If you dream you have foot cramps and the pain wakes you up, but then it’s gone when you open your eyes, do you really have foot cramps?

This is the great philosophical question I am going to tackle in this column because I have given up on that pesky one about the tree falling in the forest, which has kept me tossing and turning for several decades.

I hate brain teasers. Things like: If I tell you I lie about everything, am I telling the truth now? When I read this kind of enigma, I just want to find the person who came up with such an inane question and put him out of my misery.

A few years back, I was having nightly leg cramps, which constantly woke me. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I spent the wee hours of the morning massaging my legs, wrapping them in hot towels and popping magnesium pills. Ah, those were the good old days. Now things have gotten complicated and out of my reach. This time it’s my feet.

When I woke up the other morning my wife asked me: “So, how did you sleep?”

“Not very well. Foot cramps woke me up several times. I had them all night. It’s hard to believe I slept at all.”

“What did you do to stop them?”

“I didn’t have to do anything. Once I opened my eyes, the cramps were gone, so I went back to sleep.”

“Well, maybe you just dreamt you had them?”

“Mary Ellen, you know thinking about stuff like that keeps me awake.”

“Bingo, you’re cured! You’ll never have foot cramps again. What would you do without me? By the way, will never sleeping again make you even grumpier than you already are?”

Each of the next three nights, I was awakened again. Throbbing, piercing foot pain. I bolted straight up in bed. “What’s the matter, Dick? Foot cramps again?”

“Yes, but I swear I wasn’t dreaming…although, I am surprised to find you sleeping next to me. Where’s Jennifer Lopez?”

I finally saw my doctor and explained the problem. My discussion with him made things even worse. “Dick, are you still taking that mild sleeping pill I prescribed?”

“Yes, why?”

“The cramps may be a side effect of the sleeping pill.”

“So, I’m not just dreaming I have cramps?”

“I’m not sure, but I’d stop taking the pill for a few weeks and see what happens.”

“But my wife says if I don’t get a good night’s rest, I’m sleepy, then I’m grumpy and I become a little dopey. What do you think, Doc? What am I missing, here?”

“I think there are four more dwarfs,” he snapped back.

I’m not quite sure what to do now. The doctor thinks I’m crazy, my wife says I’m a hypochondriac and Jennifer won’t take my calls.

This morning, I told Mary Ellen about the dream I had last night. I had no foot cramps. I also had a full head of hair, perfect hearing, and rock-hard abs.

“Do you remember those days?” I asked her.

“Only in MY dreams,” she said.

Dick Wolfsie is a former Indianapolis TV personality.