A long, jury trial cramps my style

Spent most of 11 hours Monday sitting on a hard bench in the Floyd County Courthouse circuit courtroom covering a child pornography jury trial that did not end until after 8 p.m.

Paid for it twice during the night when “nocturnal leg cramps” first seized my left lower calf and, a few hours later, the right leg.

Nocturnal lower leg cramps are extremely painful muscle seizures that jolt one up from a laying position to trying to stand.  I went through most of my vocabulary of cuss words trying to stand on the painful leg and work out the cramp.

Amy says I invented a few new obscenities on this latest spasms on legs that have endured too much abuse in my 71 years of mistreatment of my body.  I finally managed to hobble to a bathroom and drink two large 24-ounce glasses of water and then walk a while to let my leg stretch.

The left leg cramp hit shortly after 1 a.m. and I returned to bed about 45 minutes later and slept until the right leg cramped around 5 a.m.  Thankfully, I was able to walk that off quickly and returned to bed in under 30 minutes and did not wake up again until 10:30 a.m. — about five hours later than my normal time to arise and start facing the day.

The long jury trial ruled out any chance of attending and photographing the regional basketball tournament final in Ridgeway Monday evening, where the Floyd County Lady Buffaloes beat Martinsville.

Doctors tell me that such cramps happen more often to those over 50 and result from sitting for long periods of time (like on a hard courtroom bench).  Over-exertion of muscles also can bring on such cramps, as can long periods of standing on a concrete floor (or sidewalk) or sitting improperly — all things that I do more often than I should.

Tests have ruled out diabetes, low magnesium levels or kidney problems.  Tests had ruled them out.  Newspaper reporters, however, do sit for long periods, often sit improperly and spend a lot of time standing on hard surfaces.  And, yes, I sometimes overdo things at the gym.

Plus, I’m old.  I guess all of this cramps my style.

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