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Friday, May 20, 2011



Seems as if my whole life, I had the job of trimming shrubs—first with the old-fashioned kind and then the electric ones! Four years ago, I had a horrible experience with the electric kind—so bad that I had to go to the emergency room.

If you’re a woman and reading this, you know how it is when a female gets the urge to do something right then and there—she just does it. After asking and asking, I got no help with anyone to cut the shrubs outside. Armed and dangerous with those electric hedge trimmers I decided to go outside at 6:30 a.m. for the day was going to be hot and I wanted to get the job done.

I started on the side of my house which has two large shrubs: Finished the first one [sort of like cutting hair and shaping it] and then dragged the extension cord down to the second shrub. Feeling good in that I just knew that after I finished this one, I could easily attack the shrubs in the front of my house I started trimming—the job was almost done. Why I did the following, I will never know but I took my left hand and put it on a shrub limb too cut it: Well, I not only cut the limb but ran those hedge trimmers almost all the way through my left middle finger!

Took a minute for it to dawn on me what I had done and that’s when I saw the blood gushing out all over the place. Threw down the hedge trimmers and stood there for a minute in shock. My neighbor down the street had just pulled into his driveway: He looked up at me and said, “Are you all right?” “No!” I screamed. And he went on into his house not offering to even see what was wrong. What a guy!

I ran into the house, attempted to was the blood off but could see a huge cut almost three fourths of the way through my finger. Made a tourniquet out of cold wet paper towels [when you are the mother of two sons, you have to learn hospital 101 really fast in life] and called a cab to take me to the emergency room. Didn’t care how I looked for I just knew that I would have to have stitches.

Arrived at the hospital and thank heavens, there were hardly any people in the emergency waiting room. After going through all the paper work, etc. I was met by a very nice doctor who just shook his head after I told him what had happened and how. On that finger, I should add were two rings. The nurses came in and decided that along with the doctor, that there was no way to take off my rings for the cut on my finger was huge.

And so I got the “liquid stitches” on my finger! If you have never had this [I hadn’t] all I can say is it like hot super glue. My finger was not only killing me but was now on fire. I was released and told to put an antibiotic on it and keep it out of water for several days.

Extremely hard to operate with one hand but you do what you’ve got to do. About three weeks later, I for some unknown reason ,decided to put another ring on that finger –but above the now healing cut. Bad mistake!!! Within days, that ring got embedded into my finger. Couldn’t get it off even though I tried everything from soap to whatever.

My finger was now turning purple: I knew that I had cut off the circulation and I also knew that I would have to go back to the emergency room! I did and guess what? I got the very same doctor again who looked at me and said, “Hedge trimmers again?” I told him no and proceeded to tell him what I had done. He just shook his head and looked at me.

Back in the same room with the very same nurses and that doctor: It was like that movie “Groundhog Day” all over again. The doctor looked at my finger and said, “Well, we will just have to cut off those rings! And we can’t numb your hand or finger due to the swelling and the almost healed cut.”

The nurses left and returned with some tool that looked like a pair of tin snips except it had a twisty metal piece on it. One nurse held my hand while the other used that thing and started cranking to the first ring off by attacking it from the back. Each crank was worse than the first and I screamed to the top of my lungs! Asked for a bowl of ice and that was brought so that I could put my finger in it in between those tortuous cranks. You cannot imagine the pain or the time it took to cut through three rings and get them off: Horrific doesn’t even begin to describe the pain.

I told those nurses that they would have made good “Civil War” nurses. They laughed but I was to the point of tears. A friend came and got me and I left there with three rings cut in half and a huge swollen finger.

And so again , I went through the repetition of not being able to use my left hand for quite a while. Did I ever get those rings back on that finger? What do you think? Months later I had to take them to a jewelry shop and have all three put back together; when I picked them up, I was reluctant to put them back on that finger—but I did with the exception of one.

From that time , I do not touch electric hedge trimmers ever! Yes, they are here in my house but no way am I going through that disaster again. And so instead, I either get someone to do it or hire someone. Electric hedge trimmers can be dangerous things! Stay away from them—they’ll get you!

Sherry Hill


  1. About twenty years ago I used electric hedge clippers and did the same exact thing to my left hand ring finger. It was pretty nasty! However, the doctor cut off my rings from my swollen finger before sewing up the gash.

  2. Sorry I am just getting back to you! You were lucky to have your rings cut off first! I will never touch those hedge trimmers ever again!