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Experimenting with clavicles

This past year was my first at college in Salem, Oregon, and I had recently discovered the piercing shop. I spent most of my time surfing the net for unusual-yet-tasteful piercings, because I wanted to stand out but in a classy way. One day I learned about sub-clavicle piercings and immediately ran to the piercing shop to inquire about them. They told me that they didn't do this because of the high danger risk of shoving metal under a bone in such a vital area of the body, and instead told me about a new thing called "pocketing" or "dermal anchoring." It was basically where they punch a hole anywhere on your body and then shove a little ball on a stick until it stays in, and it could create the illusion of going under the bone. I wasn't sure if I wanted one or not yet, but one day in November I headed over to see about getting some piercings on my ears and ended up waiting in line for an hour or so. I talked to the girl at the register and to a few other people who were in th ere when I found out one of them had at one point had the exact piercing I was thinking about getting, I decided to get it done that night.

The piercer put me in the chair and explained to me that the procedure would be a bit longer since there was no going through anything. She literally had to make a pocket in my skin and then put the jewelry in there. As far as I can remember, it didn't hurt very much. Afterwards, I had this beautiful little ball right beneath my left clavicle bone. The aftercare for this was tremendous. It needed to be cleaned with saline every two hours and I had to wear a band-aid at night. Also, I had to massage the part where it was sitting inside every so often to let the fluids clear out and to make sure it set right. I went back to the shop every so often to make sure it was healing all right and they said it was doing really well. Then I went home for winter break, where I took up my violin again and accidentally mis-set the piercing. If I had been able to head back sooner, everything might have turned out differently, but I wasn't and it didn't.

When I went back to Salem, the piercer told me that she could try and re-set it and that I would have to try and do that as often as I could. She pushed it back in as far as it would go and we actually felt the skin pop in there, but it never went back all the way. She assured me that it eventually would, so we went ahead and did the top clavicle that day.

This one was a bit of a disaster. Since these piercings are so new, the piercer didn't have very much experience with these and I was sort of the lab rat. Since the top of the clavicle is so tender, she decided to pierce it with a smaller needle and then try to get the jewelry in. She pierced it and then tried for several minutes to push the jewelry in but it never went in, so she re-pierced it with a bigger needle and the jewelry went right in. Unfortunately, that one never really set. I was coming in at least once a week and she would help me push both the top and the bottom ones in and they would stay for just a little while and then start to pop out again.

Finally we decided to take them out for good and she promised me a free replacement. Weirdly enough, taking them out hurt more than piercing them in the first place. They were so stubborn, she was pulling on them for several minutes each but they did finally come out and I kept the jewelry as a token. There was aftercare for those too – I had to clean them once or twice a day with soap.

A few weeks later I went in for a replacement, but I requested that she do my other side. That's when she told me about surface piercing with a plastic barbell. Since I was so active, she said, playing the violin and skiing and doing yoga, the plastic barbell would allow me to move without hurting the piercing. So that day, in February (I think), we pierced both the top and bottom of my right clavicle. That night I even slept on that side (comfortably) and they haven't come out at all. I do have to go in and get the barbells trimmed as they heal. I got them done in February and they're still a little bit red, but the piercer said that the red would probably take awhile to go away since it's such a tender area. I'm very happy with my clavicle piercings now... and you should see some of the reactions I get from people on the street. :)


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 July 2008
in Pocketing and Stapling

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Artist: Emily
Studio: Addictions
Location: Salem%2C+OR

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