Now that I’m retired and don’t see patients as a source of blogging material, I have to look elsewhere, or into my archives. I’m finding plenty of sources on Nextdoor, where neighbors are asking for doctor referrals and help with household needs. And this week a neighbor asked about finding someone to help to pull weeds…
I hate weeds…and I love them. There’s something amazing about the strength and beauty of weeds. Would that we were that tough. Humans are more like orchids; hard and slow to grow. But weeds? Green in the middle of a drought. Blooming when it’s 105 degrees outside. They’re resilient to the toughest means of destruction, including the hoe, the poison and my strong, grabby fist!
Bottom line. I spend a lot of time trying to get rid of weeds and errant grasses. I’ve tried every kind of natural poison known to the internet. I admit to using things which come with warnings and childproofing. But like my patients, I use my back, knees, shoulders and hands. And like them, I’ve woken up in pain the next day.
But my patients take their gardening very seriously, and they work it like a sport. They pay for this hobby with back pain, sciatica, the beginning of knee arthritis, the scourge of “butt pain,” and an assortment of upper extremity disorders ranging from rotator cuff tears to tendinitis in their pinky finger!
How can we keep ourselves weeding and planting?
Of course…do what I do:
-Use any and every implement known to Home Depot and Amazon, including grub hoes, clippers, knives, scissors and those twisty weed pullers.
-Pull weeds/garden for short periods of time. I force myself to quit.
–NEVER SQUAT! If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know I would counsel against squatting at all costs. As we age, sometimes one squat is enough to tear your weakening meniscus cartilage.
-If you’ve got a lot to do in one place, use a gardening stool.
-Better living through chemicals. I’ve tried the vinegar solution as well as Round Up. They work, and eliminate the need to bend, squat or pull. You might have to bend over to pick up the dead remains a few days later.