Monday, July 23, 2007

Muscle Spasms, Tendonitis or Whatever the Heck is Wrong

Last week, I was having some intermittent leg pain. I complained to the hubby and he tried to get me to go to the doctor. I decided to wait it out, because I've had various pains in the past that go away after some time.

On Friday night, after my son's baseball game, we were heading to the van to go back to the in-law's house and my leg started to really hurt. By the time we reached the van, I was limping.

A few hours later, the pain was pretty bad. My mother-in-law had some Darvocet left over from a dental visit. Neither of us is into medicine and we rarely have any in the house. "Give it to me," I told her. The pain was intense at that point and I was ready to down a bottle of tequila.

I went to bed and tried to do some hypno-breathing to work through the pain. I figured it was a charley horse of some type and would subside soon.

It didn't. The pain became worse, a sharp searing pain. I couldn't bend to get out of bed. My leg was numb from the hip down to the knee and knotted in pain. I'm no wimp when it comes to pain-- heck, I birthed my youngest kid at home and that pain was nothing like this. I crawled to the van and we headed off to the hospital.

Joe and I debated whether or not to get an interpreter. I was in so much pain and I figured if we asked for one, they would delay treatment until the interpreter arrived. So we decided not to. The staff at Palos hospital was really indifferent to providing pain relief. X-rays and an ultrasound ruled out thrombosis and clots. It took hours to be seen by a doctor, who gave me all of two minutes and proclaimed it a muscle spasm.

While in the bathroom, I tried to get up and fell to the floor. I was doubled over in so much pain and couldn't get up. I hit the nurse call button and waited. And waited. And waited. No one came. I finally hollered out, "Can someone please help me!" and then the door opened. Several nurses helped me up.

I ended up with a shot, Vicodin, Motrin and Valium and was still in pain. "There's nothing more we can do for you" they said as they gave me crutches and wheeled me out the door. On the way out, I tried to explain that I was extremely thirsty and quite dehydrated. Maybe an IV with fluids would help, I inquired? They rolled a finger over the veins in my hand and said, "No, you're fine."

So for two days, I took three different pills and didn't get much relief.

At home, looking up "muscle spasms" I discovered that they can indeed be triggered by dehydration as well as low calcium and potassium levels. A follow up visit to my regular doctor had him guessing tendonitis and admitting that he really didn't know what was wrong. He prescribed more powerful pain meds. My purse now looks like a hypochondriac's collection of orange bottles.

I jokingly told my husband that I should have stuck to the idea of hitting the tequila instead.


Nita said...

I used to have muscle spasms in my lower leg when I was a teenager. Often, it would wake me up in the middle of the night and scream for Mommy. Later, I was told it was possibly due to nutrient deficiency. Now, I rarely get it. I love cheese. Maybe that helped. :-P

Karen said...

Pass me the cheese!

Dawn Colclasure said...

These days, my leg pain comes from knots and varicose veins -- one downside to the pregnancy! I, too, have upped my calcium and water intake, and it's helped a lot. I'm sorry you had to go through this. What an awful experience! I hope you are better soon.

Tamara and Dennis said...

Just make an appt with your family doctor.
I had lower back pain and muscle spasms in my right leg. Ended up having the surgery in my lower back- two disc bulge. No more muscle spasms in my right leg.
Do you have pain in your back?

Tamara and Dennis said...

Just make an appt with your family doctor.
I had pain in my lower back and spasms in my right leg. I ended up having the surgery on my lower back-two disc bulge. If you have pain in your back, your dr might have you do MRI or scan on your back. I hate those muscle spasms- NO FUN!!!
Good Luck. :)

Tamara and Dennis said...

I forgot to add.
If you don't have any pain in your back. Sounds like you might have Restless Leg Syndrome. There is medicine for that. My friend has it and the medicine helps her.


Karen said...

No pain in my back but I've had back pain before. I did visit my regular doc and he was the one who prescribed even more drugs. I'm heading out to Colorado tomorrow, maybe that will heal me up!

Priscilla Palmer said...

Diet can definately cause some serious effects with your health. I blogged about my experience with my health and diet earlier this month in an article called "The Effects of Diet".

Good luck, and I wish you well.

Lisa C. said...

Ouch! Its no fun.
My husband and dad take some calcium magnesium xinc tablets at dinner time and eat some bananas every am because they have potassium for leg cramps.

Genevieve Choate said...

Ouch!! I hope you feel better soon!

JaniceNW said...

Once you are dehydrated and low on elctrolytes you're kinda screwed. Next time drink gatorade alternated with water often. Very odten.

Us baseball moms know this drill well.

I hope you are feeling better now!

Becky said...

Sorry for the problem with your leg ... hope things get better soon.

I thought I'd pass this along ... a live webcast of a cochlear-implant surgery at Tampa General Hospital TODAY at 4 p.m. (Eastern).

groovyoldlady said...


I HATE it when the docs play games and treat you like an idiot and then you STILL don't get relief. See if your doc will refer you for some PT, especially if you can find a therapist with a heated therapy pool. And DO eat lots of fruits/veggies/water.

Feel better! :-(

Lillie Ammann said...

I hope you're much better.

I've named you a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Congratulations.

J@n!ce said...

Karen, sorry to hear that you have the leg cramps. I hope it is getting better now with the readers giving you a couple of suggestions. Take Care of yourself ok? Hugs to you & your 3 kids :) :)

memory foam mattresses said...

I down get muscle spasms but i get enflamed muscles (no they dont set on fire! lol) but i causes me hell on a night trying to sleep! I was thinking of buying a memory foam mattress but im looking for advise about it!