Short but Painful Story

Tuesday Morning

Nick often wakes up before I do. Unlike me, he actually responds to his alarm clock and gets up when it sounds. I either sleep right through it or turn it off.

He gets ready for work and before he leaves gently wakes me up in the morning. To put it mildly, I’m not the greatest person in the morning. This is not hard to imagine.

But, Tuesday morning had some unusually intense moments when I felt Nick chiding me to reality and I instinctively raised my arms and stretched out my body, including my legs.

As Nick leaned over to kiss my cheek, I felt a sudden jolt in my lower left leg, followed by a searing pain that forced my eyes to fly open and promptly scream in Nick’s face as it was inches from mine.

I thrashed around under the comforter, trying to grab my spazzing leg and feeling like it was self-amputating while Nick tried to grab my hand and ask why I was so hysterical.

I just kept screaming.

“HELP ME! TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” As I nearly ripped his hand off his wrist. I didn’t even really consider he had no idea what the problem was or how to diagnose why I was screaming in his face.

Of course he remained calm, “Is it a Charlie horse?”

A sudden image of me, 13 years old, getting my leg massaged by my basketball coach after a grueling practice flashed in my brain. That was my last Charlie horse – 17 years ago. But my brain appropriately filed it away under, “FEELS LIKE DEATH,” and I automatically withdrew the file from memory and screamed, “Y-Y-Y-E-E-E-S-S-S!”

Nick squeezed my hand, probably thinking this is what labor and birth will be like in 3 months, “Ok then, try and flex your toes. Point them upward.”

“I C-C-C-C-A-A-A-N-N-N-T!” I felt like Isaiah was trying to birth himself through my calf muscle.

“You probably didn’t drink enough water yesterday and you’re dehydrated. Point your toes upward and it should help.”

Through my hands, I could feel waves of knots and energy passing in and over each other in my leg. I flexed my foot and let out one more scream that, I’m sure, woke every neighbor on our block and then, suddenly, it was over.

Just like that. It passed.

I lay still, opened my eyes, and looked at Nick.

He held my hand and smiled, “Good morning!”