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my first microdermal experience

So, a preface to the microdermals. I had gotten my sternum pierced with a surface staple previously by Jamie at Saint Sabrina's. Try as I might, this surface bar began to migrate and was always just a little bit red and pissed off. Near the end of its existence, it started bleeding again. This was the point that I decided that as much as I loved it, it had to go. Now the sad thing about this sort of experience is that I wasn't ready to retire my piercing. It was part of my self image and I was very upset to see it go.

About a month later, I saw the article about microdermals on BME. I was amazed at their versatility and the extremely low risk of rejection and migration. So I thought about it for a while. Eventually (about two months after that) I wrote Saint Sabrina's and asked if they were doing them as of yet. I was told on a case by case basis only. It turned out that I didn't have to worry. After a brief conversation with my piercer, he agreed to set up an appointment and do it the next week!

Now to the actual experience.

I drove in to Minneapolis—I had been living back home for winter break in Eau Claire at the time—with my boyfriend. We left way early so that we could get some food and fill out paperwork. We showed up and found that Jamie hadn't had a chance to even eat dinner yet as it had been too busy; Jamie was booked through the rest of the evening. We told him it was fine if we pushed it back a bit so he could catch a bite to eat While he went on his break for food, I looked at my choices for jewelry and colors. I also had to decide if I wanted three or two microdermals (he said he was willing to do either). I decided on three and picked out an onyx, a hematite, and an opal. He came back from his break and off we went.

He sized me up and drew lines on my chest to pick out the best placement for them. He then had me look in the mirror and let him know if I wanted any changes. I ended up asking him if he could lower it a bit and he said sure, it wouldn't be a problem as long as I didn't wear bras that would get in the way of it.

Then he had me lay back on the table and he grabbed the dermal punch.

Now, I've been told before this that microdermals hurts about the same amount as a normal surface bar and that its not hard at all to do. I would like to make an amendment to this. Microdermals hurt about as much as a surface bar and aren't hard to do as long as they are not being inserted around scar tissue. The first one would not settle in. He did the dermal punch and inserted the toe like usual and all was fine, but the layers of tissue wouldn't separate easily at all like they were supposed to. There was a ton of blood and the heel would not pop in for the life of us. Ten minutes later it did, but wasn't even so he left it alone for a while.

I took a small break so I could settle my breathing back down and collect myself again. He grabbed me a bottle of water and I talked with my boyfriend while I drank almost the whole thing. Then we moved on. Second one did the same as the first one. More scar tissue lead to more problems, lots more blood, and more pain. I ended up grabbing onto my boyfriend's hand for dear life and tears formed in my eyes. Finally, he told me he was going to work on the heel with a needle to make more room for it so it would settle down. This seemed to work quite well and the heel went in after that. This microdermal was a little tilted in on the top but we couldn't tell if it was from the swelling from being pinched or not so he said to keep an eye on it.

By this point I was shaking and on the verge of tears because of the amount of pain brought on by two dermal punches and needles and ten minutes work on each one. He told me that I could stop here and he would fix the bottom one—which he decided he was going to take a needle to as well so it would lay flat—and that we could do the third another day if I wasn't up to it. I took some time to walk around and center myself again and drank some more water. While I wasn't sure how composed I would be, I told him to go ahead.

When we started the third one, my pain tolerance was almost gone. I hadn't counted on that. However, this one was well away from the scar tissue that was left behind from my surface piercing and thus went in quite quickly and settled down nicely. I cried a lot through it, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the other ones.

After that he gave me another break and told me we had to do something about the bottom one. It wasn't lying correctly and thus either we had to take it out and try again now or a different day. I told him to do it today. So I lay back down and he started working on it again, this time with the needle method he used on the second one. It worked much better and after only a few minutes, he managed to get the heel to settle in and the head to lay flat. I give him major credit for this because by this time my breathing was nowhere near regular anymore and my chest wasn't staying flat because I was sobbing. At the very end, I grabbed for the last of my strength and regulated myself more, making it easier for the end to go in. And it did.

Afterwards, I was completely drained. I sat up and leaned against my boyfriend while I drank another bottle of water. The hour long procedure had left me without any pain tolerance left and no energy whatsoever. But it looked amazing and I was very happy I had made it through all three of them.

They told me to spray it with a saline solution called Wound Wash for a while and cover it with a bandage for a few days, as it would probably bleed. I walked out of the room and immediately had eyes in my direction. Everyone was excited to see the microdermals. I went home, got the supplies I needed, cleaned up, and covered them for the night.

It is now two days later. The first day the swelling went down and the middle one settled flat as it should. It also didn't hurt except when I moved my arms too broadly, therefore stretching the area. I've been spraying it and keeping it covered and while there has been a minimal amount of blood, overall it looks great and doesn't hurt at all without bumping or movement.

I'm very happy with the placement and the look of the jewelry. I think Jamie did an amazing job and I'd do it again. However, I would think twice about how much pain I can handle when it comes to scar tissue. I definitely recommend microdermals, though, despite the issues I had with mine. I think I'll look to them instead of surface bars for any future work.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Jan. 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Jamie
Studio: Saint+Sabrina%27s
Location: Minneapolis

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