I should have done it sooner!
I spent about two or three years considering the idea of getting a lip piercing before I actually did it. Mostly, I was worried about it being painful and concerned about how long it would take to heal, plus I'm a bit of a coward sometimes - and I'd never been pierced with a needle before, and had no idea what it would feel like. I still really really liked the way they look, though, and I even had a fake one that I'd wear sometimes to get an idea of how it would look on me.
In the end, I got it done pretty much on a whim. I went to visit some friends in Birmingham, and over dinner on the first night informed them that maybe the following day I'd actually go and get that lip ring I'd been talking about for years. They were somewhat surprised. I was too, actually.
The next morning arrived; I was nervous/excited and wanted to go get it done as soon as possible so I could get it over with and stop panicking. We caught a train into the city centre and headed to the place that had been recommended to me... which was shut. This was Not Good and I really didn't want to reschedule for another day because I was pretty certain that if I did that I'd end up taking another two years, so we went to look for alternatives and found a Blue Banana shop that was open and would happily perform a labret piercing for me. (I've since heard a number of negative reviews about Blue Banana, but I have to say my experience with them was pretty good.) We paid and I went to sit in a little waiting area, while one of my friends was sent off to find some chocolate and bottled water for me because I hadn't eaten and the staff didn't want me to pass out or anything. I remember eating the chocolate bar and thinking "well, this is the last time for a while I'll be able to eat anything comfortably, better appreciate it!".
A few minutes later I was called into the little piercing studio, which was very clean and medical-looking and smelled faintly of antiseptic. While I know these are all good things in a place where you're about to be pierced, it also looked and felt very much like a hospital room, and since I have a slight medical phobia it made me feel immediately a lot more nervous. I showed the piercer where I wanted the ring to go, she marked it up for me, and we discussed whether I wanted to wear a ring or a labret stud in it once it was healed. I was pretty set on a ring, so she made a note of that, then got me sat down, wiped my lip with antiseptic, clamped it and prepared to push the needle through... when I panicked and demanded (rather unclearly, because of the clamps) that she stop. She did, took the clamps off, let me calm down, and then we repeated the whole embarrassing procedure again. She told me I would have to decide quickly or otherwise she'd need to re-sterilise the
equipment and start over, so I decided to be brave and go for third time lucky. It worked; I shut my eyes and thought about nice happy things, and before I knew it, the whole thing was over. It hurt for less than a second, and felt like a sudden pinch rather than any agonising pain; definitely not worth all the worry beforehand.
Once I got to get up and look in the mirror, I loved it (plus I was immensely relieved it was over). I couldn't quite believe I'd actually gone through with it, and I loved how pretty and decorative the little stud looked. We left the shop with me babbling overexcitedly about how glad I was I'd got it done. It did begin to ache a little over the next hour, but was definitely nothing unbearable, and it hardly swelled at all - in fact, the labret they'd first put in was really much too long, and would catch on my teeth occasionally. Eating dinner that day and for the next week or so was also... interesting. I ended up cutting everything into very small bites before putting it in my mouth, so I wouldn't have to chew much.
Other than that, the healing process was incredibly smooth and uneventful, really. I used sea-salt soaks to clean it for the first six weeks, and never had any real swelling or even soreness. I knocked the piercing a few times by mistake, or accidentally bit on it when eating, which hurt like crazy, but never caused any actual damage. I was able to change to a 10mm-long labret fairly soon, and a few weeks after that an 8mm one.
The only major difficulty I ran into at any point was that I found it really difficult initially changing over from a straight labret stud to a ring. The first time I tried, three months in, my lip almost immediately became sore and swollen - more so than when I'd first had it pierced, actually! In the end, I had to leave it a bit longer, and then start with fairly large rings and gradually move down to smaller ones. A year on, switching between the two is fine and hasn't caused any problems for ages. Though as it happens, I actually end up wearing labret studs more often now anyway, having realised I like how they look after all - I think my only regret is telling the piercer I wanted to wear a ring in it, as it's been done at a slight downward angle which means jewelled studs don't quite face forward properly (though plain silver ones look fine). Nonetheless, I still really really love my lip piercing, and would happily recommend it to anyone.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Lip Piercing