My one good hand’s fingertips will be worn out by the time we finish this week’s paper — maybe even by the time I finish this column.

My left is wrapped in a brace and dangling in a sling like a newborn puppy — without the cuteness.

This all started in February when overcompensating for a right shoulder impingement I slept on it funny.

Multiple other events occurred to increase the injury, including helping move the TC office.

Instead of leaving it immobile, as more than one medical professional advised, I kept using it.

Now the tendinitis in my thumb is to the point where if I don’t let it rest for at least two weeks I may find myself in surgery, an orthopedic doctor told me last week.

I take twice as long to get ready in the morning and don’t do it that well. Sometimes I glance in the mirror at work and see disheveled hair. I wear clothes without zippers and buttons as much as possible.

It takes five times as long to use a computer. Opening a bottle of water is nearly impossible.

Mine is a temporary handicap. I do not walk in the shoes of someone with a long-term or permanent handicap.

I cannot imagine that life but I’m understanding it more and developing coping methods.

You find other parts of your body to replace a missing one. At the risk of sounding rude, I often use my knees or left armpit to grip something that I need to open. I hold things between my teeth.

Driving is not a problem except when using turn signals or making sharp turns. I just do these things slowly and with consideration now, like using turnouts more so that cars behind me aren’t held up.

An experience such as this raises your level of respect for those who wake up each day with a handicap.

Becky Clark, Editor