Thursday, May 25, 2023

A bad start and a truth

I had a very bad start to the day: I woke up suddenly with terrible leg cramp. Lots of “Ow! Ow! Ow!”, usually joined by the F word. I scared the crap out of Leo, who was also asleep when it began.

I struggled to get the covers off of me, as if they’d suddenly become tentacles gripping me forcefully. My solid lower leg needed my hands to push it off the bed, because all that leg’s energy seemed to be in the knot. My thigh wasn’t strong enough to lower my foot flat on the floor, and it took both hands to push my knee down. The cramp ended and the pain diminished as Leo looked on with a “WTF?” look on his face (in my imagination, anyway).

While all that was going on, the only thing I was thinking about was how Nigel would leap out of bed to help me whenever I got a leg cramp, sometimes grabbing my foot and gently straightening it, ending the cramp. He never got cramp as bad as I did, and when he (rarely) got cramp at all, he was always able to get up and walk it off. Mine have almost always been more intense, like this morning.

I haven’t had severe cramp, or much at all, since Nigel died, but every time I do, my first thought has always been of my missing rescuer. It takes something dramatic like that (or going into hospital to get part of my heart frozen…) to feel the cold terror that can accompany being a widower: After all those years with the one person on the planet who always had my back, who was always there when I needed him the most, I will feel his absence the most keenly when I face such moments alone. Looking after him and being there for him over all those years was just as important to me as it was for him to look out for me.

In the past, when I got cramp, I usually upped my intake of potassium (usually with bananas), which helped. But my current blood pressure medication is potassium-based, and I’m not even allowed to use a salt substitute because they’re also potassium-based and I might end up with too much in my system. Not sure of the strategy now.

The worst part at the moment (apart from having a sore leg) is that whenever this happens, I’m scared to go to bed the next night because there’s often—though not always—a repeat show. I hate severe pain, just as I hate traumatising Leo.

Still, there was a long list of things I needed to get done today. I resolved to put the fear and dread in the cabinet—though I wished I could remember where I put the key so I could lock them inside. I wished that I had my rescuer most of all.

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