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We don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.
NO, I’m not talking about breaking up with people or losing grandparents.
I’m talking about full usage of our body.
Colds, flu’s – don’t get me wrong, they suck, especially the ones that make your body ache so much you are sure you are actually dying.
But the upside of colds & flu’s are that– barring death – you know what it is and you know it will run its course.
Not so clear cut is the debilitating yet mysterious leg muscle spasm. Tonight, I was wrenched out of a fitful sleep by the most painful shin and calf spasm of my life.
I’m no stranger to muscle spasms, or “Charlie Horses”, as they are affectionately called by people who obviously do not have the same low pain threshold I do & can therefore joke about these nightmares of muscular terror. But ½ way through my 2nd pregnancy (I generally would get Charlie Horses about every other night when I’m pregnant), I realized that when my calf muscle would cramp unexpectedly into a tiny little bouncing ball of pain, if I shot out of bed and stomped on the corresponding foot, it would disappear as quickly as it came, and no one was the worse for it except my husband who by that point would have awaken, scared out of his wits that I was under attack from a lead-footed burglar.
None of this prepared me for what I had tonight (twice, so far). It was the double shin and calf spasm, each a foil to the other, so that if I stretched my calf my shin muscle, crafty sliver of a muscle that it is, would spasm & contract painfully, and if I stretched and massaged my shin, my calf would contract. Damn this devious duo! It’s 2:14am and I already was pushing the levels of my bedtime by succumbing to both House AND Gossip Girl instead of sleeping at a reasonable hour, and then dealing with my middle daughter’s pee-pee in the bed situation and then dealing with my baby daughter’s wake up in the night for no reason situation.
(Quick props to my DVR. O, those devastating old days of missing House just to put my first child back to sleep for the twentieth time… How did I survive?)
Then after sleeping for just a half hour, my son – the one child who can be trusted to sleep soundly through the night until one of his sisters wakes him at 6am – came into our room and asked to sleep in our bed. I knew his room still smelled like urine from his sister’s recent spill, so I caved & let him join us. Back to sleep… and a half hour later, up again with the incomprehensible Chinese torture spasms that were my shin & calf. Back to sleep again, and another 15 minutes or so later – up again with the same torture, only this time they refused to be tamed.
I limped over to the computer to research muscle spasm remedies (My kingdom for a banana!) and found myself writing this entry.
Ew, disgusting. Just to be sure the muscles stay calm, I took one website’s advice & drank the only electrolyte drink I had in the house – apple flavored Pedialyte. No WONDER my daughter wouldn’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole of vomit, even after hurling everything else solid or liquid she had downed.
The coolest thing I just read was a short-term solution to cramping: pulling on your upper lip with thumb & forefinger. Huh?
Readers! Help! What else can a sister do in this situation? And don’t tell me send the boy back to his bed – I wouldn’t want to sleep in that pee pee cesspool either. And don’t tell me to clean up the pee pee – It’s almost three in the morning!
Miraculously, the muscles haven’t got into spasm since I sat down. Could writing really be a remedy to Charlie Horses?
In the meantime, I hope this is…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)