Had a weirdly vivid dream that I lost my left hand in some sort of lab accident. I was working alongside a forensic scientist who had this big machine that was part hyperbaric chamber, part sampling device, that was supposed to gather data from and then preserve dead bodies. The preservation process involved a chemical mix (which included something that looked/smelled suspiciously like bbq sauce?!), pressurization, and heat. I don’t remember the accident that actually cost me my hand, but in the aftermath, the scientist took care of the injury quickly and painlessly, and I found myself calmly wondering how I was going to be able to continue doing my normal (real life) day job.
There was a bit of murder mystery stuff in there where the scientist found evidence that one of the Marines from a group we were apparently working with had killed someone, and he tried to come after us when we left the lab, but we lost him in traffic on a long stretch of road. She dropped me off at work and told me to be careful and keep an eye out for him.
I went in and was putzing around without much work to do for a little while, and no one — including me — seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. At some point I was trying to type something on a computer and began having what I thought were phantom limb sensations. I looked down and realized I actually had my hand back! I was very confused because I’d steeled myself for a life without it, and wondered if I’d hallucinated the whole thing.
When I had the chance, I talked to my supervisor alone and told her about it and asked if she’d noticed it before. The hand itself was sort of numb and there was pain in my wrist as if I had mid-grade RSI. She didn’t seem to think anything was strange, like limbs just grow back sometimes or something. I ultimately decided it must have been a dream, but I was paranoid that if I did anything too strenuous with it, it might just fall off or disappear again.
That was when I woke up. I came out of the dream slowly and it was confusing because I recall flexing my left hand and it feeling numb, and I half wondered if I was still dreaming or if it had been real after all. When I was fully awake, I realized it was because my hand was asleep from hanging off the side of the bed, and all I could think was, thank goodness!