Sunday, October 15, 2006

Phantom leg cramps

During this pregnancy, The Husband has been very good to me. He gives me no flak whatsoever when I play my trump card and sit around instead of doing the dishes like I said I would. And I play this card pretty much all the time now, as I am incapable of performing any tasks without resting for at least an hour before and after. Today, for example, The Husband went grocery shopping, which he hates, and cleaned the tub, which he also hates. And he will rub my back and stroke my head upon request and is just generally awesome. Of course, The Husband has always been awesome, so this is not surprising. There is, however, a dark side to the story.

Being pregnant has increased my proclivity towards leg cramps. Many many times over the past nine months, I have stretched my leg during the night only to be awakened by an intense, shooting pain in my calf muscle which has become locked in the contracted position. The only way to stop the pain is to flex my foot and stretch out the calf muscle, but this is something I am completely unable to accomplish while lying down, gasping in pain.

When this first started happening, I would shake The Husband awake and say, “Ow! Ow! The Husband! Ow! My leg! Ow! Please, can you – ow! Ow! My foot! Ow! My leg!” while uselessly waving the afflicted leg in his general direction. Having just been pulled from a deep sleep, he naturally had no idea that this incoherent gasping translated into, “Please pull my foot back and stretch out my calf muscle.” And he would be kind of annoyed with me.

After this happened a few times, I decided that we had to have some practice runs during the day, and I explained to him that I woke him up like that, I needed him to pull my foot back and flex it for me. This improved matters dramatically, as I was able to wake him up and simply say, “Ow! Leg! Left!” and he would know what to do. But in his sleep-addled state, he still tended to get annoyed with me for waking him up and being incoherent.

One time in particular, as he attempted to pull my foot back and unlock my cramped muscle, he said to me, “Stop fighting me!” in exasperation. You see, my leg cramp was so strong that he thought that I was actually pushing against him with my foot, purposely not letting him stretch out my leg.

The next morning, I asked him about this. “You secretly think I’m making up the leg cramp thing, don’t you,” I said. “There’s actually a part of you that believes I’m waking you up and pretending that I can’t pull my own foot back to stretch out my calf muscle.”

The Husband gave me a sheepish grin. “Uh… yeah,” he said.

But I don’t hold it against him. He came around and believes me now, and he’s been taking care of so many other things that I wouldn’t dream of complaining. And he never makes fun of me when I take off my pants because they’re too tight and take off my sweater because I’m too hot and write blog entries in my underwear.

You know, hypothetically.

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