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My Sadly Unsucessful Navel :(

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About a year and a half ago I decided to get my navel pierced, after

a bit of deliberation. I had numerous ear piercings, and thought it would be fun and sexy to have my navel done. I went to a very clean and friendly studio (Tatu Tattoo in Chicago) and met with the piercer, Bob Jones, who was wonderfully professional and gentle. Since I'd had all my cart piercings done with a gun (which Bob told me wasn't a good idea), I was unfamiliar with the process of using the needle, so he walked me through everything that he was going to do. I brought my best friend with me for moral (and physical if I passed out) support, and she just fell in love with Bob and decided to have him re-pierce her tongue (she had an unsucessful tongue piercing several months earlier).

My friend and I went into his studio, (where he had a full set of

Spice Girls dolls, and a photo of Ron Jeremy and himself on the wall-nice personal touches!) which was thankfully an actual room with a door, and he had me choose my jewelry. I chose a curved barbell (don't remember the gauge), because I thought it wouldn't be too conspicuous or get caught on anything. I lay down on the table, and he put the latex gloves on and got out all these antiseptics and pre-packaged needles and cork. All in all, I was very impressed with the cleanliness-I felt like I was at my dentist's office! He also gave me very good, detailed aftercare instructions to follow, which I vowed to follow to the T!

The whole time he was preparing everything, Bob and my friend were

chatting (I was too nervous to join in), and she was asking him about his piercings, about what went wrong with her tongue piercing, and so on. By this time, I'd tried to calm myself into a coma, but unfortunately, I was still conscious. See, I have tattoos, and figured one needle in less than 30 seconds couldn't hurt as much getting a tattoo (which didn't bother me that much), but I was sooo nervous, and I didn't know why. I figured it was because it was something I hadn't experienced before, and I'd be just fine. So Bob and the jewelry were ready, and he had me unbutton my jeans and turn the waistband in. My friend kept asking me if I was ok, and I asked her to stop asking me that, it just made me think about it more...I don't remember the exact sequence of the piercing anymore, I remember him cleaning the area, placing the dot where I wanted it, me looking at it and agreeing to the spot, him clamping my skin in the forceps (that hurt!), and he said something like "Ok, the needle's through" and I didn't even realize it! I didn't feel a thing until he put the barbell through, that pinched, and it tugged a little when he put the ball on the end, and then it was over before I had a chance to even think twice!

I stood up, a little shaky, and walked to the mirror. I remember

thinking my stomach looked so much bigger now that it had that little stainless ball perched above the navel. I remember thinking "Now you've done it", but right after that I was all smiles. I thanked Bob, he gave me his card if I had any questions or problems, and I was on my way with my newly adorned navel.

My friend drove me to the drugstore to get some Betadine and I went

home and chilled. I showed my sister when she got home and she was impressed that her big sister would do that (tattoos don't impress her, I guess). Over the next few weeks as I was following the aftercare instructions diligently, my navel was a little irritated off and on, the swelling went down, but I got the crusties and a little oozing, so I used warm water with sea salt to soak it (which felt awesome) and I had to learn to wear my pants and skirts more low-slung. Anyone I told of course wanted to see, and the reactions wavered between "eww, I couldn't do that" to "wow, cool, did it hurt?" and "hey, that's pretty sexy" (mostly the guys). The only painful incident was when the mailroom guy was whipping around the corner with the mail cart, and I was turning the same corner, and he rammed the cart directly into my navel. OUCH. But even that was ok after 15 minutes. My navel was healing nicely, and I was pleased. I realized a navel was one of the longer/harder to heal piercings, but I figured everything was going well. About 6 weeks after my piercing, it started oozing again, and was extremely painful to the touch. It progressed to painful without touching, and I was pretty miserable. I cleaned it gently and laid extremely still that night so as not to disturb it, but the next morning it was just as painful. This went on for a few days, and I decided to ask my piercer about it. I went to see him and showed it to him, told him it was fine for the past couple weeks and then it started hurting again. He asked me if he could ask a personal question-I said sure, and he asked if I had my period. I sure did! He told me this happens to some women sometimes, that on their period, the piercing acts up. He said it should pass and lessen over time. I agreed to keep at it, and sure enough, when my period was over, it went back to healing up nicely. It was going well again till my next period. It was like my little warning signal that it was coming. I put up with it, taking extra care, not going to the gym for that week, etc. Again, when my period stopped, the irritation did too.

I went on again, fine for another 4 weeks and it happened again when

I got my period, and I was getting pretty annoyed. It was getting to the point where I was really thinking I wanted it out.

Then I met and started dating my current boyfriend, and although he

thought it was sexy and cool, it definitely put a damper on our fooling around because I was like "No! don't touch me there! wait, let me move over here" and so on. I was totally babying it, and was thoroughly frustrated. After about 6 months of trying to put up with the monthly irritation, I finally bit the bullet and went back to Bob and asked him to take it out. I told him my monthly irritation was too much and I was fed up, and he told me no explanation was necessary. He took me into his studio and I got on the table, he put on latex gloves, took it out without my even feeling it, and cleaned the area up and gave me my jewelry in a bag.

I was really disappointed that it didn't work out, and I felt in a

way that I had failed my piercer. I had even picked out an awesome new barbell for when my navel healed a little more...
I now have a little purply scar where the jewelry was, and was thinking of maybe getting a little tattoo to cover it...I'm not really tempted to try again, because it was so painful every month, but I'm curious if anyone else out there has had an experience like mine, where you've had a reaction to the piercing only when you had your period? If so, did it eventually pass, or did you wuss out like me?

On a happier note, Bob did re-pierce my friend's tongue, and she's

had it for over a year and is VERY happy with it. And the night she had her tongue done, I was going to get another tattoo, and Bob called the tattoo parlor where I was going, to tell an artist he knew there to take care of me. I was very pleased by Bob's recommendation. I would definitely recommend Bob Jones' Hotter Than Hell Piercing, he was so wonderful through my experience, and he really took good care of my friend and me.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Aug. 1999
in Navel Piercing

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