Oh, my aching back

Our story so far: We spent one hot, sawdusty Saturday morning sanding the second floor of the old church we were turning into our home.

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second floor sanded floor
The second floor, post sanding, in the afternoon sun.

After our showers, we were so exhausted we fell back into bed (we got up early, remember) and napped. It was one of those glorious naps during which you sleep so hard that when you wake, you are still paralyzed with slumber. I just lay there for a few minutes savoring my job-well-done accomplishment. Tyler roused, and we determined a late lunch at the nearby Mexican joint would solve our hunger problem most quickly. It was as I attempted to get out of bed that I realized my lower back ached. Not a little I-know-I-worked-hard-today ache, but a big I-think-I’ve-hurt-myself ache.

“Oh, my back hurts,” I said.

“Oh, my back always hurts,” my compassionate husband said.

I was able to get out of bed, get dressed with some trouble and make it to the Mexican joint for lunch, but I couldn’t bend over or babysit for a week because I didn’t trust myself to be able to pick up my granddaughter. My husband quickly realized I was not suffering from any run-of-the-mill back pain and handled sanding duties solo for a long while after that. It took three weeks for my back to return to normal operation. I determined it wasn’t actually the work of sanding that hurt my back but the effort of lifting the super-heavy industrial sander up the steps. This underscored the safety reminder every manual laborer since the age of Doan’s Pills learns: Lift with the legs, not the back.

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Tomorrow: The price of sandpaper. Read about it here.

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