Piercing #7: My tongue!
I got my tongue pierced 2 weeks and 2 days ago. This is a weird story, at least for me. With most of my piercings, I decided I wanted to get them and then I made myself think about it for much longer than I probably needed to. After all of that, if I still wanted it, I went out and got it. I don't know why I made myself wait so long, as I never decided to NOT get said piercing. My tongue, however, is entirely different. It was a piercing I always found cool. On other people. The idea of having mine pierced never seriously crossed my mind. However, I ended up marrying a guy who had his tongue pierced (his one and only piercing). I absolutely loved his, but still never really thought about having mine done up until about a month ago. My husband and I were talking about tongue piercings and he mentioned that he always thought he'd like it if I had mine done. So I thought about it. It's not like I was ever opposed to getting it done, I just never wanted it bad enough to go out and get it. It took me a couple of days of thinking about it and reading stories here on BME before I decided to go for it. Once I decided to have it done, that was it. I was obsessed with having it done, and had to go out and get it done as soon as I could, so I called and made an appointment at Jaded Body Arts.
I had never been to Jaded Body Arts (as this is the first piercing I've gotten in Canada, all the rest were done in the states), but they came recommended so I figured I'd make the appointment there and if I didn't like it when I walked in, I would walk right back out. However, when I got there I noticed that it was very clean and the girl at the counter explained all of their sterilization procedures, and everything seemed legit. I fill out the paperwork and pick out my jewelry (I went with boring ol' surgical stainless steel, free of any color). My friend (who I had brought for moral support) and I looked through the tattoo portfolios while I waited. After a few minutes, a girl named Kristen comes out and says she's going to be the one doing my piercing. I follow Kristen into the piercing room. My moral support waited in the waiting room, as she said she couldn't handle being in the same room. Ah well. I had gotten pierced 6 times before, I was pretty sure I could handle it.
Kristen had me sit down and then rinse with Listerine. After, she clamped my tongue and checked for veins. While she did this, she explained aftercare and all that jazz (which I already knew, because I researched beforehand). She told me all the standard stuff (no kissing, no oral sex, no drinking through a straw, no beer or wine for at least 2 weeks, rinse with Listerine or salt water after eating or drinking anything but water, etc etc). I had already told her where I wanted it, so once she was done checking for veins, she just tightened the clamp. It was at this point that she told me to start doing the deep breathing you're always supposed to do for piercings. On the third or so breath, she shoved the needle through. I will admit, I was very curious about the pain. I had heard everything from it doesn't hurt at all to it hurts like a bitch. I would say my pain tolerance is a bit above average. My husband had said it hurts as bad as biting your tongue. For me, it hurt about as bad as biting my tongue. However, it was slightly worse than biting my tongue because the pain was more intense and more centralized. Moving on. Kristen took the pre-sterilized jewelry, and slid it in. After that, she cleaned up and we went out so I could pay. It was $70 all together. I made an appointment to have the jewelry downsized and my moral support and I were off. Once we walked outside, I told her I wanted something cold. My tongue didn't really hurt at this point, but it ached. She took me out for a milkshake (which I had difficulty eating at first, but I did figure out how to manage it [I used a spoon]), and then we went back to her place. I took some ibuprofen. My tongue continued to ache for most of the night, but it wasn't really bad at all.
I woke up in the morning and my tongue still ached. I took more ibuprofen. I ate ice cream (that was mushed up). This is more or less how the next week was. My tongue ached. I took ibuprofen. I rinsed when I ate or drank. I ate soft foods. For the first couple of days, I didn't eat anything solid. On the third day, I ate french fries. Slowly, the range of foods I could eat increased as the pain and swelling decreased. There were a few times during that first week where I questioned my sanity. I now refer to this week as The Week of Hell. Really, that's what it is. The first week sucks. However, if you think you can make it through that first week, the tongue piercing is totally worth it.
After the first week, I noticed a white film on my tongue that wouldn't brush off. It made eating interesting, as EVERYTHING dyed the film to whatever color whatever I ate/drank was. It occurred to me that it could be thrush (an oral yeast infection), so I called my piercer. She told me it was very common, and was simply due to over-cleaning and that it would go away within a couple of weeks. I figured it had been a week, so I switched to salt water rinses for a few days. After, I switched to just rinsing with plain water. Now that it's been 2 weeks, I don't go out of my way to rinse anymore. I use whatever I drink when I eat to rinse my mouth out, but I do still check to make sure there's no food particles floating around.
Yesterday was my tongue downsizing. I brought my own jewelry, complete with acrylic balls. The acrylic balls are nice because 1) in my opinion, they're prettier and 2) if you happen to bite the ball (which, I never thought would happen, but trust me, if you're not careful it's easy to do while eating) the ball breaks instead of your teeth. I also have a labret bar in, which just has a flat disc on one end instead of a ball (that goes on the bottom, obviously). It's nice for someone like me, because I have a small mouth and it prevents a ball from rubbing against my gums. I will also mention that during the first two weeks, I avoided playing with it (as you should). Now that it is close to being healed, though, I do find myself playing with it a bit. I don't see a problem with this as long as you're careful.
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. My tongue downsizing. I asked about the film on my tongue, he said (for my downsizing, I got Mikey) that it looked like it was clearing up nicely so just keep doing what I'm doing. I also asked about rinsing my mouth/kissing/tightening balls. He gave me the okay for kissing, said he recommended rinsing for another week and then it should be fine, and said that it doesn't hurt to check the tightness every once in awhile because acrylic balls don't stay as tight as the metal ones. He also said that, while at this point my tongue is mostly healed, it wouldn't be 100% healed for another month-month and a half. What does that mean? It means that although I can stop the rigorous aftercare routine, I shouldn't be changing the jewelry frequently yet and I should still be careful when drinking beer or wine (he mentioned how he got thrush at the 5 week mark after a night of heavy drinking). Basically, I should just be using common sense. :P
In conclusion (I tend to get carried away :P), if you want this piercing, go for it. It's worth it. Just make sure you are prepared. That first week isn't fun, and you do have to make sure you take proper care of it (just like any piercing). Any other questions, just send me a message. :)
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 June 2010
in Center Tongue Piercings
Studio: Jaded Body Arts
Location: Lethbridge, AB