In Which Ms. Bean Hurts Herself While Doing Good, Of Course

This is going to be a rambling blog post. ‘Tis time to tell a story, one that answers why I briefly stopped commenting on blogs, in case you were wondering. And even if you weren’t wondering, here’s the story.

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FACT #1 – About 10 years ago I was in a car accident.  A 17 y.o. neighbor girl child rear ended me as I turned into our driveway.  She was texting instead of paying attention to driving.

As a result of the accident I suffered a rotator cuff injury that, after drugs and a few months of physical therapy, healed with no lasting damage, until two weeks ago.

FACT #2 – Over the years because I didn’t know how to say “NO” I’ve inherited more stuff than you can imagine.  Among said stuff is furniture that is old, usable, but not really worthy of an auction.  More like vintage, slightly distressed furniture that you’d find at a flea market.

FACT #3 –  In August Zen-Den and I decided to contact St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store to see if they still offered free furniture pickup for donations.

The answer was a qualified “YES” in that they’ll pick up furniture that you’ve managed to wrestle to the garage, but they’ll no longer come into your house to carry the furniture out.

FACT #4 – We live in a house on a wooded ravine lot with a walkout basement.  This means that to get furniture from the basement, where it is stored, to the garage, where St. V de P will pick it up, is literally an uphill challenge.

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In a moment of middle-aged bravado…

Z-D and I said to ourselves WE CAN MOVE THE FURNITURE from the basement, up the side of the hill, to the garage.  And thus we convinced ourselves that we, and by we I mean me, weren’t weak and pathetic and pre-old.

While many pieces of furniture were easily managed because they were small, think end tables or mirrors, other pieces of furniture were awkward to carry.  For instance, there was a large old oak rocking chair, but most notably THERE WAS AN OLD 5’x2’x1.5′ CEDAR CHEST that had been my mother’s hope chest as a girl.

Amazingly we got the rocker up the hill without incident, but THE CEDAR CHEST WAS ALMOST NIGH-ON IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO BALANCE as we trudged up the hill.  It is while carrying this cedar chest and not dropping it that I slipped on the grass on the hill and wrenched my previously injured shoulder.

I instantly knew what had happened, but continued to carry my end of the cedar chest into the garage BECAUSE DAGNABBIT I WAS GOING TO HELP.

• ❤️ •

Well, the rest of this story…

is exactly what you’d expect.  MY SHOULDER HURT LIKE HELL for a few days;  I started alternating ice and heat on it while taking Advil.  I stopped using my arm as much as possible, including reaching out to type on a keyboard.

And now, after about 10 days of TLC, I’m almost back to normal.  There are twinges, but no shooting pain.

As for our donation to the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, it went smoothly.  The men arrived as scheduled, were pleasant, took all that we offered them, and ultimately OUR BASEMENT IS MUCH EMPTIER/BETTER because of it.

I’ll heal, but being charmingly cynical by nature I cannot help but think of the old saying: no act of kindness goes unpunished.  I’m glad we donated the furniture, but did I have to get hurt in the process?

Apparently the answer is YES.

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FYI: Yesterday morning I found this informative + fun article on NPR: Lift Your Head and Lower Your Arms– You Might Just Feel Better

I’ve done what it suggests and today I’m grooving on proper posture, finding it less painful/easier to type. When the student is ready the teacher arrives, eh?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

171 thoughts on “In Which Ms. Bean Hurts Herself While Doing Good, Of Course”

  1. Sometimes donating is a lot of work. I’m currently pulling together a pick up. The good news is that there is no furniture involved. BTW I get the “we can do this” thing. We have some yard re-grading that needs to be done so we can plant grass in an area that gets water erosion. My husband even bought some bag of topsoil (which look silly considering the scope of the project). Thinking it through I knew we were delusional. We have a landscaper coming in October to do it. He laughed when he saw the few bags of topsoil. He’s going to bring in a truck load.

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    1. Kate, you’re right. Who knew it’d be so much struggle to donate items? Oh I totally get your landscape it yourself attitude and I’m sure your project will be wonderful once someone else does it. [We’ve got a similar situation here that I’ll write about eventually no doubt.]

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  2. Cedar chests! Good heavens, we had an enormous one when I was a kid. Those things are heavy. So sorry to hear about you injury, although the mentality of “I will do this though it kills me” is sadly familiar.

    As we’ve gotten older, we added a dolly to our list of “Too Many Things in the Garage.” It has proven very useful–especially when the kid decided he wanted to play the tuba.

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    1. AutumnAshbough, the kicker about the cedar chest is that the St. V de P man just picked it up and carried it into the van like it was a sleeping child. No big deal.

