Friday, June 23, 2006

WORK THROUGH THE PAIN! (or just sit there with your leg in the air)

So I got my first Charlie Horse at the gym yesterday. Good God, that hurt like a motherfucker. My husband gets them sometimes, during which I helpfully tell him, “Try to relax the muscle!” Which, no. Now that I’ve actually had one, I’m surprised he hasn’t decked me by now. If it were possible to just “relax” the muscle there would be no need to scream in pain, now would there?

I had been on the elliptical machine for a while, and then switched to a bike. As I swung my left leg over the bike, my right calf muscle clenched and *poof!* turned itself into a rock-hard knot of breathtaking PAIN.

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this?

My Husband: Ahem.

Oh... right. So sorry. See? Everything happens for a reason! I'll totally be able to empathize next time!

So I sat there on the bike with my right leg in the air, unable to either set it on the ground or on the bike pedal. I was frozen. I was a statue. If someone had tapped me with an ice pick I would have shattered into five thousand pieces. The only thing moving was my trembling lips.

“Mehhhmeme bwa bwa bwa horry shit…!” I gasped.

“Hey!” said the dude next to me, looking interested. “Are you French?”


He shook his head. “I don’t speak French.”

I sat there with my leg out for another minute or so. Eventually I felt the muscle slowly releasing its death grip. A tear leaked from my eye as I gingerly lowered my leg to the ground.

I tried to dismount the bike and almost fell on the floor.

"Just focus on relaxing the muscle!" I told myself, firmly. Then I punched myself in the face.

That night, two things happened.

One: Two guys from Comcast were at our house until 11 p.m., trying to install our high speed Internet.

It still doesn’t work. They’re coming back this afternoon.

Two: We had some of the most ferocious thunderstorms I’ve ever seen, which hit just before the Comcast guys left. We gave them garbage bags to help protect their cables and tools, but they were soaked the instant they stepped outside. The rain was coming down in sheets and it sounded like the lightning was coming through the roof. This lasted, off and on, ALL NIGHT.

The dog, obviously, was terrified. Now here’s my question—have any of you ever medicated a pet to relieve extreme fear or panic in situations like that? This isn’t a mild "nervousness". He pants heavily, shakes, drools, and hides behind the toilet until the thunder stops or until M and I go to another part of the house. I'm afraid he could have a heart attack if this keeps up.

I’ll consult the vet, of course, but I’m curious about what may have worked for others.

Okay, now I need a leg massage. Who wants to go first?


Blogger Lisa said...

Have you read Marley & Me yet? If not, you must. If only to commiserate on the thunderstorm fear.

I'm fortunate that Rowen isn't scared of t-storms. But the dog we had growing up (H), we had to medicate him for any number of reasons: going to the vet, going to boarding, car rides, plane rides, etc. The vet gave us a nice tranq, which we wrapped in bread. And H never seemed worse for the wear.

Sorry about the leg cramp. I get those in the night and they do hurt like a mofo. I'd hate to get one in public like that because I sound like I'm giving birth during one!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Before we brought our cats on the cross-country road trip, I asked the vet if we could use something to calm them down if necessary. She said that Benadryl works. We never had to use any so I don't know what the dosage would be.

I, too, get those middle of the night leg cramps sometimes. Lovely way to be woken up. I've always heard that muscle cramps are a sign of a lack of potassium. Bananas are supposed to help. EATING bananas, I meant. ;)

Roxanne's prescription for a happy household:


2:58 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I've gotten charlie horses before. I've found that if I can manage to flex my foot, it'll actually make it go away. So there's a tip.

And I have no clue about Alex and the storms. Elmo was scared of storms for a while, but he would hide under my bed or in the kitchen cabinet.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Are you French? Hee hee

I would medicate him if they scare him that bad.

I would medicate me if something scared me that bad.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I'm sorry that happened to you...but I do like the new swear word.
"bwa bwa horry shit!"

regarding alex, my doggy was scared of storms too...but probably not as much. i would go with roxanne's banana/tranquilizer advice ;)

4:23 PM  
Blogger Elsa said...

I'm sorry about the Charlie Horse - ouch.

We had LOTS of rain here today and I think the 5-day forecast is for more wet weather. It was torrential for quite a bit today - "sheets of rain" as one meteorologist said. I live in New England and I think we've set a record.

Regarding the frightened dog, I don't have a suggestion. I've had 2 dogs - but neither were afraid of thunder - just me leaving the house!

9:43 PM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

I didn't know that cramps were called "Charlie Horse" - what's the story behind this name?!

And ditto Roxanne's RX...bananas followed by Diet Coke will fix you right up :D

12:50 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Bananas make my throat itch. How about some Merlot?

10:08 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Given the choice....would you rather have a scratchy throat or a "horry shit" charlie horse? ;)

Would the merlot be acting as a muscle relaxer or is that for Alex?

12:32 AM  
Anonymous motherhooduncensored said...

I used to get them a lot when I was dancing (ballet) - as well as when I was preggo. And they SUCK.

Massage indeed.

1:07 PM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...

Oh man, I hate leg cramps. When I was working out all the time I used to always take a potassium tablet when I got home, and almost never got cramps....

When we moved up to Big D I gave my cats Benadryl, because the vet said that would make them mellow. OMG, it TOTALLY didn't work...Annabelle yelled the entire way, so much that Joey kept hissing at her, he was so annoyed. So, the next time we move, I'm pulling out the big guns and giving her Valium or something. :)

9:58 AM  
Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Lovely night last night, huh? For the dog's sake, I hope tonight is better!

1:33 PM  

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