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[diy] Center Tongue

Let me start by saying that I, in no way, advocate self-piercing unless you know what you are doing. This means you have a decent understanding of the body's anatomy, have sterilized hollow gauge needles, help from a friend in case you screw up, and have autoclaved your jewelry. Don't be a moron. Anywho.

A bit of background; I'm 16, I'm a huge fan of body modification, and I do all of my own piercings. I do not trust anyone else other than myself with my body, and I plan to pursue professional body piercing as a career. If I haven't done it to myself, why the hell should I do it to someone else?

That being said, I had wanted my tongue pierced for the longest time. I would question everyone that had it about how much it hurt, is it fun, and are their teeth messed up, you know, the usual. After about two years of pestering people, I decided I would take matters into my own hands [as always]. I read every single experience on BME, read up as much as I could about the tongue [the muscles, the veins, and such] and decided that I could do this. I asked my mommy if she would order me some 12-gauge needles, a 14-gauge barbell, and some Biotene mouthwash. Click, click, and click! Now I just needed to wait. And wait.

A week later was when my stuff arrived. My heart was pounding and I was squeaking from excitement. I went to my bathroom, took everything off my counter, doused it in Clorox Bleach Clean-Up, and brought a giant box of latex gloves. I set out three paper towels; one to dry off my tongue so I could hold it [I do it freehand, so no clamps], a second one to lay out my supplies on, and a third just because. I washed my hands and put on my gloves. I put the sterilized needle, the sterilized barbell, and the Biotene onto the second paper towel and proceeded to mark my tongue. I checked the underside for veins multiple times [nervous anyone?] and then decided that my veins had enough space between them that I could feel comfortable piercing downwards [go in on the top of my tongue and come out underneath]. Marked, hands washed, another change of gloves. I took one ball off the barbell so I could guide it behind the needle, and I opened the needle. I looked at the needle and thought,
"Pfft... it's not that big." It's really not. I washed my hands and changed gloves again. I dried off my tongue which in all honesty really kind of hurts. I pulled my tongue out as far as I could and positioned the needle. Then I decided I did not want to stab myself in places I really would rather not be stabbed. This is where the third paper towel comes in handy. I wadded it up and placed it underneath my tongue. Wash hands, change gloves again. I picked up the needle and positioned it once again. I made sure it was in the right spot... and pushed. Straight through. I took the paper towel wad out from underneath my tongue and threaded the barbell through the needle. I made sure the bottom ball was the ball I screwed on because there's less of a chance of you swallowing it and losing it. I stepped back to look at my handiwork. Well whaddya know. It's perfect! It's straight and completely centered. I rinsed my mouth out with the Biotene and realized that I had a fresh minty
tongue piercing!

Now the aftercare. That's the most hellish part of this experience. My tongue was fine the same day I had pierced it, but the week after it was swollen to about almost three times its size. I woke up and I got so sad. I knew I wouldn't be able to eat. I showed my mom the next day and she laughed at me and made fish sticks just so she could enjoy a laugh. I had to stuff the little bits in the sides of my mouth and tilt my head over just to chew. Swallowing was a different story. I had to carefully slide it down my throat. It was not funny. I rinsed with Biotene after every single time I ate, drank, or smoked a cigarette. I overcleaned a little but it turned out perfecto. It healed in a week and I changed it out to a barbell with acrylic green balls [less gum/tooth damage, yay!]

So that's how it happened. I just want to warn all of you DIYers. Don't be stupid. Sterilize everything, rubbing alcohol does NOT work, use a hollow gauge needle, not a safety pin or a sewing needle, and wash your damn hands! Cross-contamination is a no! It may seem like a pain, but would you rather have a piercing heal up nice and smoothly, or get a nasty infection because you touched something you weren't supposed to? That's what I thought.

Remember also, just because mine worked doesn't mean yours will!

xoxoxox - michelle


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 June 2008
in Tongue Piercing

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