ef = "/cgi-bin/vote/votec.cgi?/pierce/01-ear/990515/earind.html">
Well, I got my fifth piercing two days ago. For this one I had been considering getting either my tongue pierced or some sort of ear work done. I ruled out the tongue piercing because before I got that done I wanted to get some sort of piercing that I could label as painful, and something that wasn't getting trendy. So it came down to what I wanted to get done to my ear (left ear, to balance out a pair of lobe rings and two rings in my right eyebrow). I decided on an industrial since I've never seen anyone with one (aside from pics online), and because it was more prominent than all of the other ear piercings (IMO).
After having posted on RAB about looking for another piercing place to go to, I got an email from Joseph Y. at Luna Sea in Providence. I asked him about his procedure and for directions (I'm paranoid about getting lost in cities, one way streets kill me). I ended up making a pseudo-appointment for this past Saturday (4/17) at around their opening time (noon).
So on Saturday I drove up following his directions and managed to pretty much find my way there. Because parking on that particular street is basically impossible, I parked a couple blocks away down a little side road that was empty (I hate parallel parking, too). I walked down the street the shop was on and noticed a little stand out in front of a stairwell that said "Luna Sea" so up I went. At the top of the stairs was a little sign on a wall that said "Piercing this way -->" so I went thataway. I found myself in a skate shop. Not that I had a problem with this, mind you. I like skating but had no idea where the piercing took place. So I walked around and looked at their stuff trying to look like I wasn't lost and noticed a big "Piercee's Bill of Rights" type poster towards the back by a door. Okay, I was in the right place. So I walked over to the counter and there was a girl there with her mom talking to the girl behind the counter about jewelry for a piercing, so I waited until they were done. I was asked what I was there for, blah blah, paid for the piercing and was told to wait a little while until Joseph got there. No problem.
So I walked around again for a few minutes and saw a guy come in with some very stretched lobes and some tattoos. I figured that was Joseph (what's a stereotype? heh) and I turned out to be right. He measured my ear to decide on a size for a barbell and then took care of some woman who was ahead of me that needed a barbell put back in. After that I was up.
We went into the piercing room (clean, lit, autoclave inside, a bunch of other cleaning stuff) and I took a seat on the table thing after putting my jacket and visor aside. He gave me the aftercare sheet and went over it verbally, then gave me the release form to sign (I showed my ID of course). He took out a pen and marked a couple placements that I could have on my ear, and I picked a more horizontal one. He began swabbing my ear with whatever it is they use (betadine or something?), and gave me the rundown of how it would happen. He told me because it was cartilage he'd pierce in the next gauge up past the jewelry size, so he'd be piercing with 12 gauge for the 14 barbell. I asked if I'd be able to bring it up to 12 after it healed a little, and he said yeah, or I could just get it pierced to 12. I said that's what I wanted to do, so he had to go get another barbell. (My bad.)
While the barbell was sitting in the cleansing fluid he showed me and opened up all the sterile packs and needle, removed layers of gloves as he continued, and then had me lie down and turn my head. He put on a pair of sterile gloves and we were off. He placed the needle at the side of my ear and I think put it in next to the cartilage. He said he was going to hold it so I could get used to the feel, and had me do the inhale-exhale thing. On the second or third exhale he pushed it through the first part.
It was pretty painful, I have to admit. My leg curled up of its own accord (heh). It was a combination pinching/crushing feeling as the needle went through. My ear got really hot and then it was over. Seemed like 4 or 5 seconds but was probably like 1 or 2. Anyway, he said something about putting some lubricant on the needle to help it go through the second one, but I couldn't tell you exactly what was said. I had quite a rush at the time. So maybe 10 seconds after the first one went through he asked if I was ready for the second. I said yes (like waiting a minute makes it feel better). And again the pain. Pinching, pressure, drawn out. Again, my leg curls up on its own. Then it's over. He says he just has to put the barbell in. That was relatively painless because the needle was 10 gauge and the barbell 12, and because compared to the piercing how could it hurt?
