My brow piercing, and how my labret told me something was wrong.
I'll try to make this experience as interesting as possible, though really it's nothing more then a sad story of love found and love lost. If this manages to bring a tear of empathetic pain to your eye, then I suppose my goal is accomplished.
Last year, when I was 17, I struck a deal with my mom. If I passed all my classes in the first semester, she'd let me get my eyebrow pierced. Now, math is a very difficult subject for me, but somehow, someway I managed to even pass that. She was so impressed when the midterm came out that she let me get it done then.
We went that Saturday morning, bright and early, and I was very nervous. It was my first facial piercing and my first experience with a needle. At that time, I had 12 ear piercings (7 on the left and 5 on the right) trailing from my lobes halfway up to the cartilage and they'd all been done with guns. At that time, I didn't know how dangerous they can be and now I'm honestly a bit surprised that they all healed perfectly fine with no complications.
When I finally set foot into the building, I was on the verge of calling it quites. I was scared of the pain and I wasn't sure if I could handle it - but I told myself I HAD to do this. I knew that it might very well be the only time my mom gave me the chance so I had to take advantage of it.
In a short amount of time, I found myself sitting on the doctors office type chair, being marked up.
Then, the damn clamps were put on and I just about fainted. They hurt quite bad and were very uncomfortable.
The next thing I knew, I felt a strange sense of relief on my eyebrow and the lady was telling me that the hardest part was over. She then slipped the jewelry in, which hurt quite a bit for some reason, I've always chalked it up to the transition from smooth needle to the rounded jewelry but I could be wrong.
Once she had the ball screwed securely on, I turned me head to the mirror hanging on the wall ... and fell in love. It was instantaneous infatuation -- with myself! Before, I had very low self esteem and thought I was ugly, but something about that shiny piece of jewelry just above my left eye made me seem suddenly ... attractive.
I went home, took a nap, and when I woke up I was still on cloud nine. It was fabulous and I didn't even care when it started to swell. I didn't even care when, 3 days later, my eyebrow was so swollen my vision in that eye was a bit blurry because my skin was so bulbous it was affecting my sight. There was nothing that could get in the way of me and my love affair with my eyebrow piercing.
Or so I thought ...
For the first few months, all was good. But then, for some unknown reason, a bump started to form just behind the top ball. It was red and puffy and at first I thought it was infected. I doubled up my cleaning procedures, determined not to loose it. It got smaller, but not by much, so a few days after Christmas when I went to get my right ear pierced four times along the cartilage, I bought a ring for my eyebrow. I'd read on BME from someones experience story that he'd gotten a bump as well but when he put a ring in, it went away.
So, I gave it a try and it sort of worked. I'd get a small bump every now and then but nothing too noticeable. But then I got tired of the ring, it didn't shine quite as brightly as the starter jewelry had (because it was a green captive bead ring) so I wanted to switch it back out. I ended up having to do it myself, at home, and I had a hard time getting the original jewelry back in. I was determined to get the jewlery in though and eventually prevailed, though I did make it bleed a bit.
So, after that, I continued to clean it, and still, every now and again I'd get a bump and I'd hide it behind my hair until it was gone. But then, I decided to get my labret & traguses pierced - probably 2 months after I switched my eyebrow jewelry out myself.
I got a different girl this time and she pierced my labret first. I'd had a feeling it would bleed, but it didn't and it looked good afterwards. Then she did my traguses, which are definitely the most painful piercings I've ever gotten. I didn't hear a pop when the needle went through but damn did it burn and sting.
At first, I wasn't too fond of my labret because it had made my lip swell so much and it was hard to talk and every time I opened my mouth, I'd snag it on my teeth. But in surprisingly short order, it was healed, I could eat and talk and it didn't rub against my gums or teeth. Everything about it was perfect.
And thats when I realized there was something wrong with my eyebrow piercing.
The perfection of my labret told me that my eyebrow should be the same way. I'd told myself that my ear piercings were different because they weren't technically a facial piercing and, therefor, didn't follow the same rules. Somehow, I'd convinced myself that the on and off again bumps were normal, but when my labret didn't get a bump even ONCE and I was capable of doing all sort of things with it in my face (kissing, sleeping, tapping it with spoons, etc.) I finally got the idea that something was amiss.
Even so, I was far too in love with it to take it out. Even when my step dad or my mom accidentally hit it with their hands, or when the hair dresser drug her comb down into it (TWICE!) I still fought to keep it. I tried everything. Salt water, soap, contact solution, Dial sanitizing soap, anything I could think of. But the bump would just not go away and stay away.
Before I knew it, school had started again, I was still struggling with my beloved eyebrow and I was getting increasingly more desperate. I was terrified of loosing it and tried my best to remain positive and hopeful.
The one year anniversary of my eyebrow being pierced came and went about 3 weeks ago.
Almost exactly one week after the anniversary, I knew it was time to give in. I realized that the bump had stopped going away at all and I knew I was just being selfish. I mustered up all my courage and, knowing that I wouldn't have the guts to do it when I got home, I went into one of the bathrooms at my school and took out the jewelry with the help of a friend. I cried.
I cried ALOT on and off through the whole day because I felt like I'd lost a part of me. It was like loosing an arm!
My "best friend" told me that if I was going to freak out about loosing a piercing, then I shouldn't get them because it happens all the time. I understand that, I know it happens, but my eyebrow meant so much to me and I'd fought so long to keep it. But when I had a good nap and woke up, my eyes crusted from the tears, I felt a sense of relief behind the sadness. I knew that I'd done the right thing.
My justification was only furthered when people kept asking me if it was infected because the bump was in plain sight now without the ball to partly hide behind. I'm almost sure it wasn't infected, I kept saying it was just agitated, but I don't know for sure.
It's been about a week since I took it out and I've been putting vitamin E oil on it, hoping the scar isn't too bad and that the bump(s) didn't leave any permanent damage at all. The wholes are a bit red from where their healing over and the bump is slowly fading and every time I see myself in a mirror I feel great regret. I miss it and I still get a bit teary eyed sometimes (especially when I see someone with theirs done or when I read about someone else's experience) but I know that in due time I'll get it repierced.
I have every intention of getting it redone in the exact same spot, using the scar as a marker, and I pray to god that the second time goes much better. All my piercings mean a lot to me but my eyebrow was my favorite. I loved it with all my heart and I'm counting down the days until it's fully healed.
Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that my body didn't reject the jewelry considering how much it actually went through - but I hope that means I'm very resilient to trauma and, as a result, the scaring wont be too bad.
But on that note, I'm a bit scared about getting it redone through the scar tissue. I've heard that it hurts more and, considering how badly it swelled the first time, I'm a bit nervous as to how bad it'll be the second time. But I'll handle it, for sure. :)
My advice to anyone going through this or a similar problem (which, through a lot of the ordeal, I scanned this site for someone with anything even CLOSE to what I was experiencing so I could get an idea of what to do, but found close to nothing) is to go to your piercer. I didn't do it, but undoubtedly should have. Honestly, I was a bit embarrassed by my problem because I didn't see or hear about anyone else going through such a state of affairs and I didn't want my piercer to think that I was neglecting it. But don't be ashamed or shy because something is going wrong - it could be your body thats dosnt agree with it, or an actual infection - or even a placement problem.
And my advice to anyone thinking about getting their eyebrow pierced: go for it. It's an awesome piercing and was virtually painless for me up until she put the jewelry in, but even that wasn't too bad. It was just a sting.
Trust me, a perfect piercing can mean the world to your self confidence. I know mine did.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Nov. 2008
in Eyebrow Piercing