My 18th Birthday Present
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When reading through BME experiences, I always found it
ironic when someone said, "I've been fascinated by tongue piercing for a month now, and I just had to do it." Because, I've been fascinated by piercing for over five years. I'm not the person you'd expect to be pierced. I'm valedictorian of my senior high school class. I don't smoke or drink, and I rarely curse. I'm a practicing Russian Orthodox, and I have no intentions of giving up my faith. Yet, piercing is one of my favorite hobbies.
As of before the big pierce, I have two earrings in my
left ear and both of my nipples pierced. The nipples came about when my parents refused to let me get my tongue pierced for Christmas. The nipple rings have been a great joy for me. (If you're interested, the experience is entitled "The Smart Guy Gets Pierced.")
But as of March 28th, I became 18 years old, and I knew
what had to be done. My tongue had been clamoring for it for years. I had set up with a friend of mine (Hi Andrea!) that we'd be getting pierced on April 1st. She was getting her navel pierced, and I was getting my tongue and an industrial.
After some anxious waiting, the day came. The first half
of it was spent in school, since we had a half day. Then, we both had to work, so the earliest we could get to Pleasurable Piercings (in Hawthorne, New Jersey) was about 7pm. The paperwork was filled out, I paid, and a 12ga, 7/8" barbell was chosen for my tongue. It was exactly what I had expected, so I was happy with the choice. I paid my money and took a seat to wait. The place was busy, so it was past 7:30 before we were called in. Andrea wanted her navel done first so I let her go. After very nearly chickening out, she laid down a got pierced. Needless to say, she's now overjoyed with her new addition.
Next was my tongue. The first thing I had to do was wash
my mouth out with a capful of Tech 2000, what I think of as a Listerine impersonator. I sat down, and John, the piercer, got on a fresh pair of gloves, and opened up all of the equipment. When he was ready, I stuck my tongue out, and he made the mark. Surprisingly, he didn't use a clamp, so I have no clamp horror stories to tell you. The actual piercing was very fast and of moderate pain level. From the needle just on the top of my tongue to the balls on my barbell being screwed on took about 15 to 20 seconds. When my "new and improved" tongue returned to my mouth, I was in such disbelief that I finally got it done. The feeling of the barbell is a little awkward at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to. I walked over to the mirror and opened up my mouth. It was perfect! The placement was the exact center. Everything looked and felt amazing.
The industrial was next, but that can be left for its own
experience. We left the piercing shop and went to buy some Gly- Oxy, to help with my healing. Afterwards, I returned to my house, where a family that didn't want a son with a pierced tongue lived. My mom has taken my piercings in stride, showing both curiosity about piercing and confusion on why anyone would ever consider it. I don't expect my dad or sister (age 15) to even make mention of it for as long as they live. They believe in the philosophy, "If I just ignore it, maybe it'll go away."
That night I started my ice and ice-water diet, in order
to keep swelling down as much as possible. I washed my mouth out with more of the Tech 2000 that they supplied me with, used the Gly-Oxy, and went to bed.
The following morning, Friday, I woke up with my tongue
being about a quarter-inch to a half-inch swollen. There was no soreness, which was very good, and I hadn't had any problems with my speech yet. I made a daring attempt at breakfast, a chocolate chip muffin. Well, I had some success. It took about 30 minutes, but I had almost all of it, and I drank two glasses of Carnation Instant breakfast. I then did my morning routine of tongue cleaning, Tech 2000 and Gly-Oxy. I had only planned homework today, considering that it was American Good Friday, and I wouldn't really be able to talk anyway.
For the rest of the day, I had absolutely no appetite. I
stuck to my glasses of ice water, and I had two scrambled eggs for dinner that night. The eggs went down, but it was a slow process. Later in the night, I noticed my tongue had become sore, and my speech was really beginning to slur. Thankfully, the day was almost over, so I had little left to say.
Saturday morning came, and my tongue was no longer sore,
but the swelling had not gone down yet. My appetite had returned, and I had two bowls of soup for lunch. I took my time eating, trying to figure out what was noodle, and what was tongue ring. By now, the acts of cleaning in the morning, night, and after eating had become second nature. Dinner was a personal favorite of mine, chicken cutlets, and I ate well, just very slowly. I seemed to have talked a bit too much that day, as my tongue was very sore by nighttime. At the end of Saturday night, my little bottle of Tech 2000 ran out. As recommend by the piercer, I started using a solution of half Listerine and half water, in place of it.
Sunday was American Easter, my Orthodox Palm Sunday. I
was up for church and enjoyed another liquid breakfast. No one noticed my tongue in church, which surprised me. I was talking nearly perfectly. The real test was yet to come. There was Easter dinner with the Roman Catholic side of my family. Would I be able to eat lasagna? Would anyone notice? And, if so, would my seventy-eight year old grandmother be able to survive the shock that would no doubt accompany her finding out? Well, this just proves that you can hide a tongue piercing. No one noticed, although I was questioned why I ate so little. I felt so bad, since I really love lasagna, and I'm usually the one who eats the most. I just shrugged, and that was the end of that. And, even after all of that family interaction, there was no soreness at the end of the day.
Monday came, and swelling was cut in half, proving that my
cleaning has been paying off. Back to school, and I knew that I'd be showing off my tongue ring. Not many questions, but everyone needed to see for themselves. People, and teachers for that matter, find it hard to believe that the senior class valedictorian is pierced. It's just basically my fifteen minutes of fame, and it goes away in a day. Frankly, I don't need that much attention. No problems talking, except with sentences with a lot of S's in them. I also worked that Monday, so I'd be giving the women at the Neurology office a surprise. I'm a file clerk in the business half of the office, and the only man, paired with about fifteen women aged 17 to 70. It's times that those that if you can't handle the jokes that come with a piercing, don't get one. As for me, I had fun with it, only adding to the experience with my own stories. Eating has become a much simpler task now.
Tuesday was a good day for me. There was no more swelling
and no more speech worries. In school, I learned something very important.How to play with my tongue barbell, now that there was enough of it to play with. In first period, I accidentally found myself unconsciously moving the barbell around and so on. It's the greatest toy. Any time of day, any place, I'm playing with my tongue ring.
On Wednesday, I learned something, also.What it feels like
when you bite down on the barbell. It's a really hard feeling, and you wonder, "Oh, God, did I chip a tooth?" Thankfully, I didn't, but I know that when eating, I've got to give a little extra care. Since then, I usually wind up "chewing" on it once every couple of days. All of my teeth are still where they belong.
Thursday marked one week. I've been cleaning with the
Gly-Oxy both day and night, and I've been using Listerine after eating anything. Everything is perfect!
I'll fast forward to the Thursday after that now, April
By this time, I've changed from using half Listerine, half water, and I've gone to all Listerine. Also, I'm only using Gly-Oxy once a day.
Again, I'll move up another week to April 22. My tongue is basically healed. I've cut the Listerine to about three times a day, and the Gly-Oxy to every other day. By the end of next week, I'll be totally off of it.
Just to conclude, I recommend a tongue piercing to anyone who's curious about it. Cleaning becomes a simple habit to maintain, and the piercing is a toy for life. The only thing that I've got left to try is kissing. It's times like these where it doesn't pay not to be dating. Anyone girls willing to practice with me? ?
Well, that's all I've got to say. Although, it's been a lot. There's always more piercings to try, and I've been giving serious thought to a Price Albert. If you've got any questions, I'm always on the other side of the computer. All you have to do is mail me.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999
in Tongue Piercing