I’ve had frequent episodes of muscle cramping on this trip, usually in the night. I’ll be stretching and all of a sudden, youch! My calf muscle will knot up and I’ll start howling. Relief is just a matter of standing on the afflicted leg which is no problem if you’re at home in bed but try standing in a small tent. I have to unzip my sleeping bag (that damn zipper is prone to jamming), unzip the mosquito netting and crawl through the opening. All this, mind you, is taking place while I’m experiencing severe pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, the most common cause of muscle cramping is prolonged exercise in hot weather. Since that pretty much sums up my life for the last month, I guess I don’t have some weird disease. So I asked a pharmacist in El Paso about treatment and he recommended magnesium oxide tablets. I started taking them and the cramps stopped BUT a strange new symptom appeared – excessive sweating. Now, I’m not normally a heavy sweater; in fact I’m a light sweater so this is truly a new thing for me. Even though the weather has cooled down considerably over the last week, the sweat has been coming off my brow like a faucet. Not drip……….drip…………drip but dripdripdrip. Mary suggested the magnesium might be the culprit so I stopped the magnesium pills. The sweating stopped which is good but the cramps came back which is bad.

I Googled the connection between the two and the reputable sites don’t think there is any connection but I’m 90% convinced. The only question is: which is worse – cramps or sweating?