On a certain Friday in May 2008, I was a rock climber, a martial artist, and someone who would never hesitate to take any opportunity for exercise. On the following Tuesday, I was someone who couldn't go hiking for an hour without facing the possibility of calf pain. For two years prior, I'd been having shaking sensations in my legs when it was cold or -- strangely -- when I took a percocet or was extremely nervous. Those persisted the rest of the year, coincident with the calf pain, but eventually disappeared and haven't come back (knock on wood). But I'm still far too easily fatigued. Interestingly, a bit of alcohol will make me feel better for the duration of its effect, and if I've rested for the previous few days, I can go all day without pain. Sometimes, strangely, I'm good for an entire week. Still can't exercise, though.
But there are days when I feel no pain at all until I walk a few blocks and then I'm sidelined, and the next three days are spent in pain. It's a gripping, gnawing pain in the back of my calves, sometimes heavy. Running will always bring it on. And it doesn't feel like "good" soreness. I can still get "good" soreness, when I walk around a city all day or do some sort of real exercise, but that's not what this is.
I've seen a rheumatologist, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, and a pain specialist. None have any idea. It's worth noting that that weekend I experimented with dextromethorphan (a ketamine-like substance) and played Dance Dance Revolution for a couple of hours while on it. Also, I'd gotten kicked in the back during a sparring match, but didn't feel any lasting pain from it. Could I have experienced some sort of muscle-weakening brain damage from the DXM? Or some undetectable spinal damage from the sparring match? My back is easy to mess up now, and I've got a protruding vertebra in my neck.