      We don’t have a dolly [obviously] but in retrospect that’s a good idea. Your child plays tuba? Well, aren’t you lucky!

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  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury, but happy you’re feeling better. After two back surgeries, I find myself doing things that I really shouldn’t be doing. It’s in our nature, I suppose. Thank you for sharing the diagram. I’m certainly in need of assistance in that area. Last week I had to see a specialist who gave me a cortisone shot. If it doesn’t help, which I’ve felt no improvement thus far, I will need surgery. If that happens, I’ll have to learn to type with my toes in order to meet my deadline. Do you have any diagrams on that?

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    1. Jill, I’m sorry to read about your back and have my fingers crossed that your cortisone shot is just taking its time to help you. They can be wonderful, as I recall. I thought the diagram was helpful, the entire article that I linked to is a hoot, actually. Should you learn to type with your toes you can create a diagram to show us how it is done. 😉

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  4. Ouch! I have suffered this type of injury, and reinjury, so I really do feel your pain. Please be careful in the coming months, because it’s very easy to injure that shoulder again (and again and again). I’m glad you got the space cleared and I’m glad you chose to do something good, as opposed to just adding this stuff to a landfill. Take care.

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    1. Dan, good advice about the coming months. I’m attempting to remind myself to use my other arm more often which is what the physical therapist had me do all those years ago. I’m glad we donated the items. They were useable, pretty even– just not our style now and didn’t belong in the landfill.

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  5. As soon as I hit the words ‘cedar chest,’ I knew what was coming. I didn’t know the details, but the broad outline was clear. I have one in my closet, and were it not for big, burly men who can be hired to tote stuff, it would have been gone long ago. Well, except for the fact that a cedar chest is a great place to keep sweaters out of the way of our creepy critters that love to munch on such things. I’m glad you’re feeling better, and that the things that needed to go are gone.

    Tangentially, the mentions of trucks and dollies brought this to mind. It always makes me smile, probably because of my Iowa roots and rural Texas experiences.

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    1. shoreacres, able was I until I lifted the cedar chest. We had no place for it in this house, having inherited it a couple of houses ago when I used it. However, I’ve now learned my lesson about aging and lifting. Happily most of the heavy stuff is out of the basement now, so in the future our donations will be more manageable.

      I LOVE THE LINK. I’ve never heard that song before but what a hoot. I grew up in a small town in the corn and soybean fields of Ohio, so I get that.

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    1. Dorothy, it is difficult to know what to do with the items in another person’s home. I’m frugal so I kept more than I should have, thinking I might want it later. Well, it’s later and I don’t want it. Still I’m glad that I allowed myself the luxury of time to decide about these [kind of sentimental] items. What to do, what to do, eh?

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        1. I can relate to your husband. I’ve been part of the dismantling of three homes and it never is easy. There’s so much sentiment attached to objects, especially when the original owners are gone. Best of luck with a difficult project.

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  6. Rambling or not (and I think “not”) I can see you struggling along with the chest – injury notwithstanding – your descriptions are so good.

    And I can relate to the dagnabbit thing – I’ve been helping hubby haul firewood to the storage shed – “why are you going that way?” he asked. “The wagon will spill.” Of course, the wagon did not spill, I made sure of that, but I sure did need physical therapy for insisting I knew what I was doing by taking the short uphill route rather than take the longer, flatter way. Dagnabbit.

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    1. Maggie, our donation project was a good one and I was soooo determined to make it happen considering all the furniture was from my side of the family so I got us into this mess. 🙄

      I hear you about going uphill. You had a wagon with wood on it! Oh that is heavy. I’m impressed you made it up the hill but wonder if you’ll try it again. I know I won’t be carrying any more furniture up any hills. I’m too old for that crap now.

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  7. Right there with you and the belief that I can still do everything I did when I was 20, or even 40! It’s just so tempting to believe that one’s body is still capable… even when you know it isn’t.

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  8. I have shoulder impingement syndrome in both shoulders ~ it’s like carpal tunnel in the wrist, but different. 😛

    Anyhow, if I overdo it, my shoulders are not shy about screaming at me. Fortunately, after a single cortisone shot in the right and a year later a single shot in the left, I have not needed to seek any further medical treatment. In short, like you, I learned my limits and my lesson.

    If I do feel a twinge of impingement on the nerve, I STOP what I’m doing and take Advil to reduce the inflammation and ice the area IMMEDIATELY.

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    1. I’ve not heard of that syndrome but I’ve no doubt you do the right thing to keep it in check. Advil is a wonderful thing! As is ice.

      I had cortisone shots years ago when I was initially injured, but this time it’s not as bad as before. More just stupid, you know?

