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Dead Arm

Dead Arm

    Have you ever done this?

    1.      Sleep on your arm until it goes numb.

    2.      Wake up and realize you can’t feel your arm.

    3.      Try waking it up with the other arm.

    I assume all of you have done those three things. It’s the next step I wonder about. Do you then panic because you think this time the dead arm might be permanent?

    I do.

    In those first seconds, I’m always thinking some version of this: “Oh, no!!! This time is different. Now my arm is dead and it’s never getting better. I’m a one-armed guy now. I’ll have to start drawing left-handed. I wonder if anyone will notice my dead arm. Should I keep it in a sling so people know it doesn’t work or should I ask my doctor to lop it off? If only I had rolled over even once during the night. But nooo, I have to sleep on my arm until it dies. That is so like me. What happens if I sleep on the other one tomorrow night? Can I learn to use a fork with my feet?”

    Then at about the fifth second, some feeling returns to my arm and I experience hope. I also realize that if people could lose their arms after sleeping on them there wouldn’t be many people left on earth with two good arms. Apparently the rational part of my mind wakes up last.

    As full feeling returns to my arm I experience an emotion similar to how I imagine people with incurable diseases feel when someone unexpectedly invents a cure. It makes me happy to be alive. I want to buy a motorcycle, kiss a baby, donate to charity, and travel the world. Life is wonderful, for about a minute.

    Then I realize I’m just a dumbass who thinks his arm is ruined every time he sleeps on it.

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