Tuesday, July 11, 2017

That Sudden Pain in the Middle of the Night

No, I'm referring to that jab in the ribs your spouse gives you when you're snoring.   I'm thinking of another kind of pain here.

Meet my left calf.   I think you can connect the dots now.

We have all had this kind of overnight torture.   You stretch subconsciously as 4AM.   You feel it coming.   There's like a ten second warning that it will happen but you can do nothing to prepare for it or prevent the agony.

Calf cramp!!!!!

Now I don't get them very often anymore.   My trainer twice a week "rolls" my calves during my sessions as the gym.   And I work hard to prevent the major cause of midnight calf cramps --- dehydration.

But, two weeks ago, I felt into some sort of muscular perfect storm.   I had gone to a Dodger game on a very hot evening.   We had done a lot of walking around the stadium looking for something to eat for dinner.  I was probably losing precious body liquid at a record pace.   And all I did to replenish it the next three hours was with a large lemonade.  The small glass of milk I had before going to bed probably didn't help much.

So I was a prime suspect in the Left Leg Cramp of Len that was going to play in about five hours.

As always, the onset of symptoms woke me up.   I knew what was going to happen.   I had about eight seconds to enjoy the calm before the bodily storm.   And this one was perhaps the worst I ever experienced.   There were screams from my bedroom that I am pretty sure made the neighbors think that the Manson Family was terrorizing Los Angeles.

No matter how I turned the leg, the pain was complete non-water-boarded torture.   Now I know how to work these things myself.   I have learned from my trainers how to "roll" my own calves.   And I do have my own styrofoam roller.

Except it was on the other side of the bedroom.   Too, too, too far.   Had I only stored it easily under the bed with my baseball bat.   

So I got smart and figured out how to calm the torment and that is the point of today's blog entry.   Here's how you can alleviate the pain of a calf cramp in the middle of the night when you can't even move to get out of bed.

Somehow take the cramping leg and drape it over your other leg.   Put the quiet leg in sort of a right ankle and use the good shin as an anchor.   And keep rolling the cramp over the strong leg until you feel the spot and knot that needs to be slain.   Then use your kneecap on the good leg to reinforce the knot that was just smoothed.    

It took about five minutes but it worked.   As soon as I could stand, I did.   And walked all around the apartment to give it all a good stretch.

Also make sure you stop in the kitchen for a big glass of water.

You're welcome.

Dinner last night:  Sausage and peppers.

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