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  9. Ouch! Why do we persist in doing things as we age, knowing the potential for injuries (which may require surgery at some point)? I do hope it will improve without need for any drastic measures. As for computers, I gave up looking at a laptop screen a long time ago. I added an external monitor at eyeball height and it really helped neck/back issues.

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    1. Eilene, you ask THE question: Why do we persist in doing things as we age, knowing the potential for injuries? In my case I’d say it was just pure stupidity.

      I don’t like laptops so I use a regular old desktop computer. Following the instructions in the article, with the screen at this new height, along with my chair adjustments, I’m doing much better. Who knew?

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  10. What a story! And you’re sticking to it – right? My acts of kindness have led me to a chiropractor. Just this morning, my writing chair has sailed out of my studio into the hatch of our car to get adjustments, just like my body: neck, shoulders, lower back.

    I have been fishing for a phrase to describe you and discovered it embedded in the post: “charmingly cynical”! Here’s to full recovery! 🙂

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    1. Marian, yes this is my story and I am sticking with it. Glad that the furniture is gone to somewhere good, but why was it so difficult? I guess to teach me something. Oh goodie.

      Years ago a blogger told me I was “charmingly cynical” and the description stuck. I’ve used it to describe myself ever since. To thine own self be true.

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  11. Ouch! Why do we/I think I’m/we’re much stronger than I/we actually am/are? Golly that was a complicated sentence to type. These days I have to look out for a blade of grass that wants to trip me up/down. I’m only too aware that no good deed goes unpunished, so I hide away until the thought disappears. Good luck in full recovery Ally Bean and well done on the mission accomplished.

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    1. Susan, ha! I like your sentence, so true. I know what you mean about being careful to not injure myself with the smallest things. I shouldn’t have carried the furniture up the hill, but I was doing good, darn it. And the furniture did get to where it needed to be, so there’s that. However, talk about a dumb thing to happen… 😐

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  12. My sister had a heavy cedar hope chest (there was no hope for me), so I know how heavy those things are. Luckily my husband moves mountains with a dolly and I never have to help, because I’m so “pre-old” that I feel old! I hope that your recuperation goes smoothly!!

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    1. KDKH, I know that hope chests were a thing at one time and that my mother used hers, BUT TALK ABOUT HEAVY. It’s been sitting empty in our basement for years so it was time to let someone else have it– with my blessing. I’m taking this shoulder recuperation seriously, refusing to overdo anything that might aggravate it. Lesson learned.

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  13. I am so sorry you have been hurt, Ally Bean. Owww! And you were doing such a good thing, getting rid of old stuff and donating it to a good recycling reselling shop. I hope you heal up quickly. We have been hauling down old windows that were put up in our shed 40 years ago, and it’s a miracle I’m not in the same shape as you. It gets scary to do stuff like this the older we get.

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    1. Kathy, we were moving slowly while we carried the furniture up the hill, but reality in the form of old age caught up to me. I know that I’ll be fine in the long run and that the furniture went to a good place, so I can’t be bitter about this. Word of [obvious] advice, be aware as you haul your old windows around; they’re as awkward to carry as a cedar chest.

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    1. Mary, I didn’t anticipate getting hurt while giving away this furniture, but in retrospect it wasn’t the wisest thing for me to help carry it up the hill. I was just so jazzed about moving this furniture on to where it could be useful. However, I’ll get better and in the end all’s well that ends well [enough].

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  14. Ouch Ally, ouch! Sorry to hear that your determination to do good with your good stuff caused you pain. Good to hear you’re on the recovery road. Ahead of my mother’s last move, I made a pronouncement: no more would anyone be allowed to say “oh that’s too good to donate. We should [whatever]”. For I’d learnt that no matter who said the words, we always = Debs, Anyone who wanted us to do something, had to do it themselves or keep quiet. It worked like a dream. My siblings volunteered neither themselves nor me for anything. But we’re all old (and hopefully gaining in wisdom).

    That said, my daughter would’ve loved your cedar chest as she’s just had yet another infestation of the moths 😦 Pity London is so far from you.

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    1. Deb, the whole situation is ridiculous. I mean, I should have known better, but I didn’t until… I did. I happily would have given the cedar chest to your daughter or anyone for that matter, but no one wanted it. Myself included, eventually. Good awareness on your part about who “we” is in your family. Best to let those relatives who want the stuff come and get it for themselves to do with what they want. If we’re lucky we all learn eventually.

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  15. I could probably stand to improve my writing posture. I’ve searched for years and made many useless purchases of desk chairs that just don’t work for me. Perhaps it’s the desk’s fault. Or currently, the table’s. To quote a friend’s new favorite t-shirt, it is what it is.

