Follow-up on moving refrigerator

When last we joined the Over-the-hill gang moving furniture, it was planned that they would find a couple young men to do it.
But such was not to be.
A lot went wrong, but not the things we thought would go wrong!
I reminded them about my recent abdominal surgery, and was called just to "supervise", but the moment I stepped outside to go to the car, I knew I would end up working.
(All grandchildren live in other cities.)
That was last Wednesday. I got there last. It seems the 83 year old, whose home it is, gets impatient and always wants to do things now, the 72 year old was going on a transatlantic trip, leaving today, and he was in a hurry now too. I'm the only one without deadlines. I'm 62.
7 had rented a handtruck designed for stairs, and with a strap to clamp in the object to be moved.
Who was it said with 3 old men we'd spend a lot of time debating how to do it? Sure enough. And there really were questions.
Take the door off the fridge or take the door off the laundry room, to get it out.
Then at the foot of the basement stairs, there was about 3 more feet and then a wall, not enough room for the handtruck and the fridge, even after we took its doors off.
So we lay the fridge on its back and pushed it up the stairs, 8 and 6 at the bottom and 7 ot the top, but he said he couldn't get a grip on it. (I have a big strap at home, but didnt' bring it.)
It was far lighter than the one 40 years ago. Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the weight. That made all the difference.
The 83 y.o. may have been doing most of the work. I certainly wasn't doing much. But maybe it's really that light and I was doing half. I didn't let my belly tense up, I think, where the hernia might have occurred. Mostly I leaned against and used my weight, not my muscles. It's been 4 days. If I'd hurt myself I'd know by now.
So we got it up and then across an outside stoop and down 4 outside steps to the back patio, and I went down for the handtruck, but 8 followed me and took it from me and was pulling it up and I was at the foot of the stairs when I saw his body and head disappear. Ran up the steps and he had falled back, and was lying on his back at the foot of the steps. Then the handtruck had fallen on him. It took him a whlie to get up. But he did, without my offered help. He said both knees, his elbow, and his back hurt. The knees were hit by the steel handtruck.
Then we used the handtruck and put the fridge in the back of a Nissan Pioneer mini-pickup. We closed the tailgate and had to reopen it and I did that, and the plastic tail gate handle broke while I pulled on it. There was a thick plastic bed liner covering the inside of the bed and tailgate, and the pickup has a cap, so now we couldn't get the fridge out of the truck. 8 said how his grandson had once broken his car door in the same way. Since his grandkids are in their 40's I figured this was 30 years aog when the kid was 10.
We went to 8's new house, pried off the tailgate liner (after unscrewing the two screws holding it in place. First time I used the off-set screwdriver in 20 years. And opened the tailgate.
Used the handtruck at this end too. 8 sent me to his car to get the fridge doors, gave me his keys. Alarm fob unlocked front doors but not back. (Later he told me if I had pushed the button twice, it would have done the back too) So I opened the drivers door and broke the plastic off of that. Only then did I realize it was THIS car that had the broken handle (it had been glued together) He had alrady tied a string around that handle so the door still worked. (and I think they could have used stronger glue.)
Even though 8 doesn't watch tv and 7 doesn't much, we all knew about Patricia Richardson, but otoh, that doesn't happen often. The next day he went to a doctor because of the pain, and he was given a continuous release pain patch, and maybe another prescription.
So a lot went wrong, but not the things we thought would go wrong!
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glad no one was seriously injured.
a major issue with older folks is rushing the job, it must be done this moment....
some jobs deserve more prep time. imagine how everyone would feel if the fellow who fell backwards broke a hip or something
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bob haller wrote:

(snip)
Not a trivial concern. My father, who was late 70s at the time, tripped over a box fan aimed at the open outside door, that he used to cut the fumes in the room where his blueprint machine is located. He was backing up, catching the print as it came out of the machine. I happen to own that house, and had told him I'd be happy to spring for a through-the-wall exhaust fan, but he thought that was foolish extravagance. We had a fan installed before he got out of the hospital.
It doesn't just happen to other people, or in unfamiliar locations. Now, whenever I visit, I look for risks like that, and I don't give him a choice about needed modifications to the place.
-- aem sends...
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I thought it was the younger crowd which was always in a hurry?
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I think things speed up once past the half-way point :o) Got a lot to do, and a lot less time than I once had :o)
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Whew! There is a good reason 80 year-olds live longer - they won't quit! I had great, wonderful friends - Mr. lived to 88, Mrs. lived to 94. Both had had serious health problems for years. Mrs. cardiac arrest at 72, both had had mild strokes. Mrs. bad back, Mr. really bad hip, which I could feel grinding when he got out of bed during his last weeks. Mr. would have gotten a new hip, but for his bad heart. He was on anti-inflammatory for the hip until it caused stomach trouble. He just went cold-turkey, which pretty much sums him up. Had to sell his boat when he was about 72, which was the day before Mrs. had a heart attack - had he not sold the boat, he would not have been home when she fell ill. He had a cool workshop, and could jerry-rig just about anything to keep it working. He was the last husband of retirees in their neighborhood, so he was the DIY guy for all of their friends. He didn't spend a dime for anything he could fix himself. He mowed the lawn himself - couldn't walk far so he placed a chair at each side of the lawn so he could take a short rest from the pain.
He had trouble breathing for several months, and finally docs figured out he had pneumonia because a silent stroke affected his ability to swallow. Things went down-hill, and he went to nursing home. Mrs. fell and broke a hip - docs and family debated whether to risk surgery because of her bad heart. "I'm going to take care of my man," were her words. Surgery went fine, they then shared a room while she recovered from hip surgery. She told me she threatened to divorce him if he bought another "fixer-upper" many years earlier, but he bought it and they fixed it up. All fourteen rooms. They fixed up a couple of bungalows and a two-flat.
After the Mr. was gone, I used to drive Mrs. shopping, to doctor appointments, out to lunch. She would not take her cane when she went to a doctor's appointment. "I don't want him to treat me like a sick old woman." She straightened her sore back and marched in like general Patton. She could tell you you were wrong in a way that sounded right. Best friends a person could hope to have.
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mm wrote:

(marvelous tale of woe snipped)
What was the name of that character in the old Little Abner comic strip, that had a black cloud following him?
You have my sympathies- I think most of us have BTDT on simple projects that spiral out of control in unexpected ways. It is wonderful that you are able to see the humor in it.
-- aem sends...
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I read through your story a couple times. Did you ever manage to get the refrigerator in place? Does it cool, now?
I presume you know the common wisdom. Never to lay a refrig on its side. Some refrigerator compressors, the lubricating oil gets in the piston. When you turn it on, the compressor breaks. Now, I've moved fride on their side before, and gotten lucky. Never had one die.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

It's ok to move a refrigerator on it's side as long as you let it sit upright a couple hours to allow the oil to settle back where it's supposed to be before plugging it in again. The same principle applies to cylinders of Acetylene to allow the Acetone to settle back out of the valve area.
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On Sun, 29 Mar 2009 22:01:07 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

We got it in place, put the door back on, but didn't plan to plug it in until it had a day to sit upright. Then two of us left.

I wouldn't know much about this but it was discussed here a couple years ago. The post convincing to me said it was ok if you let the fridge sit upright for a day iirc or so. My 72 year old friend brought this up when we got to the second house. I had forgotten entirely. :) And given all the pain 83 was in, he probably waited more than a day. I'm going to assume it works fine until I hear otherwise.
He only fell becuase he failed to look backwards. A stupid mistake -- maybe because of his age, and maybe because he was in a hurry -- and he was kicking himself for it. In fact at the time, I thought that bothered him more than the pain did. He is lucky he didn't hurt himself worse.
E
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 05:43:34 GMT, Wayne Boatwright

For sure.

You may have more money than he does.
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On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:51:12 GMT, Wayne Boatwright

Thanks.

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Things didn't go as planned but they did go as expected based on the pre- task info you gave :-)
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