wings and things


on May 28, 2012

I have, from time to time over the years, had leg cramps during the night and I must have inherited this from my grandmother because I remember that, when we all went to the beach, she wouldn’t go into deep water in case she got a cramp. If your legs cramp while you are swimming in deep water, you can easily drown.

If you have never had a leg cramp in the night, you are lucky, but, if you have, you will know that, in order to alleviate the pain, you have to jump out of bed and walk around until it goes away. You take some magnesium, or a bit of salt, and you are okay.

One of Anthony’s medications has a cramp side-effect. He told me the other day, with a bit of a chuckle, because he remembered my leaping out of bed to walk/run the cramp away. It used to make us both laugh because my antics were rather slapstick.

I still get the leg cramps at night and now, so does Anthony. But the difference is that he cannot leap out of his bed and I wonder how many other elderly people in nursing homes across the world, and over time, have experienced the excruciating pain of leg cramps and had to suffer silently.

Luckily, my loud, vociferous Anthony has begun to ring the bell for the nurses. A lot! Good on him.

41 responses to “Cramps

  1. victoriaaphotography says:

    My Mother used to swear by a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar for her leg cramps – never worked for me though. I’ve swapped to taking my calcium about an hour before I go to bed (instead of first thing in the morning) and magnesium powder (more recently).

    Mine seem to be more a health symptom than an annoying little cramp as I always stay well hydrated with plenty of water to drink. I think I might just have them under control in the last week or so..

    I can only imagine how distressing it must be for someone who is bedbound or can’t do a quick walk around the bedroom in the middle of the night.

  2. niasunset says:

    It happens to me too sometimes during night… It is really so bad… It should be so painful for him too. Love, nia

  3. Randy Roberts says:


  4. good for Anthony – ,makes you think doesn’t it – and someday we may be in the position where we have to suffer in silence – I like to think I will be like Anthony
    also – I love olala in the pic above this post

  5. I have a friend who gets these, and she swears by a teaspoon full of MUSTARD! I didn’t believe it, but maybe it’s the salt. She said she didn’t believe it at first, but she tried it and it works every time. Don’t think I could get it down, personally…

  6. Oh those do hurt, I’ve had a few myself! Glad Anthony rings the bell – made me think of the movie It’s a wonderful life where everytime someone rings a bell an angel gets his wings!

  7. Lee says:

    I don’t know if either of you are on cholesterol medicine or not, but I was having the same problem and was almost ready for a walker a year ago. I stopped my Zocor and my legs stopped cramping. I did what I call the “bedroom shuffle” which meant I had to get out of bed to walk them out. My big toe would also pop up many times. I have a nicked nerve from back surgery and was blame it, but it was the medicine that was causing most of it.
    Long story short, I am now on Livalo which was made to stop the leg cramps from happening. It is fairly new, but my cholestrol is now at 134 and the leg cramps are almost non-existent. I still have my nerve issue. It is not just Zocor, but most of the cholesterol medicines. Ask your doc about the Livalo. It is a know fact about the leg cramps.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks, Lee – neither of us have cholesterol but I will mention this medication to the doctor who I am seeing on Anthony’s behalf in a couple of days. Thankyou so much! Julie

  8. terry1954 says:

    i hate the pain from the leg cramps too. i jump as quick to the floor and just stand there and then the pain is gone. for me i notice that when i haven’t had my quota of vegetables, i tend to get leg cramps, so the next day i stock my body up on them again. our body has a unique way of telling us we are doing something wrong, doesn’t it…………….

  9. dcwisdom says:

    Ouch! Dad experienced them (leg and foot) and would violently move his leg in bed. I haven’t had one in a very long time – must be the salt intake.
    God bless ‘im.

  10. Good on Anthony to be certain. I can imagine what the resident’s in homes must have to deal with at night, Cramping being a big factor. I have a friend who has had MS since the mid 70’s her biggest fear iis that her whole body will go into spasms as it often does. She fears being in a hospital type setting and having these cramps hit upon her and no one giving her the medicine that stops them. I have learned the name of the meds and promised her I’d make sure the nurses know. How frightening this is for her. So I can relate.

    I also can relate with the leg cramps personally. I get them. I used to be able to get quinine sulphate from the druggist, without a prescription. 1 300 mg capsule of that would do the trick for months. Now my govt FDA banned it for human consumption. People were thinking if one worked, two would be better and were ending up in ER’s with caridiac events. I happen to think big Pharma has a play in the matter too because there is now a pharmeuctical prep that costs 500 times more.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Hell, that’s interesting and disturbing. Your friend is lucky to have you!

      • I am the one now who is going to practice a bit of presumption here- I just wached some excerpts from an independent movie a TV producer did of his journey of living with PD. He was the most humerous guy who had me crying from laughter. I learned that there is a surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation that is onlly now being spoken to patients abput even though its been in use with incredble results and little risks, The neurosurgeons danced around the questions why, but the point of the TV producer is…just ask your doctor. I only bring it up Jules because after hearing about it I don’t know what kind of person I would be to not.

        I just care.

        I don’t expect an answer or even a response. I just needed you to know (from someone) in case you were one of the patients and family’s that were not old. I’m really sorry I am was presumptious to bring this up here. Or at all. I just did not know so I took a risk. I thought about too that if this may not even be for Anthony’s case that you no dount are in touch with others who are dealing with PD that this is info you could pass forward to them as well.

      • jmgoyder says:

        Oh Toni – you are so lovely and kind and I know about this surgery but they only do it on much younger people as it is pretty gruelling. My friend’s husband had it a few years ago and it was effective but he was only 50ish. Anthony is too old. I will pass your information on and many many thankyous for this – I wish it were possible but it isn’t for Ants! Juliexx

  11. Robyn Lee says:

    I have gotten the type that requires jumping up, but I also get another horrific type that paralyzes me for a about 90 seconds – and I can’t move at all. Still not clear what that’s about…thankfully have not gotten lately. I have heard about the many remedies – tonic water, potassium etc. Feel badly for Anthony though – I hope they pass quickly when they come. Can the nurses help him when he rings his bell? Meds have proven to have so many nasty side effects for me too…:( xo

  12. I used to get lots and lots of cramps in my calf, as well as the occasional muscle spasm on several places of my body (isn’t the eye lid spasm the worst?). I’ve resolved myself to take magnesium supplements every day and they really work. I hope your husband gets to find relief.

  13. Robyn Lee says:

    Julie – not sure if suggested or you’ve tried but some swear magnesium (or potassium bicarb) is a big help here too. Have you tried? Maybe consider for you. Didn’t’ help me but I’m probably dealing with neuropathic reactions to spine issues. xo

  14. Judith Post says:

    Anthony is a practical person. Glad he rings his bell. No one should suffer alone.

  15. Cap’n Firepants gets those cramps, too. One time, he leapt up in the middle of the night, and danced around for a moment. I sleepily watched and finally said, “Cramps?” He responded, “No, there was a spider in the bed.” I hopped out of that bed plenty fast, too!

  16. pixilated2 says:

    To answer your question: LOTS OF THEM, but like Anthony they don’t suffer in silence. (My MIL never did!) ~ Lynda

  17. janechese says:

    Leg cramps are common in nursing homesthe reminder of magnesium is a good one for me to heed.

  18. Fergiemoto says:

    Good for him for speaking up. The list of places without pain is much smaller than the list of places in me with pain, but leg cramps is something I have not experienced yet.

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