My burning desire
I have been interested in the body modification community for may years now. It started as a way for me to fight my fears which at the time were needles. My journey started with a tattoo, which has now led to 15 including a 1/2 sleeve, then on to body piercing. I am now the proud owner of 5 facial piercings, 11 in my ears and your standard navel piercing ( I have also experimented with genital piercings, but that is another story.) With my fear of needles conquered, I felt it was time to branch out and try something new. I had seen many pictures of brandings' on BME and the thought flashed through my head that maybe that was what I was looking for.
Flash ahead 2 months, the thought of branding had almost been forgotten, when my friend "Fred" and I were looking at the BME web-site and the branding section caught his eye. His enthusiasm at the pictures was so similar to mine. Fred by the way is also heavily tattooed. I must mention that at the time we were looking at the pictures we had both had a few drinks,I must also add that it is not the best way to decide to modify. All body mods. should be considered when one is in a clear frame of mind.
Fred and I both clearly a little buzzed decided that was just what we needed, a brand to solidify our friendship. We both are tattooed and he seemed to be looking for something new and a bit more extreme. Now I must mention that Fred and I have been friends for 15 years, so it was the drinks talking and not our common sense.
We decided that since I have a medical background that I should be the one to do the branding (again not a good idea when drinking, no matter how much you know or think you know.) I gathered up the supplies I thought we would need, gloves, alcohol, cotton swabs, antibacterial ointment, a piece of bendable metal and a candle. I washed and gloved and began to prep the areas to be branded and the metal design we intended to use,(the inside of my ankles and the front of his shoulders.) The design we chose was a simple spiral due to the fact it was the easiest to make with the gauge wire we had chosen.
I decided that since I was to do the branding I should do mine first to determine the length of time and pressure needed to produce the spiral, and if needed give Fred a chance to back out. (I changed my gloves many times throughout the whole branding procedure but, figured writing about it each time was redundant.) I placed the metal into the fire of the candle until it glowed a bright red, looked at my friend and pressed hot metal to flesh. I could hear my skin as it sizzled and saw the smoke it created as well as smell the smell of burnt skin. It only took a few seconds and my first brand was done. Now it was Freds' turn. Feeling a little apprehensive about burning my friend, I proceeded to sterilize the design and heated it up, asking all the while if he was sure this is what he wanted. Fred assured me that since I went through it he was not going to back out, so pun intended I pressed on.
Fred and I are now the proud owners of two spirals. Freds' healing was uneventful. For me the healing process was murder. Both of my feet swelled as I had done both ankles. Walking and putting on socks and shoes for the first few weeks was horrible.I had a few scares with infection and it hurt like hell while it was healing. At the time I was not sure if it was worth all of the pain and maintenance a wound like that required. The scars did not turn out exactly as we hoped, but all in all our friendship is stronger than ever for having done this although in hind-site a tattoo would have sufficed. I am glad we did go through this journey together, on the other hand if we had been in the right mind we would have gone to a professional. This was a DIY that thankfully did have a happy ending. To those of you who read this and are considering a brand, even though we healed without any real problems, this is a mod. that needs to be done in a very sterile enviornment by a professional. I maybe in the medical profession and I am very familiar with universal precautions however, it does not take much to come down with an infection even when "you" think everything is sterile.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 May 2006