Bump in the Night

cave paintingDarkened with bruising even these seven days later, my back looks like a map drawn by a caveman.  That’s why I haven’t written here for a while.

It wasn’t because because of the end-of-year party we put on in the organization so close to my heart, or because of the graduation ceremonies the following day. It wasn’t because because I have had nightly visitors in the form of alums of that same organization who are so much fun to be around I could practically sell tickets to strangers to come hang out with them. And it wasn’t because I gave an hour-long talk last Friday at the local high school, or because of the DMV trip I made with my favorite new driver, or because of the potluck supper I went to, bringing crab cakes on a bed of greens, as promised.

It was only because last Tuesday night I once again got a 10-on-a-scale-of-10 leg cramp, causing me to shoot out of bed with pain that felt as if the character the Mountain from Game of Thrones was twisting my leg off.

I ran into the bathroom for hot water – I find my leg cramps are eased by hot water.

“Fill the tub!” I thought, but that would take too long and the pain was too excruciating.  “Hoist the foot into the sink like when you’re shaving your legs and run hot water on your calf that way!” – only how could I do that, stand storklike on one leg when my knees were knocking so?

“Wait, why are my knees knocking?” asked myself.  And why am I light in the head?”

“Ah, Terry,” came the answer from some wiser, more inner voice.  “Do you never learn? You are light in the head because any minute now you are going…



I tried to sit down so I wouldn’t hit my head, like I did that time ten years ago when they made me wear a Holter monitor around for a week because they didn’t believe it was just a faint brought on by a leg cramp.

And did sit down – I think. All I really remember is that there was a sharp crack! – then a brief blank period – and then I woke, halfway into doing a sudden sit-up. Thirty seconds later I was back in the bed.

“What was all THAT? said David who has grown used to loud noises when to comes to his wife.

“Oh nothing,” I said. “I fainted.” And I really did think it was nothing.

The next day though, when I went to the Y for Pilates and found I couldn’t sit. I guess I’m a little slow. “Really?” was what I thought.  “You can have arthritis in your sitz bones?” Then, an hour later, the class over, I reached for the car door and felt pain in my arm. “Really?” I thought again. “That shot I got at my annual exam is STILL hurting after all this time?”

It wasn’t until two days after when toweling off after a shower in our bathroom with the mirrored wall just opposite the tri-fold mirrors over the sink that I saw: I was – and still am – black and blue everywhere, on the delt of one arm, on my whole back, and, as I just saw this morning while in fact shaving my legs with one foot in the sink, on my left sitz bone, where the black and blue I got there a full week ago is still a lurid purple. 

I can’t picture any of it but I’m guessing I lost consciousness halfway through the-gettingdown-so-I-wouldn’t-fall-down motion, landed hard on my bottom, had my torso slam back onto the tiles, even as I unconsciously kept my head upright, thus effecting that sudden sit-up I woke to find myself doing.

I’m darkened with bruising even these seven days later, it’s like I say: my whole dorsal side looks like a map drawn by a caveman, and all I can do is to wonder: 

How DID I clatter down to the floor really?

And what would it take to get a nanny-cam installed in the bathroom, for the next time, because I mean really,  who doesn’t love forensics? 🙂

17 thoughts on “Bump in the Night

  1. … and who doesn’t love YOU !?! i’m sitting here chuckling over your near-death experience (… is something wrong with this picture?)

  2. Leg cramps? Look at all you did while you were on your feet. I know about leg cramps. Sul literally picked me up and put me in the tub with nice hot water. Usually I can walk it off, but once in a while, very bad. My only suggestion. DO NOT jump out of bed; that alone can cause you to faint. Roll over on your side and gradually get up. Try, try, try not to point your toes when you stretch. Good luck and slow down. You really are so lovable; we miss all you northerners.

    1. miss you too and keep jonesing for a trip to West Virginia to see YOU two!

      I know you are right: I leap up.. I will for sure not point my ballerina toes haha… Thanks and aren’t you lucky to be swooped up like a bride!

  3. I have relieved calf cramps by wraping a belt or towel around the ball of my foot and pulling my toes toward me. It stretches the Achilles tendon. Good for plantarfascitis too. Bernice is right – don’t point your toes! You have been to a doctor for the passing out, right?

    1. Just talked to my doc; she agreed we both knew what causes this.. I WILL sleep with one of my long Isadora-style scarves by my bed though Gwen That remedy sounds just right!

  4. Has a dr ever diagnosed your fainting? They called it some strange thing like “vaso vagel” for me. The last time I fainted I woke up scrunched up between a door and a wall with no idea where I was. I was sore for weeks.I get those charley horses in my legs and feet too. Getting old sure isnt for sissies!

    1. vasovagal it is!I have learned so much since my last slam down onto the floor. Sounds like you were out longer though!
      True that about getting old being not for sissies!

  5. Terry – drink a glass of tonic water (for the quinine) before bed. Drink the regular stuff, not the diet. It helped me. That pain is the worst.

  6. Pass on the sink and bath remedy, instead use the shower head with a hose. So many people haven’t opted for the hose attachment.
    Kathy relates to your leg cramps.
    John Glenn circled the earth without even a bruse or fainting spell. But fell in his home shower/tub and got a serious concussion. I am sure he wasn’t shaving his legs.


    1. haha Mike so true about John Glenn! I had forgotten that!
      We haven’t opted for the hose attachment; what’s the matter with US?
      love to hear from you 🙂

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