Pierced, irritated, then healed rook
I decided to get my rook pierced the summer before my freshman year of college. This wasn't my first piercing by any means, but I liked the idea of a more "unusual" ear piercing, and it was during the summer, and I was with friends. I went to the Liberty Tattoo Co. (in Winston-Salem, NC), which was fine, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it. (Do yourself a favor and drive the 2 hours to Raleigh and go to Progress Piercing). It's a tattoo place, obviously, and they don't have a lot of jewelry, plus I found it to be dim, and loud. I hate it when they play crazy music when you're getting pierced!
Anyway, at the time, I was also considering getting (another) upper helix piercing, so as I sat down on the bench, the piercer and I were sort of messing around with the placement of both. It was my mistake, but when I got up to check the placement of the marks, I only looked at the helix piercing (we'd been talking about that mostly), NOT the rook mark. Once I sat back down, however, he told me to take a deep breath in, and, before I could do much, exhaled, he pushed the needle through my rook.
It felt like a ton of pressure - literally, a ton, like my ear was going to fall in, but only for a split second. The actual pain was very minimal. My head drifted to the side so much that my best friend, who was sitting beside me, had to push it back over. Then the piercer popped in the barbell, twisted it on, and I was good to go. I think it cost me $40, possibly a little more. I was, at first, pissed off, because I thought the barbell was in to close to the inside of my ear, but once I flipped the curved barbell around, it looked a lot better. As I've found with many places, they didn't have a lot of selection, so the curved barbell they put it was very standard - curved, 16g, high polish look. Very neutral.
For the next few days and weeks, I cleaned it all the time. It hurt when I first got it done (a lot of throbbing, mostly), but the pain wasn't too bad at all. I could even sleep it on carefully it I wanted too, as it was inside my ear.
A few weeks after getting it done, my rook began to hurt like crazy. I think I must have slept on it really wrong, because I woke up one day and it just felt awful. It was so swollen that my ear stuck straight out from my head. You could literally feel the swelling on the back of my ear, and it was so hot to the touch that I was convinced it was infected. It was reddish purple, and the actual ledge of my ear in which the rook piercing was was so thick and swollen that only the ends of the barbell were visible, as opposed to a bit of the bar. I couldn't move it around at all. I had some pretty gross discharge, and blood, but I knew not to take it out - if it was a real infection, I'd need antibiotics, and in that case, the jewelry should act as a way for the pus and junk to filter out. After a few days of hiding my pain - my parents hate piercings - and salt soaks, I went down to Progress Piercing and talked to a great guy, Seth, who cleaned me up, and gave me some suggestions (as a friend, not a professional, as I don't think any professional would tell you to do this). DESPITE THE FACT THAT I DID NOT GET IT PIERCED THERE... they totally helped me out! This is what I did, every day, for the next few days:
- Saltwater soaks a few times a day - 1 or 2 tsps of salt to water, in a little bowl, warmed up. I would just watch TV and leave my ear in there
- A LOT of ibuprofen
- A whole or half bottle of the nasal decongestant neosynephrine (it's an anti-inflammatory) poured onto a cotton round and used an a compress at night
- one pink benedryll before I went to bed
This sounds crazy, but it totally worked. The swelling went right down, the pain went away, and just yesterday (six months since I got it pierced), I changed the barbell. I ordered a back of bulk "eyebrow" barbells from Body Art Forms, and now the balls are striped, which looks pretty good. It looks great (really cute, little, and unusual) now that it's not as angry. I get a lot of compliments on it because it's different, but not too obvious or huge. It looks great with my other outer ear piercings as well.
submitted by: rampaige
on: 14 Nov. 2010
in Rook Piercing