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Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2008 - 9:31 P.M.

A Right to Bear Arms

Quite a while ago I mentioned the phenomenon I am prone to, an accute awareness of my arms. I didn't know what was up then and I don't know what's up now. Seriously, it's like this: About a months or more ago, I suddenly became painfully aware of the fact that I have arms. I'm not talking about a cognitive awareness, duh, hello. I mean that one night, while trying to get to sleep, I realized that what was getting in the way of my comfort was these two freaking limbs hanging off the side of my body.

You probably don't give it a lot of thought. Why should you? I mean, they've always been there. We usually grow accustom to our body parts. But there I was, having a lot of trouble falling asleep. My body was just hurting. I have some right shoulder pain caused, I'm quite sure, by my horrible habit of working/playing for hours at a time with a lap top in my lap and using a cordless mouse in a most uncomfortable position. My right arm is stuck in this awkward strained anything-but-relaxed posture for hours at a time. It kind of reminds me of that old vaudeville skit where the guy says "Doctor, it hurts when I do this," so the Dr. says "So, don't do that!" I have a constant chronic ache from just above my right elbow to the shoulder. When I rotate my arms, the shoulder joint grinds. Ew.

So like I was saying, I'm laying there trying to convince myself that I was tired. Have you ever tried to make yourself fall asleep? The very act makes me keenly aware of every hair follicle on my body, every click of the clock, every whir of the New and Absolutely Not Improved Ultra Mega Littermaid Deluxe. And my arms. What the hell am I supposed to do with my arms when I'm in bed? I can't sleep on my back, that would be easy. So on my side, I am forced to sleep right on one of them. And it hurts. That is, until it goes numb. Then it tingles. I hate that tingle. So I flip over and torture the other one.

It's worse when I try and sleep on my stomach. Now that I've lost 60 pounds, I can sleep pretty comfortably on my stomach. That is, when I'm not in a state of alARM. Do I tuck them both under me? (Answer: no. They both fall asleep then, and you are still awake!) Fold them under my head? (Answer: no. Your hands will fall asleep as well). Hold them down at my side? (Answer: no. It puts a strain on your back).

I have found one posture that works, and it involves laying on my left side and positioning the pillows in such as way as to...oh hell, this is boring because it's pretty specific to me. Here's my advice if you find yourself in an ultra-aware-of-your-body state and it interferes with your ability to get comfortable enough to sleep. Take the prescription muscle relaxers that the Dr. give you for your stomach cramps, which are caused by unresolved despite medication GERD. And then, your arms will no longer be an issue because you will forget you even have them.

Hope I helped!

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