getting into piercing at 35
OK so this is the story of how I got my tongue pierced at 35. I've always lived a very main stream conventional life, thinking that the only reason I was on this planet was to do what I was supposed to do and make everyone around me happy even if that meant that very early on I had to give up having my own personality or just being myself. I guess I was raised to be that way, or maybe I have an overly developed sense of responsibility that made me become that way. It took me many years to find out that the only way I would ever be happy would be to change completely the way I live and start living for myself instead. Which is not easy at all because after all this you simply don't know what you really want! So, about a year ago I exploded and I finally decided to quit my very prestigious and well paid job for a large corporation and become a very poor diving instructor in the Florida Keys. The best decision I've ever made!
So what's the connection with a tongue piercing you might wonder? Well, in all these years I have always secretly liked tattoos and piercings but of course I couldn't get any. I admired people that had them because I knew they were only doing it for themselves, not because society or their families or co-workers expected them to. Besides I've always thought they look amazing and sexy both on women and men. So about a year ago I decided to re-pierce my earlobes and stretch them. I am at 5/8" right now and I absolutely love them. I think I'm going to stay at this size for a while. After the ear project was completed I had to do something else and that's where the tongue piercing comes in. I have been considering a tongue piercing for quite a while (but also a labret, a septum piercing, my nipples, even sometimes I considered getting some sort of genital piercing, but I am too much of a whimp for that) and after much thought I decided that I was going to get it done. I researched the different tattoo shops in town and I finally decided to go to South of Heaven Tattoo which is a shop that has recently opened here in Key Largo. The first day I went there I spoke to Nick who is a tattoo artist mainly but who also pierces. He was super cool and very knowledgeable about the procedure, aftercare, risks, etc. He made me feel at ease and I also liked the shop which was very roomy and spotless clean. I decided not to get it done that day but that I would get it done there. I had a couple of open water diver classes that I needed to do in the following days so I thought it was preferrable to wait until I was done with those.
So a couple of weeks go by, it's July 1st and I'm done teaching those classes. I ran to South of Heaven right after work just to check if I could get it done that evening. This time I spoke to Eric, who is the "official" piercer of the shop. He was awesome explaining all the procedure, aftercare, etc. I asked him if would be ok for me to grab something to eat and come back and so I did. When I came back, he had already done some of the preparation for the procedure. He had me sign a release as usual I guess, then we started discussing about jewelery and placement. I told him that I would rather be pierced at a larger gauge (10g) because I am thinking about stretching the piercing later on to maybe 8g or 6g and I had read/heard that it was better to get a larger gauge jewelery from the beginning. Unfortunately Eric wasn't prepared for a larger gauge piercing so we had to settle for the "standard" 14g 3/4" straight barbell. Then he marked my tongue where he thought the best placement would be. I asked him if it wasn't a good idea to pierce it farther back away from the tip of the tongue because I was concerned about speech artifacts (and also because I might even want to split my tongue in the future, but I didn't tell him that). He talked me out of it and asked me to trust him which I did.
The procedure itself was extremely quick and painless I have to say. After having me rinse my mouth with listerine for a minute or so, he asked me to sit and to stick my tongue out and keep it out completely relaxed. Then he clamped my tongue, which according to many experiences shared before is the worst part. In my opinion, the only thing that I felt about the clamps was that they were cold, but they didn't bother me in the least. After cheking one last time for veins and nerves, Eric asked me to take a deep breath. As I started to breathe in, he shoved the needle through my tongue and before I knew it it just popped out of the top of my tongue. NO PAIN, I remember my ear lobes to be a lot more painful when pierced. Then he asked me to keep my tongue relaxed as he inserted the barbell which did feel a bit uncomfortable, then he screwed in the top ball and voilà! It was done in less than one minute. Eric did a great job by being so quick and precise. He doesn't leave you any time to psych yourself out of it. When I looked in the mirror I saw one or two drops of blood but that was it. I had a shiny metal bar through my tongue, how bizarre!
Talking during the few minutes that followed was very ackward so I just had time to listen to the aftercare instructions, thank him, pay him, tip him and go home. As soon as I got home I started sucking on ice and I continued doing so for an hour or so before I went to bed. I took painkillers before going to sleep, but still I could barely sleep. My tongue didn't really hurt, it was just sore, but the long barbell felt huge and very uncomfortable.
