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The day was January 1, 1999

Ok, Mommy, sit down.... Don't be mad, but I got my tongue pierced!


The day was January 1, 1999. I really wanted to get my tongue pierced, so I planned to go to the Jade Dragon in Chicago, Illinois. I am 23 and I just graduated form college and I start my real world job on January 18, so I was a bit scared to get this type of thing done so soon to when I had to start work, but I figured why not. You only live once, right? Before I did it, I researched a lot. I went onto the WWW hoping I would find something about tongue piercing. Well, to my surprise I found the BME site! It was so thorough, and I was so impressed! I was very happy with all the wide variety of stories that were available for tongue piercing. I wish I would have found this page before I got my belly button pierced, too! Maybe I would have known better what to do! So, the more I read, the more I was bound and determined to go through with it. I was so excited I could barely sleep that night! I know that sounds weird, but it is true. I wanted to do it right then, but I couldn't because it was new years in 2 days and I was planning to go out and get wasted. And I knew I would not feel like getting wasted 2 days after I got it pierced. Also, I was at home and I want to do it without my mom finding out. I read tons of stories from BME and they helped immensely. You see, I just graduated from college (Northern Illinois University - DeKalb, Illinois - Operations Management and Information Systems major, Spanish minor) and I have an apartment at school. I don't start work until January 18, so I was planning to get it pierced January 1 at night (when I got back to school) and hide out there until the 16th of January when I had to come home to Mommy and Daddy. My mom did not find out about my belly button ring for 3 months after I got it, and she was NOT happy about it, but she got over it. But, I think my mom will not approve of the tongue thing at ALL. She can't make me take it out since I am 23, but I am afraid that she will think I am this terrible rebellious crazy girl who is promiscuous and who wants to use her tongue on everyone. But I'm not like that. Anyway, I am planning to keep it from my mom and dad for as long as possible. At least until after it is totally healed so they don't worry about me. What a caring daughter I am (even though I ended up telling them after 2 weeks). I went to Jade Dragon in Chicago, IL, with 3 other girls: one got their tongue pierced, too, and the other got her belly button pierced. The 4th person was there for moral support and to drive in case I couldn't. But, I ended up being able to drive anyway. I already had my belly button pierced and I could not stop there! The tongue was my new victim.

The Trip to Jade Dragon: We screamed as we approached the establishment because we all were so scared. We got there at about 8pm. We all said, I'm not doing it! I can't believe we're doing this! But eventually we did it despite our fears. We went in the door and we saw all these guys with all these tattoos and piercings all over their bodies. I mean, that could be a good sign, but it could also be a bad sign. One guy said, can I help you ladies? I said I need to get my tongue pierced and so does this girl and this other girl wants her belly button pierced. He said, "Do you have ID's proving you're 18?" We showed the IDs to him and he told me, "ok, follow me." I was thinking, "Why me??? Don't my friends get to come in?" Also, I didn't really feel like going first! But it is better that way, because you don't really get a chance to change your mind. I knew I wanted to do it, I just was a wimp about it. He told me to sit down. I asked him if I got to pick out which tongue ring thing I wanted, and he said "No. The first one you get is a standard size and it is of Surgical Stainless Steel. I asked him if there was Nickel in it because I am allergic to Nickel. He said no Nickel was in there, so I was happy with the Stainless Steel. Then he made me pay the $80 (wow) and sign a release form. I couldn't believe it was $80! As I was trying to sign the release form, I had to fill out my name and address and phone number. I could barely write anything because I was shaking so much! I was soooo nervous! I barely could remember my own address! It was pathetic.

