Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cramp :(

This morning, I was taking volunteers for either killing me or cutting off my leg.

I had a BIZARRE dream last night that consisted of Nick, Doug, Dave, Jason, and some other guys from my fisheries classes and I on a boat on the Mississippi. I was supposed to take a turn as pilot, but my leg had seized up in a cramp from ankle to hip, so Nick stepped in and took my place (he was always a helpful person like that).

When I woke up, the cramp was real. Brian tried to massage it out, but it honestly just was too tight. As I limped around on it, I realized that it was actually up to my lower back and down to my entire FOOT. So I used what Brian calls "The Jackhammer", which is the powerful massager thingy that has been my saving grace for quite a while:

Amazon has it for thirty bucks, but I think we picked it up cheaper in a store somewhere. I've bought a lot of crappy massagers that were pretty much useless, but this was one of the best purchases I've ever made.

I dug that sucker into the key areas, mainly the tendons of the tenaciously tight muscles, and I had to work for a good 20 minutes. I've gotten the worst of it worked out, and hopefully that will talk the rest into letting go.

One thing that the jackhammer does that helps me out immensely is loosening up lower back muscles. I have Brian use it around my coccyx, then I wiggle my hips a bit, and there's a satisfying little "pop" that is followed by nearly instant relief. I had to figure out a way to do that on myself this morning, because my dearest was getting ready for work. So I set it on the bed, lay on my side, and leaned back onto it. That worked! I also used the same tactic for my calf, which was the tightest, crampiest muscle of the bunch. Hopefully as the day goes on, and I do some stretching, I will work the rest out.

I think yesterday's extremely busy day (I had the weirdest job interview of my life, and I had to run a ton of errands) somehow overloaded that leg, which has been a bit sore lately anyway. The ankle's been a bit inflamed, and if that gets too tight, it just cascades all the way up to my lower back. Meh.

What really sucks for me when I get these muscle cramps is that muscle relaxers don't work for me. I have tried every brand, and they don't even make me drowsy. It's like taking a sugar pill. A lot of medications are like that on me; they either have no effect, or they have an opposite effect. Benadryl doesn't make me tired, but at least it has the antihistamine effect. Valium doesn't seem to do anything. Hydrocodone acts as a stimulant. I don't get this effect with every drug, but it can be frustrating when trying out something new.


Ruth said...

I'm sorry about your cramp! I used to suffer from horrible charley horse cramps as a teenager, but I haven't had one in the night since I was about sixteen. Now I have muscle spasticity in my legs near constantly from MS, but I'm afraid to use vibration because it made a cramp worse once upon a time. Heat and gentle massage seem to do the trick for me, but I'm glad you've got something that works so well on you! A good electric muscle massager is hard to find. It sucks about the meds not working, though. Have you ever asked about anything like baclofen? That's what's helps me the most.

(And good luck about the interview, even if it was weird!)

RioIriri said...

I haven't had a problem with vibration working, thank goodness. (Boy, that sounds dirty!)

I had been to a chiropractor a long time ago, and she had this industrial-strength massager that worked amazingly well, but was not sold to the general public. This is the only massager I've had come even REMOTELY close.

RioIriri said...

And I haven't tried baclofen. I've never had a muscle relaxer actually do anything, though, so who knows if it would work. I can talk to the doc about it, though.