Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cerebral Palsy: Muscle Cramps

Cerebral Palsy brings on many effects to the body. Muscle cramps are one. As a child I would get them often. They were mostly in my legs, specifically my calves, and in my hands. Most of the time it is only one limb.

I remember my Mom laying me on the white deep chest freezer moving my limbs doing various exercises at least three times a day to try to prevent the cramps. It was to loosened and stretch my muscles. 

I hated that freezer. But thankful Mom didn't let my tears get to her.  

I remember when the cramps would occur in my legs, she would put me on the freezer or lay me down wherever we were and move my limbs and massage the area as I cried and wished it to go away.

When they occurred in my hands my fingers became stiff. I constantly had a squishy ball in my hands when I was in the house to squeeze to strengthen and loosen my hand muscles. I didn't understand then why and I hated the ball and probably Mom for nagging for me to squeeze the ball. Again, I am now thankful.

As I have grown older the cramps have lessened but they still occur and probably will until the day I die. However, they now occur in the weirdest places of my limbs sometimes.

Some are in my toes. Mind you I can't move my toes, individually. When I try to move my toes my whole foot moves. But when a cramp occurs, my toes move into a scissor-like position. I have to manually move my toes back in place and massage the soles and roll my feet to work the cramp out.

I continue to have them in my calves, especially when I walk a lot during the day but they often occur  seemingly for no reason at all. When I get them I usually have to walk them out, and they are usually at night when I am about to fall asleep or while watching TV. I sometimes have to pace the floor as long as an hour before my muscles finally relax. 

It's a pain in more ways than one.  Sleepy and tired and have to pace in the dark while I listen to Hubby sleeping. But I deal with it.

Then there the cramps I absolutely hate the most. Even as a grown woman, it can bring tears to my eyes. Those are in the arch of my foot. Walking them out does not work. Actually, walking causes the cramp to spread up my leg or intensifies.It feels like my little bones are knotting up. Note: I said bones not muscles. They almost always wake me up at night, like last night. I just manually roll my feet and manipulate it until it finally dissipates or sometimes I work it to get a point that it is not as bad to lay down and fall asleep. They seem to take the longest to work out.

At one point in my adulthood, they would occur at the most inopportune time. I know. There is no convenient time to have a cramp. But in midst of intimacy with my then-husband, the cramps would appear and certainly 'kill the mood."  It was frustrating for me not to mention painful. I finally got the courage to talk my doctor about it. He put me on a very low dose of Xanax every night. Since that day years ago cramps no longer 'kill the mood'. Sometimes I feel my muscle start to knot but I've learned to deal with it and work it through as they are not as intense. I don't have to push my Hubby off like a craze woman anymore.

Cramps have been and always will be a part of my life. I do stretch exercises. All my electrolytes are fine. I just accept it is part of Cerebral Palsy and thankful it is not worse.











2 comments:

  1. You have really dealt with so much pain in your life. I am truly sorry, wish I could fix everything.

    Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are too sweet Pam, thank you. It is what is :)

      Delete

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