Rude Awakening

June 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )


I woke up early this morning in excruciating pain.  For some unknown reason, a charley horse attacked my right leg while I was soundly sleeping.  I basically went from deep REM to jumping out of bed and doubling over in pain in about a millisecond.  Not a fun way to start the morning, let me tell you.  I don’t get charley horses often but when they do they always seem to strike while I’m in the soundly snoozing.

What exactly is a charley horse?  Wikipedia defines it as: “A popular North American colloquial term for a painful contusion of the quadriceps muscle of the anterior or lateral thigh that commonly results in a hematoma and sometimes several weeks of pain and disability. Such an injury is known in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries (and also in the U.S.) as a dead leg, granddaddy, or chopper. In Australia it is also known as a corked thigh or “corky.” It often occurs in sports when an athlete is struck by an opponent’s knee, in a manner like the kick of a horse, perhaps the reason for its name.”

Personally, I prefer the term corky or dead leg to charley horse, because horses are supposed to be nice animals who only cause you pain if your saddle is improperly set up and they accidentally drag you along the ground in the woods.  Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything…

But really, why the term charley horse?  Well, once again according to my favorite pseudo-factual website Wikipedia, I found out that “the term may date back to American slang of the 1880s, possibly from the pitcher Charlie “Old Hoss” Radbourne who is said to have suffered from cramps. Another story mentions a horse named Charley that used to work at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox’s baseball stadium. In those days, an old, retired horse was often called Charlie.” So the term may have originated in Chicago?  That seems appropriate.

Are there people out there who have never experienced the unpleasantness that is sometimes known as the dead leg?  How do I become more like them?  My leg has hurt all damn morning and I’m not exactly looking forward to my walk home this evening, although I know it’ll probably help.  Regardless, I would be a happy camper if I never felt one of these ever again.  If it does have to happen, could it maybe occur during waking hours from here on out?  Is that so much to ask?  I think contorting my face into a grimace of pain canceled out any potential beauty sleep I was getting, so hopefully tonight I’ll get to catch up.  And if I wake up in the wee hours of the morning clutching my leg and trying not to scream, I might just go with my instinct and punch a hole in my wall.  After I scrape myself up off the ground and wipe the tears from my face, of course.

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1 Comment

  1. Debbie said,

    Eat more bananas – supposed to help

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