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A one year battle (pictures)

My navel is just coming up to a year old and I thought it was finally time to reflect on it's life so far. A year ago I wasn't the type of teenager obsessed with piercings. It wasn't until I had talked to a few of my friends who had their navels pierced and spying cool tattooed girls with them that I thought 'Hm, I think I'd like my navel pierced'. So that was all well and good but there are very few tattoo/piercing studios in the Moray area. There were two in Elgin but it turned out that the piercer in the first studio had moved to Inverness and the second shop was plain outright closed (probably due to the fact that the guy had been done for drugs). I did, however, buy a cheap banana bar for 20p (that I've never worn since) to make sure I did get my navel pierced eventually. This was mid-July time. It wasn't until a trip to Edinburgh in mid-August that I actually got my navel pierced. I had casually mentioned that if I saw a tattoo shop I would go in and get my navel pierced. So, I was walking down the Royal Mile and saw a sandwich board for Old Town Tattoo and thought 'Here we go!'. I was exceptionally nervous as I walked past and bunch of tattooed smoking men and into the shop. I'd never been into tattoo parlour before. As I was standing there awkwardly a French woman, named Nathalie, came and asked me if there was anything she could help me with. I asked if I could have my navel done and she asked me to show me where I'd like it. So I just pointed to the top of my bellybutton. She then asked if I had any form of ID, which I didn't. I was 16 at this point but never having had a piercing done before I didn't know I was supposed to have proof of age. After a while my dad and I managed to convince her that I was 16 and she gave me a form to fill out while she got the room ready.

After a short while I was asked in. As she began to mark me up she told me a had the perfect navel for this and I felt a lot less nervous. After I was marked up she asked me to lie on the bed-thing (it's those ones doctors have). Eventually I was told that she is about to begin. I don't really remember how painful it was. It was bearable though. That I remember. After a short while it was done and when I finally got to look at it I was so happy - it looked so cool! After that I paid the £25 and left - high on endorphins. Just to say, all this was done in 100% sterile conditions with gloves, TCP, new needles from a packet, titanium bars, everything as good as can be. OTT really is an amazing shop and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone in the Edinburgh area.

After that I cleaned it rigorously for 2 weeks. TCP in the morning and night. It was only painful the first night but after that it was only sore if something rubber against it. Occasionally it would give me a sharp pain but nothing major. Even now if I don't clean the lymph off it can be quite itchy but this is quickly erased with a douse of TCP. I touched it as little as possible and one month later I went back to OTT and Nathalie changed the barbell for me. I had no major troubles with the piercing but I did notice that the top hole had a slight indentation in it. Nothing major though and for about 8 months my piercing was fine.

About the beginning of May I suffered somewhat of a disaster. As I was taking my folder out of my locker it slid and hit the bottom of my bellybutton. I actually screamed (not too loudly mind) and immediately inspected my piercing. It looked fine but hurt quite a bit. I cursed the folder and gingerly walked to psychology. By this point I could tell something was wrong and when I looked again in psychology it did look significantly redder. I wasn't really sure what to do. I cleaned it with TCP as much as possible and tried salt soaks just before I went to bed but the bottom hole developed what looked like a blister. Three days on, as I was coming home from the cinema, the blister burst. I was slightly panicked but continued with the TCP and salt soaks and 2 days later the bottom hole stopped bleeding. It was still red and sore but at least it wasn't bleeding. Then it got worse. The piercing swelled up and the top hole formed a keloid. It was pretty bad and I wasn't sure what the hell to do with it. Nothing I was doing was working. At the time I was trying to study for my Highers but it kept distracting me. On the day of my Adv Higher History exam I decided to take it out. It was sore and itchy and looked awful. It was swollen and red and nothing I was trying was working. I was quite sad. It had become a part of me but as it turns out I wasn't ready to give it up. When I got home I cleaned it thoroughly with TCP and put the barbell in temporarily to make sure the hole didn't close up. I then submitted a Q&A to bmezine (I never did get a reply) and decided that I would not give the piercing up. I cleaned it once more and put the barbell back in. I think the bottom hole was forming a layer of skin as it took my at least 3 minutes to get it back in (and it was sore) but once I actually managed to get it back in the piercing looked strangely better. I can't say how or why this happened but I was pretty amazed. After that the salt soaks finally began to work and the keloid and swelling eventually vanished. I still do salt soaks to this day and clean the piercing with TCP but I can now finally change the jewellery. It still lets out lymph and there seems to be a small scar where the keloid was but aside from that the piercing it doing OK. I'm not sure how much longer I will have to do the salt soaks but I consider myself extremely lucky that I still have this piercing so I will do them as long as needed.

All in all, my navel piercing has become part of me. A lot of my friends (who have all had easy heal navels) don't actually like the piercing but I really do care for mine. I feel so lucky that I still have it. If you want a navel piercing go for it but understand that they don't all heal easy. Cherish the poor thing. It's a lovely piercing and I hope you don't have the same troubles I did. Good luck!


Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Aug. 2007
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Nathalie
Studio: Old+Town+Tattoo
Location: Edinburgh%2C+Scotland

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