In my e-mail signature, I call myself "writer, editor, Web guy, drummer, dad." Each of those jobs depends on my hands and arms. Last night I remembered how much.
My three-year-old daughter was bouncing around on the bed, as kids her age do. Moving to get up from next to her, I was pushing myself to a sitting position using my right arm when she lost her balance and landed on my wrist, just as I'd put my maximum weight on it.
It hurt. Nothing was broken, or even sprained -- this morning it's pretty much back to normal. But, after the kids were asleep, I had to postpone my plan to work on a big editing contract. I tried, but stopped after half an hour because my mousing arm was too sore.
Instead I watched the news with a blue ice pack on my arm for an hour. (Perspective: I was relieved to be in a comfortable TV room with a mere sore arm, rather than terrified and breathing hot sand in an Iraqi desert firefight.)
I expected I'd be okay by the morning, yet had things gone a bit differently, I might have been incapable of writing, editing, working on Web sites, playing the drums -- i.e. making any income -- or lifting my kids. Maybe for days, possibly for weeks, if something had broken.
A friend of ours, a court reporter, broke her wrist some weeks ago in a similar minor incident, and was out of work for weeks. I was lucky last night.