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The Sad Tale of My Tongue (@ Southern Thunder)

er being unduly influenced by having read rec.arts.bodyart for a while, I decided to get my tongue pierced. After a little checking around, I decided to go to Southern Thunder to purchase the services of their resident piercer, Marty Kasteler. The piercing studio is a small room off of the main lobby, nicely private and quite clean. When I arrived, Marty had already had a busy morning and had run out of clean tools -- I had to wait around for a bit while he cleaned up and autoclaved some tools. I didn't mind; this was my first piercing ever, I was kind of nervous anyway, and I needed a chance to calm down. We decided on a rearward placement, but because I have a prominent tongue web (that's "sublingual frenulum" to you vocabulary freaks), we ended up with the bar leaning backward a little. I was pierced at 12ga, and had a 7/8" SS barbell installed. The pierce itself was quick and virtually painless, just a little pinch as the needle came out. Even the dreaded forceps weren't the least bit uncomfortable. Total cost, $56. A week later, my tongue piercing was gone. That sucks, but I've chalked it up as a learning experience. So what happened? First, I managed to find a bottle of Biotene, and used it regularly. I sucked on chipped ice, and I took the recommended dose of ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. I ate soup, and I ate ramen noodles. I also ate some (rather spicy) Kung-Pao Chicken, and polished off most of a medium pepperoni pizza on the 4th day. One of those steps was a mistake... On the 6th day, I woke up with my tongue so swollen that I couldn't even close my mouth, and in more pain than I care to experience. That's when I decided to abandon the pierce. The barbell was not easy to remove, because my poor old tongue had swollen so much as to nearly bury the balls. Once I removed the barbell, the pain disappeared, and by the end of the day my tongue was just about back to normal. On reflection, I believe that my barbell may have been too short -- I'm a big guy, so maybe the 7/8" bar that's right for a 130-pound beanpole was just too short for the big slab o' meat that is my tongue. I'm also pretty sure that the pizza and Chinese food just made things worse. There was another reason I decided to remove this piercing. Although I had chosen a rearward placement in the hope of avoiding this problem, it turned out that the barbell still made a noticeable clicking noise against my upper denture as I spoke. Worse, the placement made it almost impossible to make proper sibilant noises...that's something I probably would have learned to deal with, but the clicking was something else. I could probably have gotten an acrylic bead that wouldn't make so much noise, but I never got that far. So ends my sad tale. I'm still looking forward to other piercings -- I think I might like to have a septum pierce, and maybe a labret later. Or maybe just a plain old earlobe pierce, who knows? And I'd eventually like to try another tongue pierce, maybe with a little more forward placement and with a lot more attention to aftercare!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 April 1998
in Tongue Piercing

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