Real life: ‘I chose to chop off my finger’
Torz Reynolds, 30, used bolt cutters to achieve her perfect look
As my mate wiggled what was left of her little finger, I giggled.
‘It looks cute!’ I told her.
It was 2007 and she’d lost her finger in an accident, and I was trying to reassure her. But deep down, I actually did like it – I even felt a little jealous of her pinky stump.
Maybe I should chop my own little finger off? I thought.
I’d always been a fan of body modification.
I’d got my first piercing at eight years old and a tattoo at 18. To me, the idea of chopping off half my finger was just an extension of that.
Of course, I knew it wasn’t as simple as getting a new haircut. It would require surgery and the results would be permanent. Once I did it, I knew that there would be no going back.
I decided to push the idea to the back of my mind for a while. I trained as a body piercer, and by my late 20s, my own body was covered in piercings and tattoos. Over the years, I’d heard of more and more people who’d chopped off their little fingers as a form of body modification.
It sounded crazy to most, but to me, it was a quirky idea. Sometimes, I’d tape the tip of my finger down, just above the knuckle, to see if I could still manage without it. It didn’t seem to hinder me. I was still able to eat, open doors and work, and by early 2017, the urge to get rid of my finger was overwhelming.
My boyfriend, 33, was very supportive of the idea. We’d been together a year by then, and he was used to my eccentric suggestions. He had a few tattoos himself, and wasn’t put off by body modification.
‘Just be careful,’ he warned.
I already had a lot of medical and hygiene training through my work as a body piercer. But I researched how to do it safely and cleanly. Then I went out and bought a pair of bolt cutters. Everything else I needed, I already had at home.
On Valentine’s Day last year, I woke up feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves.
‘Today’s the day!’ I said to myself.
A friend came over to watch the procedure, just in case anything went wrong.
I prepared everything I needed in the bedroom, put a plastic sheet down on the floor and sat cross-legged on it, ready to go.
My mate filmed it – as proof I’d done it myself, by choice. I sterilised everything, then used a numbing agent on my finger. When I was sure I couldn’t feel a thing, I held the bolt cutters in place, just above the knuckle. Then, closing my eyes, I clamped them down as fast and as hard as I could. There was an audible crack… I’d done it. Looking down, I saw half my pinky was lying on the floor, leaving a little stump. ‘I can’t believe I did it,’ I cried to my friend.
I think the adrenaline was the only thing preventing me from passing out. Luckily, there were only a couple of drops of blood. I cleaned the wound with alcohol wipes and disinfectant, and put in some stitches using a sterilised needle and surgical
‘There was an audible crack... I’d done it’
thread. I’d learnt how to suture small incisions and cuts through my work. Then, I bandaged it up.
I put the remains of my little finger into a pot, and put it in the freezer for safe keeping.
I kept my wound clean and made sure to change the dressing daily to prevent infection.
Within two weeks, the stump had healed and I loved the result. To me, it was cute and pretty.
‘I’ll call her Wiggles,’ I laughed.
None of my friends or colleagues were that surprised – they knew I’d wanted to do it.
I didn’t watch the video, but I posted pictures of Wiggles online.
I soon got used to living with a stump, I barely even noticed my missing digit.
My finger stayed in the freezer for almost a year.
Until I realised it was almost Wiggles’ birthday, on Valentine’s Day this year.
‘Why not celebrate?’ I said to my mates.
A special souvenir
So I got a glass vial, filled it with alcohol solution and popped my finger in there. Now I’d be able to wear it as a pendant if I wanted to.
My mates were fascinated. My boyfriend just rolled his eyes and laughed at me. Then he gave Wiggles a present for her first birthday – her very own hat collection! It was a selection of little hats from children’s toys, with their own mini hat stand – everything from a tiny Viking helmet to a hard hat!
‘They’re amazing,’ I said, hugging him.
Now I really love Wiggles and I have fun with her, playing dress-up with the hats. I know that people frown at what I did, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else try it at home, but it was my choice. And Wiggles and I have fun with her hats. They definitely come in handy when it’s cold!
Now does not endorse the views expressed in this feature and advises readers strongly against attempting any type of surgery or body modification at home.
‘Wiggles’ has her own cowboy hat...... she even has a tiny Viking helmet
Torz is delighted with her stump
The severed keepsake