Let the Piercing begin: Then the tongue piercing stuff started. I will tell you everything that happened: He put on one set of latex gloves. I didn't notice that he changed them after that pair, but it was only me he was working on, so I guess that didn't matter. First I asked him a million questions about what I had heard form other people regarding aftercare and he said, "Forget all that you heard from other people. What I am telling you is right." That kind of made me feel stupid, but that's ok. He made me swish some yellow Listerine all around my mouth before he did anything. I heard that doing that numbs your mouth kind of, so that is what I was expecting. Well, it didn't really last that long (the numbness). He then told me to stick out my tongue so he could make a dot of ink where the pierce was going to be made. He made the dot. He then told me to look in the mirror to see if the dot looked like a good place. I said it was fine. He said "Ok!" First he put 2 paper towels under my chin. He made me hold them. It was to catch the drool you produce when you stick your tongue out for that long. It just happens that you drool. It is quite pleasant (not). Then was the scary part. He told me to stick my tongue way out. I asked him if I should tighten my tongue or if I should relax it. He said I should relax it. He told me a have a really long tongue! HA HA HA! He took these forceps things and clamped it down on my tongue. He told me that this was gonna be the worst part. I was glad when he said that because it wasn't that bad. I was thankful that he did not make ME hold the clamp things like I had to for my belly button (they made ME hold my own clamp! It was TERRIBLE). It felt like someone was squeezing my tongue in a clamp thing (oh wait, that WAS what he was doing ). He did not hold the clamp. I think he put the clamp on, and it kind of locked together. It stayed together itself so I didn't have to hold it and neither did he. Well, then he got out the needle (i think). Beforehand I saw him put out all the needle and barbell and everything on the table on a paper towel and it looked pretty sterile to me, not that I would know or anything. At this time my eyes were closed. If I saw the needle I would have died even though I already saw it on the table earlier. He said, are you ready? All I could say the whole time was uh-huh, uh-huh... uh-huh... Your vocabulary kind of deteriorates into "uh-huh" and similar sounds when you're in the clamp. I don't really know what he did with the needle. It felt like he was putting the needle from the top down, and I kind of felt it (I was so scared!!!) going through my tongue. It did hurt a little bit (I am a BIG wimp when it comes to pain). It was probably more psychological fright of waiting that made me think it hurt. It felt like someone was pinching my tongue in a clamp still, but harder. I felt bad pain for probably only about a fraction of a second. I was kind of like a poke feeling. Like pushing through some stuff, then finally poking through the other end (of the tongue). Then when the needle was through, he put the jewelry through the hole and as he was doing it he told me exactly what he was doing. Then he said, "I'm going to put on the end ball now." So when he did that I knew I was almost done. It was not at bad as a thought, but it was not totally painless. It is bound to hurt a LITTLE bit... I mean, you're sticking a big needle into your tongue! When he was done, he made me swish with the Listerine again. It was a little harder to spit it out since I had this metal thing in my mouth, but it wasn't too bad. I just had to spit gently. There was a little bit of blood in the Listerine I spit out, but he said that was normal. The main thing was not the pain, and that it was unbearable, it was that I didn't want it to get ripped out or anything like that. I am just afraid that I might do something wrong to make it hurt. He gave me some yellow Listerine and told me to use it 3 times a day and to not dilute it. But sometimes I dilute it a little bit anyway because that stuff hurts your tongue even if you DON'T have it pierced! He told me not to dilute it but I did just a little bit (I'm such a rebel! hahahh). Approximate time on each part of the procedure: 1) Putting clamps on: 2 seconds 2) Waiting to get stabbed: 5 seconds 3) Stab tongue: 1 second 4) Putting on Jewelry: 3 seconds 5) Taking off clamps: 2 seconds. So, the whole thing did not last more than 15 or 20 seconds. The only real PAIN was the actual needle poking through my skin for a fraction of a second. It felt like if you pinched your tongue but it hurt for a fraction of a second, then it was over... I just felt the clamps after that... and clamps on your tongue after you get it pierced really hurts! Questions:  I asked him in how long I could kiss someone. He said in about a week if it doesn't hurt, you can kiss with it, but you have to use Listerine right after "making out" which is how he put it. But right now I don't really feel like making out. I feel like sitting with my mouth closed. It kind of sucks. I don't even want to drink beer! Now THAT is strange. He used the F word once, which kind of made me scared that he might not be serious or professional, but he make it almost painless, and I was happy with the piercing. It was weird, but I kind of felt violated! It is hard to explain. I went in there because I wanted my tongue pierced, but when I had this thing in my mouth, I felt so helpless. I could barely talk and I was afraid to move my mouth because I was afraid it was gonna hurt, and I was also afraid what was going to happen the next morning. My friend got hers done in another room and was done by the time I came out (probably because I asked so many questions!) On the car ride home, the blizzard was beginning, so it took a long time to get home. None of us talked. I could talk, but the "th" in "though" and "that" was a little difficult. I can make an S sound, but certain things you say really make it hurt. Things you don't realize until after you say them. Anyway, it was January 1, so not too much was open. We went to McDonald's and got a vanilla shake. I drank that slowly, took 2 Advil (this was a little complicated to swallow), I also had 2 glasses of cold ice water. When attempt you swallow the Advil, you have to actually place each Advil pill in the back of your mouth or throat, and then put the water in your mouth and swallow it that way. It's kind of weird. Then I went to bed at 2am. All that was 8pm to 2am on January 1.