    I, too, carried a hope chest around with me for many years. Incredibly heavy and simply unwieldy, aren’t they? Although it was my mother’s, neither of us had any sentimental attachment to it. Not sure why I kept it through so many moves but it moved on to a new home during my move from Wyoming.

    I am grateful that I got rid of all the furniture and whatnot donations from my parent’s house pre-covid. Otherwise, the piano would still be in that house.

    I am glad you are recovering well. Take care of yourself. Shoulders can be difficult to heal, try not to keep injuring it, eh?

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    1. Zazzy, the article has been helpful, I’m adjusting how I sit here as I go along. Mindful about my posture in a way I wasn’t before. At least so far I’ve been able to type today without any pain. That’s progress.

      I had no real need for the cedar chest, but I know that at one time they were considered valuable. I hope that whoever buys this one enjoys it. The darned thing was sturdy, I’ll give it that.

      It’s funny. It’s only because of Covid-19 that we’ve had this time at home to organize and prepare items for donation, but donating them is more difficult than before. Still onward, albeit not onward carrying heavy items around!

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  16. Oh, no! I’m just like you, not completely believing that I’m weak and oldish. No, I don’t need any help getting that Christmas box down. (twists lower back) No, I can flip that mattress by myself. (tweaks shoulder) I’m glad that you are on the mend and have less furniture around. That’s a good feeling.

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    1. Margaret, you’re right in that it’s good to have the furniture donated, out of the house. I get your desire to do things yourself, being the same way, but this particular moment of independence came with a cost for me.

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  17. So sorry to hear about your injury, but yay for cleaner basements, donations, and being on the mend. I love the scent of cedar wood, but I’d rather stick my head in a cedar chest and sniff than try maneuvering one up a hill. I’m glad your adventure didn’t end with quite the drama of Jack & Jill – at least there’s that to be grateful for. Rest on your laurels Ms. Bean and stay slip-free and safe from now on.

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    1. Deborah, in the whole scheme of things this injury is minor. You’re right that this could have been much worse a la Jack & Jill. The good news is that the furniture went to where it needed to go and I’m doing what I need to do to heal my shoulder. If nothing else this was a rather emphatic way for the universe to remind me that I’m not as young as I once was & that I’d best take care while doing things.

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  18. After falling off a ladder a few years ago and busting my hip, I swore I wouldn’t get up on one again. Well, that didn’t last. I’m more careful but some house projects require a ladder. It’s important not to confuse “weak, pathetic and pre-old” with “smart, careful, and I want to reach old age all in one piece.”

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    1. Janis, made me laugh with your last sentence. You said it there. I’m not fond of ladders, so I am reluctant to get on one. But moving stuff + furniture around comes second nature to me, although in the future I’ll take care not to move heavy stuff around.

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  19. Glad you are on the recovering end of your injury, but can I say a HUGE thank you for your info on the workspace configuration! I just got a new computer and the keyboard is smaller but connected by bluetooth. My previous keyboard was bigger but solar so I had to keep it up on the desk. I have a HUGE amount of work right now and was really starting to feel the strain on my shoulders and hands. THANKS TO YOU I have repositioned the keyboard down onto the under desk shelf THAT IS MADE FOR KEYBOARDS and now I can feel the decrease in tension in my neck and shoulders. My fingers are flying again. As you said, “When the student is ready…”

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    1. Janet, I’m glad you found the diagram useful. I just happened to stumble on the article yesterday right before I was getting ready to sit down to type. The suggestions made a big improvement in my ability to do so without pain. I don’t have one of those under desk shelves, but I’d think that’ll be great so that you and your new ‘puter can become best buddies.

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    1. Betsy, I’m feeling better every day and am pleased that we got the furniture donated. I like the infographic which was timely. I figure that I’ll be good as new soon enough. I’m being super cautious now, like weirdly careful. So odd.

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  20. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m ‘pre-old’ or just plain ‘old.’ Hmm, I’ll think some more on that. Sorry you hurt yourself, glad you are much better, and here I sit commenting with two ice packs on my back from working outside. Back to being somewhere in the old range, I have a two wheel dolly in the barn I use for outside dirty stuff like rocks or bags of soil. I can also take the pins out and lay it down flat to push something with but probably not uphill. So, recently, I bought myself a new fold up one that hangs flat on the wall in the garage that I keep for moving clean things inside the house. I readily admit I can’t lift, pull or push like I use to so now I have both inside and outside covered. I saw several comments about hiring folks, and I’d willingly do that but we can’t find people up here. It’s crazy. The last time we needed a plumber we waited six weeks to the day. Take care of the shoulder. 🙂

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    1. Judy, I’m sure that you are pre-old if you’re still doing all the gardening that you do. We don’t have a dolly which would have been a great thing. I don’t do the amount of garden laboring that you do so never thought we’d need one. I like the idea of a flat one that folds up. It’s difficult to find anyone to do any chore around houses in the best of times, although I think a six week wait for a plumber is a bit too long. Right now we’re trying to find someone to rebuild the deck. From what I can tell it’ll be Spring 2022 before that happens. So frustrating.

