ideas for next time:
i wear my mums washing up gloves (sounds wrong saying rubber gloves) they dont fit! But i can still use my hands well enough - they protect you from tearing your hands to shreds.
getting the covers off is just as hard as getting the bulbs out, i put some oil/vaseline on the covers before i put them back, makes them come off much easier. -not all over them of course! just the rubber edge that holds them in place.
oh, and my bulbs tend to go in pairs, or within a couple of days of each other.
the worst part is changing the main bulbs, the ones that are held by those damn clips! the most painful job in winter if you are a weakling and speezing ice cold metal clips makes your fingers go so numb you have no idea how much pressure you are applying!