I knew what happened the instant it happened.
Even before the pain went from my little finger to my little brain I knew I had screwed up.
I was trimming the top of a rather tall cedar hedge when I nearly lopped off the baby finger on my left hand.
I was half-way up a four-metre ladder and was reaching to the far side of the hedge when disaster struck. Sure, I could have moved the ladder over a little bit, but that would mean climbing down the ladder, moving it a few inches, climbing back up...It just seemed like too much effort, so I decided to reach for it instead.
Before I continue I have never claimed to be overly bright, something loyal readers will confirm no doubt.
To get to the far side of the top of the hedge I reached out as far as I could, holding the electric trimmer in one hand. No problem and all went well until I brought the trimmer back to the near side of the top of the hedge where my little finger did its impression of a branch and the trimmer did its impression of a trimmer chopping up my finger.
As soon as I felt the little metal teeth of the trimmer hit my finger, I knew what I had done. There was nothing else to do but wait for the pain, and stop the bleeding.
The pain arrived ñ big time ñ as did the blood.
It is amazing how much plasma you can distribute upon the earth from a few chops with a recipricating metal blade.
I climbed down the ladder just as the Missus came outside to see me holding my finger with blood dripping to the ground, creating a kind of CSI home edition thing.
My wife is a nurse, so the injury did not phase her and she leapt into immediate action, and grabbed guaze and whatever else she needed all the while doing her best to stifle any and all comments of the humerous variety.
When the kids heard dad had cut his finger they came running out to survey the scene.
ìYou mean you didn't cut it off? Awwww, bummer.î
ìThanks kids. I'm OK, really. Don't worry about your ol' dad. He's a trooper. He'll be fine. Thanks for caring.î
Once the bleeding was under control it was off to the walk-in clinic for some up close and personal care from the doctor.
I spent the mandatory time in the waiting room and was escorted into the little doctor room where the doctor does all of his medical type things.
In this case, the first thing he did was cause me a lot more pain.
The sadist, I mean doctor, put a needle directly into the wound and it took a few seconds before the freezing kicked in ñ a few long and painful seconds.
ìThis may sting a little.î
A little? Did you just say a little?
ìHey doc, I am going to poke you in the eye with a scalpel. Now this might sting a little...î
But once the freezing kicked in all was forgiven. Actually it wasn't, but the man was about to sew up a body part so I felt I should be on my best behaviour.
I set a record that day ñ eight stitches ñ beating my previous record by two.
I no longer have feeling in the very tip of that finger, but that is OK, considering how much feeling I had when it was chopped and stuck with a needle, not feeling anything sounds good to me.