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I Think I Need Some Magnesium

I stumbled up to bed after a restful interlude on the couch while Joe watched the Stanley Cup playoffs. I settled comfortably into bed, the covers just right, the pillow appropriately plumped, and Letterman counting down the top ten list of the night. Just as I dozed off, the two middle toes of my right foot contracted in the grip of a quite insistent muscle cramp.


I reached down and grabbed my toes, yanking them up in the opposite direction to stretch out the muscle. The muscle relaxed a little and I let go, only to feel my toes cramp up again. I even watched them as the cramp took hold and they slowly stiffened and pointed down.

I tried pressing my toes against the mattress, I grabbed them again and held on in a weird interpretation of the fetal position, I eventually got out of bed and stood on tiptoe, hoping that my weight pressing on the toes would cure the cramping.

No luck. As soon as I released the toes, they cramped up again.

Finally, I sat on the edge of the bed and massaged the ball of my foot under the toes, just pressing as hard as I could while I pulled out my poor little piggies -- one of them had roast beef, but alas, the other had none. After a few minutes of continuous massage, the toes finally behaved themselves and I lay back down to go to sleep.

One hour later, I woke up again -- this time my big toe was misbehaving. I watched again as it drew down in answer to the involuntary contraction. This time I got out of bed immediately and pressed my toe forward, leaning on it until it the muscle gave up. I massaged it too, but luckily it had already realized who was boss.

Back to sleep, only to dream of tornadoes and impending disaster.

And just as the tornado reached the windows, my calf muscle cramped up. The pain was so sudden and so intense that I woke up instantly, an exclamation point hovering over my head. I grabbed my calf, stifling the scream and inhaling loudly instead.

God! Nothing like really sharp, sudden pain in your leg in the middle of the night to make you spring up like a gazelle. I got up and stretched the leg out in back of me, trying to get the damn muscle to loosen its grip and relax, gritting my teeth the entire time.

After I walked around for a bit, my calf finally cooperated and let go. I massaged it for a bit, just to make sure it wouldn't knot back up, and then went back to sleep.

Until the alarm went off an hour later.