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  21. I feel like the BEFORE picture in a “How not to sit while you type” infographic. I’m rarely at a desk, never in a proper chair, and the angle of my laptop varies. So far I haven’t been paying for it, and I too am “pre-old.” Perhaps some day my posture will punish me. We shall see.

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    1. Arlene, all the pictures in that article are great, accurate, funny even. If you’re not having any woes then I’d say you’re doing this pre-old thing well. After this injury I’m sitting picture perfect so something unexpectedly good came from this experience.

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    1. Savoring Sixty and Beyond, I did the same thing when I found the article yesterday. I got out the tape measure and started reassessing how I’ve been sitting and typing. I’m glad you found this helpful. I figure as long as I keep sitting properly my shoulder will thank me.

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  22. Been there, hurt the same shoulder. Mine was so painful I couldn’t hook my own bra for a month. I know, TMI.
    Glad your pain is receding… and an empty basement? You’re a lucky woman.
    😉

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    1. River, when I initially had the injury after the car accident I couldn’t hook my bra, so not TMI. This time it’s not that severe. The basement has less stuff in it now, but there’s more to contend with… always it seems.

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  23. Ah Ally, I feel for you, having injured my back in May while trying to hold up my end of a scavenged outdoor table. In the future we need to just admit we’re weaklings…..

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  24. Oh my word! Yowch!!!! 😲 Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. But I’m glad you’re feeling better. At least you were able to get all of that out of your house. But please take care of yourself!

    When I had to move a month ago, I had to move a lot of stuff myself as I packed. I wrenched my back picking up a box heavier than I’d thought. Sigh. Definitely take care of yourself.

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    1. L. Marie, oh I’m sorry to read about your back. I understand how it happened, of course. It seems like I/we should be able to lift more, but I’ve learned my limits with this experience. Still less unwanted stuff in the basement is a good reward for my efforts.

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  25. Ugh – that is the pits. Sorry. I have had issues (but not all out injuries) with my rotator cuff, and I am lucky to be married to a physical therapist. I kind of doubt that he gives his ‘real’ patients an eye roll though when they cringe during exercises.

    Years ago I ran a garage sale for our parish. Coach had the job of driving our big white van with all the seats removed to pick up furniture donations. I had an old woman call to line up a donation and she said in a message on my answering machine in an Irish accent: “I have a turkey in my freezer.” Did she want to donate the freezer or the turkey? The garage sale was exhausting work and when I heard this bazaar message at the end of a long day of sorting smelly clothes I almost died laughing. The next day at the garage sale preparations I repeated it about 500 times to anyone who would listen. It helps that I do a decent Irish brogue.

    Glad you are feeling better. Continued good health for the shoulder.

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    1. Ernie, I can imagine how a husband/physical therapist would react to your, shall we say, observations during a PT session! Fortunately I’m not in awful pain and will get over this; I’m focused on not re-injuring myself. Very focused.

      I like your story about a turkey, an Irish one at that! We did one garage sale years ago and that was it. Nice way to make some money but more work than you’d think it’d be. I’m impressed that you chaired your parish one. That sounds like a headache, but for a good cause.

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  26. OUCH! Sorry about your injury, but glad you are healing! Take it easy, no more furniture lifting for now. 🙂 It does always feel good to get things cleaned out of your house, mentailly good, not physically. 🙂
    I really hope that 17 year old learned her lesson after hitting you and isn’t still texting and driving!

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    1. joyroses13, I’m doing well, taking things easy when it comes to lifting or reaching for things. I have learned, oh yes I have! As for the girl who hit me, I don’t know what became of her. Her family moved away from here shortly after the accident, so I can only hope she learned her lesson. Stupid kid, but a kid, you know?

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        1. I know! And it aggravates me that they do that. So dangerous. Adults most certainly know better. This girl made a mistake as far as I’m concerned. She cried, she apologized, her parents didn’t give her a pass so I imagine she learned. I hope so.

