  11. Jane says:

    I too suffered from horrific leg and body cramps. It is from the medicine I have to take for my PsA. (I think you are on something similar) I discovered that if I take magnesium at night, they subsided somewhat. I then added 40 mg of potassium. NO cramps ever. I also had a eye twitch that resolved with those supplements. sounds great, right?
    Well I started to feel like absolute crap and went down hill, thinking it was the PsA. One night my last week, my right kidney was killing me. I stopped all the supplements including fish oil. I had labs done and I hate to tell you what my kidney labs looked like. I may have done some serious damage…. but then, I have one kidney that has three or more HUGE stones in it. It seems non- stop; if it is one thing causing an issue, it’s another. I go to the MD tomorrow to see whats what. Be careful with home remedies.
    BTW, the leg cramps came back in two nights.


    • Ouch. Sounds like you’re having quite a time of it. Hope it turns out not to be as serious as it sounds.

      I started taking magnesium last year and that does help the cramps, but I’m very careful not to take too much. I think I get enough potassium from potatoes. I tried fish oil once but it aggravated my colitis, so I stopped taking that.

      It’s hell to get old(er). Feel better, Jane.


  12. Elyse says:

    Tonic water works for me. Hope your wine continues to work for you. I know it’s a big sacrifice!


  13. prior.. says:

    Hi cm – there are some supplements and oh can take that will help cramps dissipate
    The body needs about 60 minerals and then that works with the Krebs cycle in your body.
    I think it is great the docs suggest relaxing the muscles – but the palliative care strikes again by ignoring what might be causing such cramps –
    And well – I know all human body’s are layered and we have different things going on – but check out “magnesium chloride” as a highly absorbable supplement – it is amazing and cheap – we don’t have enough in our food
    And then also – get Iodone to take under tongue. A it will feed your cells and help cycles and will allow muscles to function the way they should –
    The potassium iodide drops are five bucks. (And lucky vitamin) and it really helps –
    And one more suggestion – Trader Joe’s sells a cal mag in a green base – 6dollars and a couple a day can change your life – it even has a bit of vitamin d
    And all of our systems work synergistically and so just consider that deficiencies might be causing the cramps – it is often the case


    • Thanks, Yvette. I started taking magnesium a couple of years ago after the first round of cramps, and it does help. But this time, I knew it had to be something else because I hadn’t cut back on magnesium, I only cut back on wine. I think there’s some element of wine that helps the muscles work, and I don’t think it’s just because the wine is relaxing. In any event, I haven’t had any cramps since I went back to having a little wine in the evening.

      Liked by 1 person

      • prior.. says:

        Good that the wine is helping….
        and keep in mind with magnesium not all forms as created equal and not all is absorbable .
        But it also is only one of many things –
        I personally think anyone healing must do a parasite cleanse to help the immune system improve – I think I have said this before – and will note it again – ha- but you can just disregard it too – but we all have parasites – meant to host some and even the first caveman had traces of them – but when our burden gets too high – and then with leaky gut or other imbalance – we have layers of issues and so even though it takes a while to wrap our head around it – and most reg docs are not taught to get root causes / they are taught to treat and manage symptoms –
        So be thinking of that.
        And lastly – there is a special mineral mix called ” concentrace ” that is cheap and a. Bottle lasts forever –

        Anyhow – glad you are e feeling better and sending you a blog hug!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Nurse Laura says:

    I’m so glad you solved the problem. And I’m really glad you were smart enough to seek medical attention even though it wasn’t “serious enough” to go to the ER. I hope the problem is solved. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.