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daith - the completion of my ear piercing journey

img src="lishear2.jpg" align=right width=216 height=300>

on tuesday the twentieth of october, i received, according to my

master plan of aesthetics, my final ear piercing: the wonderous daith (pronounced doth). i've thirty total for those interested, with eleven in each ear, including a tragus, rook, low helix, conch, & now the daith. yes, i'm a walking book of ear piercing placements.

so anyway, this beauty was installed by a one kay millard-davis

of dream illustrations in chillicothe, illinois. really, she's the best piercer in this state so far as i've found, though she has a tendency to use the wrong gauge jewelry if you don't keep an eye on her. i find this minor when compared with all the OTHER piercers in illinois i've visited... in any case, kay's a total sweetheart & always hits her marks perfectly. (this is the sixth time she's pierced me.) as for the shop itself, great atmosphere, lots of tension-easing banter among the employees, & plenty of autoclaved bags & changed gloves.

a friend of mine, mike, & i got to the shop around four. mike

seems to be my travel buddy - whenever i'm taking the drive to chillicothe (around forty-five minutes from my apartment), he always winds up joining me. he got to see me in the most physical pain i've ever felt, which was with my rook piercing. i figured he'd naturally want to be there for a pierce that's purported to be just as painful; to see one of my least-shown expressions, that of pain. heh.

due to a bit of confusion, kay was out of the shop, but due back

in an hour. we waited & mocked the "before" pictures (& some of the "after"s, as well) in the tattoo portfolios & joked it up with the other two guys working.

at five fifteen, kay came breezing through the door with a big

smile at the pain she was permitted to inflict today. it's not too often a little shop in a town of sixty-two hundred people gets much more than navels & tongues, so kay's always glad to see me if only for the novelty of doing something that's not so easily accepeted by sororities across the nation. we chatted a bit, & she ushered me into the curtained piercing area.

kay's clean. that's all i'm going to go into about her knowledge

of sterility & awareness of cross-contamination. she knows what she's doing & has been through both gauntlet's & fakir's training seminars. & with that out of the way, she betadyne'd my ear thrice, marked it with a toothpick & gentian violet, & had me look. there really was only one place a daith could fit in my ear, & she pegged it. i agreed, & she started unwrapping her tools.

instead of regular forceps, they had recently bought a few pairs

of what are known as 'tweezer forceps', basically consisting of a big pair of tweezers with a loop at the end a little smaller than the size of your standard tongue forceps. she didn't rubberband them since we were working in such a tight area, & i found them extremely comfortable. they really gave kay just a little more control over the area without the necessity of twisting my ear in unnatural ways.

so, having already bent the 14ga needle into a somewhat smooth

curve, kay had me take a few deep breaths, told me to hold the last one, & started the pierce. the needle went through in two separate shoves, kay untangled the tweezer forceps, & i was wearing the start of my thirtieth existing piercing. i was really, really surprised at the pain - lack thereof, to be specific. the few experiences concerning daiths that were on bme all agreed that it was one of the worst, right up there with rooks. let me tell you, though, the rook was at least twice as painful. the daith just wasn't that big a deal, on par with perhaps a nipple or any other standard ear cartilage pierce. so if you're considering, & holding off because the bme writeups scare you, just go & get it over with. you might wind up being pleasantly surprised.

anyhow, she threaded through the 16ga 3/8" sss ring i'd brought &

tightened it enough to hold the bead solidly - i hate hearing loose captive beads rattle in my ear. she cleaned me up, i had a look, & we both commented on how well it came out & how rad it looked against the low helix & tragus in that ear. i let them take a few photos for posterity, & to the counter we went.

i was expecting the total price to be around fifty, as that's what

they charged me for my rook, & then minus ten or fifteen since i brought my own jewelry. kay wrote seventy-five on the info sheet i signed earlier, & started doing calculations in her head. one of the guys mentioned to her that i brought my ring, & kay looked at me & said i owed twenty. i was really surprised at this & she passed it off to the fact that she used me for training her new apprentice, which she always does. i think she just cut me a great deal because i'm a repeat customer & bring her new business, & keep her from zoning out too much on all those navels. either way, i thanked her mightily, promised once again to return, & with a big kay-hug (i'm not too much of a toucher, but kay's awfully huggable), we left for home.

it was pretty bloody by the time i got home after making a couple

more stops, but apparently cleaning it was a mistake. i wound up with q-tips tucked gently into my ear until it clotted again, & decided that's the best i'd be able to do for the night. however, when i went to bed, i found that it was bleeding again, & that laying on my non-newly-perforated side would cause the blood to run into my ear canal, which would be a pain to clean up. so, what i ended up doing was putting a tissue against it & sleeping against my arm so my ear was off the pillow. the blood then ran out of my ear & into the tissue instead of into a bigger mess. it was unusual for me to do this - most often, my entire ear gets mad with a new pierce. i don't tend to swell much, but my ears still usually become red & tender. not this time, though.

at twenty hours, it was still bleeding a fair deal. i expected

this due to our use of a 14ga needle & 16ga jewelry. however, i've had enough experience with cartilage piercings & my body (seven done with same-gauge needles, six (including my nostril) with a gauge larger) that i know it's worth the bloody aftermath for the ease in overall healing. concerning the bleeding, though, i wasn't at all worried because i wasn't losing anywhere near a substantial amount of blood. sure looked that way to my friends, though. heh.

about thirty hours is when i was able to give it a successful

first cleaning, mopping up what i hoped would be the last of the major dried blood & rotating the ring a little. a half water, half bactine mix on a q-tip is my trusty regime & my parts seem to like it. i tried wearing regular (not in-ear) headphones at this point & made it about ten minutes before it became annoying. it wasn't pain so much as being able to feel the ring being slightly moved & not wanting to upset it.

at forty-five hours, i could clean it well with no bleeding. the

ring moved freely & it's only a little tender. concerning this, it's really nice that i don't have to put up with it throbbing - most if not all of my other cart pierces throbbed for the first day or three, but this one's just sort of been there. it hurt, but it didn't make me pay attention to it hurting.

on the fourth day, i woke up having slept on it, no problem. it

had been pretty sore to the touch, so i've been saltwater soaking it, & it's responded better to that than any of my other pierces ever did. i have no clue what would happen with a bad infection here, so i've really been babying it. it seems happy.

a comment on the cold: one might think that with ten OTHER rings

in an ear, the wearer couldn't notice any more cold, but trust me, it's there. i really have to move somewhere warm.

when it's healed, i plan on taking it up to a 14ga, 7/16" cbr,

which i doubt'll be a problem to fit as i've stretched all my cart piercings a gauge step or two. 14 is a nice, solid thickness for an ear, i think. & that's my story thus far.


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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Nov. 1998
in Ear Piercing

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