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  27. We certainly aren’t spring chickens any longer and we should really be more careful with our bodies. That being said, my husband constantly tries to get me to help him lift extremely heavy things and I’m all ‘I’m dainty butterfly who does not wish to injure herself’. I’m getting smarter and I’m sure after all this YOU are also getting smarter. So sorry about the injury and I’m glad you are healing.

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    1. Suz, you said it! I adore your dainty butterfly idea and will use it in the future. Because I am a dainty butterfly, darn it. Also because this shoulder thing really hurt. No more heavy lifting, or maybe even medium lifting. Light stuff for me, please.

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  28. We have a local moving company who will move furniture from one room to another or one floor or another, doesn’t really cost much. Not that the information will help you but worth mentioning for anyone else who might be in a similar situation.

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    1. Jean R, that idea never occurred to me. That is, hire someone to move this furniture. I don’t know if we have that service available to us. Should this happen again I’ll look into it. Thanks for the idea.

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  29. Yeah, that’s not much fun and I would probably have carried on just as you did. Sigh. Aren’t we supposed to be getting smarter as we age? I’m glad you’re feeling better and I know you’re loving the feeling of your basement being so much emptier. How many times have you gone down there to enjoy that feeling? 🙂 Keep doing it. As for the posture, I’m sitting in a chair with the lap desk (is that word or two words?) and laptop on my thighs, so although my head is in a good position, my eyes are looking down. Could be better but could be a lot worse. I often put the laptop on a sideboard in the dining room and stand while blogging, etc. and that works rather well. I also get more exercise by standing. 🙂

    janet

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    1. janet, you’d think we’d be getting smarter as we age, but I may not be at the head of the class. However, I learned a memorable lesson [hat tip to pain] and the basement is more roomy now SO I’m ok with how things happened. I guess.

      I don’t use a laptop for writing. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a lap desk for one. I write on an old-fashioned desktop computer, the screen of which is now on a stack of books like it shows in the diagram. I feel more in line with my words now and my shoulder doesn’t hurt doing it. Win, win.

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    1. Donna, you said it perfectly. This will be the last time I say “sorry, wrong number.” Henceforth it’s going to be “hello there, please tell me more!” Honestly this was a stupid thing to happen, but a defining one.

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  30. Damn, that sounds like a lot of pain. Sorry to hear about this accident, and the previous accident. I hope you are able to rest and recover. I wonder why the charity people cannot be asked to carry stuff. Is it because of the pandemic?

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    1. Markis + Micah, yes they no longer go into homes because of the pandemic. Before they’d help you move things around so you/they could get to the furniture to be donated, but now it’s up to you to have your donation ready and easily accessible from the street. It makes sense for everyone to be safe. It also makes more work for those of us who are donating furniture, but so be it.

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  31. Yikes! So sorry you hurt your rotator cuff again. We say that a lot around here – no good deed goes unpunished – it’s weird how often that proves to be the case. A doctor once told my husband that once you injure a muscle or tendon it is much easier to reinjure it. I love the word you used, “pre-old.” 🙂 The illustration is very helpful. Lately I’ve been elevating my laptop when video-chatting – what a difference.

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    1. Barbara, I’ve heard that, too. Once a part of you is injured it’ll be easy to injure it again. I’m a case in point! Yes, we refer to ourselves as pre-old. Not quite there to old, but well on our way. I can see [no pun intended] how elevating your laptop during a video chat would be good. The things we learn along the way.

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  32. Glad to hear you’re healing up. There is that moment in middle age where you realize ‘things they are a changin’ . The body takes a bit longer to recover and I’ve even started taking a ‘preventative’ advil when I know I’m going to be doing heavy lifting. LOL. Be well 🙂

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    1. Sue, I like your preventative Advil approach. I will be doing that in the future, although I will not be carrying furniture up any hill again. Lesson learned, defeating as it is to my sense of self.

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  33. Ouch! Ally, I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend and were able to donate what you no longer need. In our mind we’re at least 25 years younger than our actual age. Stay safe and well.

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  34. Yikes. Not fair.
    I learned a great deal about how to sit and move from lots of physical therapy sessions. I still use the stretches and exercises; they are so valuable.
    Glad you’re wise enough to take care of yourself AND let that extra stuff go on to a useful life elsewhere.

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    1. nance, not fair is right. HOWEVER the furniture went to a good place and I’m healing so I’m calling this project a win. Overall a win. With a few less-than-winning moments along the way.

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  35. I like two things about this post: “pre-old” and “charmingly cynical.” Both are fine examples of the old adage about the glass being half-full instead of half-empty.

    Sending positive thoughts for continued healing! I did something to my left arm a year ago, coincidentally while also moving furniture in the basement, and it still bothers me. Not enough to do anything about it; it’s more like an occasional inconvenience.

