I tackled a way way way overgrown Bougainvillea a couple days ago - it really is the responsibility of the gardeners my landlord hired but they keep procrastinating. So I got ticked off and - well, let's just say, my blouse has holes, my hands and face have scratches. OUCH.
But I could feel how much happier the bougainvillea felt, I just could! No more dead wood. So the scratches are worth it. Not to be irreverent, but the long scratch in the middle of my forehead I call my 'stigmata.' No hiding it.