Real life: ‘I chose to chop off my fin­ger’

Torz Reynolds, 30, used bolt cut­ters to achieve her per­fect look

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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.

Crunch time

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

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