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I'm always doing "something" for everyone else and lately, I've been feeling that I needed to do something for "me." I want to give a little background and some reasons for getting my tongue pierced. I'm a 28 year old, suburban housewife, my husband, Don and I have been together since I was 17 years old. We have a son who will be 9 in June and a daughter who is 15 months old. I have been thinking of getting my tongue pierced for a while. (I have an oral fixation) I kept this to myself at first, thinking Don wouldn't go for it, but to my surprise, he was all for it! I really wanted to do it, even though it was totally out of character. If you looked at me, you would never guess. Don and I talked about it and decided to go the following Saturday after he got off of work at 12 noon.
We're fairly new to this area and didn't know of any tattoo parlors, so I started looking in the Yellow Pages. I started calling all the tattoo parlors that offered body piercing. I asked for the price and asked questions about their sterilization procedures. It was also important to me to be pierced from the top to the bottom, so that was one of my main questions. I had heard that sometimes scar tissue forms at the exit point of the piercing and I didn't want that on the top of my tongue. I finally decided to go to Excalibur. They pierced from the top to the bottom and the girl on the phone was very helpful. I also had heard good things about Excalibur, after talking to some people about having my tongue pierced. Plus, I liked their ad which said, "Body Piercing done by Professionally Trained Certified Piercers" which none of the other ads said. I had received quotes between $50 and $65, their price was $55. I asked if I needed to make an appointment and they said, "No, just come in."
I was looking forward to it all week long! I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. As the day drew closer I could actually feel my heart beat faster when I thought about doing it. I had done extensive research for weeks before, on the pros and cons-via the Internet and mainly BME, so I basically knew what I was in for and what to expect.
I had been telling everyone all week, that I was going to do it and getting all kinds of opinions, as you can imagine. Well, I'm at the age where, I appreciate your opinion, but in reality it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks! What makes me happy, as long as I'm not hurting any one else, then I'm going to do it.
My sister is 2 years younger than me and she is also married with 2 children. I guess you can say that I have always been the more adventurous and rebellious one. I was the one who stayed out late, or didn't come home at all, the one who liked a new "boy" every week, the one who came home drunk after a night of hanging out with my friends and the one who got a tattoo. I called and told her last weekend what I wanted to do, she was surprised to say the least. I don't think that she really believed that I was going to do it. Then on Tuesday, I called and told her that I was definitely going to do it. