Last week, after getting more structural therapy, I realized that over the years since my accident I started to use heavier and heavier purses and bags. On one level that wasn’t a bad thing, because it indicated that my pain threshold had either raised or that things had gotten better. The downside of this was that I was adding unnecessary strain to parts of my upper body (neck and back) and triggered not just injuries from that accident, but injuries from a car accident as a passenger, and a childhood fall, and no doubt some old martial arts injuries.
After a great bodywork session on Thursday, I felt nice and balanced and much less in pain, until I grabbed my lovely cross body handbag, which I suddenly realized was undeniably heavy. Friday I dumped everything out of the bag, and picked up the empty purse. Well, my lovely Coach bag in the fabulous color it is in needs to take a rest. Even empty, it is a heavy bag. Not as heavy as some of the earlier Coach bags with the incredibly thick leather, but still, it’s too heavy for someone who is having a resurgence of pain from physical injuries. I cleaned the bag with leather oil (it looks even nicer now!) and it is currently drying out and soon will be in storage.
I took out my old nylon wallet, a cute Tokidoki thing, and compared the weight to my lovely pink leather wallet. It was no contest, the leather one weighted more than the nylon Tokidoki one did with my cash and cards in it. Maybe only having 2 slots for cards, as impractical as that seems, is really a good thing.
When you empty out your purse, sometimes you find all kinds of things you thought you had misplaced. For instance, I had a lovely pair of earrings in Mexican Opal, and wondered where they went. They were in my purse, shoved safely inside a pocket. I also had enough ladies products for special time to stock part of a store shelf. Fortunately I didn’t have the shelf in there.
Socks. A pair of athletic white socks and a pair of bamboo grey ones, in separate baggies, washed and cleaned. Why? Who knows…
At least my purse extras weren’t particularly heavy. After switching purses and my wallet, things felt much, much better on my back and shoulder. In November, I was at lunch with a friend of mine, who had placed her handbag next to me since I was sitting on a booth type chair. When she asked me to pick it up, I involuntarily exclaimed, “OMG that is heavy!” I swear it felt like it was over 10 pounds. It turned out that she did have a few books in it, since it was a long train ride into the city. Okay, at least she had a reason to have a heavy bag.
Years ago when I had this nasty accident, when I could walk again, my doctor asked me to show her my coat and shoes. She looked at my coat, lifted it and said, ‘Change coats until your injuries are healed — it’s too heavy and will put a strain on your back and neck.” Well, that was before she lifted my purse. Fortunately I had sensible flats on, but my naprapath has long since taken over reviewing my shoes for arch and structural supports.
I’m not the only one with heavy bag issues. Apparently large heavy handbags have also been attributed to arthritis, as well as back, neck and shoulder pain (See the Purses link for the entire story):
“Doctors from Baylor Medical Center report that patients commonly complain of back, neck, and shoulder pain without even realizing the cause may be slung over their shoulder. One Baylor doctor, when hearing the frequent complaint, takes a look at the patient’s purse and takes it to the scale to weigh it!”
The New York Times had a great article (great in that I am sure that many of us chicas who love our big purses can relate to this) also about purses, bags and physical structural health.
One gal, Sasha Charnin Morrison, “admitted that her bags are so large that she often gets stuck in revolving doors.”