Ask an amputee

I came across some recent amputation pictures in the galleries and contacted the IAM member who had submitted them. He gave me the privilege of interviewing him and was extremely open about being a voluntary amputee, his life and his mods.

I feel I was pretty thorough in my questions and I definitely covered all of the basics. However, I know anytime  an interview of this sort goes down, the readers of modblog always have questions they wish were asked. Well, now  is your chance, if you have  ever had any questions you wanted to ask a voluntary amputee, leave them in the comments section and I will pass them on.

Remember, I already interviewed him so the basic how and why questions have been asked already. So, please,  make sure your questions are specific and original. Also, he had done a huge service for us by being so open about a subject rarely talked about, make sure the questions you ask  are respectful of him.


54 thoughts on “Ask an amputee

  1. The only two things I can really think of right now… a) Was it self-amputation or did he have someone else do it, and b) Does he have the ghost sensation of his fingers/thumb still being there?

  2. I’m curious if not having nails to protect the nubs makes any difference… I know it’s not a big question but I’m curious, for sure!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing.

    but i always wonder if those that choose to do this then collect disability?

  4. @1 I asked those already :) The first few were self inflicted, then eventually he found a friend who shared his interest to do the rest of the amputations. He says he has had no phantom pains.

  5. I would wonder if he’s ever pondered the philosophy phantom limb, what it might mean about our experience of the world by sensing something with an appendage/sense that doesn’t actually exist.

    I imagine that would keep me awake at night quite often. There’s a lot of potential for deep thinking.

  6. Thank you so much to this person for being so open about their mods. As a disabled modder and someone who considers themeselves modded through extensive medical surgery, myself, I have lots of questions!

    Further to Zobro’s question:

    Does he get Phantom Pain or nerve pain?

    In terms of the scar tissue at the ends of the finger-stumps, does he experience increased or decreased sensation/needling sensations when touching or feeling objects etc?

    Was there a sexual element to the desire to amputate and has he had positive experiences with Devotees as a result of his amputation(s)?

    And finally, is he finished? And does he feel his quality of life/ sense of sense has improved since the amputation(s)?


  7. Phantom pain sucks ass. How the fuck is my leg absent but I still have shooting pain through it? Just goes to show there is no god only science

  8. mine’s kind of simple, but I’m interested;
    How long did it take for him to completely finish his hand?
    was it a month thing, or did he wait for each finger to heal before he moved onto the next?

    I also wonder if he’s finished.

  9. I wonder what he tells people outside of the bodymod community when they ask him how it happened.

  10. As I got onto the modblog page all I saw was the upper portion of the pointer ‘finger’ and it looked like a penis. Glad to see it’s not, and something way more interesting.

  11. I also want to know which part of the procedure was the most challenging, physically. The actual amputation? (And if so, which part of it?), the healing process?

    Also, what did happen to those fingers?

  12. I actually want to know how much it hurts to have a part of your body removed…
    It’s hard to imagine, really.
    Also, I can’t find the interview either.

  13. I am still editing the interview. We got cut short yesterday and I told him I would have a few more questions for him next week. Then I decided to post here, giving you guys the chance to ask questions as well.

  14. I look forward to this interview being posted.
    I’d like to know how it affects his day to day life, especially in aspects such as love life, working life and relationships with friends & family. Has he been open about it being voluntary with anyone other than the friend who helped him?
    I realise this has probably been asked though so I look forward to seeing the response.

    I’m assuming it’s not been posted yet so that the readers questions can be added on before hand?

  15. i wonder is he have sex , or may be amputation gives him more than that ..and if he is gay or asexual
    which part he dreams to amputate next, and how does he feel is the right time to do it..or it is spontaneous feeling?

    i wish i could express myself more clearly ehhehe

  16. Probably a question that has been covered already, but still…
    Did he always want to have these exact body parts removed, and is he finished now?
    Or is it more about the process of having body parts amputated and is it a growing desire, like my desire to get mods has evolved over time?

  17. @7 You had all the questions I thought of some time after posting. :] Great minds…

  18. Did he ever have an unsuccessful attempt at amputation, or do any kind of edgeplay before the first successful amp?

  19. My question: was it worth it and/or any regrets? I mean, however great his pleasure at having the amputations done and being an amputee, does it really outweigh the realities of being so severely handicapped?

  20. What sort of reactions does ghe get from people, particularly from people who know that it was volentary? Is there much prejudice outside of the modded commmunity?

