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I just can't leave well enough alone

I really like the look of vertical labrets, and I did some research and found that no part of the piercing is inside the mouth. Therefore, they don't cause any tooth or gum damage. This is important to me, because there has been much money spent on my teeth over the years.

I went to Industrial Primitives last night and asked for Gill, who pierced my lobes for me a few weeks ago. I told him I wanted the vertical labret, and he said he had to take care of a couple of other people first, and he'd be with me in a little while. I waited for about 20 minutes, getting more and more nervous. It was a little warm in the shop too, so I was getting sweaty. He finally came out to get me, and invited me to go in the back. He said he'd mark and measure my lip first, and then we'd go back out front to choose the jewelry.

It took a few tries, but he marked my lip in what looked to me like the center. He said the center of the lip didn't really line up with the philtrum, because like most people, I'm a bit asymmetrical. But I checked the mirror, and where he had placed the marks looked good to me. He also warned me at that point that this piercing tends to swell up considerably, and could stay quite swollen for up to a week. He said I could take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen or naproxen) and that might help some, but it would still be swollen. I almost chickened out at that point, but I figured I could go to work looking like I got punched in the mouth, and just tell everyone that I had an interesting weekend.

We went back to the front of the shop to get the jewelry from the case. He picked out two 14-gauge titanium curved barbells, one in 5/16" and one in 3/8". He said he wasn't sure which one we'd need. He had me wait out front again and fill out some paperwork while the jewelry was being autoclaved. Then a little while later, after I filled out all the paperwork and texted my best friend to tell her how nervous I was, he asked me if I was ready, and we went to the back again.

I asked him how much it would hurt, and he said it would hurt quite a bit, because it's a sensitive area, but it would be over with quick. He had me lie down, and then he told me what would happen next. He said first I would just feel the end of the needle while he was lining it up, and then he would tell me to inhale, at which point I should inhale for 2-3 seconds through my nose. Then he'd tell me to exhale, and that would be when he would do the piercing. Gill pierces freehand, so there was no clamp.

It went exactly like he said it would, and on the exhale, I felt him pinching my lip and the needle going through. It brought a couple of tears to my eyes, but it really was over with pretty fast. I felt the CBB go in, but it wasn't very painful. After a minute, Gill raised the table so I was sitting up. I didn't feel lightheaded or anything, and my lip was stinging just a bit. I sat for a minute or so, and then he told me I could get up and look in the mirror. It looked great! It was lined up nicely, and my lip didn't look swollen at all. The bar looked a little long, because he went with the 3/8", but he said I could come back in 3 weeks and get it changed out for the shorter one.

We went out front again so I could pay ($40 for the piercing, $20 for the CBB, plus a $10 tip). Before I left, Gill told me to give it about 20 minutes, and it would be pretty swollen. I took 600 mg of ibuprofen when I got home, just in case. It didn't swell up at all that night. When I woke up in the morning, it was a little swollen, but not like I got punched in the face. The soreness has been minimal, and eating isn't as difficult as I thought. I can drink through the side of my mouth with a straw, and I can tear my food into little pieces and carefully place it inside my mouth.

When I got to work this morning, my boss looked at me and laughed. He shook his head and said "You couldn't leave well enough alone, could you?" No sir, I could not!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Oct. 2008
in Lip Piercing

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Artist: Gill
Studio: Industrial+Primitives
Location: Austin%2C+TX

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