Daily Journal: January 2 - Saturday: day 1 I woke up at Noon and my tongue was bleeding a little bit (this was quite disheartening and yucky!) So, I swished with the Listerine a few times then I walked around my apartment. There is a big blizzard going on right now and there's nothing really to do. I am not working until my job on the 18th, so I am just resting. Anyway, I talked to my friend who got hers done and we can't really talk. It hurts to talk so I am not talking much today. There is a huge blizzard outside and I am hoping to go buy some Gly Oxide today so I can start using it. The guy at the piercing place said I didn't really need it, but if I am hard core about this cleaning stuff, I could get some so of course I am gonna get some. I ate some canned string beans a half at a time, and some mashed potatoes. This took a LOOOOONG time so I decided against eating such things for a while. I also had some egg nog. It was hard trying to chew the string beans because pieces of string bean kept getting caught in the top of the barbell. Hopefully this will pass. When I was drinking the egg nog I was scared that egg nog would be bad for my piercing so I drank it kind of down the side of my mouth... this was not easy, and probably not necessary. The letters I have a hard time saying to day are: C D E G H L P T W and of course TH. I went to Wal-Mart but could not find Gly Oxide. I will go tomorrow when the Pharmacist is there (I went at 1am when I finally dug myself out of the snow drifts). My tongue got a little swollen today but only around the actual piercing, not my whole tongue like I thought (I realized this after reading another BME story, so I wanted to mention it again). I brushed my teeth 3 times today and I tried to brush my back of my tongue but it was quite challenging and I didn't do very well, so it was pretty pointless. January 3 - Sunday: day 2 Well, today I had a chocolate health drink thing so i got my nutrients. I also had a chocolate frosty from Wendy's and lots of crushed ice (finally i got some ice). i think the ice is working already... i bought some Gly oxide today finally, too, and I used it for the first time. It was $6.19 for a little bottle of it. I put it on the hole part of my tongue, and the bottom hole too. It got all bubbly and foamy. It said on the bottle to put it on for 3 minutes, but it was feeling weird so I wiped it off lightly with a Q-Tip , did the Listerine thing , brushed the teeth. etc. January 4 - Monday: day 3 Today I had lots of ice on my tongue in the morning for about an hour, then I dumped the ice on the seat of the car my mistake (I went to the mall all day). But, good news! I ate my first french fry today. i chewed it in small pieces at a time realllllllly slowly on the side of my mouth. I ate two!!! And another milkshake or 2. Man, am I getting hungry! I cannot really talk clearly yet. I went to the mall for a long time and i tried talking to the salespeople and I think they though I was lisping or something. I sound like I have a piece of gum in the middle of my mouth and I can't get rid of it. My tongue is not really hurting too much. I am taking Advil ... about 2 every 4 or 5 hours that I am awake. I can talk, it just sounds stupid. It does hurt still though, don't get me wrong. Also, there is this bump thing in front of the hole. Hopefully this won't be a weird bump. Sometimes it is red and sometimes it is tongue colored. It's kind of weird. Hopefully it is just like a canker sore or something. I could actually brush my tongue today (which I have been dying to do). January 5 - Tuesday: day 4 Ok, today is day 4 of the tongue fiasco. I woke up and my tongue hurt so I took Advil and went back to sleep for an hour... it felt fine as long as i have my Advil in my system. Today I ate some more string beans and I ate a lot of them in not very long!!!! It took me like 10 minutes to eat 1 string bean last time I tried, and now I ate like 30 in only 20 minutes. So this is good. I sucked on ice again today while driving in the car to the mall (yes I went again - Victoria Secret was having a sale). I also had another milkshake (yummy) on the way home. I also had some yogurt and ate it in record time (since the tongue piercing thing of course) of only about 5 or 8 minutes. Well, my bump thing was red when I woke up but it is tongue colored again as I go to sleep. I am using the Gly oxide each night and each morning. Also, I'm taking Advil every 4 hours. January 6 - Wednesday: day 5 Well that bump thing looks a lot better and more like my tongue. I am relieved. I am kind of getting used to the metal in my mouth now. I'm still taking advil, and I want to eat solid foods, but I'm too scared that I am not waiting long enough. I ate vegetable soup today (thanks again, Cindy). I had to eat it slowly, but I finished the whole can! I can almost talk ok. I can't say TH or C or X. January 7 - Thursday: day 6 I ate Chicken tenders from Burger King today!!! That is my biggest accomplishment lately! My mom called me today and I talked to her for 20 minutes and she didn't notice anything (she still doesn't know yet, and I'm sure she will kill me when she finds out), so I guess my talking is improving! It really is! I am so happy I don't sound like a lisping fool anymore! I mean I have to try harder to say those TH's and C's, but it is improving! My tongue did not hurt almost all day. When I eat, I am not afraid I will swallow the barbell, I am just afraid I will pull on it or bite on it! That would really NOT be fun. There is kind of white stuff coming out of the top hole, but I heard that is normal (I REALLY HOPE IT IS NORMAL) January 8 - Friday: day 7 Well no more white stuff except occasionally. I know what sound really appetizing - Sorry. Well, I went to the bar tonight for the first time since the pierce. I had a blue Hawaii and 2 vodka and cranberry's. I was afraid to try beer, even though I usually have corona with lime. I came home from the bar and ate Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I ate it slowly so I wouldn't bite the barbell. It still feels like the food is getting caught in my tongue ring, but if I have water after every few bites, it washes it out. I'm sure I will eventually be able to do this with my own tongue. At the bar I ran into this guy who had his tongue, nipples, eyebrow, the part below his bottom lip, and probably more pierced. He took his tongue ring out right there and put it back in! It was really weird but he had his for 4 years (that is a BIT of a difference of my 1 week -- that's 200 weeks!!!). So this was my first tongue ring stranger bonding experience. It was cool! He could squish down his tongue so that his whole