What this means.
Note: I first wrote this to be under stretched lobe experiences, however upon review I have decided it makes more sense to send it in as a cultural piece.
I'll begin with a brief introduction.
I was initially hesitant to write this experience, but the need to join in and share with a community that I have been an avid viewer of, since I was made aware of it a few years ago, is taking precedence.
Body modification has fascinated me as far back as I can remember. In this specific experience I will discuss my earlobes, stretching, and subsequent (unfortunate) removal.
I remember being a small child and growing up, glancing at pictures from National Geographic and various other media sources and focusing on images of stretched earlobes. I would imagine myself with large, stretched, earlobes. It was something I fantasized about having become a part of me.
During winter of 2007 I was riding the bus back from the factory I was working at. I got off of the bus to transfer to my second when I realized that in my 15 minutes wait I could easily walk over to the studio on the corner and inquire about piercing my earlobes. I should mention that I never thought I would be able to make my dream come true, based on my family's views concerning body modification, for many years age was a setback, on top of those (family being the major issue) I never had the money and held an abject refusal to go to an unprofessional, unsanitary, studio or environment.
I walked into the studio (Anchor's tattoo & piercing, Burlington, ON, Canada) and asked about the price to pierce both of my lobes and both nostrils (different story) I was quoted between 120-140$ My memory fails me as to the exact price. I made an appointment for a few days later and left. I was very excited to finally get started on something I had wanted for so long.
The next few days passed with me in eager anticipation. The thought of it never left my mind. I went to work, took my first bus and walked to Anchor's. I went in and talked to my piercer (Mike Loughlin) and filled out the appropriate forms while he set up. He called me into his room and began describing the procedure(s). We were going to start with my earlobes to get the less painful piercing out of the way, then the nostrils. He asked me if I wanted to take a break between any of the piercings and we decided to pierce my lobes, have a cigarette, and then pierce my nostrils.
As far as the procedure goes, it was uneventful. I lay back, he marked where he would pierce, made sure the marks looked alright to me, and removed the tools from their sterile packaging. He asked if I was ready, gave me a 1,2,3 countdown, deep breath in, deep breath out, pushed the needle through, and inserted the jewellery. Repeat for the other side, cigarette break, then the same for both nostrils (Ill go into more detail surrounding my nostrils when I have more free time to write) After the piercing, Mike explained aftercare, I then paid and left.
Healing was simple and over with soon enough. I then began stretching my lobes. I used steel tapers for my first stretch. It was still one of the best physical and emotional feelings I've ever felt. Admittedly, I took the smaller sizes slightly faster than I should have, in addition I was only affording low-quality acrylic plugs; however, my earlobes would heal after each stretch without any major difficulties. When my lobes reached a 2ga I began taping them. I would typically give them a wrap every week. Sometimes less, sometimes more. My body was taking well to the stretches. I finally made it up to 00ga. As my earlobes got bigger I felt happier and happier, not just happy with the stretches, but a general sense of well-being, freedom, happiness, confidence, etc. That all changed one day though.
My ears had been doing great at 00ga, healed well, felt great, looked great, most importantly, made me feel great. I don't fully understand why my earlobes suddenly became so... problematic, for lack of a better word. I will attempt to thoroughly explain; hopefully someone will have a better understanding of it than me. I took my plugs out for a shower as per usual. I cleaned them off, placed them to the side, and stepped into the shower. My plugs were clean, my earlobes were clean, I got out of the shower and attempted to put my plugs back in. They wouldn't fit. Where my ears were normally stretchy and elastic, and where they were healed and healthy, my plugs would not fit back in. I should have gone down a couple of sizes right there, but I got panicky and shoved the plugs through. It took both hands and a lot of effort. My lobes bled afterwards, they were incredibly sore. Over the next five days my earlobes got progressively worse and I started noticing bad signs of an inf ection and major problem. These included: bleeding, heavy fluid discharge, white pus, pain, a hot feeling in both lobes, and swollen, sore, lymph nodes. I finally decided that in order for them to heal I would have to remove the plugs. When I took them out I had a sudden discharge of fluid and blood, additionally my ears swelled shut almost immediately. I tried to fit a smaller gauge plug in, but I couldn't do it without feeling I would be causing additional pain and damage to my lobes.
It's been about a week since I took out my plugs (today's date being Sept. 20/08) I was initially extremely upset. It felt like a complete step backwards not only regarding my personal body modification, but a step backwards in life. Everything that the stretching of my earlobes represented had died.
Today is the first day since the removal of my plugs that I've been sober. I snapped, lashed out, and then in the darkness I turned back to the bottle. More steps backward. However, as my earlobes heal, I'm coming to terms with this setback. I can do what I can to minimize the scar tissue and heal them well, I can re-pierce them, I can stretch again. The point is, body modification can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It goes deeper than the pure aesthetic value. It means more than what you see on the outside. This is what it means to me.
I'm not much of a writer, so I'm leaving it here. I could say more, I could write an ocean of words, but I'm sure you get the idea already. It's time to submit this.
submitted by: PERSEVERANCE
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Ear Piercing