So he cleaned up around my ear and put a whole lot of bacitracin on it to help contain the bleeding, and then pops the beads in for my lobe CBRs and changes my 20 gauge eyebrow ring to 18. After that I stood up and got my jacket and visor, put them on and kind of stood there for a minute while he cleaned up. I felt the back of my ear tingle and then felt a warmth trail down it, so I checked my neck for blood and asked if I was bleeding. At that point blood started dripping onto my hand, so I had my answer (heh). He put a pair of gloves back on and wiped it off a bit and put some more bacitracin on it, and gave me a gauze pad in case it started up on the way home. (No blood had gotten on the floor, but he mopped anyway, for those who care.) I grabbed a card, tipped him, thanked him again, and was off.
I walked back to my car and my ear felt like it was bleeding, but it wasn't. On the way out of Providence, though, I ran a stop sign. I'm not sure if it was because I was still on an endorphins/adrenaline high or if the guy in front of me ran it too, but I didn't stop. The people at the intersection probably weren't too happy, but oh well. The whole ride home back to CT my ear throbbed and my body was all tense.
It had stopped hurting by the time I got home (about 45 to 60 minutes later). Probably about 2 hours after it had been done I cleaned most of the bacitracin off with Q-Tips and saline, and then made a run to CVS to buy some Bactine. I cleaned it frequently that night because it was bled very slightly continuously. I didn't try turning or sliding the barbell that night because it was too sore to thoroughly clean off all of the blood and crustiness. So I cleaned all accessable areas that night.
I woke up a few times during the night when I bumped it. (Inconveniently enough, I had just taught myself to sleep on the left side of my head since I got my right lobe + eyebrow pierced, so now I had to go back to the other side. It's not easy.) That night I remember touching my ear and having a little blood on my hand, but it wasn't bleeding bad so I just went back to sleep. When I got up in the morning blood was all dried in my ear. (It bled from the inside hole towards the back of my head.) Pretty nasty, and it took a good 20 minutes to get everything clean. At this point I soaked my ear in warm water then got off all the rest of the blood and such. I cleaned what part of the barbell I could in Bactine and rotated it. Found a whole bunch of stuff to clean on the other side (heh). (I used about 100 Q-Tips during the first 2 days.) After that was clean I slid the barbell to either end to clean the rest of it. Doing this upset my ear and the topmost part bled. Didn't really hurt, though.
So I did my 3 or so cleanings (which consist of soaking in warm water, cleaning with saline, then Bactine) on Sunday, and went to bed (well, that night). Again I woke up a few times, but went back to sleep. Woke up with less blood. (This time from the outside hole towards the front of my head.) Took no time to clean off, and all three times I've cleaned it today (Monday) I've gotten no blood. Seems to be healing well and I have no pain or discomfort (unless I bump it).
I'd say this is my favorite piercing so far. I'm the only person I know of that has it, and it looks mad cool (Joseph nailed the placement). It was pretty painful, but I wasn't going to pass out or anything (I've yet to find that limit, heh). Like all piercings it might hurt, but it's over soon enough.
And for Luna Sea.. I give them the thumbs up. Joseph was really cool and I felt comfortable the whole time. The piercing came out perfect and it was pretty cheap, too. The piercing room was also very clean. I'd recommend them to anyone in the Providence, RI area. I'll be going back there for my future piercings. (Even though I hate going to Providence, so this is an indication as to how much I liked the place.)
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, etc..
Update: It's been a week and a few days since I got it done, and it's fine. Still doing 2-3 cleanings a day with the soak, saline, and bactine. Don't wake up at night anymore, and it only hurts if I give it a good pull (like carelessly pulling a shirt on, or catching the barbell washing my hair). All that's left to do is get a shorter barbell put in when I go back to get pierced again (as of now I'm thinking of getting my septum pierced, the tongue will wait). Anyway, that's it. The end..
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1999
in Ear Piercing