barbell was on the top! As if his tongue was about a quarter inch thick! It was really interesting! Between sips of alcoholic beverage, I had sips of ice water just in case (since I didn't have any Listerine with me). Gly Oxide when I got home as well as Listerine. I also took one 50 mg Zinc vitamin with lunch because there was a note on the bottom of the sheet I got that said Zinc would greatly improve the healing process. I forgot to read this until today of course (stupid me). My tongue is starting to feel kind of normal, slowly but surely! But i still cant really say TH's or C's!!!!! AGHHHHHH! I hope this, too, will pass. I have to work in 9 days! It was a lot easier to brush my tongue today! Soon, I will be able to really go at it! When I was at the bar, it seemed like I could talk normally, but it was probably just because it was loud in there. January 9 - Saturday: day 8 I woke up and the alcohol did not make my tongue swell (I was scared this might happen). I was quite relieved. I had some more Mac & Cheese from the night before and Slim Fast since I still have some from when I couldn't eat normally, and I don't really feel like eating anything right now, and anyway, I like chocolate Slim Fast :) Went to the bar again tonight. More Bicardi and Limon. My first tongue pierced kiss was today. I know you are supposed to wait 5 weeks but I didn't make it. It felt the same, but I don't know if I am a worse or better kisser or not! I guess I'm just the same (really really good.... Just kidding). Oh well. I came home and Listerined myself a lot and Gly oxided. January 10 - Sunday: day 9 I woke up and almost no pain at all, unlike I usually felt. But it is still red in front of the hole on the top. I hate that. I heard this might be permanent because of scar tissue or something! AGHHHH! That sucks! Oh well. Maybe it will go away. I feel fine and my TH and C is improving but still not perfected. I am going home tonight for dinner (wish me luck). --Later that night-- Well I wimped out and I did not tell my parents OR my sister when I was at home, that I got my tongue pierced. I thought they would be too surprised. I managed to eat meat loaf and a baked potato in front of them making them think I could eat just fine (HAHAHA). January 11 - Monday: day 10 Much better. I woke up early and today I ate a quesadilla and some chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant (My first dinner out since "the piercing"). It took a while to eat the chips because i didn't want to bite the barbell. Ok, I am still being paranoid. Today I went to this store where they sold tongue rings and there was one that was tongue colored, but it was $54!!!!! What is with that??? I did not buy it. I will go back to Jade Dragon this weekend and get one of theirs. I am sure they have more and they might not be as expensive. Not much pain. I can stick my tongue out mostly but it is still a little sore around the actual piercing part. I think it is scar tissue or something like that. That is what I have heard it might be. But who knows! I sure don't. January 12-17 - Tuesday-Sunday: days 11-16 MUCH better. This week, I could actually eat most things and I can pretty much talk all right. It doesn't hurt when I wake up in the morning, but I still use the Gly Oxide and Listerine after I eat or drink anything. Sunday I went back to Jade Dragon and had them replace my 7/8" silver barbell to a 3/4" barbell with clear plastic balls on each side. I have to start my REAL WORLD job the next day you know! Well, they changed it, it was bleeding a little bit, but it was fine that night and the next day. It didn't swell up again or anything. I can stick my tongue out of my mouth just about the whole way without it hurting today. --Later that night-- It was about 11:30pm and I did the UNTHINKABLE ... I told my mom! I asked her to come into my room. I said, Hey come here! Sit here for a second (on my bed). I said, "Well, don't be mad, but I got my tongue pierced on January 1st!" She covered her face and ran out of my room and was yelling "Why Why Why????? Why would you DO that? You told me you weren't gonna get anything else pierced!" (I had my Belly button pierced in April, remember). She told me that now she wasn't gonna be able to sleep all night. Well, She told me I should take it out and I just said NO. She offered to pay me everything I spent on it so I would take it out. I refused. I told her that I was still a good person and that is doesn’t change who I am. But I think she was just totally surprised! Everyone says that their parents freak out but they get over it... so we'll have to wait and see... January 18 - Monday: day 17 (2 weeks and 3 days) MY FIRST DAY OF WORK! No one saw my tongue piercing, I was a little afraid to talk with my mouth too widely opened just in case. But I talked pretty normally. I was pretty subdued that day (unlike I usually am). January 25 - Monday: day 24 (3 weeks and 3 days) Well, while I was at work, I was playing with the top ball and it cracked in half!!!! It was 3:20pm and I had to sit at work hoping that no one talked to me because I was sitting there with no top ball on my tongue ring!!!!!! It was the worst! I didn't want anyone at work to know because they might have thought I was just a crazy college student and that I was not professional... I ended up telling this one girl who is only a year or 2 older than me and I hope she was not thinking how my mom was acting when I told HER! She said that her mom had a heart attack about her tattoo, and that she understood after I told her how my mom reacted and how I didn't want the people at work to react the same way. I was supposed to leave at 4L30 but the girl told me to just leave at 4pm. So, I left at 4pm and put the top ball of my old silver barbell back on my tongue ring. Man, that piece of crap plastic one lasted a week! How cheap for a $42.00 barbell, huh? Oh, and the package said LIFETIME GUARANTEE, too! HA! I'm gonna go back and try to get my money back or at least get a replacement. The bump in front of my tongue hole is much better. I talked to this one girl, Sonya form my school (Hi Sonya!) and she told me she used to have that too and it's supposed to go away totally after about 4 months so at least I am not the only one with that. It is looking MUCH better and I can do just about everything I could before. Sometimes it is a little hard to say certain words when I am trying to cover up that i have my tongue pierced, but when it doesn't matter and I can enunciate it is much better. February 4 - Thursday: day 35 (1 month and 3 days, or 5 weeks) Everything seems to be ok. I can eat anything and it's kind of easy to hide it, and to show it off!

My family: My mom still asks me EVERY DAY when I am going to take it out. I keep saying that MAYBE I will take it out in a few years.... hahahahaha. My mom IS getting over it. She didn't want me to tell my dad, but she told him about a week after she found out. He thought it was pretty weird, I guess. I have never talked to him about it though... But my mom says something about it EVERY DAY at least once. It's ok though, I know she is just concerned for my well being. None of my relatives know. My cousin got her tongue pierced a few years ago, but she took hers out for some reason. But, none of the rest of my family knows and I don't think my mom wants to have them ever find out! My sister thinks it is disgusting too, but that's ok. I'm sure my family will get over it someday. They're getting better about it, though.

Thank You: I would like to personally thank Cindy from New Jersey for helping me through my tongue piercing experience. I read Cindy's story and e-mailed her (she is on AOL, too) and we talked allllll the time about the problems I was having, such as "Am I ever gonna be able to eat again normally? Can I kiss anyone yet? Is this normal? Is that normal? I am so hungry! I want to drink Beer, is it ok?" THANK YOU CINDY--YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER and you are AWESOME! Thank you also to BME for making such a wonderful web site for people like me, and all the pierce-ees out there!

Something fun to try: I used to be a Spanish major in college so this is where I got the idea from. I was saying a work with a rolling R. After about 3 weeks, try to roll your tongue ... like when you say ARRIBA!!! Like in the song, La Bamba? Say ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIBA! If you do it right, you can make a woodpecker sound! It's probably not a good thing to do, but it is really funny and it sounds just like a woodpecker! HAHAHAHA! TRY IT -- AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS!

Last words: It is tons of fun to play with and it's fun to show people that you got it, especially people who would never think that YOU would get such a thing done to yourself! The first week is pretty terrible and you will be tempted to "take the stupid thing out", but it really IS worth the week of not eating real food. But think of it this way, you lose at least 5 pounds! I did! Hahahahaha! I recommend taking a week off of work if you do decide to do it because all you will feel like doing is sleeping, watching TV, and NOT talking. You will sound stupid for about a week, so don't do it if you have to give a speech or a presentation or something like that any time soon after you get it pierced. Sorry this is sooooooo long, but I wanted to let you in on the whole experience. If anyone has ANY questions at all, I am totally willing to answer anything you might want to know, if I can help, that is. Pictures coming soon (I hope).

Mary Ann [email protected]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Feb. 1999
in Tongue Piercing

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