My now beautifully adorned tongue!
Almost four years ago, I went to Italy (where I live now) for University and one year after I got there, I got my first tattoo, one year after that the second and third followed. My friends in Italy love them, my friends in Toronto hate them. Ah, gotta love that North American open-mindedness...
Anyway, onto my tongue piercing story: November 2007 was a month of tongue piercing sightings for me! I saw them everywhere! I started to consider one for myself so I watched YouTube videos, read Yahoo! Answer articles and all sorts of other things on the Internet (some of an admittedly sketchy nature). One day in mid December I randomly asked my mom what she thought of this particular form of body modification and she told me that she'd never let me get my face or genitals pierced. You may be thinking: I'm 21 and I can do whatever I want! But my mom and I are really close, and I dare say she's more open minded than I am! The face and genitals rule stems from the fact that I do Dressage. In Dressage a person has to look perfect, aside from this, if I fall I risk ripping a facial piercing or chipping a tooth with a tongue piercing and well... the genitals part is pretty self explanatory. Ouch. I guess she wasn't too against the tongue thing because after about 15 minutes she went from 'no' to 'we'll see when you come home'. Everyday between that phone call and the day my sister (she wanted a labret) and I headed to our local tattoo parlor my mom never hesitated to tell us that we didn't have to go through with this.
On Thursday, Jan 17th at 9:00pm, right after my sister's drum lesson the three of us (my sister is a minor so my mom had to come with us) headed to Way Cool Uptown, a very well known, extremely reputable, knowledgeable piercing and tattoo parlor in Toronto. I had gotten my first tattoo there one winter break when I had come back home and I really trust them.
Renee (the piercer) and the three of us went over the procedure and aftercare. Not a detail was left out. We then went downstairs to the piercing room, which smelled cool, clean and aseptic. My sister and I could barely contain ourselves and my mom shuffled behind us like she was going for a colonoscopy. The walls were painted dark colours and there were pictures of all sorts of body modifications which heavily contrasted the hospital-like smell of the place.
I was less nervous than my sister so I went first. I had read a billion times that it didn't hurt and if I could have needles poking my skin for an hour and a half to get a tattoo I could definitely stand a millisecond poke. And that it was.
I sat on the chair, Renee handed me a cup of Listerine and a paper towel. I swished the Listerine around and spit it back into the cup. She then gave me a cup to hold under my chin and told me that I shouldn't be embarrassed if I drool, everyone drools when they get their tongue pierced. She drew the two dots and clamped the piercing clamp around the dots. I held the clamp, she pushed the needle through, in went the barbell and done! It hurt a lot less than I could ever imagine. I always thought it had to hurt at least a little, it's a thick needle going through muscle. But it was over so quickly and I dashed out of the little room in search of a mirror to have a prolonged stare at my now beautifully adorned tongue.
The first night it took me about two hours to eat less than half a serving of mashed potatoes and the morning after it took me more than an hour to eat my oatmeal. I had a plane to catch that afternoon so I packed a lot of the salt water solution into my backpack and hoped for the best (plane food-wise). I knew I shouldn't have, but I was so hungry at dinnertime 1,000+ meters in the air that I ate bread and various other solid foods. My mouth was on fire on and off and I was sure it was getting infected. White slime would come out of it sometimes and I was sort of freaking out (until I got back to Italy and read that it wasn't pus and a completely normal part of the healing process). I somehow avoided an infection and after the third day the swelling started to go down. The more the swelling went down, the less it hurt but the more I'd accidentally bite down on it while I ate and I'd play with it all day! I know it's a horrible habit but I must say that since then I've stopped obsessively chewing gum, biting my nails and chewing pens/pencils. Oral fixation much?
I was eating solid food a few days after I got my tongue pierced and I can't complain. Yesterday was the 14th day and I had read on a website that if the swelling had gone down enough that I could attempt to put a shorter bar in. The longer one was getting under my teeth a lot and I was playing with it far too much so I decided that evening that I was going to try and change it myself against what I had been told by Renee. I am either lucky or just really fast and I got it in and tightened without any trouble. It was definitely a good idea for me to do it but I can't say I suggest it. It's a big risk, definitely worth the $5 to go and get it changed by a professional.
I took really good care of my piercing, I always had salt water (I prefer it to the Listerine and water solution) with me and ice was a must. I am pretty anal when it comes to oral hygiene so I was more than happy to clean my mouth after everything I eat; I may actually continue to do so even after the piercing is healed. All I can say about it is that brushing too much is possible. You don't need to brush your teeth more than two times a day, doing so you risk serious enamel and gum damage. It's more than sufficient to rinse with the salt water solution for 30 seconds after everything you put into your mouth that isn't water.
All through my brief tongue piercing experience that leads up to today I have never had any bleeding, pus, excessive redness, speech complications or any of the other things that some people believe will happen... My tongue hasn't fallen off, I haven't had a stroke and I haven't gotten any insatiable urge to give oral sex. : ) I've only had a world of fun showing it off!!
Make sure your piercer is a good one. An hour of research for a good parlor in your area is a small price to pay for piece of mind.
AND lastly: don't believe everything you read, some people mean well but are just poorly informed and others are just idiots who lead simple lives following stupid stereotypes.
I hope this helped. I love my tongue piercing and I can't wait to go out and spend an outrageous amount of money on different coloured barbells! It is the best piercing by far!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Feb. 2008
in Tongue Piercing