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If the ring fits...

tember 25th 1999, my mom and I decided to take a little road trip to New York to get various body parts pierced. She got her hood done, and I decided to get my navel done. I was very excited because this was my first non-ear piercing, and I knew what a rush I'd gotten from my tattoo and figured it would be a similar experience. I selected my ring (a 14 gauge 1/2", titanium blue ring with a black bead) and grinned like a little kid while my belly button was sterilized and so forth. The pierce itself hurt quite a bit. I won't lie, it's not the sort of thing I would willingly put myself through more than once! But for a ten-second pinch, it was tolerable enough, and the whole process from forceps to jewelry took less than five minutes. I could deal with that, and I did. I got up and looked at my new adornment and was QUITE pleased! It was little and cute and set back nicely so that it wouldn't snag. About five minutes after the piercing I got really light headed and had to lay down. My piercer explained that this was a normal reaction, and not to worry. He gave me my cleaning instructions and sent my mom and me on our merry little ways. I followed my instructions to the T, but each day it hurt more and more. Within a week, the piercing site was red and inflamed. I kept to my cleaning and added in a few salt soaks to draw out any toxins, but I couldn't figure it out ­ it was STILL red and ugly! I wrote to my piercer, and he said to keep at the cleaning, it was probably just irritated. About a month after I had gotten it done, I noticed there was scar tissue around the top piercing site, so I wrote again, and this time a consult was needed. I went all the back up to New York to have it looked at. It was determined "not good", and I was told to stop touching it with unclean hands because that was probably the cause of my problems. I agreed to behave, and went away, rather dismayed. A few weeks later, it was STILL awful! I wrote to a friend of mine, who writes for body modification magazines and knows a GREAT DEAL about piercing, and asked her for her opinion. She suggested that I might be having an allergic reaction to the antibacterial soap and to stick to plain salt soaks. I tried that, and it helped to a degree, but not completely. I got frustrated with my peircer in New York because it was hard for me to get there, and he only had Friday hours. So I sought out a piercing place closer to me, and found one a mere 15 minutes away in Philadelphia called Infinite Body. I went over there to check it out, and have them look at my belly button. It was determined that the ring was too small for the piercing, and because of this, my body was pulling the ring downward to a comfortable position. The technical term for this is "migration", which sent panicked chills up my spine -- oh let me tell you! So, I asked what could be done and she looked again before making her suggestion. I dutifully asked about curved bars, and she said that because the piercing is so deep, when I sat it would poke up out the top and I would end up catching it on everything. I decided I didn't like this idea. I asked her what she thought I should do, so she showed me the next size ring from what I had (3/4" I think...). She pointed out that it may not be the ultimate solution - that I may never heal completely and my body may still try to migrate the ring OUT instead of DOWN - but we agreed that I had to do SOMETHING because it was getting painful. So, I took the plain little surgical steel ring and they brought me a box of beads to choose from. I selected a lovely little amethyst (real, I might add) bead and they took it all away to be sterilized. I bummed around for some 15 minutes while I waited for them to be done with the ring and bead, looking at other jewelry, and talking to mom about the shop, and would I get my hood done there or in Seattle when I went out for winter break? FINALLY, it was MY turn to go into the room. I was so excited! The lady was VERY gentle as she cleaned it with something smelly and then took out the bead. She talked really softly and told me what she was doing right before she did it, and that was good. Getting the ring OUT hurt a lot, but in a rather peculiar way. Then she put in the new ring and popped in the little bead and I was set. The second I sat up, I could feel the difference. I didn't realize it before - I guess because it was constant from the start - that the old ring was TUGGING on my skin. I stood up and I felt SOOOO much better, I couldn't even tell there as something in there. Within a few hours, the swelling around it had gone down, and I felt a billion times better about it! I got an antimicrobial soap to try called "Satin" from them. It's supposed to be much gentler on the skin and open wounds than antibacterial, and it's moisturizing as well. Hopefully that will improve everything! So, I sadly cannot have a jeweled bar like I wanted, but they make cool little charms and jeweled beads for rings, so I may get one of them when I'm healed. I'm just glad that they didn't say I had to take it out and let it heal over. I'll probably end up with a tear-shaped scar from the migration that happened, but it will fade, and I doubt anybody will notice. I'd rather have a little scar and a bigger ring, than a BIG scar and NO ring! :-)


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Nov. 1999
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Keith+Alexander+%28orriginally%29+-+Kristyn+%28now%29
Studio: DV8+%28orriginally%29+-+Infinite+Body+%28now%29
Location: New+York

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