  21. Im curious to know how the procedure itself was done..
    Was he awake? had aneshetic etc…

  22. how does he prevent ” lobster claw* from retracting tendons/muscle ? any loss of movement ? words per minute ? thank you SO much for being open on the subject. i’m truely facinated!

  23. would you cut off all the fingers on your other hand if you still had the fingers on your left hand to hold the knife with?

  24. But it’s a corrective intervention !!!

    He wanted to lose his unbearable vice of putting his finger in the nose !!

  25. Angilius, from personal experience, I can tell you how much pain is experienced from having two fingers involuntarily torn off. The level of pain is like nothing you have ever experienced, thankfully the body goes into shock from the sensory overload and shuts down sensation and cuts circulation to the area to minimize blood loss. The phantom sensations can last for months and the area is hyper sensitive as well. Just brushing the tip against something can bring a wave of searing pain. Trying to pick things up with little or no thumb length is no picnic. Why anyone would opt for this is beyond me. I don’t see it as a “mod” or art, just butchery.

  26. Apotemnophilia has been identified as a neurological disorder. Do you consider your desire to amputate healthy parts of your body a medical issue? What are your views on Body Integrity Identity Disorder and do you see it as analogous to transsexuality?

    Do you think voluntary amputation is “body modification”? Why or why not? Had a doctor been willing to do the amputation(s) for you, would you still have done it yourself?

    Some people who voluntarily amputate healthy body parts effectively disable themselves. What are the ethical considerations in a place like Canada, where we all pay for each other’s medical care?

    Having voluntarily amputated parts of your own body you clearly believe people (should) have the right to do this; how much is too much?

  27. My questions are similar to #36. Have you ever received psychological assessment for this, or any other potential disorders, and if so do you happen to know your Axis I, II and V? With that aspect, I am mainly curious as to how your doctor would have assessed your desire for these modifications and your functioning. Prior to the amputations, was the desire to do so an obsession fostered by displeasure with your body or was it a seemingly baseless urge? Was the desire to amputate parts of your body confined only to the areas that you have already amputated? Now that you have gone through with your amputations, do you still desire more drastic alterations of your body, or has the act satisfied the urge?

    Also, have you ever, or would you ever, participate in any research on Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or its subtype Body Integrity Identity Disorder? There is suprisingly little scientific literature on this and other phenomenon relating to the body modification community and I have often thought that were those in the community willing to participate in research, preferably with unbiased investigators, it could add greatly to the scientific body of knowledge, as well as to doctors’ perceptions of others with similar interests.

    As a caveat, I also want to assure everyone that I mean no disrespect by viewing this as a psychological, or neurological, disorder. I only approach it as such because that is how the literature currently defines it and I am a psychology major concentrating in psychopathology and neuroscience that is genuinely interested, and am interested in doing research in subjects such as this, and others that relate to the body modification community.

  28. To Wob, those are great questions! You’ve done your research! If I had any questions to add, you covered them.

  29. i am wondering, was he being ‘exposed’ to amputees photos or stories, pior to his own amputation? or, just wanted to amputate out of the blue.

  30. Is there a link to what questions have already been asked/the original interview?!

  31. @ 39, Wob… Brilliant questions. These are the ones I would not have thought of but am very interested to know the answers to. Thanks for asking those!

    A HUGE thank you to the amputee. I can’t thank you enough for being so open about this seldom talked about, taboo subject. Many people simply can’t understand the mindset behind such actions. An open conversation is the best remedy to misunderstanding about such topics. Thank you once again!

  32. 1. What does this person do for a living, and have there been any sacrifices/specific adjustments to performing a job or staying employed?
    2. Since the remaining nubs got kind of squished, what kind of range of motion does he have? It looks like he’d have as much grip as with a foot, they’re toe-length.
    3. What other mods does this person have?
    4. What happened to the fingers?

  33. #38, who are you to say this isn’t body modification?

    Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons, such as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious reasons, shock value, and self-expression.[1]. It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in many societies) to the religiously mandated (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures), and everywhere in between. Body art is the modification of any part of the human body for spiritual, religious, artistic or aesthetic reasons.

    putting something in/on or taking something off the body is modification, body modification.

  34. A friend of mine was born with a similar mod, except that he had a fully functioning thumb. He and his brother and sister inherited this condition from their mother. Yet, he could still tie shoelaces and perform most actions easily (though he does have the advantage of still possessing a thumb).

    What is your motor coordination like? Was there a period of readjustment? Can you do pretty much everything you used to be able to do?

  35. has this been posted on modblog yet? I’m eager to see some of the answers. Thanks to both of you!

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