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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Lsst night was my worst ever in a hammock

    I had the worst night ever in my Byer Moskito Hammock last night. The moment itself could have happened anywhere, but the hammock made it worse. This is probably just something that happens to newbies.

    About 6 am, I started drifting out of a deep sleep. I could hear the birds chirping but I was still just half awake. I was in a happy place. As the morning talked to me, I slowly stretched my legs. Suddenly, I felt the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. It took my breath away. I sat straight up, banging my head on the stainless steel water bottle hanging by a mini-biner from the hammock ridgeline.

    I struggled to breathe, thrashing around and panicking, trying to figure out where this screaming pain was coming from. Eventually, it dawned on me that my left calf was locked up into the most excruciating cramp I have ever felt. This was the charley horse from hell, and I reached to grab my calf and massage it out. Of course, my thrashing had twisted the sleeping bag around my legs and I couldn't even find my lower torso, well enough my gastrocnemius. So I grabbed my calf from outside the sleeping bag, but the pain only got worse as I tried to massage it.

    The contractions came in waves, in short bursts, and it seemed that the time between contractions was shortening. "This must be what childbirth is like," some part of me said. Suddenly I could hear my wife screaming from another part of my brain: "YOU DON'T KNOW PAIN UNTIL YOU PUSH A BABY OUT OF YOUR VAGINA!!!!"

    As every muscle in my body started to involuntarily contract in sympathy pain for my poor calf muscle, I tried to reach for the zipper so I could stand up (the only remedy that works for me when I have foot or leg cramps). But I couldn't reach the zipper. Hell, I couldn't even find the zipper. The pain was so bad I had no concept of what a zipper was. I just wanted to escape the hammock and stand up. Not too much to ask.

    A thought flashed into my brain: "Just grab the mosquito netting in both hands and rip your way out like Wolverine in X-Men." But there is no way I could do that; not after all the repair time it took me to sew the bug netting where my son had sat on it and ripped the ridgeline supports.

    On to plan B, blinded and writhing in pain, I felt my way along the length of the hammock looking for the zipper. "Why didn't I pull the zippers to the middle where they're easily accessible," I thought to myself. As each contraction hit me, the pain made me forget where I had started the search for the zipper and I had to start again.

    Finally there was a break in the contractions, my vision returned, and I could see the zipper! I violently freed myself (hammock and bugnet were okay) and stood up on terra firma. As the contractions ceased, I started making apologies for the hammock:

    "It's not your fault; it's mine. I'm so used to jumping out of bed when I have a leg cramp, standing up, and it's all gone. I panicked; it's not your fault, hammock. It was me, not you."

    Lately, I've been practicing in the back yard on how to deploy the tarp and hammock in heavy rain or wind. So add this to my list of things I need to practice: how to get out of a hammock quickly when you are blinded by the pain of an excruciating charley horse. My calf is still sore, by the way, and will probably be sore for days.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hrairoorah's Avatar
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    Been there.

  3. #3
    Acer's Avatar
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    Eat more Potassium products,,banannas,,water mellon,,and salt. I still get them and they suck! lol

  4. #4
    Pretbek's Avatar
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    Ouch, that sounds like an unpleasant adventure.

    Not to sound like a wise-***, but when you have a cramp in your calf, grab your heel with one hand (right through the sleeping bag that you can't get open anyway) and your toes with your other hand. Now forcefully pivot your toes and foot until your toes touch your shin.
    Something tells me they won't get that far , but that tension will remove the cramps/spasms. No need to actually stand.

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion, Pretbek. I'll have to try it. I never really had to think of alternative remedies to a leg cramp because I always had a "go-to" solution that worked: stand up, a really quick cure. I definitely panicked in this situation, and for a few brief moments felt claustrophobic.

  6. #6
    Senior Member clb's Avatar
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    OK, maybe it's because I'm a woman, but that's the funniest thing I've read, maybe ever....I laughed out loud so hard I was having trouble breathing.Yes I'm terribly ashamed, but I say this with tears running down my face...was is NOT suppose to be funny? My bad
    Leigh
    aka LookinUp

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    Antoine de St. Exupery

  7. #7
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clb View Post
    but I say this with tears running down my face...was it NOT supposed to be funny?
    CLB, yes it was supposed to be funny! I always see the humor in things (even funerals make me laugh) so it's just my nature to find the "funny" in life's experiences. The pain was real, but I was trying to convey the absolutely idiotic way I reacted and how funny it all turned out to be. No harm, no foul. I'm just a human.

  8. #8
    MarshLaw303's Avatar
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    that used to happen in my 10' hammock but not as much in my 11' and never as bad if they do happen. using a pad under the lower legs helps me too

    -Tim

  9. #9
    vdeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cevans View Post
    Eat more Potassium products,,banannas,,water mellon,,and salt. I still get them and they suck! lol
    For just a moment there I thought you said eat more possum products and I immediately thought of Shug.
    "There are places in this world that are neither here nor there, neither up nor down, neither real nor imaginary. These are the in-between places, difficult to find and even more challenging to sustain." - Thomas Moore

  10. #10
    Burning at both ends Dblcorona's Avatar
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    Yep. Been there. If I shift and end up with my legs elevated, I will get them. A lot of studies have been done, but it's still inconclusive on what causes them. Potassium is often cited, but a lot of times it's actually a calcium or magnesium deficiency.
    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
    we grow old because we stop hiking."

    -- Finis Mitchell,

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