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Return of the Bling

I've wanted my nose pierced since I was 12. It was the first body mod that I was interested in, a gateway mod, as it were. However, while my desire to get my nose pierced launched my love of piercings (and later tattoos) I actually didn't get it done until I was 24 years old. I opted for more easily hideable piercings, such as conches, helix, and later nipples and tongue.

A little background on my 2 attempts and 1 success at having my nose pierced. For my 24th birthday my best friend offered to buy me a nose piercing. I was so excited I was ready to agree to go to any shop she picked.

That was my first mistake. We drove to a place in CT I had never heard of (I'm from Rhode Island). The people were very nice and the place was very sanitary but I get the impression the piercer was also very new. He pierced it on a downward angle, and it never quite healed right. It would pop out all the time, get caught on things and was nearly impossible to get back in as the top and bottom parts of the hole didn't line up. I kept this piercing for about 9 months. Then one day after spending nearly two hours unsuccessfully trying to put it back in after it once again came out in my sleep, I gave up, swore at the damn thing and chucked it out the window.

After that I decided I was done with trying to pierce my nose. I deemed it an annoying piercing to heal and went back to working on my ear projects. Two years went by and then I got the itch to pierce it again. I was at a party with a few friends who expressed interest in doing their noses, and that is all it took to rekindle the fire for me. Within a week I had made an appointment to get my nose done.

Me and two of my friends went to the shop right after I got out of work. This time I choose a shop I know. I had never had a piercing done at this place, but I had my most recent tattoo done there and it had been an exceptional experience, I was very pleased with the quality of work and how nice the artists at the shop all were.

Being the impulsive and restless person that I am I had decided on the way over that I would also be getting a tattoo done that night. That was up first. A quick little 10 minute job, a skull and cross bones with a blue bow on its head behind my ear. The girl who did the tattoo, Tara, was great. The tattoo looked fantastic, she was really nice and very personable and it was an enjoyable experience. When she was done she told me she could also do my nose for me. I had actually wanted to get another piercer, named Joel to do it, as he had done my friend's nose piercing and she was very pleased with the work. However Joel wasn't in that night, and I didn't want to leave the studio without an extra hole in my body so I was excited when Tara said she could do it for me. The place was busy and I had to wait a bit before she could see me to do the piercing, but I didn't mind.

When it was time to do the piercing she informed me that they were out of most of their nose jewelry, they only had one piece of jewelry left, and so if I wanted to have it done right then I wouldn't get a choice in jewelry. This is where I made my mistake this time. I was too hyped up and have very little patience especially when I'm not running off of a post-tattoo high. I told her it was fine, I didn't care, I just wanted to get it done and done immediately. The jewelry she had was a nose bone, which I have since read isn't the best for piercing. She had tried to warn me, but I poo poo'd her warnings and told her it was fine.

The first time I had my right nostril pierced. This time around I opted for the left, as I ended up with a decent scar on the right side from the abortion of a piercing I had done the first time around. Tara tried a few different placements with the surgery pen before deciding on one that was closer to the front of my nose than the last piercing. It was in the traditional piercing spot, but I have an oddly shaped nose. The last time the piercing was further back than normal to accommodate for what are basically my really wide nostrils. Tara placed this one closer to the location of her own nose ring. She asked how I felt about it and I agreed it was a good spot. It looked good to me, and I didn't know the position wasn't good with the shape of my nose until after. Tara sterilized my nose, put on her gloves and got the jewelry ready.

Then she placed the receiving tube inside my nose. This actually kinda pinched and was uncomfortable. She kept pushing down on it from the outside of my nose. She told me she was flattening the skin out to make sure it's flush against the tube or something. I don't quite remember the explanation, just how uncomfortable it was. After she had gotten that in the right position she took the needle, had me do the traditional deep breath in on two and out on three and pierced it.

The piercing itself didn't hurt. Just a slight bit of pressure and pinch and then it was done. My eye watered up on the left side, which I understand is a reflex when the nose is injured. Tara placed the nose bone in my nose, but it didn't seem to go all the way down. It stuck up a good centimeter out of my nose. My nose also bled, A LOT. For a good five minutes Tara switched out paper towels and cotton balls to absorb the blood. I told her I was unconcerned as my conch had been a very bloody piercing as well. She tried more than once to push the nose bone down so that it was flush against my skin with no luck. Finally once the bleeding had stopped she told me that as the piercing healed the jewelry would settle down into my nose and look fine. She gave me the aftercare instructions and my friends and I left to get some pizza.

Later that night I cleaned the area around the piercing before bed. Inside of my nose was all stuffed up. I grabbed a couple of Q-tips and tried to clean the inside. In doing so a ton of dry clotted blood came out which had been stuffing up my nose. I was quite shocked at the amount. It also began bleeding again a tad. Nervous about how far popped out of the hole the piercing was, I placed a bandaid over it before going to bed in order to hold it in.

