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Well, yes and no.. It did take a few months to get full sensation back in my fingers, but whenever I come into contact with a strong field unexpectedly, then or now, it is kind of a shocking and jarring sensation. Because of the healing process I had time to acclimate. As it was said earlier in the thread, this, like most augmentations in existence at this early stage just piggybacks on another existing sense and adds a completely new dimension to it. It uses the nerves known as mechanoreceptors which detect pressure and torsion. In fact I plotted out which fingers I would get them in based on density of that type of nerve (the pinky, for instance would be a poor spot because it is far less sensitive than any of the other fingers)
It's been almost exactly 4 years now since I had them put in, and I think it was worth it.
I would possibly get more, but location is an issue because you can't have them clicking together in your sleep or they'll kill the tissue pinched in between them, and although the original concept I had was to have one hand with one magnets, one hand without, sort of a control/experimental type deal, I could potentially get the same setup in my right hand. Before I got them I heard something about someone feeling the subways in New York City, so maybe even one in a big toe would be possible. The main problem is that it's kind of expensive. But yeah, I could see myself getting a few more potentially.
As to how I found the guy.. well I used to be a Stumbleupon addict back before they started doing too many 'featured' pages (ie ads) for my liking, and I actually had a roomate of mine send me a page about it.. I read about the subject extensively, and ended up discovering that the guy who invented the procedure lived in my home state (Arizona).. I ended up contacting him through his website, and after a few weeks of slowly exchanging emails (I didn't know it at the time but he was in the middle of moving) we finally hammered out an appointment date.
It's not necessarily something that changes my day to day life, I mean I have this case for my phone that's also a wallet and it has a magnetic clasp on it, so I can wave my hand by my pocket and know its there. It's made me a collector of bottlecaps and I buy paperclips more. When I'm bored, I only need a small piece of metal to entertain myself. And I have occasional discoveries as to how things work when I come across unexpected magnetic fields. Another fin thing is I can feel the deep bass notes and the highest treble notes from earbuds and speakers even if I can't hear the music.. I probably couldn't identify songs in this way but it's kinda neat.
It was more like his basement (and those are rare in this part of the state) but yeah it was extremely sterile and professionally set up.. he changed scalpels and gloves for each finger/incision, and it was a lot less sketchy than I first expected when I realized it was going to be done in this dude's house. (It was a pretty fucking big house too)
As to 'why ice', well, he was NOT a doctor. He did not have access to any topical anesthetics (except for possibly lidocaine) but because of the nature of the operation, putting some kind of cream, as most lidocaine products are in a cream form, would have made it a little more difficult to do his work, I imagine.
Truthfully, the ice made it so I didn't feel the initial incision at all.. but the insertion of the magnet I could feel a little bit, and the suturing I felt 100% with all the pain of the aforementioned acts catching up to my nervous system at the same time.
If I did have to do it again I'd probably try to get some cocaine and soak my fingers in a cocaine/water solution or something ahead of time.. or something like that. I mean it was first made famous as a local anesthetic.