My sternum piercing (What an eye catcher!)
I'm pretty new to body modifications. Since I turned 18, I had my ears gauged to 6's, my eyebrow pierced for a little over a year, and my bellybutton going on 2 years. I've never had a terrible experience with any of my piercings, and found all of them quite enjoyable. Recently, I decided to add something new to my body. The idea was very spare of the moment (which may not have been the best idea) and I was very unprepared for what I was about to go through.
My friend Melissa, who is heavily into piercings, decided that she was going to have her vertical labret re-pierced after having to take it out a few months back. She just got a new job, and just received her first paycheck. She called me up and asked if I would be interested in getting mine done as well. Now I'm not so big on facial piercings, but I thought this piercing was very cute, and decided I would accompany her and have mine done as well.
Now I'm 20 years old, however, I still live at home with my parents. This means that I have to live by my parents rules. They have never been fond on the idea of piercings, and after my eyebrow was ripped and left a nasty scar, my mom decided piercings were the worst thing I could do to my body and she became completely against them. I tried to bring the subject up a few days before, but she shrugged it off like she usually does and told me she better not find any new holes in my body.
It finally came down to the day that we were supposed to get pierced. That morning, I was having trouble deciding if I should call my mom and tell her what I was planning on doing, or just go have it done and take the heat when I got home. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble of "surprising" them, and them making me take it out... so I decided to call. This wasn't the best idea either. The idea was shot down as soon as it came out of my mouth. I tried to reason my way with her, but she would NOT listen! I was not to put anymore holes in my body, period. End of story. I got off the phone with her and I was very disappointed. I had spent the whole week working myself up for this, and then all of a sudden I couldn't have it done.
After thinking on it for a little while, I decided to get something pierced anyways. At the time, I had no idea what I was going to have done. All I knew was that I needed to do something that could be easily hidden from my parents, and something that wasn't too expensive.
My first mistake of the day was that I was very sick. I had been running a high temperature the whole week before (this was on a Saturday, February 9th 2008) and I was just starting to feel better. My body had been pretty weak, and really I was not in "perfect" health. My second mistake was that I was running off of absolutely no sleep. I had partied the whole night before, and decided to stay up the whole next day. Bad idea! On top of being sick, I was physically and mentally exhausted. This was a bad day to decide to get a piercing.
Anyways, we wasted a few hours out and about on the town. We were so excited; we could hardly wait for the shop to open. We decided to go to Just Another Hole in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I have been to this shop numerous times, and all of my piercings have been done there. The same with my friend, who has gone in for every odd piercing she could come up with. They are a very reputable shop with a very enjoyable atmosphere and a very clean environment. It has been the same staff almost since the place opened. We were both very comfortable going there to have our piercings done.
Once the shop opened up, we went inside and walked up to the counter to talk to one of the piercers about what we were going to have done. My friend new exactly what she wanted, and was able to fill out her paper work right away. I, on the other hand, had no idea what I was going to have done. The piercer and I sat there for about 15 minutes and discussed what would be the best idea for me. We talked about everything from surface hip piercings, to a horizontal surface below my bellybutton. We finally decided on a sternum piercing. My friend had this done not too long ago, and she LOVED hers. She had it for a few months before it started to become painful and she decided to take it out and not risk the scar from it rejecting. We decided it would be perfect for me. It would be easy to hide; yet easy to show when I want it shown!
I was given the paperwork to fill out and I paid the $40 (which from what I understand is a VERY good price for a surface piercing) and proceeded to follow my friend to a back room where we were both having our piercings done. I was extremely nervous, but I was so excited and pumped with adrenalin. I had no clue what this piercing was going to involve. I had only seen pictures of it on BME and heard my friends experience with hers. I hadn't done any research at all, which left me not knowing what to expect. Of course, I was chosen to go first. The room was in two parts... one part that was open for people to walk in; the other part was closed off for the more private piercings. I thought I was going to have to take my shirt off, but it was cut low enough that we were able to pull it down and there was plenty of room to work.