The next morning the piercing was still popped up, slightly more than it had been when I went to bed. Over the course of the day it actually fell out on its own multiple times. While I was sitting at my desk I would see it out of the corner of my eye slowly rise up and fall out as if being forced out from the inside. Every time I put the nose bone back in it hurt quite a bit and never felt like it was going all the way through the hole. I looked at it from the inside using a few mirrors and could not see the end of the stud. When I pushed on the nose ring I could see a lump of skin stretched over the stud and just barely make out a hint of silver under the stretched skin. It seemed the nose bone never went fully through my nose and skin began healing over it which was forcing it out. Disappointed I decided I would go to the studio first thing the next morning to see if they could force it all the way through for me.

Unfortunately, I was out of bandaids that night. While I slept the piercing worked its way out of my nose, and healed up. I woke up at 7am on Saturday and realized it was gone. The studio didn't open until 11 and I was incredibly antsy now, not knowing if I'd have to pay another $30 to have it re-pierced entirely now.
Unable to wait until 11, I hopped in the car at 10:45 and headed downtown. As the clock struck 11 I gave the studio a call. I was more than half way there when they told me Tara was not in, and neither was their other piercer Joel. However they told me they could take a look at it for me and see what they could do. I got to the studio and one of the tattoo artists took a look at the piercing, or what was left of it. He was shocked how quickly it had healed over night, it was very difficult to even tell it had ever been pierced. The guy who looked at it, his name was Mike, was very friendly and helpful. He told me Tara might be in later that afternoon and took down my number so she could call to schedule to have it redone if she came back in later that day. If not, he said Joel would be in on Monday (the shop is closed Sundays) and could do it then. He told me more than likely I would not be charged for the piercing. I offered to pay for the new jewelry (I had lost t he nose bone when it came out in my sleep) but Mike told me that probably wouldn't be necessary. Disappointed again I returned home to wait.

Sadly Tara never came into the studio on Saturday. Come Monday I gave the studio a call on my lunch break from work. Mike answered the phone and told me that Joel was in, but was currently doing a tattoo. I told him I was planning on being there for 5:30 which he said should be fine.

Unable to wait until 5pm to leave work I scooted out 15 minutes early and headed downtown once again. When I got there Joel was at the front desk. I started to tell him my story and explain why I needed it redone but he said it was fine and that he would take care of me free of charge, no worries. I later found out Joel was the owner of the studio. He told me he personally backs up all work done at the studio and doesn't want to have unsatisfied customers. I explained that I really like Tara, she did an awesome job with my tattoo and I still plan on returning to them for future work, and feel bad complaining. He assured me that I shouldn't feel bad, that he wants to make sure his customers get what they pay for and he would fix everything for me.

Like Tara did he cleaned up my nose and got out the sterilized equipment. He told me that the location, while where most people have it done, of the previous piercing wasn't going to work on my nose. He choose a new placement, about a 1/4" to 1/2" further back than Tara's placement, in the crease of my nose. He did a practice run with the breathing technique with me (deep breath in on two, exhale on 3 while the piercing is being done), then placed the receiving tube. It didn't hurt at all this time when he was doing that, and he didn't fiddle around or move the skin about the way Tara had done. I was expecting the piercing to hurt a bit more than last time as my nose was still healing and a tad sore from the original placement of the piercing. To my surprise it was quick and easy just as the first time. This time however, there wasn't nearly as much bleeding. It still bled a fair amount, but not nearly as long and not as heavily. The jewelry went all the way through
this time, Joel even showed me so that I could be certain, and the stud laid flush against my skin.

Very happy I said goodbye to Joel and headed home. I haven't had any problems with it since and that was 4 days ago. This time it seems to be healing well, hasn't been coming out in my sleep or getting caught on things, and isn't sore at all the way it had been after the fact the first two times.

I'm very optimistic that I'll be able to keep the piercing this time, and very grateful to Joel at Bambu Tattoo for being so understanding and fixing the piercing for me. Even though the first piercing I had there didn't work out, the friendly staff, the willingness to help me out and fix the problem, and the two great tattoo experiences I've had there previously will keep me coming back. I still recommend Bambu Tattoo to my friends despite my nose ring mishap. In fact, I plan on returning to Joel next month to have my septum done.

I'm very excited to have my face back the way I want it. Hopefully 3rd time really is a charm.


submitted by: Cloberella
on: 04 Oct. 2009
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: Tara+the+1st+time%2C+Joel+the+2nd
Studio: Bambu+Tattoo
Location: Providence%2C+RI

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