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What happens at art camp, stays at art camp!

As most of us fans of body mods know, the work environment is not particularly conducive to piercings.  I know where I work at (a restaurant) employees aren't allowed to have any visible piercings besides ears (as long as they're not gauged) and maybe a nostril stud on a girl.  As a result I never really gave a lot of thought to facial piercings.  I wanted one, maybe in my lip, but I knew I couldn't get away with anything visible.   

One day, however, a few of us who had just clocked out were sitting around talking at a table in the back.  I saw one of my coworkers flip a septum ring down out of her nose, and was instantly fascinated.  I remember saying something along the lines of "I didn't know you could do that!"  She then went on to tell me all about how her mom had let her get it done, but when she went to go stay at her dad's she flipped it up to hide it.  I was amazed at how this piercing, which is so obvious when down, can be so easily hidden.  I wanted one then and there, but didn't know where to get it done and also didn't want to look like a copycat.   

Fast forward to about two months later.  I attended at precollege art program this summer at an art school six hours away from home.  The camp was about 2.5 weeks long, and the distance alone made it an excellent opportunity for all kinds of shenanigans.  (What I did was totally innocent compared to what a lot of the kids did lol).   

On the first Friday there, me and a few people were hanging out in the painting studio.  One of the girls there, Kaelyn, had a CBR without the ball and was wearing it in here nose to decide whether or not to get her septum done.  She said she was going to do it herself the following day.  And in a span of about 10 seconds I decided I wanted it done and asked her if she could do it for me as well.  Admittedly it probably would have been better to go to a professional, but I knew that the remaining week and a half of camp would give it a good opportunity to heal before I needed to flip it up to hide it from my parents.  Kaelyn said she would, and I was super psyched.  Another girl, Alexa, also wanted hers done, so we spent the remainder of the evening trying on the CBR to see what we would look like and making plans to actually pierce it the next day. 

The next day arrived.  We had signed up to go on a trip to go shopping in another part of town, and were going to buy jewelry then.  Before we left, we used a computer to look up as much info as we could on a septum piercing- the actual process, videos of it being done, aftercare, etc.  So at least we weren't dumb enough to go into it completely unprepared.  While we were out shopping, we each purchased jewelry- myself, I got three: a 16 gauge black surgical steel horseshoe with spikes on the end, a plain silver surgical steel horseshoe with balls on the ends, and another slightly larger diameter version of the silver one.  I went with the smaller diameter silver one for the actual piercing jewelry, the other two were for later when I could finally change jewelry.  Alexa got a 16 gauge silver surgical steel horseshoe, and Kaelyn went with a 14 gauge seamless ring. 

By the time we got back to the dorms, we were all very excited and quickly gathered up the necessary supplies. Kaelyn had several sizes of hollow needles already, since she has done all her own piercings and quite a few of her friends.  That's probably the reason we trusted her so much, even though she'd never done a septum before.  We also borrowed isopropyl alcohol from my roommate, gloves from the cafeteria ladies (they thought we were using them for art, lol), a cup of ice, and then we were ready to go.  Originally we had planned to do it in the bathroom, but a crowd of about 10 people who had heard we were going to do it had gathered to watch.  I was going first, and I flat out refused to do it in front of so many people.  So we relocated to Alexa's dorm room where only about 6 of us who were all friends could watch. 

Kaelyn washed her hands and put on a pair of gloves.  I sat down in a chair, and everyone else had to sit on a bed to watch.  The jewelry and needles (I was pierced with a 14 gauge) had all been soaking in the alcohol for about 5 minutes.  She used a q-tip with alcohol on it to clean the inside of my nose- that stung a lot!  And smelled weird.  Lol.  I then put an ice cube in each nostril until I could no longer feel it, which didn't take long.  Kaelyn cleaned my nose one more time, and told me she was ready to pierce it.  She felt for my sweet spot, and then freehanded the needle through.  I can honestly say it didn't hurt at all.  Since my nose was all numbed up, I could feel the needle go through, but not any pain.  It felt kinda cool, really.  Once the needle was in, she placed the jewelry in the end of the needle and pulled it all through in one fluid motion.  Once the needle was out, the jewelry remained. 

My hands were shaking pretty badly at this point, so it was a real struggle to get the tiny ball screwed on the end, but I got it after a few minutes.  Kaelynn then washed her hands, regloved, and pierced Alexa, and then finally herself.   

I called my boyfriend immediately and told him about it- he had had no idea I was getting it done but was really excited and couldn't wait to see it.  I took a pic on my phone and sent it to his friend (he doesn't get texts) so he could see.  He really liked it and still, 3 months later, loves it. 

One thing I was concerned about was that it was crooked a t first.  Only a little, you had to be looking closely to tell, but it was still crooked.  I'd read that it usually straightens out over time, and that proved to be true.  It was straight within a few days. 

Aftercarewise, I did the same thing I'd done for all of my self done ear piercings: cleaned it several times a day (I did four) using contact lens soulution.  It works, trust me.  It's basically just a mild saline solution, and it's sterile and very gentle.  I also used antibiotic cream a few times when it looked particularly pussy, which helped a lot.  For the first few weeks it oozed a lot and formed crusties on the ring (which hurt a lot if they wen in the hole), but with regular cleaning it healed up in about 6 weeks.  After that point I gradually reduced how often I cleaned it.  I only clean it every other day or so now, 3 months later, and it is looking and feeling healthy! 

I flip it up for work and to hide it from my parents, who still don't know about it.  I flip it backwards into my nose, but I remove one of the balls first otherwise doing so is somewhat painful.   

I would definitely recommend this piercing to anyone who is considering it.  It is beautiful, fun, and easy to hide.  Although it's probably best to go to a professional, I know that a lot of people are probably going to do it themselves anyways.  I say go for it!  Just be very careful and clean no matter if its done professionally or at home, and read as much about it as you can first.  I hope you learned something from my experience!  And feel free to ask me questions regarding septums!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Nose Piercing

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