Whilst enjoying an early morning play date with DH, (I love Saturday mornings!) I was overcome, nay, attacked by a charlie horse spasm so strong that I lost all sense of the moment. True, the hollaring would have normally been normal in context, but in this case, not so much.

In the past I have had to stand and bring the full weight of my person to bear down, to push the cramp out. Mostly my charlie horses affect the arch of my foot and create a muscle-lock that looks like a Barbie foot, eternally wearing FM high heels. At first, even my not inconsiderable weight made any difference at all.

Talk about ruining the moment!

DH recommended pulling on my big toe to pull the spasm out. I could not reach my big toe to try that. This spasm included the calf muscles up to the knee and my arms just do not reach that far.

Have you ever thought about how time is such an elastic thing? Years rush by more and more quickly, but the days at work seem forever long. As clocks tell time, this was only a moment, maybe two minutes or so. It felt MUCH longer than that.

The relief when it began to ease, allowing me to be able to reach and massage the affected areas, was enormous. I eased myself back under the covers, still warm from my abrupt departure of same. After another moment or so I was able to giggle in relief and return to the previous…um…

Moving on…

According to WiseGeek,

“the charley horse is typically caused by dehydration and lack of potassium. In order to prevent a charley horse, a person should stretch before engaging in exercise. In addition, the workout routine should be modified appropriately to ensure it is not too strenuous. Drinking fluids while exercising, particularly those that increase potassium, also helps prevent a charley horses. Eating bananas also helps increase potassium levels.”

Hmm… I was not exercising beforehand. I was asleep, warm and relaxed. Stopping to drink a glass of water before marital play dates could possibly ..um … impede the moment, shall we say. Did I read that right? I should include greater variety in my/our …ah… ‘workout regime’ ? Not that I am complaining but that seems to require more thought than my early morning, sleep-fogged brain can handle!

According to How Stuff Works “Muscle spasms commonly occur when a muscle is over-used or injured. ” Again… the foot or calf wasn’t “in play” shall we say. And how could it have been injured when I was just luxuriously waking up?

And why is it called a “Charlie Horse” anyway? According to Wikipedia, the etymology of it is:

The term may date back to American baseball slang of the 1880s, possibly from the pitcher Charlie “Old Hoss” Radbourn who is said to have suffered from cramps. Another story mentions a horse named Charley that used to work at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox’s ballpark. In those days, an old, retired horse was often called “Charlie.”

In the German speaking world it is commonly known as a Pferdekuss (horse’s kiss), while in Denmark it is known as a trælår (wooden thigh), in Norway is referred to a lårhøne (thigh hen), and in Sweden lårkaka (thigh cake). In Portugal, it is known as a paralítica, roughly translated to “paralyzer.” In Japan it is known as komuragaeri (こむら返り?), which is literally “cramp in the calf”.

Knowledge does not always bring relief.

The return to a morning play date does.