Large gauge tongue piercing
I always saw a tongue piercing as the final frontier for myself. I am a DIY, non-professional piercer (which i would not recommend to ANYONE), and I have pierced almost every part of my body except for my tongue. For some reason I was always too scared to ever attempt piercing my own tongue, but had no problems piercing my nipples and VCH. A tongue piercing was always at the bottom of my list of piercings I wanted to have, until I began reading up on split tongues.
My ultimate goal, at this point in time, is to have my tongue split. The BME wiki suggests that having a healed large-gauge tongue piercing is ideal before splitting the tongue. This being my first piercing done by a profession, I thought, why don't I do something a little crazy? Something a little crazy that will also benefit my end goal. So I went in to Tattoo Junkies in Portsmouth, NH, to talk to one of the piercers there.
His name is Chris and he had previously come up to me in Walmart and handed me his card. After that I saw him at the Live Free or Die tattoo expo in Manchester, and something about him sat well with me. Plus, after seeing my friend get pierced at Portsmouth Piercing Co. and checking out Tattoo Junkies for myself, Tattoo Junkies is definitely the better option.
At Portsmouth Piercing Co. I watched my friend get a simple nose piercing. However, it was done with a clamp (which is fine, but uncomfortable and receiving tubes work better) and the piercer suggested it be washed with soap and water rather than sea salt soaks. I might be a little biased, since I swear by sea salt soaks, but from personal experience they work much better than soap and water. Chris at Tattoo Junkies is personable and will welcome you back to him room happily to talk about whatever you came in for. He was happy to answer any questions I had and he was very knowledgeable about piercings of all kinds.
Initially I had come in to talk to Chris about getting my tongue pierced at a larger gauge. He said the largest he would be comfortable piercing it at was a 10g, but would be willing to stretch immediately to an 8g. I had to order the jewelry custom through him. We chose a beautiful 11/16" (I believe) Titanium, internally threaded 8g barbell. Luckily, the day I went in to order the jewelry was the day he had just sent out an order for new supplies.
Chris called me when the jewelry arrived and I came in promptly the next day, excited and a little nervous. I sat down and filled out paperwork while he copied my ID. He then put on a dentist bib to catch any rogue drool. Then, he dried off my tongue, marked it, allowed me to check it in the mirror (which I approved of), clamped my tongue and asked me to take a deep breath and count to three.
The 10g needle went through quick and smooth and I felt no pain. The 8g taper stung a little, and the jewelry insertion (usually my least favorite part) was comfortable and painless. Once the ball was screwed on and I was wiped clean of all drool, I pulled my tongue back into my mouth and it felt extremely strange. Chris asked me to say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and I did without any problems.
He told me about aftercare and what I should except. He gave me really good advice, like sleep with your head elevated and drink ice water when you wake up. He was very thorough with what I should do and what I should expect during the healing process.
Day 1: I got it pierced at about 12pm and didn't experience any swelling until 7pm. That's when it started to become difficult to talk. I lisped a little, but could say most words clearly. Before going to bed I ate a banana, which was EXTREMELY difficult, but I hadn't eaten anything since getting the piercing done.
Day 2: My tongue is even more swollen. I drink ice water and eat ice cream for breakfast but it doesn't really help. Later, I eat jello, which is also extremely hard and painful. I rinse my mouth with sea salt water after every "meal." I can't really talk at all. The glands in my neck hurt. I drink v8 and eat yogurt and somehow manage to eat mac n cheese. By midnight though, my tongue is very swollen and painful, so i take an ibuprofen, melt ice on my tongue and go to bed.
Day 3: I get a surprise when I wake up: blood all around the piercing. YUM! I rinse my mouth with sea salt water and drink ice water. My neck glands still hurt and now my inner ears even hurt a little. My teeth even hurt! At night my tongue is as swollen as ever, bleeding and very painful. I ice it, take two ibuprofen and rinse it.
Day 4: I wake up and my tongue feels okay. I take an ibuprofen just in case. Today I decide to only consume liquid food and not talk. That doesn't go well, i wind up talking and even eating a hamburger. My tongue feels fine and swelling has gone down considerably.
Day 5: Smooth sailing, and I think it will be from here on out!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 2011
in Large Gauge Tongue Piercings