New Nervous Tick
September 4, 2010 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Four days ago there was a storm. Standing ankle deep in water which had flooded up to my front door step, I stuck my metal key into my apparently 100% metal door and ended up sort of electrocuting myself, feeling a tingle and shock going up my arm. Since then I've had this weird tingling sensation in my right hand and arm up to my elbow... just now I tried to hold up a can of soda my fingers and hand tremble. Now what?

I will see a doctor about this, but is there anything I should do in the meantime? It's kind of freaking me out if this will gradually get worse, or I'm stuck like this forever.

Also, since I was unable to open my door without getting totally electrocuted and killed, I was standing there in the rain for a while trying to figure out how to break into my apartment without getting shocked by the door again... but then my old grandpa neighbor wandered by and was able to open my front door no problem! And he too was totally soaked and standing in the same pool of water. What's up with that?
posted by peachtree to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't address the medical end of this, but it's possible that whatever power source shocked you was shut off via a circuit breaker of GFCI when you were shocked, rendering the door safe. That said, this incident absolutely should not have happened. My wildly speculative guess is that the steel door was installed with very long screws, one of which pierced a piece of romex in the wall, energizing the door.
posted by jon1270 at 3:48 AM on September 4, 2010

Consider it wasn't actually a electric shock, etc:
posted by glenno86 at 4:54 AM on September 4, 2010

If the bottom of the door was in the same ankle deep water, I doubt you got anything but a static shock of some kind.

Similarly, if you weren't standing in the water when you touched the door, and neither was it, then there really wasn't a circuit to connect. So again, if anything, a static shock.
posted by gjc at 6:22 AM on September 4, 2010

A while ago I had to do nerve testing in my arm; they zapped me repeatedly and made the arm dance against my will. I got a brand new nightmare fuel medical horror story and my arm was weak and wobbly for a few days (not sure how long - and technically, I was there due to an episode where I suddenly lost the ability to control that arm at all.) The doctor said not to worry. No idea if this is similar to what happened to you.

It took about a year for my wacky arm issues to go away completely. I never got an explanation, but I was feeling better well before I had paid off the MRI bill.
posted by SMPA at 7:24 AM on September 4, 2010

Does it matter *where* you are when you hold the soda can? Does your hand feel tingly only when you are in hour house? I would guess you are under or near some very powerful power lines or transformers. I remember being in a ski hill parking lot many years back under some weird lines, and the soda cans felt like they were vibrating in our hands when we moved.
posted by custard heart at 8:49 AM on September 4, 2010

I'm also thinking it wasn't an electric shock. Once, I electrocuted myself by accidentally touching the metal prong as I plugged something into an outlet, and I felt a horrible, sudden "zap" throughout my entire body and heard it in my head. Definitely was not localized to my arm. Maybe it was just a coincidence that you felt this as you were unlocking your door - maybe something about the motion this time caused an injury?
posted by wondermouse at 9:05 AM on September 4, 2010

Anecdata: I know a woman who was reaching out to close her car door and the act of extending her arm suddenly made her entire arm go numb. I know a guy who threw his back out bending over to flush his toilet. Every now and then our bodies don't line everything up like they should - perhaps you just managed to pinch a nerve in some improbable-but-not-impossible way.
posted by komara at 10:10 AM on September 4, 2010

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