DAY 1 I wake up not having slept much and my tongue is really sore. Surprisingly I can see no swelling. I take some more painkillers and I head to work but I stop at starbucks to get a frapuccino before. My first words to my co-workers sound like those of a total retard but nobody notices anything. I have brought a mini-cooler with lots of ice so that I can spend the whole day sucking on ice if I have to. For lunch I had ice cream and yogurt. Ice and painkillers make me go through the day without much difficulty. I was feeling very hungry for dinner so I cooked some pasta with tomato sauce. I found it very hard to eat with my tongue feeling so sore, but also I just kept getting the top ball caught on my teeth and after so much painful pulling and tugging my tongue decided to hurt and swell. I decided it was time to go to bed.
DAY 2 I've been doing all the teethbrushing and mouth washing as prescribed, also sucking ice to the point of getting my tongue ice burned, but this has helped keep my swelling minumal. My tongue is still very sore and I sound like a retard, although amazinly people don't notice the piercing at all unless I show it to them. Another frapuccino for breakfast and ice cream for lunch. The day goes by uneventful, pain killers are doing their job. For dinner I tried chinese noodles, sauteed chicken and broccoli with much success. The only thing I found difficult were noodles that kept wrapping around my barbell.
DAY 3 I had a quite good night sleep but when I wake up my tongue is still very sore. I'm getting the hang of how to talk without the bar getting in the way so that cheers me up a little bit. I tried cereals for breakfast and I could eat them almost at normal pace. For lunch I made myself a ham and cheese wrap with fresh tomato slices. The wrap was no trouble to eat but the tomato slices stung pretty bad, I din't like that. Hot dogs for dinner... Just stay away from ketchup for the same reason, trust me!
DAYS 4,5,6 The soreness is diminishing to the point that I can go by the whole day without painkillers, but the soreness comes back whenever I talk a lot, after eating or after playing with my piercing. I know you're not supposed to play with it, but it's so hard to not to! I went back to my piercer on day 6 to have him take a look at my tongue. He said it was healing beautifully so that was good. I noticed though that the top ball was making a crater in my tongue as if it was going to go through it. I read a few people posts on multiple websites saying that it's nothing to worry about, so I am not worrying for now. I just hope it goes away in the coming months or at least it doesn't look so huge, now you can barely see the ball because it's almost totally inside my tongue... I saw some whitish stuff coming out of the hole a few times, I thought it might be pus but since there was no pain or soreness I thought it was maybe some other kind of bodily discharge but not necessarily a sign of infection. I just keep cleaning the crater with q-tips and using H2O mouthwash hoping it will go away. Anyway even though there was no swelling at all Eric preferred not to change the barbell so soon but accepted to sell a shorter one to me so that I could change it myself later on. I understand he didn't want to take the responsibility in case something went bad, but I was sure it would be ok and the long bar was driving me crazy. So that night I just went ahead and put the new one in.
DAYS 7-13 The shorter barbell has been a blessing. I am now totally in love with my tongue piercing, it just feels great and looks great. I can eat and talk normally now. I also love the placement, close to the tip of the tongue because I can play with it a lot easier. I was afraid it would make the piercing a lot more visible and impair my speech but none of those have happened. The crater is definitely there, I don't think it's got any smaller but at least it's not getting bigger. I hardly ever feel any soreness anymore, I really need to abuse my poor tongue before it starts complaining. I eat everything now normally, the shorter bar just makes it a breeze. The only thing I am careful about are hot beverages or soups because the barbell gets really hot and the inside of the tongue is still very sensitive to heat. Also, I haven't tried really spicy foods like Indian curry yet.
All in all I am extremely happy with my tongue piercing, it feels great and it looks amazing. Now I am trying to determine if people notice anything at all so I am not telling anyone that I got it done. So far 100% haven't noticed it! And that includes my best friends who've known me forever. I'll be seeing my parents tomorrow for the first time since I had it done, let's see if they notice anything. I strongly recommend that you get it if you are thinking about it. At least in my case, the piercing procedure was virtually painless and the healing process has been a breeze so far. I just wish I had done it before, when I was 20! I can't wait to have it streched now and to experiment a bit with it ;-)
I can recommend both South of Heaven as a studio and Eric as a piercer, they were extremely professional and did a great job. I'll definitely be coming back for more soon! Labret, nipples, septum... I just need to make up my mind ;)
Thanks for reading and happy piercings!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 19 July 2010
in Center Tongue Piercings