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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

16 February 2011

Will my arm drop off?

13th February 2011

When I went to bed last night I noticed that my left forearm was tingling and almost numb on the underside. Not painful, just very weird. I couldn’t work out what was wrong until recollecting the journey back from Rinca island. We were all very tired and Maureen slept with her head on my lap. I nodded off too, but to keep myself upright I wrapped my arm around the back of the bench. So for almost two hours my arm was raised high and also had restricted blood flow because of the awkward angle.

I had all sorts of worries that I had killed the tissues in my arm through lack of circulation and they were going to go necrotic overnight and result in me losing my forearm. Necrotic – that was the particular word that kept going through my head. Seven hours after the boat trip I still had a numb arm when I fell asleep, and perhaps unsurprisingly I slept badly and had plenty of nightmares.

Today Tim and Vanessa rested while we went out for another snorkelling trip, on the little boat from the lodge. It was carrying more than a foot of water when we got in – the crew had to bail most of the way! The snorkelling here was superb, with a huge array of fish. We saw lobsters, mantis shrimps, small barracuda, lion fish (I think), and Maureen even spotted an octopus. At one point all the little fish started swimming up to us and trying to nibble our outstretched fingers. I can only

imagine that they sometimes get fed here, because it was all the same species that would normally swim away. Anyway, far less alarming than the suckerfish!

This evening the arm is still numb, so maybe I’ll still lose it. But Tim and Vanessa can both think of examples of work colleagues or friends who have had a limb in an awkward position for a long time and then taken several days for the numbness to wear off. I’ll keep you posted!

6 Responses to “Will my arm drop off?”

  1. Jane says:

    I had numb toes for nearly 6 months after a 3-shows-in-3-nights dancing in heels marathon… feets is fine now!

  2. Dan says:

    I hate that feeling…amount of mornings I wake up after lying on an arm and its gone completely numb, a lifeless lump of flesh and bone hanging off your body…then the feeling of pins and needles and the slow recover back into a useful limb…the joy of realising its going to be all right again :D

    Hmmmm its the 17th if im correct that means its a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Maureen…hope you have a great day!!!!!!!

    Take care, both of you.


    • shortclaws says:

      Thanks, Dan! I did have a great day. It was lovely celebrating with friends and family in Bali. Wish you were here too!

      Love, Maureen xxx

  3. Hels says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I have wished you many happy returns on your Facebook page, but I am not entirley convinced that you go on it very often so . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY on here too!

    What are you and Matt going to do to celebrate whilst on your travels!?

    Bye for now.

    Hels xx

    • shortclaws says:

      Thanks Hel. And congratulations to you and Martin on your engagement! I’m looking forward to being your bridesmaid-of-honour. Can’t wait!

      Love, Maureen xxx

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