Moving is a literal and figurative headache

It took a few conversations and a moderate dose of peer pressure, but I convinced my husband to be on board with hiring movers to get us from our old house to the new one.  I can see why it seemed a foolish idea on the surface.  Last year we moved with friends’ help and it was done in about a day, and we survived.  We even found out that we were a little stronger than we thought—our backs hurt after lifting boxes, but we survived. The proximity of our last house to this one can’t go ignored, either: we are a few blocks down on the same street. It seemed a little silly to hire movers for such a tiny trip.

Let me present my arguments, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.  First I give you Exhibits A and B, two thirty-something adults who have diagnosed chronic pain issues and doctors who have told them not to lift heavy items. Next I present Exhibit C: movers’ insurance, which can help cover costs of anything damaged in the move—not available if we move ourselves. Exhibit D: a repeat of Exhibit B, Exhibit D is Janet, a woman who doesn’t feel like gathering the troops and asking friends who helped move households less than a year ago come do it again.

My dreams were lofty.  Apart from packing (which was more arduous yet somehow more satisfying this time around), I thought the process would be easy-peasy for me if I hired movers. I would stay cool and not get overheated, and I wouldn’t be lifting anything. I would direct the movers and show them my meticulously-planned, color-coded box system that would show them quickly and easily what box went into what room in the new house.  The movers would care for my furniture as if it was their own, and they would be professional in both their strength and speed.

And maybe, just maybe, I would finish the day migraine-free and not in any physical pain.

Ha! Joke was on me, guys.  Turns out moving was a literal and figurative headache even though we shelled out the big bucks to pay a professional moving company staffed by friendly but less-than-professional movers.  Perhaps it’s because the moving company hired extra, unskilled staff since this time of year is insane in Athens—our lives and leases are dictated by the academic year, not the calendar one, so everyone and her mother is moving right around August 1st. In any case, the move was anything but stress-free.

At the end of the day, I realized my stress had caught up with me when I started sobbing during a fairly simple conversation with my husband.  “My back hurts and I’m getting a migraine,” I said. “I’m so—I’m so—tired!” I wailed. The movers had taken longer than expected, and at least four items we cared about (piano, couch, midcentury bureau, and antique typewriter) were damaged to some degree.  (Thankfully, the moving company reimburses by weight, so it was good that the things that were damaged were all heavy—we were compensated more money that way, which softened the blow.) I had gotten totally overheated despite my best efforts. And even though I had had the bright idea of hiring a great cleaning company to tidy up the old place after move-out, I still felt the stress of the day bearing down on me.

A soak in my clawfoot tub in my own private bathroom (that’s right—this place has two bathrooms!) helped, especially because I dumped about eight pounds of epsom salts (magnesium) into the water.  I developed a vicious migraine, as I expected to, but at least my aches and pains were almost erased by the epsom salt bath and a good rest.

I guess I should be frustrated here: I spent a lot more money than usual to move houses and clean the old place, and the main goal in mind was keeping my husband and me from having any health issues.  Instead, we both ended up with aches and pains and at least one of us (me) had a migraine—it’s possible he did, too, but didn’t mention it because I was suffering so badly.  But instead of being p.o.ed with the fact that, despite my best efforts, I still ended up with back, foot, and head pain, I am left instead to wonder how much worse it might’ve been if I had gone with the first plan, taking more of the physical load myself.

What sorts of purchases have you made or companies have you hired in an effort to preserve your health?  Were you happy with your decision? And were you successful in staving off a migraine?

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