Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh the irony, or, OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

So as I was up in the middle of the night, posting my blog update below, I also visited the blog of a fellow Myeloma traveler from New Zealand.  After years of enduring this worst this disease has to offer with far more grace than I'd be able to, this person was (finally!) able to be placed on a Revlimid trial and is responding.  I was so happy for him, and I posted a comment on his blow to that effect, and also let him know that should he experience leg cramps, they can be controlled with over-the-counter magnesium supplements.

I haven't had a leg cramp in weeks.

That is, until about an hour after I went back to bed.

During the dozen or so horribly painful leg cramps that I've had on maintenance, I've often thought, as the pain subsided, "thank God it didn't hit both legs at once...I don't know what I would do."   Well, gentle readers, I now know what I would do.

At 5:45 I was woken from a dream with a rapidly developing cramp in my left leg (deep in the center of my left calf).  I started to rub it and stretch but it was to no avail.  The pain was excruciating.  And as soon as I recognized it, my right calf got one, too.  It felt like someone was sticking their thumb and forefinger of each hand into each calf, digging in about two inches, and tearing the muscles in two.  In both legs.

I fell out of bed screaming, basically, rolling on the floor for about 30 seconds, and then whimpering rather than screaming for another minute or so.  I woke up my poor wife from a deep sleep and she was a bit spooked given that I was screaming at the top of my lungs!  Fortunately the kids slept through it.

I'm going to track these things more carefully.  I had been using magnesium pills that had been prescribed to me over a year ago when I was in the hospital.  I ran out of those (by design) about four days ago and have gone back to the over-the-counter supplements.  I am gathering that the direct magnesium works better!


So Sid, if you are reading this, take note.  :)    I have heard quinine also works well, but that suppressed platelets, so it's not advisable, unfortunately, unless you've got a much healthier platelet count than mine.


  1. Hi Nick-
    I can relate--I always get late night cramps on my shins--not calves. Tough to stretch the front of your legs! I get them starting the second night of my Revlimid cycle for a few days. Then maybe last day or two. Seem better lately. I take potassium in the pm in cycle. I think it helps. Do you ever wonder why just at night? Take care- Pat

  2. Hi Pat!

    Thanks for the post.

    I think it occurs at night because we're lying down and the blood flow is different than when we're upright and moving around.

    I've heard potassium as well. Frankly, I thought I had it under control with the magnesium but I'm gonna start having more potatoes, too. That HURTS!

    And if it's any consolation, stretching them out does no good, so you're not missing out on anything there. :)

    Funny, I got this without taking Revlimid last night so the R must stay in your system. How much are you on? I am on 15mg...

  3. Hi Nick-

    With Dom, it's finger cramps. At times, the pain is crippling.... but usually in the day. (???) He feels better after drinking plenty of water.

    Glad that your friend Sid is responding to his trial!