In school, your peers are young and healthy. They may be damaging their bodies' nightly and treating themselves badly through irregular sleep cycles... but it fails to show until years later. I have yet to meet a student - more specifically a Computer Science student - with a hand brace.
I don't want to be the first.
My left hand began hurting a couple years ago. Initially, it was a minute pain and I didn't think much of it. However, after several weeks of the pain not subsiding, I started to worry. I have been regularly typing since, at least, the age of seven. Have 16 years of sub-standard equipment and bad practice caught up to me?
The answer is an unqualified yes. In response, I learned the Dvorak keyboard layout. The common belief (not generally scientifically accepted) is that it is a superior alternative in both overall typing speed and comfortability. My personal experience supports the conventional wisdom. Problem solved, right?
Well, no. Two issues remain and have combined to form a painful product:
- I have a mental block against typing Dvorak on a QWERTY keyboard.
- I switched to a laptop.
Unlike my favourite keyboard, laptop keycaps are not amiable to remapping. Thus, since the summer, I have been stuck back on a QWERTY keyboard. In the back of my mind, I have been worrying for my hands every since. Inexorably the pain has returned with a vengeance.
I find myself at a familiar crossroads. I have already switched the operating system keyboard layout to Dvorak. Forcing myself to metamorph into a better "bilingual" is a work in progress. However, I wonder if more dramatic solutions need to be implemented? A laptop keyboard, even remapped, cannot be the most conducive toward safe typing.