Each time I see myself, be it in my dirty bathroom mirror as I'm going through my morning beautifying ritual or the glimpses I catch passing by a shop window, I find it hard to remember my face without my nostril piercing. It's almost as if it belongs there. In my mind, it does. The little ball of my nostril screw or the in your face beauty of my black titanium ring, no matter what I wear in it, it's there. It's perfect.
I've had nose issues for as long as I can remember. Not medical issues (although I get terrible, terrible hay fever!) but personal ones, my issues were purely aesthetic. I've always found it to be a little on the "big" side. Not long and beaky big, but a little wide. Perhaps it's all in my head, but that's how I see it nonetheless.
I've toyed with the idea of a nose piercing for years. My aunty has one that I always admired; I think she may have been the first person I'd seen with one. Quite a few times I came close to stupidly letting my aspiring body piercer (read: teen girl with a set of safety pins and some cheap body jewellery) friend poke holes in me, in no place other than our high school toilet block with a safety pin-of course! The idea got pushed to the back of my mind until my mother, in a fit of desperation, offered to pay for me to get a normal nostril piercing if I removed my "horrible bull ring". During one of my (many) drunken misadventures I lost my septum retainer. With that gone I began to dream of nostril piercings once again.
Now let's stop beating around the bush and finally get to the juicy bits, shall we?
9am, Saturday morning - my mother and younger sister dragged me out of bed and down to the shops. I didn't even have time to put my make-up on! (This later worked in my favour). We had to beat the rush to the mid-year sales, you see. After a busy morning shopping and fourty five minutes before my shift started I got the sudden urge to get my nose pierced. A sense of "it's now or never" seemed to wash over me. I knew if I didn't get it at right this moment in time, when I had the courage to face the needle once again, I would never go through with it. I deserved it anyway. I had a new job. This was my first pay check so I was going to spend it on something for ME. What a better way of treating myself, right? Now I was in somewhat of a quandary. I was standing in the middle of a shopping center in the outer eastern suburbs of Perth. Perth is the most isolated city in the world, might I add? There are barely any decent piercing studios around, let alone any near enough for me to
get there, get pierced and get back to work in fourty five minutes! That's when I remembered - Essential Beauty do piercings! PERFECT! I skipped over and asked them if they did nose piercings - yes! With a gun? No. Even better. I asked her how much and when she could do it, I was met with the answer I was hoping for.
My heart suddenly started beating at 100kph as the familiar signs of anxiety set in. I just paid to have a needle stuck in me - I must've been out of my bloody mind. I was lead to the back of the shop and into one of their rooms. These were the same rooms they used to perform all of their other beauty treatments, I should add. I was far too nervous at the time to notice all this. Needless to say I'm wishing I had now. The girl doing the piercing (I can't remember her name for the life of me) told me to smile so she could see where I naturally creased. Apparently my nose didn't have the natural crease that most people have when they scrunched their nose or smiled (so THAT'S why I always felt my nose wasn't right!). She assured me this was fine and that she'd pierce where it would usually be. I lay back and grabbed hold of my mother's hand. I was told to take three deep breaths and on the third I felt the needle go through. It was somewhat of a surprising pain - I'd say it was
slightly more painful than getting my septum done but that was a completely different kind of ouch. Nothing in the actual piercing went wrong. It wasn't crooked, she didn't miss the catcher and poke me a new septum hole and I wasn't pierced with a sharpened chicken bone. Absolutely none of the disastrous things I envisioned actually happened! We went through after-care, I paid and off I went to work. The day went by without any troubles, my nostril felt a little hot but nothing uncomfortable.
I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing from here, but it was not to be. On the Monday night my stud caught on my sleeve and slipped out. I desperately tried to get it back in but to no avail. My nostril had swollen so much I simply couldn't get the screw in. After what seemed like forever trying to force it through I gave up, popped an ear stud into it and went to sleep. The next morning I raced back to Essential Beauty and asked them to put it back in for me. This time I had a different girl look after me (thank god, my mother said the girl who pierced me wasn't very clean). She told me the screw was too small for the amount of swelling I had and that I should've been given a longer one to allow for possible swelling. A lot of use that was to me now! She bent the screw so it was at an L shape and managed to get it in. Phew. Crisis averted. I was told that this shape would make it easier to slip out so I should sleep with round band-aids over the jewellery at night. Eas y peasy. I noticed a pinky/purple bump turning up on the upper side of the hole but kept up with my salt soaks and hoped it would go away.
Things were looking up until - uh oh! A nasty hay fever attack got me and it was about half an hour before I realised that I'd lost my nose screw. I can only assume it fell into my tissue which had just been flushed down the toilet (I was doing my laundry and used loo roll to blow my nose, ok!). I panicked and tried to think of ways I could keep the hole open. I ended up finding a thick sewing needle and bending it into an L shape (like my nose screw) and once again caught the bus down to Essential Beauty (by now they must have been sick of me, I swear). Twice now my screw had fallen out so I decided I needed to get a ring. Luck was on my side it seemed as they had one nostril ring left in black titanium (I'm not sure what these are actually called, they're like an oversized stud that curves around into a ring). As this was the last one I got it for $20 - brilliant! The sewing needle was thinner than my screw so the hole started to close up around it. It took a lot of poking
, prodding, pushing and A LOT of pain to get it through all the swelling and half closed hole but it was through. I bled a bit but I'm a tough cookie. I was recommended hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the bump. I thanked her and left feeling very sore and very light headed.
After that things finally looked my way. I cleaned twice daily with the peroxide and my little bump went away. It's been nearly two and a half months since I got pierced. My nostril is now perfectly healed and I'm falling more and more in love with it each day. If I would ever do this all over again, which I will as I want double nose piercings, I'd wait and go to a REAL piercer in a REAL shop. One thing I've learned from this is that piercings aren't just about putting the needle through your skin. The jewellery plays a huge part in the process and like it did with me, if it's low quality or ill fitting can cause a multitude of problems, even when the actual piercing went flawlessly. Piercing is an art and the real artists (NOT a beautician who did a day course in hole-poking) go through the hard yards and put a lot of work into their apprenticeships to be up to scratch and provide a quality service. That's something I'll never, ever forget.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Nose Piercing