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Snug as a Bug in a Rug

It had been a while since I had gotten a piercing. My last piercing was my nose piercing and that happened six years ago. I hadn't been thinking much about it until my friend, G., asked me to be moral support for a lip piercing. Which, you know, got me to thinking. I had been planning to get another tattoo as my next decoration, but the shop had all these samples of really neat places to get your ear pierced. G. herself had a rook that I thought was so beautiful and delicate. I was too chicken to get a rook that same day but I got a little obsessed.

I spent hours on BME and other bod mod sites researching the rook. Which of course led to research on the daith, snug, tragus, helix, etc. The tragus and helix seemed a little overdone to me (though admittedly they are both beautiful piercings. Like everybody else (heh), I wanted to be unique. So right up until the day itself I was dithering between the daith, rook and snug. I saw someone on here use the word "snook" and I decided that was kind of what I wanted. Something a little more noticeable than a rook, but not too extreme, and higher up than the usual snug.

I didn't actually plan which day I wanted to get pierced. I just obsessed for a week and finally decided to just go for it this Saturday. G. said she would be my moral support and my boyfriend ended up coming along too. About an hour before my appointment I downed two glasses of orange juice and some sliced apple. I wanted to avoid passing out. I was so scared my heart was pounding before I even left my house. A lot of people talk about how "excruciating" snug piercings are. I was convinced that I would cry. Actually I had this whole mental image built up. The guy would go to pierce me and it would take several pushes and my face would be contorted in pain, tears streaming down my eyes, maybe I'd curse a few times. And then it would be over and I would just get up and be on my merry way, enamored with my sexy new piercing. It's a common enough experience, right?

Obviously nothing ever turns out the way you imagine it. I got to the piercing shop and told the piercer what I was thinking of. He just kind of looked at me for a second. For a split second I thought he wasn't going to be a nice guy. It turns out he's just a very laid back kind of guy which ended up being a big bonus. He said before I got my heart set on anything we'd just check out my ear and find the best placement. So I sat in the chair and we made small talk. We talked about "the piercing community", he shared some experiences and points of view from his over ten years as a piercer. He cautioned me not to get too caught up in all the online forums for body mod junkies because there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Meanwhile he is getting out his supplies. Everything was clean and sterile and in its own separate package. We debated barbell vs. CBR and decided a barbell would be best. Now he got out the marker and scrutinized my ear. He painstakingly made two dots and then gave me a handmirror to check it out. It wasn't where I had originally pictured it, but it looked nice, maybe better than the one in my head. And I trust the professional. So now we began. He put the clamps on and manipulated my ear while I'm tried desperately to breathe calmly and relax. Finally he told me to take a deep breath....and it was nothing like I imagined it. Yes, it hurt. But I didn't curse, cry or otherwise make a fuss. It didn't hurt nearly as bad as I expected and didn't really seem any worse than my belly button or nostril. The only part that I made a face was when he was putting the ball on the end. I was so proud of myself for being such a trooper.

And then I noticed I felt a little lightheaded and that it was like a million degrees in there. I knew if I stood up I was going to pass out so I asked to stay in the chair for a little while. He gave me a jolly rancher to try to get my blood sugar up. I started to feel nauseous on top of all that. I tried to go into a meditative state but it was just too much. I had two options: sit in the chair for 45 minutes to try to will myself not to puke or just get it over with and be on my way. So I told him I felt nauseous and he said he'd move the trashcan just in case. And two minutes later I made good use of it. I felt so embarrassed and disappointed. I had been so brave and IMO a good piercee and then I felt like a ruined it. Like I said though he's a nice guy and told me I was the second one that week to throw up and that I'd probably just worked myself up too much before hand. I think he's right. He also said he was glad I'd told him and that I'd handled the situation correctl y. So I guess there's a small consolation in that.

Anyway after throwing up I felt instantly better and the icy cold Diet Coke that G. brought helped too. I was OK to leave and we decided to go out for dinner. I gave a 10 dollar tip and we left.

Today is the second day with my piercing. Cleaning it is pretty painful. Worse than the piercing itself was I would say. I have been taking tylenol to keep down the throbbing feeling. Honestly if I don't touch it the throbbing goes down and it's just very minorly irritating. It's just that it throbs for a while after cleaning and if you accidentally hit it. Unfortunately the location is such that sometimes you do accidentally hit it. Like I was drying my hair this morning and despite trying to be careful my towel briefly got caught and it hurt enough that I shouted "OUCH!" It also got caught on my t-shirt when I was getting dressed which earned another "OUCH!"

I am taking careful care of it, using mild antibacterial soap and sea salt soaks. I am going out to buy some H2Ocean today because that stuff was great on my nose piercing. Hopefully the tenderness will go down soon because at this point if I roll over on it or something touches it at night it hurts enough to wake me up so I have to readjust myself. I also changed to clean sheets when I got home and plan to change them again in 3-4 days just to be on the safe side. I really don't want this piercing to get infected or reject because it's honestly beautiful. It's the perfect combination of kind of delicate sex appeal and badassness in my opinion. And it's not super-overdone in these areas. I hope that after it heals I can get a daith, but we'll see. I don't want to overdo it. I'd definitely go back to the same piercer though. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. I just felt comfortable with him.

So some final thoughts: Piercings are intrinsically painful. But it's so much worse if you work yourself up too much beforehand. It doesn't make the pain worse, but maybe if you're like me it is just draining and will up the chances of your passing out. If you do feel like you might pass out or throw up, piercers appreciate it if you tell them and just ride through it in the chair rather than trying to be tough. They really don't like cleaning puke up off the floor. I'd also say that make sure you feel comfortable with your piercer, that he or she has experience and seems knowledgeable. I imagine having a personality you click with makes the experience much more pleasant.

That was really long, but I hope you all enjoyed reading!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Oct. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Location: Carrboro%2C+NC

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