Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Old Body

My house was awake at 3am today...  mostly because I was making some kind of weird noise that brought both Darling Man and ZBoy out of a deep slumber to see if I was having a heart attack. 

I wasn't.  I was, however, having the mother of all charley horses - one so painful that even breathing was an effort.  I managed to straighten my leg, at which point even my toes cramped up.  The best cure I've found is to straighten the leg and push my heel against the footboard, toes pointing to the ceiling.  Something about that seems to release the tension in the calf muscle.  This time, however, I couldn't reach the footboard.  After a prolonged seisure, it finally relaxed and I took a real breath just in time for another one.

I have no idea why this happens.  It's usually my calves, but sometimes my hamstring or quad muscles do it too (not at the same time, thank God).  They haven't been over worked.  They aren't dehydrated.  I just don't know.

The idea, however, that my guys were worried I was having a heart attack is troublesome.  They don't expect me to live a long time.  I'm overweight.  I have high blood pressure.  My triglycerides are out of whack (though my total cholesterol is quite low).  I also have diabetes, which is apparently beginning to affect my kidney function even though my numbers are quite low and barely qualify as diabetic.  Add to that the occasional debilitating attack of arthritis-like symptoms that put me on a cane for about a week at a time and I can see where they might get that idea.

I'm working on it...  And I must be doing something right.  At my last checkup, the official scale actually went down (after two years of it being in the same place no matter how many pounds my at-home scale said I'd gained or lost).  My A1C (diabetes glucose test) was down to 6.1.  My cholesterol was 179 and the numbers that make it up are getting more in line. 

Hopefully soon, being awakened in the middle of the night by me won't trigger worries of a heart attack in my husband and son - they'll just think Oh... another charley horse.


PinkPiddyPaws said...

Oh man, those suck!! I had one the other night during scuba class. What the heck am I supposed to do when I get a severe foot cramp at 15' below water and I'm wearing a fin!?!? AUGH!!!!

I think they boys love you and worry about you. They want you around for a long time (and I do too) and I know you are working towards making that happen. Congrats on the good doctor check up!

Sandy said...

My mom always said that getting old was not for cowards. Turns out she was right!

Hope you continue getting better and, I know this sounds weird, but if you put a bar of soap in a sock and put it under the covers at the foot of your bed, your leg cramps will go away. No, I don't know why.

Anonymous said...

magnesium glycinate 400mg/day (supplement) will help with muscle cramps and a little potassium supplement too, helps muscles relax, stretch before bed if possible
info from a massage therapist..

Karmyn R said...

I agree with anonymous - I was always told that if I started getting cramps - to eat a banana.

And no - getting old sucks. Right now my plantar faciatis is acting up again so I hobble like a little old lady when I get out of bed in the morning.

Faye said...

I rarely get charley horses since mine were usually prompted by over-exertion--doesn't happen any more! My elderly neighbor used to need quinine tabs for leg cramps--and she did the banana thing.

I hear you about the health status thing. Getting geared up for my annual exam and lecture the end of this month. Wish I could think of my doctor as a real health partner. Take care and don't scare the guys any more than necessary!

Pamela said...

My husband reminds me that drinking plenty of liquids is important in reducing charlie horses -- in people who are very active. He learned it the hard way riding bikes!

You have a busy life -- so I'm just saying maybe ?? Am sure you've thought about that, already?