Finally Pierced For Real
Preface: I've been semi-obsessed with piercings and tattoos since I was 14. I got my belly button pierced at the beach when I was 16, but my mother made me take it out and let it heal. The good news is: now I'm 18 and can do whatever I want...except get a tattoo, she threatened to kick me out of the house for that. In any case, last weekend I did it again:
I went in Saturday morning to a local coffee shop to get a smoothie and saw two of the artists from the parlor down the street. I hadn't been into a parlor since the 16-yearold-episode, so I figured I would at least go in and have a look around - make sure it's sterile and everything...just in case I decide to come back. The cashier-guy was so nice and we talked about piercings and how he got his first tattoo covering his entire chest with "Mom" in a heart with her favorite colors just so she would stop complaining about his body mods. He hooked me up with some barbells for cheap - and told me I should come back later since their piercer had no appointments after 1. I said I would have to see, mainly because I knew I didn't have enough money with me.
Long story short, I got my mom to agree not to kick me out if I got it done, and I scrounged up 45$. A note about that: a few people I told thought that was semi-exorbitant, but the only places I've seen that charge less than 40$ don't use an autoclave. And that's just dirty. I'd prefer to be forced to cook a little this week instead of eating out all the time and NOT get infected rather than getting a nasty infection, possibly being hospitalized, but have saved 10$. That's just foolish.
Annnnyway, later that afternoon I went back in, and the same cashier had me sign the consent form and all of that logistical fun, and then I had to wait for the piercer to set up and sterilize. The cashier showed me some of his favorite flash on their wall and we talked about the sleeve I want to get done someday. Looked through some of the tattoo magazines while he waited on another customer; and daydreamed about all the tattoo designs I'd love to get. And then: it was time.
We walked back to a private room where he had me stand up while he marked the spot with a red sharpie. Then I lay down and he sterilized the area and put on the forceps clamps. He described everything he was doing and his calm demeanor really helped me not be nervous. While it wasn't my first piercing, it's always a little nerve-wracking getting holes put in your body! He told me the needle would be going in and it would pinch...which it did, but it hurts less than most vaccines - your stomach doesn't have nearly as high a concentration of nerve endings as your arm. Anyway, the hard part was over before I knew it. Then he slipped in the barbell, and had a little bit of trouble threading the second ball but it all worked out in the end. He had me stand up to look at it while he put things away - it was perfect, even better than I remembered. It's probably good I had to take the first one out, because the barbell didn't look like stainless steel. I'm relatively certain that this one is, at least I hope so!
He then detailed aftercare, recommending Bactine (which is fairly reliable, as it's been around since the 70s with no real formula changes or complicated side effects) and sea-salt soaks. He told me to use the Bactine three times a day - I've been doing once in the morning shower; once during my lunch break at work (which has proven fairly complicated in such a conservative building!); and once before bed. I've only done three sea-salt-soaks in the last 10 days, because there are no real signs of infection and I don't want to encourage a warm, moist environment for the bacteria!
So far so good - by the second day it was fairly red, but definitely not infection-red. Things have been going well - I can't wait until November when I can change it from plain metal to something sweeeeet. I've got some of the nice plastic ones - I've never been a fan of the dangly Play-boy logos or flowers or what have you. They're just so cheesy and not really "me".
Now that I've been back and gotten it done again I'm seriously considering gauging my ears so that I can put in some of the bone-spiral earrings. I've also been thinking of getting my nose pierced, but the three issues there are: my nose is larger than I'd like, so drawing attention to it probably isn't wise; it takes a long time to heal, and I don't want to be trying to heal two puncture wounds at once!; and lastly, that's a really obvious piercing if you're going on job interviews...and since I plan to go to med school, I should probably stick to stuff I can hide.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 July 2007
in Navel Piercing