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Friday 10th February 2006

I woke up in the early hours of the morning in a bit of a panic. I had been sleeping on my arm and as a result it had gone completely limp, like it was made out of rubber and was being worn by Rod Hull to disguise the fact that his real arm was up the backside of Emu. This has happened to me before in the past. When I first went to Australia in 1997 it seemed to happen a lot. I think it was possibly to do with me being exhausted from the jet lag and so sleeping more heavily, but two or three times I woke up to discover I no longer had control over one of my arms which was now dangling by my side. Some slapping from the other non-affected hand would usually get the blood flowing into it again, but it was a bizarre and unnatural experience. A little bit frightening, but also quite funny. On one occasion that year I awoke to find both of my arms were in this state which was really unsettling. I remember trying to shout out to Stew who was sleeping in the next room (and anyone who says he was sleeping next to me is lying), but I couldn't really get my voice to work either I actually don't remember how I managed to get out of that situation. Without the arms you are used to it is hard to even move yourself around. I guess I feared for a second that I would have rubbery arms for the rest of my life.
The rubbery arm thing hasn't happened for a while and in an odd way it's something I have missed - in a similar way to missing those mornings when I was a kid when i would wake up to find that one of my eyes had been completely sealed up with sleep (that hasn't happened for years). It's like a momentary disability that you know you're probably going to recover from, but there is something fascinating about this playful version of a fear.
This morning I had woken from a bad dream and was still half asleep and my arm was lifeless by my side and I did get a bit freaked out. I am not too clear on what actually happened, but I was trying to haul myself up so I could slap my arm back to life, but was somehow conscious that I might accidentally fall on my bendy, rubber arm and break it in some way. I was in some distress. But finally I managed to wake up properly and realise it wasn't such a big deal and enjoy my kooky carnival arm for the few seconds before I recovered my control over it.

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