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Bad uvula piercing experience

ividual I counsel had what he thought was an original idea for a piercing that has since caused him a great number of problems. He felt that his ability to touch and even stretch his ulvla (the "punching bag" in the back of his mouth) without a gag reflex would make it possible for him to pierce this tissue as well. Part of his reason for selecting this area to pierce is that he was incarcerated in a facility that does not allow jewelry. He has been keeping his various piercings open during his time in the facility by using small pieces of plastic to heep the piercings open. This includes multiple piercings in his ears, a tongue piercing, a piercing of the lower lip, both nipples, and a Prince Albert. It was his hope that such an unusual piercing would escape the authorities of the facility. This was done (as with all but one of his many piercings) as a home piercing, while he was on a home pass for a wedding. Attempts were made to provide for safety and clenliness, though these were (as he woud find later) ineffective. A friend had obtained a hemostat (which is basically a locking set of medical pliers) to manuipulate the needle in the confined area of the uvula. (His tonsils had already been removed years previously, so there was a bit of extra space available frrom this.) The needle used was a suturing needle without thread. The needle was to be inserted through the left side of the uvula and emerge from the right. All the tools involved were sterilized with a bleach solution and boiled before the procedure. The piercing occurred in his bathroom, and all surfaces has been wiped to eliminate germs. He used a clamp intended for tongue piercings and gripped the uvula with it. With the hemostat he pushed the needle through the uvula. This was more painful than he expected and did trigger his gag replex. Fortunately he was able to withdraw the needle without tearing the tissue of his throat or softpallet. He then placed a small (17 gauge) bar through the uvula. He immedieately discovered that it somehow interfered with his ability to breath. He began gagging uncontrollably and began to panic. Fortunatally he was doing this piercing in company and his friends calmed him until he was able to take slow gentle breaths. They then used the hemostat to remove the bar. Until the piercing healed he discovered that many necessary functions had become torturous. He had to learn to drink very slowly or the fluid would slip past the uvula and rise into the nasal cavity. Because of the location of the piercing it was not possible to coat the area with an anti-infection salve, and the reslting infection made it very difficult for him to speak or swallow. The infection also spread to his inner ear and caused many complications. After two weeks the attmpted piercing had healed enough that the side effects had largely faded. He is still, however, subject to throat infections easily, which was not a problem for him before the experience. His voice has continued to be raspy in the weeks since the attempted piercing. Because the uvula swings up when swallowing, eating has been difficult and painful for him. For several days he was only able to drink mild broth, and after several weeks still eats only soft food. Please consider all of the possible effects of a piercing in an unusual area before proceeding. This young man could have lost his life by not thinking through the consequences of his modification. Fortunately he is recovering from the attempt well. Not so fortunately, he has had his home pass privilages removed for attempting to circumvent the facility's restrictions regarding jewelry. I wish to add that my position in this facility has given me the chance to observe many body modifications, most of which of are the "homemade" variety. These range from various piercings and tattoos to brandings and other more exotic modifications. However, these are not done in a healthy environment... they have almost invariably been done as an act of defiance rather than as a true interest in modification. I have also learned a great deal about the use of modification as gang symbols. A brand in the shape of a hexagon is often made by a machine nut held with a pair of pliers, and a U shaped brand comes from a Bic lighter. These brands are done mainly to prove "toughness" and are a status symbol among the gang members. More significant is a teardrop tattoo at the corner of the eye. This type of tattoo is awarded only to gang members who have killed a member of a rival gang. Also common are "RIP" tattoos made with a sewing needle and ink from a ballpoint pen, listing the names of gang members who have been killed on the streets.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 20 July 2000
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: self-piercing
Studio: self-piercing
Location: Western+Pennsylvania

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