Our Hook Adventure
My roommate Jean and I were channel surfing one night and we came
across a documentary on one of the health channels. It was about a girl
who had contracted meningitis. As a result of the disease she had to
have both of her arms amputated midway between her wrists and her
elbows. It showed her after her surgery with her arms heavily bandaged.
It was easy to see where her arms now ended.
“God how awful,” I said.
“I can’t imagine what she must be going through,” Jean said.
The documentary went on to show her arms being unwrapped revealing
her rounded stumps. They were then wrapped in elastic bandages. They
explained that this was required to reduce swelling. The program showed
her returning home after her hospital stay. It was interesting to watch
as she tried to use her toes to grasp things. She had to be fed, of
course, and almost all her needs met by someone helping her. Eventually
she was able to be fitted with bilateral prosthetic hooks. It was
explained that while hooks did not look natural they were the most
functional for a double arm amputee. We watched as she was fitted for
her hooks and the first time she tried them on. She was sobbing as she
slipped her stumps into the sockets and the prosthetist had her open and
close them for the first time.
“I hate these things. They look so horrible,” the girl said.
“You will get used to them and they will allow you to do things
almost as well as if you still had your arms. I know they don’t look
natural, but when you find out how much they will let you do you will be
much happier,” the prosthetist said.
“I don’t want to be like this for the rest of my life,” the girl said
“I can’t imagine what she must be going through,” I said.
“I wonder what it would be like having hooks,” Jean said.
“I have no idea. You wouldn't be able to feel anything with them. Let’s watch some more and see how she does,” I replied.
We watched the rest of the program that showed how the girl learned
to use her hooks and eventually went back to school. She got pretty
good. She could eat with her hooks, write by holding a pen in her hook,
and even put on her makeup. They showed her out shopping with her
friends. It looked like she was adapting to her handicap. She used her
hooks just like she would her hands.
“Kate, I really do wonder what it would feel like wearing hooks? They
really intrigue me,” Jean asked.
“I don’t know, but I am not going to have my arms amputated to find
“Yeah, but it might be interesting to experience if we could do it
without actually having our arms amputated,” Jean said.
“Why on earth would you want to know what it’s like?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I am just really curious how hard it would be to do
things and what it would be like to be wearing them.”
Jean was a little weird but I had to admit it was an interesting
question. How hard would it be to live without hands? People would stare
at you when they saw that you had hooks for hands. Just out of curiosity
I checked if the program was repeated at another time. It was so I set
the DVR to record it.
For some reason I couldn’t shake the impression the program had on me. I
had some spare time during the week and went on the internet and looked
up prosthetic hooks. I found some interesting articles about how body
powered arm prosthetics worked. There was this metal cable that
connected to the hook, which was called a terminal device, that opened
and closed the hook when the person moved their shoulder forward. The
most interesting thing I discovered was a web site run by someone named
Vicki. She actually had a pair of hooks that she could wear over her
arms with her hands curled up inside. Her hooks were fully functional
and she had videos of how she used them. Apparently she spent a lot of
her time using her hooks. She even goes out in public shopping using her
hooks. She goes out to eat and does everything with them. I showed Jean
Vicki’s web site.
“I can’t believe she is not a real arm amputee. No one can tell when
she has on long sleeves. All you can see is her hooks,” Jean said.
“Yeah. Kind of neat don’t you think?”
“Weird though. It looks like she has quite a following of guys. It
looks like she likes to show off her legs. What’s with the leg braces?”
“I guess she likes to pretend to need leg braces like she has Polio or
something, but she seems to like using her hooks better,” I said. “So I
guess it is possible to experience having two hooks without having your
arms amputated,” I said.
“Why doesn’t she use just one?” Jean asked.
“I guess it would be too easy with only one hook. Needing two makes
you totally dependent of your prosthetic hooks,” I said.
“That makes sense. Why not go all the way. Two is better than one,”
Jean said laughing.
“If we could get hooks like Vicki’s would you want to see what it
would be like to use them?”
“You mean try to wear them to do things, even go out wearing them?”
“Maybe it would be fun to try it. How could we do it?” Jean asked.
“I guess we could see if anyone sells hooks for non-amputees,” I
“Kate, you are crazy.”
“So do you want to do it for fun?” I asked.
“Sure, it might be some kind of turn on. Who knows?”
“You know the idea kind of turns me on a little. There is something
quite sexy about those hooks just showing below a girl's sleeves. There seem to be a lot of guys that find hooks a real turn on,” I
Over the next week I searched the internet. I found a prosthetist who
made hooks for non-amputees. It was a side line. There seemed to be
quite a few people willing to spend the money. I was floored by the
cost. Would this really be worth it? The more Jean and I thought about
it the more adamant we were that we would get hooks and see what life
would be like wearing them.
What was the clincher was that I found that one source was someone
right in our city. We could visit him and not take a chance to order
something on the internet. I had started to converse with him by e-mail. He said he would be happy to fit us and give us a big discount
for two pairs of hooks instead of one.
I set up an appointment for us to meet with him after work. We were
both a little nervous when we entered the shop and saw numerous
prosthetic devices. Were we really going to go through with this?
The prosthetist's name was Bill. He showed us several arms under
construction and s number of different hooks. Actually seeing these
things first hand really made me want to try hooks even more. I wanted
to know just how it felt to have them on. I sensed that Jean felt the
“I recommend standard bilateral hooks with 5X terminal devices. The
hooks are standard adult size with a rubber like lining to help grasp
things,” Bill explained.
“Okay, if that’s what your recommend, I said.
“Will you be wearing them for long periods and using them for normal
activities?” he asked.
“Long periods?” Jean asked.
“Would you wear them for an entire day, get dressed using them, put
on your makeup, eat, and other normal things?”
“Wear them all day? You are kidding? We would probably fool with them
for a couple of hours at a time,” I said.
“Don’t count on it. Using hooks can be very addictive. I have had
customers who use their hooks every waking hour except when they go to
work. One girl I know decided to get a job wearing her hooks. She uses
them full time. She has not used her hands for over two years. In fact
she lives around here.”
“I don’t think that’s us,” Jean said.
"You will probably be totally hooked the first time
you go out shopping in public. Pardon the pun," Bill said. "I have found
that once my clients put their hooks on they just don't want to take
"I guess we will find out," I said.
“Well in any case I would suggest spending a bit more money and
getting articulating wrists. That way you can tilt your hooks to get
closer to your body or position your hooks to do things easier. Most
bilateral hook users have them.”
After we got over the shock of the cost, we agreed that we would get hooks just like
Bill suggested. It would take about a week to make them and then we
wpuld be able to have our initial fitting. We gave a deposit on the two
pairs of hooks and headed home
"Well Kate, we will soon find out what it felt like for the girl in
the documentary," Jean said.
"Yeah, let's watch it when we get home. I am glad I recorded it," I
When we got home we watched the program again. I don;t know about
Jean, but I really got turned on when I watched the girl opening and
closing her hooks and using them in public. I dreamed about wearing
hooks that night. In a week we would have our hooks.