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Oops! Blame it on my nightly cramps!

Home/About Pat, Side effects, Tips, Uncategorized/Oops! Blame it on my nightly cramps!

Oops! Blame it on my nightly cramps!

I’m up two or three times a night with severe cramping in my right foot and shin–and now my stomach and hands, too.  That’s my excuse for mistakenly re-running Danny’s column about the benefits of eating raspberries and drinking pomegranate juice yesterday.

I apparently misfiled his latest column draft, so Danny’s raspberry piece was still at the top of my “to-do” list.   I had a bad night.  Despite drinking tonic water, sucking on tums and even putting soap under my bedsheets below my feet, cramping kept me up much of the night.

I had an early appointment and knew it would be a long wait, so I started editing the same file I ran less than two weeks ago in the waiting room–confirming and re-setting the link addresses and shifting the format to fit my touchy, unsophisticated laptop–only to learn shortly after I hit “publish” that it was a relative repeat.

Not that there isn’t a lot of good information there, and it was probably worth a second look.  But talk about being “out of it!”

My question is:  How many of you noticed?

My apologies!  With all of the gratuitous re-runs the television networks hit us with these days, who needs blogosphere  repeats?  I will post Danny’s newest column, Probiotic Yogurt May Reduce Stress, tomorrow.

In the meantime, this may be a good time to write more about my cramping.

For me, the cause is clear:  REVLIMID!  Even at the reduced dose of 5 mg, my now familiar cramping “schedule” remains the same.  It starts the second night of each 21 day cycle, hits me hard for three or four nights and then eases-up; surprising me every other night or so until the last few nights of my cycle.  Then like clockwork, they re-appear for a return engagement.  This lasts 3 or 4 more nights.

Diet tonic water (with quinine) and a few generic Tums before bedtime keep the cramps at bay until 3 or 4 am.  Then BAM!  I’m forced to get up out of bed and walk-off painful cramps in my right shin and foot.  Sometimes it moves-up to my calf.  And sometimes my hands or stomach are affected, too.

10 minutes later I can usually lay-back-down–and hopefully fall back asleep.

BAM!  Like clockwork, at 6:45 am I’m forced to get up again.  How I miss those last 20 or 30 minutes of sleep!

Have I tried anything else to halt the cramping?  You bet!  Pat in Minneapolis recommended pickle juice.  I got the Tums idea (I think that helps a bit) from my good friend, Karl.  He lives up-north, too.

Yes I take potassium supplements.  And magnesium–lots and lots of magnesium.  This has the added benefit of keeping me regular, despite the chemo and pain meds I take.

And speaking of magnesium, magnesium oil–applied topically to my feet and shins–also seems to help.  I do that before I go to bed and after I’m jolted out of it!

One of the patient’s from the dialysis clinic where Pattie works swears by L-Lysine.  I plan to try that tonight.  The bottle suggests taking it on an empty stomach.  At this point I’ll try just about anything!

What am I missing?  No suggestion is too crazy–as long as it works.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat