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The story of a self-pierced sternum

Self pierced sternum.

Note: I did it with full knowledge of all the risks involved and I had the use of proper materials. I am a trained first aider and I strongly recommend you don't try self-piercing unless you are completely confident in your ability to do the piercing safely.

I'd been thinking about getting my sternum pierced for awhile but it wasn't till I realised I could do it myself that I actually did it this is nothing to do with my wonderful piercer, I was having a rough time and decided I had to have total control in order to have yet another positive experience with piercings. I procrastinated for a few days about if I could seriously do it straight amongst other things, I've play pierced myself at 1.2mm before so I wasn't too bothered about pushing a needle of that size into my own skin, then I was ready. It was 10am on the morning; I'd eaten a light snack and a bar of chocolate to reduce the risk of feeling dizzy or fainting. I set my supplies out in my metal prep tray that I'd cleaned with Trigene. I put the clamps, the 1.2mm pre-packaged, pre-sterilised needle, the 12mm curved barbell, some haemostats and a receptor tube in the tray and changed my gloves, and I then cleaned my surfaces with Trigene and changed gloves. I cleaned the area I was to pierce with technicare. Next was the only bit I found tricky.

I marked some marks using gentian violet, looked in the mirror and the top mark wasn't quite straight, so using an alco-wipe I removed it and tried again this time I liked the position of both marks but needed a second opinion so I called my fellow pierced friend Stacey into the room after her giving me the ok, I was ready.

I measured the distance between the marks to make sure that I'd get the pierced as perfect as I could manage. Next was the decision to use the clamps as I had originally planned or to attempt it free-hand. I decided to try it with clamps but soon realised that attempting this was going to be hard work as it's in an awkward place anyway and the skin wasn't liking the idea of being clamped, so I removed them.

It took me about 10 minutes to line the needle up with the marks as I was nervous about getting them straight and not going to deep or too shallow. I was at last happy to pierce. I pushed the needle from the point nearest my face downwards towards my stomach, I got it half way through and then put the jewellery into the back of the needle for the follow through, and I held the receptor tube under the needle so I could safely finish the job. With the needle through and the jewellery in all I had to do was get the ball on the bottom. This is why I had thought ahead and put haemostats in my prep tray as I know from past experience that trying to get balls to screw on a moving thread is a pain. So I positioned the haemostats and screwed the ball on. I disposed of the needle in the mini sharps container that I keep. Please note that I did change gloves numerous times during the procedure in order to avoid cross contamination. I cleaned the spot of blood off and looked in the mirror to admire my work. It was even more perfect than I could have ever dreamed of.

I believe that I preformed this piercing in the safest manner I could given the circumstances.

I've now had this piercing for 4 months and it is healing like a dream. While I have absolutely no regrets about piercing myself I do wish that I had somebody I trusted to share such a beautiful, mind opening experience with me.

In doing the piercing myself I learned that I can use sharp objects on myself without it being a negative experience. I enjoyed this experience because I was in total control. I have since pierced my own wrist.

In all honesty I couldn't have done this let alone enjoyed without the knowledge I have gained from BME and also from my piercer. I also wouldn't have had the mental stability to do this without the support I have had from the IAM side of BME. After all the horror stories of self-piercings gone wrong, I think this shows that if you are informed enough and you don't take completely unnecessary risks you can pierce yourself fairly safely. As I have stated earlier, I was fully aware of the risks involved. I would never have risked my safety or that of anybody else in order to pierce myself.


submitted by: MillieB
on: 18 March 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Millie
Studio: +
Location: Stockton-on-tees

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