Friday, July 15, 2011

When a finger meets a hedge trimmer, the finger loses

I knew what I had done 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 would just like to say I 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 while squeezing the on-switch trigger thingy.
No problem and all went well until I brought the trimmer back toward me and attempted to grab the round handle on the top of the trimmer.
I say attempted because had I succeeded, this column would not exist.
Instead of grabbing the little black handle, I missed and 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 - big time - as did the blood.
It is amazing how much plasma you can distribute upon the earth from a few chops with a reciprocating metal blade.
I climbed down the ladder just as the Missus came outside to see me holding my hand with blood dripping to the ground, creating a kind of CSI home edition thing.
My wife is a nurse, so the injury did not faze her in the least. She leapt into immediate action, and grabbed gauze and whatever else she needed all the while doing her best to stifle any and all comments of the smart aleck variety, which I believe was the most challenging part of the whole scenario for her.
I know she had more than a few comments she wanted to send my way, but choked them down – until the medical procedure was taken care of anyway.
When my kids heard dad had cut his finger, they came running out to survey the scene.
“You mean you didn't cut it off? Awwww, bummer.”
“Thanks kids. I'm OK, really. Don't worry about your ol' dad. He's a trooper. He'll be fine. Thanks for caring.”
Once the bleeding was under control, it was off to the walk-in clinic for some up-close-and-personal care of the doctor variety.
After I had spent the mandatory amount of time in the waiting room, I was escorted into the little doctor room where the doctor does all of his medical type stuff.
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 open wound and it took a few seconds before the freezing kicked in - a few long and painful seconds.
“This may sting a little.”
A little? Did you just say a little?
“Hey doc, this might sting a little, because I am going to kick you square in the...”
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 - eight stitches - beating my previous record by two.
I no longer have feeling in the 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 felt pretty good.


Dave412//91 said...

This same thing just happened to me now I have no feeling in the tip but that shot sucked so bad I think I hit the nerve so bad it hurts in my elbow but life happens..

Dave412//91 said...

This same thing just happened to me now I have no feeling in the tip but that shot sucked so bad I think I hit the nerve so bad it hurts in my elbow but life happens..

Dawn Elizabeth said...

I also had an up close and personal experience with my hedge trimmer .. yesterday evening. As we couldn't stop the bleeding, it's off to the ER! Not long before I'm in the "green zone" and enduring 4 needles to freeze my finger!! No one should ever go through this pain in a lifetime!! That pain was probably the worst! Now 8 stitches later, my saluting finger is all wrapped, since I have to keep it raised, I will spend the next 10 days "finger saluting"!
Much to my chagrin, the doctor was giving me updates of branch remnants they were removing from the wound!! Priceless!!
Thankfully the rain overnight washed away the crime scene and I will now spend the next week "finger saluting" everyone who sees me!

Ashly Moody said...

This literally happened to me 4 days ago, except to my middle finger (luckily on my left hand). Right below the first knuckle. 4 HORRIBLY PAINFUL shots, and 14 stitches later, it's starting to become a little more bearable.

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Anonymous said...

I did it last night. Stupid! I grabbed the bottom of the trimmer while the blades were moving. Luckily, (at least that is what everyone is telling me) I only caught the pad of my middle, left finger in the blades. It nearly removed my entire fingerprint, and about 3/4 of the meat was hanging on like a toupee in the wind. No stitches required, so no shot either. Yay! Still bled like a mama and is wrapped like a mummy. It stinks! I will never be that careless again! Yeah, right.