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Speptum remake

   For almost two years, I wanted my septum pierced. I loved the look of it on other people (Most espescially on girls, due to the fact I think it centers attention on the face and seperates your focus on it... And I'd just rather prefer to be looking at women than men =) But I definately appreciate it on a male, too.) and, after much deliberation between my friends and I on whether I would look good with it, since I have a very angular face and an ever so slightly larger than normal nose, what kind of jewelry I'd like it done with, etc, I finally decided to go for it, and if I didn't like it, I'd only lose 10 or 15 bucks since I could easily resell the ring to one of my other friends.

    I called a local piercer, set up an appointment with him, and two days later, had one of my friends pick me up and take me out there, since i didn't have a car at the time. I arrived, and was promptly informed that the piercer I had been scheduled with had been moved to tattooing only moments before I'd arrived, and an apprentice had just been bumped up to doing independant work... So if I still wanted to do it, this new piercer would be doing it for me. I was kind of unsure about this, since I've always been told the septum is a rather difficult piercing to get aligned properly, since even the slightest off-center piercing is going to look drastic in the septum. But, like I said, I'd been looking forward to this for almost two years, and my friend was egging me on a bit, so I finally caved and agreed. I waited about 20 minutes, then was informed that I was up.

    Now, I've had some other piercings before this one, so I wasn't too concerned with pain or anything. I've had my ears pierced quite a bit, including an 'industrial' piercing and tragus piercings, as well as my navel and nipples, and I've always heard that while the septum is one of the most initially painful piercings, it's nothing compared to the nipples. I was soon to find out that this was wrong. =)

    He rubbed some antiseptic inside my nose with a Q-tip real quick, then applied the clamps. Now, I don't know if clamps are typically used in septum piercing or not, but this was PAINFUL. It brought tears to my eyes immediately... I swear there were teeth on it, too, because he had to adjust it several times and it bit down quite a bit each time he let go. Eventually, though, he got it settled. He got the needle and reciever tube ready, told me to brace myself and take a deep breath, and on the count of 3, he slid the needle through.

    It was at this point I was glad I hadn't gotten the 12 gauge ring, because I was wracked with blinding, searing pain that shot through my nose and down my spine. This was at LEAST as bad as getting my nipples pierced with 12 gauges, and this was only a 14! He waited a few minutes for me to catch my breath and for my vision to clear (I'd gotten that black, sparkly tunnel vision, like when you stand up too fast) and then slid the ring it. He did NOT get a smooth transfer through, because I felt every one of those thread ridges scrape through. After a couple seconds fumbling with the ball (I opted for a circular barbell, not a captive ring, because I would often have to flip the ring up due to work) he got it on and handed me a mirror.

    I could not have been more disappointed. This thing was as crooked as it could possibly have been, and it was then I realised he had not pierced through the soft tissue at the front the septum, but had instead gone through the thick, bony cartiledge at the very back. That's most likely why it was crooked; he probably hit one of the pieces of hard gristle at either side and the needle got thrown off. He assured me that it would straighten out as it healed and I gauged it down, but it all sounded like a lot of BS to me. =)

    The next few hours were shear hell. I almost passed out from the pain of talking twice immediately after leaving, due to the fact that the ring sat almost directly on my lip... Or at least, it did on one side, the other side hung out in the air due to the fact that it was crooked. Eating was impossible, and it bled quite a bit. All total I think I had it in there maybe 8 hours before I removed it... And that was no easy task. It had quite a lot of crusting and dried blood around it, and took several applications of hydrogen peroxide to get it to slide out.

    So much for my first attempt.

    The next day I called and complained quite a bit to the manager. She assured me that if I were to come back in, they would autoclave the ring, and repierce it for free with the piercer I had originally scheduled with. A week later, I came in to have that done.

    This time was smooth. The piercer didn't use clamps, just freehanded it with the recieving tube. The needle slid in with another slight flash of pain, but it wasn't a hundredth of what I'd experienced the first time. The jewelry transfer was smooth and easy, and when it was done again, it was almost perfectly straight. I couldn't even draw a line as straight and perpendicular to my septum as the needle was. This time, I kept it. =)

    Since then, I've gauged it down to an 8 gauge. The first time I tried gauge it, I had it tapered by a friend, but I decided to do any further tapering of it myself, due to the fact that it tore even though I waited 3 months after the initial piercing and was only dropping one gauge. The next two times I gauged it, I simply bought a retainer of the gauge I wanted, then applied Bacitracin to the opening and the retainer to act as both a lubricant and an antibiotic in case of tearing, and then worked it through. It takes a while longer to push and twist the retainer in, instead of tapering, sure, but there's hardly any pain (It just feels stiff and tightly uncomfortable) and it greatly reduces the risk of tearing it, soo...

    All in all, I'd have to say that when done properly, the septum is one of the easiest piercings as far as pain and healing go (I used saline solution for the regular cleaning, and applied Bactine to it every other day to prevent infection) - just be sure of the piercer's qualifications and if you're at all unsure about them, back out and find somebody else. =)

Christian Henson March 25th, 1998

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 April 1998
in Nose Piercing

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