    Getting pre-old sucks.

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    1. Swinged Cat, as a pre-old charmingly cynical woman I’m glad you liked my thoughts.

      Moving furniture is the worst, isn’t it? I mean, we so wanted the stuff out of the basement that we did what we did– for a good cause. But when it comes to moving furniture never again am I going to blithely say “oh I can do that.” I’ll opt for plan B.

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  36. I’m laughing at the “charmingly cynical” description. If anything captures how most of us feel at the moment, it’s that. So sorry to hear about your re-injury. We live in a second floor condo, and I’m constantly having to remind my wife when we’re out and she sees something big that she likes, “Yes, perfect, now let’s ask about delivery options, okay?” I’m starting to know my limits. Take care and mend well. – Marty

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    1. Marty, we’ve learned about delivery options over the years, too. Pity there wasn’t a way for that to happen with the furniture we donated. Still we got the furniture to where it needed to be– and I learned that I’m never going to do that sort of lifting again. Feeling better today, thanks for the good wishes.

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  37. What is the quote, Ally? “No good deed goes unpunished”? I am glad to read you are doing better, but sorry you were out of commission for a while. I am now aspiring to be “charmingly cynical” too. Rather than just plain cynical.

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    1. Laurie, a blogger years ago told me I was charmingly cynical and the description stuck because it was accurate. In today’s upside down world tempering my natural cynicism with charm seems more necessary than ever, so ever onward go I.

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  38. No good deed unpunished indeed. Applause for re-homing the furniture – a hero’s injury.
    That shoulder injury is very painful. Once not in agony, do you have exercises from therapy to do? Husband has both shoulders injured ( also from doing things he used to do, but now…) if he does his exercises, it’s better…and I have to keep reminding him. Real easy to shrug it off
    It’s really difficult to rethink doing what we used to do. Giggled over the topsoil bags…here it’s the mulch bags seemed to have gotten much heavier and more awkward than they used to be for me.
    “elbows down, shoulders back, and head up (and don’t cross legs cause it causes veins to break)” grandmother nagged. And who wisened (until too late! really prevents headaches though…and broken veins, maybe…if hereditary doesn’t have other plans HAHA)

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    1. philmouse, I have some exercises for the shoulder and will attempt to remember to do them. I’ve had no problems until now, so I slacked off on them. I agree that it’s difficult to realize that we aren’t as young as we think we are BUT the furniture went to a good cause so I can at least groove on that. While I have ice on my shoulder, of course.

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  39. I’m sorry to hear that you reinjured your shoulder. I have a shoulder issue that comes and goes. It’s not required surgery yet, but I much happier when the pain goes back into hiding. This weekend is the beginning of moving out the furniture from my late mother-in-law’s. They were collectors and so have lots of things to sift through. I’m glad you are on the road to recovery and I really appreciate the NPR article. I need to do a better job of computer usage posture.

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    1. Amy, best of luck clearing out your MIL’s place. I’ve done enough of that chore to know that it can become emotionally charged quickly, so take care. Also as someone who recently re-hurt her shoulder, take care as you lift anything. I liked the article and diagrams about how to sit correctly in front of a computer screen. I’m doing much better because of it.

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  40. “I instantly knew what had happened, but continued to carry my end …”

    O.M.G. I am in awe of your tenacity! I’m pretty sure I would have been a snively mess. I recently hurt my shoulder (again) while doing something as mundane as digging a hole to plant a hydrangea. My shoulder aches in sympathy for yours.

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    1. Joanne, I was in the mood to get things done with that darned furniture so I kept going. My highest priority was to get it to the garage, so I pushed the pain aside. Will I do anything like that again? Hell no.

      I understand how digging in the garden can hurt your joints. I’m sure I could be planting a geranium and wrench something out of whack. From one bad shoulder to another, sympathies.

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  41. Blah, I’m so sorry. I am glad you are on the mend and hope it continues. I tripped over my dog’s bed once and cracked my shoulder oh so very slightly. I think I now have arthritis there. Getting older sucks, and it still hurts sometimes, 3 or 4 years later.

    Speaking of good deeds being punished, when my daughter ‘graduated’ from 5th grade, she went to a pool party to celebrate with some of her classmates. Some kids were taunting a bee, and of course my daughter tried to help it. She picked it up, and brought it over to a bush. She got it all of the way there, opened her hand to release it, and of course, it stung her. Her first bee sting. Sigh. Poor her. Poor bee. Stupid kids.

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    1. J, am I allowed to chuckle that you tripped over the dog’s bed and got hurt? That’s my sort of accident so I relate to it. Sorry about the arthritis, but we be old, eh?

