I was in that “special time”. The period long before you usually wake up, but for some reason, you are passing from deep REM sleep.
One tossing and turning stretch later, still mostly unconscious and, BAM! Shooting, eye-opening, leg-freezing pain. Searing through my calf in a way that is instantly understood: Cramp!
I am going to assume that most, if not all, of you have experienced cramps. But, this thing that (upon looking it up) is called “nocturnal leg cramps” is downright chilling.
First, the shocking pain so familiar to a cramp. Mix in the slumbering consciousness that isn’t quite thinking clearly. Finally, add to it the freezing nature of the cramp – the fact that any movement brings burning pain.
The last time I experienced anything this vivid was when I snapped my plantaris tendon while playing tennis. That was certainly a moment – it felt like I was shot, at the time.
So, at 2:30 am, there I am trying to both move and not move. The only way I know to attack a cramp quickly is to flex it enough to move. Then, I can get to liquid and/or a compress.
But, oh, goodness the pain. Long-time readers know that my luck (so far) with staying healthy has a downside: I am even more sensitive to pain.
Now, eight hours later, the calf is still a little taut. And, I do limp a bit. But, my flexibility is returning and the burn is now just a twinge.
A thunder-clap. A phone call. A nightmare would be preferable. Wow! That was a painful way to wake up.