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?
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom