Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Charlie, meet Horse

In my ongoing determination to keep you all posted on the minute details of my bronchitis recovery (you want a cough by cough description, right?), I mentioned yesterday about waking up with leg cramps. Multiple leg cramps. Every night. I thought they were caused by the cessation of exercise (you can't go from 3 years of daily workouts, to nothing, without paying a price). On the other hand, I learned the hard way, that it is simply not possible to exercise when you can't breathe. I deemed breathing more important, and stopped running. Or walking. Or moving mostly...

The cramping seemed like an unfortunate, but logical outcome to the sudden change in routine. Yesterday I started a regimen of slow walking on the treadmill- just a mile at a time, nothing speedy, nothing to tax my lungs, just something to stretch those calves, hoping that would help.

This morning, unfortunately, I was awakened by the Monster of all Charlie Horses (we're talking nasty here). Afterwards, The Hub suggested that maybe there was a link between my current meds and these new wake up calls.

Google is my friend.

Since I now know that I'm stuck with the leg cramps for the duration (I have 3 more weeks of inhaler treatments), I'm searching for something, anything, that might help.

So, Blogiverse- what do you do for leg cramps? I'm open to suggestions.

16 comments:

martha said...

heating pad, hot milk. I find that if I am cold I am much more likely to get cramps.

Linda Rice said...

My Mom clued me in to drinking tonic water to help with leg cramps. I don't like gin (smile) so I mix it with orange juice or, better yet, cranberry juice. If Mom was having a really bad cramp, she would drink the tonic water straight but I'm not that tough! I hope this helps you. I enjoy your blog and am anxiously awaiting your Fair Isle book. Linda, a neighbor from Montana

Mary Keenan said...

Bananas! Apparently it's the potassium that helps. Good luck!

Kimberly said...

I agree with Mary.

joannamauselina said...

I agree with your husband. Leg cramps can be the result of electrolyte imbalance, which can be caused by many things, one of which is medication. I would get a lab test done if I were you.
I read that mustard helps, and when I get one in the night, I have a teaspoon of mustard. Yum! I used to make myself mustard sandwiches, so this in not a hard pill to swallow. Anyway, it always works. My daughter says it is the walk downstairs to the refrigerator that does it. That may be true, but none the less.....

Ruth said...

Somebody told me pickle juice, the brine from the jar. Sounds awful, and I've never tried it, but hey, you never know. Feel better.

flicka said...

I have never needed to try this, but it seems harmless enough:

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/08/07/soap-under-sheet-prevents-leg-cramps/

Fríða said...

scientifically proven(you can google this as well)remedies for nighttime leg cramps: bananas (the potassium) and quinine (the drug used to cure malaria). both of these remedies are recommended by doctors for menopausal women, nighttime leg cramps is a very common problem for women at that time. my mom has been on daily doses of quinine for years and years and it helps, as soon as she stops taking it, the cramps return.
with hopes of a speedy recovery
Frida, Iceland

NessaKnits said...

My Dad reckons salt. Now as for horses, meet this blog ...http://makeminemid-century.blogspot.com/

Brandy said...

I prefer my tonic with a lime and a little vodka.

Anonymous said...

I've had horrible leg cramps for years that don't go away when I stretch my calf. I take potassium tablets, and they stop within 10 minutes.

Another remedy, and don't laugh, was given to me by someone many years ago who was suffering from a debilitating disease. She was told that if you squeeze the cartilage tightly between your nostrils, the cramp will stop. I admit I've tried it, but I'm not sure if it worked or the potassium tablet was kicking in.

mly said...

Calcium - drink lots of milk
Potassium - drink lots of OJ and Gatorade and tonic water
Electrolytes - drink lots of chicken soup and Gatorade

Sounds like it will make you pee a lot. But it will also ensure that you are hydrated, another thing that makes me get leg cramps.

Actually, there is a recipe for homemade electrolyte balance water - I think a bit of salt, baking soda, and honey plus a lot of water, can't google it right now but it might be more palatable than real Gatorade.

Barb said...

Ditto on the potassium.....a pill would be more effective as you can get more in with less calories added. Also, pointing you toes and them bringing them all the way back and repeat. This can be done several times during the day while sitting or laying down and will not tire you are cause you to cough but will exercize the calf muscles until you are able to walk again.

JackieLemon said...

Check out the recommendations in the People's Pharmacy. They have many strange but helpful home remedies that include pickle juice, soap-under-the-sheets and tonic water. Use caution with tonic water as some people have reactions to even the small amount of quinine in it. Good luck and I really hope you'll be feeling better soon.

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Kathy, everyone's suggestions are all good ones but because this has come on so suddenly, I think you should call your doctor and run it by him/her. It is probably nothing but your doctor really should be the one to evaluate it since you are quite sick and have been on very powerful medications. Again, it is probably nothing but please don't take any chances.

deeAuvil.com said...

I don't know how to prevent them but if you get one grab your toes and pull them back as hard as you can toward your shin. Works like magic. A midwife taught me that trick.