When I left in the morning Fred had plans to trim the hedges with his new gasoline-powered clippers. The hedges are about 7 feet tall and he has to stand on a ladder to cut them. Damien used to do it for us, but he is busy now with a baby. I was uneasy about Fred doing this work when we wouldn't be home, but he doesn't listen to my concerns. He said he'd have his cell phone, don't worry.
So while I am panicking on the phone, Fred says he cut himself and he is on the way to the ER with our neighbor driving him. I tell him I am coming. The 4-H teachers jump into action, offering to take care of the girls, drive them home, whatever I needed. I leave the girls in their care and head out.
Fred has already been taken back when I get there and blood is everywhere. One of our hand towels is soaked with it. His whole hand is a mass of red, the drying blood gluing his fingers together. He has blood on his clothes and on his arms. A jolly nurse is making jokes while she cleans him up. Once his hand is clean, Fred is surprised to see he cut two fingers, not just one as he thought before. They are both cut lengthwise down the center. I guess that's better. If the cut had been crosswise, he would have lost his fingers. Even so, one of them is cut far enough down he has sliced the bone in half. Fred says he is going to have forked fingers.
After several hours at the ER, Fred is stitched up, bandaged up and sent home with a prescription for an antibiotic and the name of a hand specialist to see next week. We are grateful. This could have been so much worse.