Oh Cramp! My Life 25 MAY 2010

Sigh, I don’t know where this comes from, really I don’t. For some or other reason, every now and again, my calf muscles decide to suddenly seize up and cramp in the most excruciatingly manner possible – between 03:00 and 04:00 in the morning! O.o

I’ll be blissfully fast asleep, snoring away (I know this because occassionally I wake up in the middle of the night to find a very grumpy Chantelle scrambling for her earplugs and moaning at me to turn to the other side and stop snoring), when all of a sudden I will jolt awake as either one or both of my calf muscles begin to all of a sudden violently contract, followed by intense and excruciating pain that has me wanting to scream out loud and bang my head against the wall in order to make it stop.

But of course I don’t.

Instead I muffle my cries of pain, bite my lip, try to keep my writhing in agony down to minor movements only and attempt to quickly, but efficiently extract myself out of the bed by rolling off the one end – something surprisingly difficult when you are weighed down by two or three heavy, Chantelle-placed blankets/duvet and of course the twin dead weights that are Olympus and Achilles.

At this point in time I nearly have tears in my eyes and are standing on my tip toes against the cold, cold wall, trying to relieve some of the pressure in my calves which will then hopefully allow me to hobble it out by stumbling through to the kitchen for a glass of cold water or such.

(Needless to say, this must be quite a funny sight for anyone spying in on us).

Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but for the most part I manage to succeed in doing all of this without waking Chantelle up – which I’m pretty proud of actually.

Now if only I could figure out a way to get those locked calf muscles to properly calm down and relax – because generally one of these “attacks” results in me hobbling around for the next day with completely rock hard calves – certainly not a pleasure when stairs are involved!

And don’t even think of suggesting someone to massage them – I swear I’ll knock the lights out of anyone who touches them, that’s how much pain they cause me! :)

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • Michelle Oosthuizen

    That exact same thing happens to my dad quite often. My mom has found that the best (and fastest) cure when it hits is to drink a glass of Magnesit. So go to clicks or any pharmacy and buy a box of Magnesit and keep a sachet or 2 next to your bed with a glass of water and a teaspoon (to mix) and when it hits you can just mix a sachet into the water and drink. You should feel relief within a few minutes.
    Otherwise, to try and prevent, do as Helen suggests on facebook and drink a magnesium supplement before going to bed. Slo-Mag is supposed to be a good one as it releases the magnesium over a a couple of hours.

  • Maria


    Maybe get some Crampblock I think it is PVM or one of those brands. You will need to get your potassium levels up for one. Eat lank extra bananas and maybe get a rehydration powder (like they use for sick people) and drink that for a while.

    • I like this talk of bananas. I enjoy bananas. Maybe I’ll make Chantelle go out and by some bananas. Hmm, good idea actually…

  • Chantelle

    Shame love, hopefully you will take note of some of the advice given to you – it is a sure sign of magnesium deficiency – I used to get it all the time, and I know, it is a excruciating pain, I used to wake up crying. Slow-mag is a good option, the one I used to take is Quinine, it is something that you are supposed to take every night before you go to bed, if you have a deficiency, but I used to take it only when I got the cramps, but the difference was, that I used to get ‘warning’ cramps before I go went to bed, that felt like ‘growing pains’…. You should really really consider it – even though you hate taking pills of any sort! Love you xx

    • @Chantelle, @Maria, @Michelle: Sorry girls, if it involves taking pills, supplements or any kind of medication that doesn’t come in the form of a recognised food type, count me out! :P

      I think I’ll just go look up a more natural source of magnesium: anyone know if Cadbury’s Top Deck chocolate is a decent holder of magnesium? ;)

      • Michelle Oosthuizen

        well, if you’re going to insist on being that stubborn, you could tried lots of bananas. Otherwise – suffer!!!!

        • Hmmm….. bananas, lots and lots of bananas…

      • Guest

        Luckily for you Craig it appears as though chocolate pudding is high in potassium and magnesium :D


        • That’s a fantastic bit of news you’ve just delivered to me Mr. Terrance! :)