My piercer prepped my skin with what looked like iodine, and made some marks where she thought it would look best. I told her I wanted it kind of low, so that it wouldn't peak over shirts that were not so low cut. After she marked me, I sat up and looked in a mirror to make sure it was in a spot I would be happy with, and then I laid back down on the table and waited for it to be over with! She had another guy in the room with us, along with my friend. He was training, and hadn't seen this piercing done before. There were no clamps used in this procedure. She did it all free handed. She removed the needle from the package and told me to relax. She then informed me that this was going to be a slow piercing, and not like the others that I had done.
"Oh great! That is not what I expected!"
She laughed, and told me to take a deep breath in, and then exhale. As I exhaled, she pushed the needle up through the bottom hole and slowly I could feel it moving up my chest. The pain wasn't enough to make me cry... but it sure did make me tense up. The best way I could describe it was a hard punch in the chest. I could feel it all the way down to my spine! When the needle finally popped through the top, I let out a HUGE sigh of relief. Unfortunately it wasn't over. She still had to thread the jewelry through. I took another deep breath and exhaled once again. Pushing the bar through was just as painful as the piercing itself, but much faster. The bar she used, she referred to as a staple. From what I understand, it's a bar that is bent at an angle on both sides. They told me they had a high success rate using this bar.
After she got the bar through, she cleaned me up and sat me up. There was very little blood, and the redness wasn't too bad either. I looked in the mirror at my beautiful new piercing and was so happy. It was worth every bit of pain I just went through for it! My friend then got her vertical labret done (which she handled with flying colors) and we went on our way!
The pain only lasted for a few hours after I had the piercing done. It felt like someone had punched me very hard in the chest. Sometimes it hurt to take a deep breath, or to move certain ways. By Saturday night... I was feeling 100%. I showered a few hours after I had it done, and it was a chore trying to lift my arms in the air to wash my hair. I also realized that not having a bra on made it very sore! It felt like my chest weighed 100 pounds, and most of the time I used my arm to support my chest and take some of the pressure off.
Sunday was perfect. The piercing looked perfect and there was no pain at all. Sunday night was a different story though. While at a friend's house, I decided to try lying on my stomach to watch a movie. This seemed to stretch it out in a way it didn't want to be stretched! After that, I felt a very dull pain for the rest of the night. It was more annoying than anything. Once I got home, I tried to lie in bed to sleep but there was NO position that I could lay in that didn't cause me an excruciating amount of pain. I decided to put my bra back on to help support the piercing a little more. This helped a lot, but I was still feeling so much pain from it. I was unable to lay on my sides, and I had to fall asleep on my back.
Today (Monday) I woke up with it still very sore. I immediately did a sea salt soak for about 15 minutes which helped out a lot. As the day has progressed (and I've kept up with tending to it; soaking it in sea salt, cleaning off the scabs from around the holes) the pain has started to subside and I'm able to lie comfortably in bed again. However, red lines have started to form up from the bottom hole, and down from the top hole. They haven't met in the center yet, and I'm hoping it's just the areas closest to the top layer of skin being irritated. But it is showing the first signs of rejection. I'm hoping that these red lines will pass and that my new beautiful piercing will not become a thing of the past anytime soon.
Today, I decided to research this piercing and I've learned so much about it that I didn't know before I got it. I learned a hard lesson; I should have researched this piercing as much as possible before having it done! I found out there were better techniques that I could have asked to be done; ones with higher success rates, or ones that would have better suited my body.
I'm very happy with this piercing, and the reactions that I have gotten from strangers have made it totally worth all that I've gone through. I would recommend this piercing for anyone wanting a serious modification. I can't say that I think this would be suitable for anyone with a low pain tolerance. But the pain you go through makes it totally worth it in the end. The attention that it brings is amazing, and it's so different from what people normally have pierced around where I live.
My only advice to you is to research, research, RESEARCH! It never hurts to know what you're getting yourself into before hand. And don't have this piercing done while sick, or in a poor physical state. It hinders the healing process because your body is too busy paying attention to other things.
Make sure you're in good health, and a good state of mind, and I'm positive this will be a piercing you will love forever!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 14 Feb. 2008
in Surface & Unusual Piercing