      Oh Maya was/is such a sweetie. While as an adult I understand the bee’s point of view, as a kid I might have tried the same thing. Bee stings hurt… no act of kindness goes unstung, so to speak!

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    1. Akilah, you are right. Next time we hire someone to carry furniture around the property. Didn’t even think of that being hardy, frugal, middle-aged midwesterners. However, lesson learned.

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  42. That’s rough – especially if you want to type anything. I had frozen shoulder for a good part of 2018 and 2019 and at times I could not pull a blanket over my left shoulder with my left arm. Getting into my heavy squall coat in the Winter of 2018 could not happen as it had a polar fleece lining and had no “glide” – instead I wore a lightweight jacket that I could handle with one arm and many layers, none of which went over my head as I could not reach up. My mother had both rotator cuff issues and frozen shoulder, from using crutches decades before and a cane for walking later in life. I watched her go through PT and she finished off that regimen, we rented a TENS unit and got a hot-pack unit and did the exercises from PT – none of it helped. Frozen shoulder subsides, but it takes a while … for me almost two years. Maybe this will help your rotator cuff issue: I elevated my laptop onto a “riser” (a 10-inch tall metal basket) and got a wireless keyboard. It has helped immensely. I believe it is from sitting here so many hours, first for work, then in the evening catching up on social media and blogging.

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    1. Linda, I know that once your shoulder becomes an obstacle to daily life you have to find ways to work around it. I remember from my original injury that I could not put on a jacket without help. Fortunately PT helped me then and once I get more flexible, I’ll start doing those exercises again.

      I’ve put my computer screen on a stack of books to elevate it and so far this has been perfect. I am also sitting straight up as much as possible. No more slouching in front of the screen for me.

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      1. Yes, it is hard to believe what an impact a shoulder injury can have. Suddenly I could not reach around to fasten the clasp on my fanny pack – that is when I first noticed it and then Fall arrived and I needed to wear a coat and it was a struggle.

        Good you adjusted the computer height as it does have a lot to do with looking up versus down. I am used to the screen height now – took a little time to get adjusted to it and on the plasma screen the colors are distorted sometimes.

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        1. I’m finding that the screen at this new height is good for my back and shoulder, but I sometimes am looking through my bifocals instead of my regular lenses. Not a deal breaker, just something to adjust to.

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          1. Yes it take a bit of getting used to. I’ve adjusted better with the wireless keyboard. I bought a sideways mouse to use but have not tried it yet. It’s supposed to be helpful but for typing during the work day, maybe not so easy. I do need to try it out.

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  43. “Pre-old.” I like that and will probably borrow it. My kids and grandkids think of me as old, but I’d prefer pre-old. I’m sorry you were injured but happy to hear you are recovered/recovering. I first heard a similar saying from my husband (in his version it’s “no good deed goes unpunished” but the sentiment is the same). I’ve discovered that donating also has a cost of some kind.

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    1. Robin, I describe us as pre-old because we’re not totally over the hill; sure in some ways we are, but overall we’re still with it [enough]. I imagine the saying I say and the one your husband says are the truth, just worded differently. Yes, the idea of donating is great but the effort to do so seems to be more involved than it used to be. This is what I’ve learned.

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  44. Hi Mrs. Bean
    Sucks when the good stuff and outreach leads to this / but maybe in the end a good fruit will be a more stretched you – that NPR article was good and so another good fruit might be all the folks that get that info because of this.
    And side note – really really nice of you to pass on the cedar chest – I hope someone buys it that will need it and value it

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    1. Yvette, I like your take on this incident. The furniture went on to a better place and I got to share some helpful information here, so it’s a win-win.

      [I hope that whoever buys the cedar chest is stronger than I. It was a beast to carry, but is still in great shape– for someone who is in good shape. 😉]

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      1. Back in 2003 – my hubs and I were moving a heavy armoire and did not communicate about setting it down and it partly fell on me – I had bruises and dings! But the win of that situation was that we learned to over communicate when moving anything – and sometimes chuckle about it – he felt so bad at the time – !
        And cedar chests can be highly valued so I maybe some young gal can make a hope chest out of it

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  45. I reached for a very light object at work two days ago — snapped the QL ligament in my back. Lifting a light thing — that’s old I guess! At least your were carrying something heavy up a hill. How come it always seems like a good idea at the time???

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    1. bernieLynne, I’m sorry that you hurt yourself lifting a lightweight object. That’s kind of insult on injury, isn’t it? Yes, it seemed like a good idea when we started up the hill, later it was definitely a bad idea. Ouch… but the furniture is gone now so I’m happy.

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