Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dead Arm

frivolity (blargticle)

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to find that one of your arms is dead? I rank that fairly high up on my list of terrifying experiences, along with the temporary blindness that sometimes comes from standing up too fast. I woke up last night and discovered that my left arm had become a useless dead weight at my side; no urging from my brain could make it even begin to move. At first, it's a novelty: there's no feeling quite like picking up your own arm, feeling it in your hand, yet having no sensation at all in that arm itself. It's even a little gross, like picking up some dead, naked animal and watching it flop back to the ground when you let go. But after that brief moment of awe, the fear sets in. Despite the fact that I have experienced this plenty of times and it always turns out the same way, there's always that point of worry where I wait anxiously for the feeling to return to me, fearing that maybe this time it won't. I can't imagine what it would be like to live like that every day, as some people do.

As I begin to feel tiny prickles spreading over my arm, I always breathe a sigh of relief and am briefly that much more grateful for the physical capabilities I have. The feeling never lasts, though, at least until I go numb again. But I shouldn't have to wait until numbness sets in to consider how fortunate I am; it's far better to recognize and appreciate what you have while you have it. I'm trying not to take so many things for granted anymore. I'm wiggling my fingers while I still can!

My family always called it "asleep" instead of "dead", so I never worried about it "coming back to life", since I always knew that it would "wake up".

I wonder if I too would have been worried about it if my family called it a dead arm instead of saying my arm is asleep.

Survey time: What does your family call an asleep/dead arm/leg? I have never thought about it, but it might be something like the pop/soda thing...


Michelle said...

well i woke up this morning and my leg was asleep...i think that answers your question...could have been a given, though, considering i'm yo' sista

hockeyfrog said...

When an extremity is asleep, its got that pins and needles feeling. Dead is when you can't feel it at all. Usually I feel my muscles TRYING to move but its usually painful from lack of oxygen and such, thats asleep.

I don't think I've ever actually had a "dead" limb. Hmm. There was that one time, but that wasn't due to lack of circulation... more like topical anesthetic that was used on my arm. I accidentally slammed my arm in the door at that point and never felt it. I did once the bruise showed up though and the anesthetic wore off...

Ookami Snow said...

We call both asleep, just one is more alseep than the other.

When it starts to tingle is when we would call it waking up.