I have tried and failed to remember/identify this short story or short film (can't remember which!) of a guy who goes about his normal life with a nagging feeling that something is controlling his arm or his arm is stuck on something that he can't really feel. He barely perceives that something is "not quite right".

Eventually he's able to move his phantom limb, press a button, and trigger a "Wake up" command. He discovers that he's in a space ship life support pod on a vessel that is about to explode or run out of air and he has mere minutes to live. The pod was giving him a time-lapsed alternate reality. In the end he elects to press the button again to go back into the matrix where his last few minutes of life will stretch out for decades in the virtual reality. Wish I could remember the title, would love to read or watch it again.

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    While not a perfect match, this reminds me of the story begun in part 3 of the first Red Dwarf novel (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers) and concluded in the next (Better than Life.) Dave Lister's life seems during this story to be too good to be true, but he's been feeling strange pains in his arm. When he puts some cream on the affected areas, he finds the word "DYING" spelt out. He's stuck in a VR simulation, and slowly dying in the real world. Kryten has resorted to lasering messages into his flesh to get through to him. When he does get out, the crew have to evacuate the ship in a hurry. – AJM-Reinstate-Monica Jun 12 '19 at 12:16
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    One of the ways this doesn't match, though, is that Lister doesn't choose to go back into the VR. – AJM-Reinstate-Monica Jun 12 '19 at 12:16

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