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industrial piercing experience

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All right, so it had been a month or two since I had removed my tongue ring, due to incorrect placement, and I was craving a new pierce. I've had this funky agreement with my parents since I was 17, basically promising that I wouldn't get any facial piercings until August of '99, so that ruled a nose piercing out. I started poking around on BME, looking at all the great pics of the different ear cartilage piercings, when I saw the industrial. Wow. I fell in love with it instantly. I'd only seen it in real life once or twice, but the pictures made my decision a lot easier. I'd only had my tongue @ 14g, tragus @ 16g, and navel @ 14g, so I was expecting a lot of pain with this pierce, which made me hella nervous.

Usually I go to a specific piercer in Rockville, but since I'm living and going to school in College Park now, I had to find a new one. So I searched high and low, and decided to check out Artistic Ink and Psychotic Body Piercing, which is really convenient and close to campus. I stopped in there after class one day and spoke to the piercer there. His name, get this, is Dr. Dave. Yeah I know, it made me laugh at first too, but as I kept talking to him, I felt really comfortable with him, so I decided to get the pierce next time I had some extra time.

A few weeks later me and two other friends were just hanging around in my dorm room, when I mentioned that I wanted to get an industrial piercing. One of friends loved the idea after she saw the pic of an industrial on BME and wanted to go right away. My other friend wasn't as supportive, since he thinks I'm gonna end up with a "face full of metal" (like that's a bad thing), but he ended up going anyway. So we walked into the waiting room, and 'cause I was so nervous I stalled for a while and glanced at Dr. Dave's portfolio, which had a few industrials in it. After the three girls in front of me, who were getting a nipple, a tongue and an eyebrow piercing , were done, I stepped up to the counter. The piercer recognized me and welcomed me back. I told the man I wanted my industrial now and he started setting it up.

I had to go get some cash from the ATM machine, since he doesn't take credit cards, so we went and got some cash. The pierce ended up costing around fifty or sixty bucks, which I didn't think was that bad. So we came back, and Dr. Dave was all ready to start. He measured my ear, and made sure I liked the placement before he went with a definite length of barbell. He held it up to my ear, and I was all kinds of excited. I told him the placement was fine, and he marked my ear with some kind of pen.

At this point adrenaline had completely taken over my body, so I grabbed my two friend's hands and held on tight. He explained to me that he would use one needle to do the pierce, since it assures for a straight pierce and all that good stuff. He poised himself over the top of my helix, and asked if I was ready. I nodded and the first stick came. Ok, I'm no kind of wuss, but DAMN! The tongue was nothing, the tragus was a little pressure, as was the navel, but this one hurt like a bitch!  I was like, oh geez, that's just the first one. Dr. Dave laughed, wiped some of the blood off of my neck and ear, regooped the needle with something and poised himself over the lower hole. He then asked if I wanted a little more time, and I said "Hell no, let's get this done." He warned me that this stick would hurt more than the first, and I told him to hurry. He then completed the bottom pierce, and screwed the barbell onto the needle, and pulled the needle and barbell through. That wasn't
too painful, but when he started screwing on the ball, I almost passed out. I think the adrenaline got to me, and the pain was incredible. But after the barbell was inserted and tightened, the pressure was relieved off of my ear, and it was kind of stingy, but not painful.

I sat up and took a little look at my ear in the mirror....and was pleased. I was kinda suprised at how huge the barbell and the balls looked in my ear, but I'm completely used to it now. I thanked Dr. Dave, got a little aftercare sheet and lecture, got told to come back if I had any problems, tipped him ten bucks and left. My friends and I stopped by the health food store to stock up on my friend sea salt, and picked up some SoftSoap antibacterial soap as well. My ear stung and throbbed for the next five hours. Sleeping that first night was impossible, especially since I usually sleep on my right ear, but I eventually learned to stick to sleeping on the left ear. I woke up six gabillion times that night in pain after rolling over on that ear. The next morning my ear was crazy swollen, but after a nice salt water soak and wash with antibacterial soap, it calmed down a little.

My ear continued healing, even though for the first three weeks it was super grumpy, and couldn't be touched at all. After a month and a half I looked at my ear and saw these growth around both holes, and flipped out. After upping my sea salt soaks to 3x a day instead of one or two, the growths didn't budge or get any smaller, so I planned a trip to Dr. Dave. I thought the growths were probably keloids, and when I saw Dr. Dave he confirmed my diagnosis. I had heard that keloids are notoriously hard to get rid of, but after applying lavender oil around the keloid and tea tree oil on the keloid itself, they shrunk really fast. After two or three weeks you couldn't even tell they had been there.

It's now been four and a half months since I've gotten the piercing, and everything is going fine. It's on it's way to being healed, and most nights I can sleep on it without causing myself any pain. If I catch it on my jacket, or if anyone ever bumps me in the ear, it still causes me to cry out in pain, though. Everyone who notices it is completely surprised, and says they've never seen it before. I'm completely happy with the look of the piercing and would encourage anyone who's scared about the pain to not worry about it. Pain is relative and besides, it's completely worth it.

joy jcjc@wam.umd.edu

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999
in Ear Piercing

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