My Greatest Fear #20: Dead Arms

Have you ever woken up from a nap to find that you can’t feel one of your arms?

Inevitably, your arm starts to tingle and it wakes up as circulation resumes. But what if it doesn’t wake up? What if it’s been without circulation for too long and it has died?

These are the questions that go through my head.

What I don’t quite understand is why our arms don’t die every time circulation is cut off. If there’s not blood going through a part of your body, doesn’t that part die?

I’m thankful that’s not the case. But I still worry that someday I’m going to wake up from a pleasant Sunday afternoon nap to discover that my arm has fallen off.


4 Responses to “My Greatest Fear #20: Dead Arms”

  1. Anne Riley says:

    Hahahahaha 🙂 One thing I hate is how my arms fall asleep if I put them above my head while lying down. This is an extremely comfortable position for me, but then I can’t feel my arms. Ugh. WHY?? Oh, the humanity.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Ah, I know that position well (but fortunately my arms stay awake while doing so). Let me know if your arms ever fall off.

  2. I work with a guy who was in a wrist brace for about 6 months with “Saturday Night Palsy,” which is what you describe . . . sleeping on your arm for so long it damages the nerves. The prescription was . . . wait. And have surgery if it took longer than a year to self correct. Months later he woke up and everything was fine again. That story weirded me out . . . and after reading this post, I’m pretty sure it’ll weird you out too! Good news is, you have to be so wasted your body doesn’t shift to relieve some of the pressure. His excuse was he just turned 21.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Wow, so this is actually a real thing. But your point is that if you’re at least minutely coherent, your body will help you out if you really need it. I think I can manage that.

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