Allow me to preface this account with the fact that I'm employed as an English teacher in rural Japan. Not only that, but I teach elementary school children, so I knew from the moment I decided to get my venoms that there would be moments of "Sensei, what's that in your mouth?!" and that I could technically be fired for violating school dress codes. I was in Tokyo with friends, shopping in the Harajuku district. I was planning on leaving on an 8 pm train (it was already 2), but when one friend asked if there was anything else I wanted to do in Tokyo, I said, "I want to get my tongue pierced." This wasn't completely a spur of the moment decision. I've wanted them for years, but always came up with excuses, plenty of them legitimate, as to why I shouldn't get them. This time I said to hell with it. I had just broken up with my long-term, long-distance boyfriend, and I needed to cheer myself up, and piercing is one thing that always puts a smile on my face. Anyway, we were definitely in a good location to start looking for a place to get a piercing done. Usually, I would ask a local with plenty of piercings where they got theirs, but most Japanese kids I've met with metal have done it themselves. Well, the search for a piercing parlor led us from some guy on the street, to a jewelry store, to Extreme.
The girl behind the counter was very kind with my Japanese, handed me a price list, showed me about where the piercing would be. It was a bit farther to the front that I wanted, but after I talked to a friend who was with me who had her tongue done, I decided it would be ok. I showed my ID, paid, and took a seat in the back while the piercer prepped. One of my friends came back and sat with me.
The piercer came in and I'm sorry to say I never got his name. I usually have a pretty strict policy of knowing someone's name before I let them stick something in me, but this time it completely slipped my mind since most of the discussion had been with the girl at the counter. He gloved, pulled out the instruments, and marked my tongue and gave me a mirror for approval. My friend took a look too, and pronounced me fit to be pierced. I was a bit surprised that he didn't ask me to rinse my mouth out with anything before the piercing, but my friend suggested maybe it would be done afterward. He told me he'd be piercing with a twelve gauge, which is the biggest I've ever had done. I could feel the needle pricking the bottom right side of my tongue, he said "ok" and it went through, easy as anything. I wouldn't even say that it hurt. I've heard that the second one can be worse though, because the body knows what's happening after the first rush has worn off. I prepared
myself for it to hurt this time, but again, I felt the slight pricking on the bottom side of my tongue, he said "ok" again, and that one went through too.
With my new shiny bits in place I went out and showed off to the rest of my friends. As they prepared to leave I found myself with a new dilemma. Tipping. In Japan, the rule is not to tip. Not a waitress, not a taxi driver, no one. Should I tip the piercer? My friends so no, so as much as it went against the grain, I left, only giving the piercer my thanks yet again.
I went to the 7-11 down the street, and picked up an icy cold bottle of water and travel-size bottle of Listerine, but I (stupidly) didn't use it yet. My tongue wasn't swollen at all, so when my tongue-pierced friend kept trying to get me to shape my tongue and play with the piercing in different ways, I (very stupidly) did. I'm sure it contributed to some of the soreness that I would only start to feel later than night. We wandered around to a couple different places after that, my friends stopping at a café while I sipped my water. Eventually we decided we were hungry and picked a Korean restaurant. Despite ordering what looked like the least spicy thing on the menu, it arrived with a film of red chili oil on top. I (very very stupidly) ate it, as much as possible because I was hungry, but it was slow going.
On the train ride home my tongue ballooned. It was swollen and sore, and I had downed the pain meds from my little first aid kit earlier for a headache. I arrived home after 3 hours, guzzled ice water, took more stuff for the soreness, followed the cleaning regimen and passed out. The next day I still felt awful, so I called off of work and spent the day discovering the things I could eat in my newly pierced state. Broth. Ice water. Popsicles.
The next day, (2 days post-piercing) I went to school, and taught four periods of English class. I was still feeling kind of crappy so when someone asked if I was sick, I hit on the idea of a face mask. The Japanese wear them all the time if they have the slightest cold and it would perfectly hide my new piercings! My speech wasn't too badly slurred, especially to non-native English speakers and I got through that day without mishap. The following day I got dizzy and almost fell over at school when I bent to pick up a paper. I had lost about 3 kilos in 3 days. Not healthy. I went grocery shopping to find more substantial foods, and came home with tofu, vanilla pudding, mashed potatoes, canned fruits, vegetable juices and eggs. Now, I'm not a vegetarian, but meat was just too hard to deal with.
It's now been four days. The swelling is already going down, and my speech is becoming more normal. My diet it pretty well normal, as long as I cut harder to chew things like meat into very tiny bits. I brush with Sensodyne which helps dull some of the soreness, rinse with Listerine, and periodically gargle salt water.
I am really happy with my shiny new piercings. My venoms bring the total count up to 20 (10 in the lobes and cartilage, 2 rooks, 2 tragus, 2 nipples, 1 navel, 1 VCH). ^_^
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 Oct. 2008
in Tongue Piercing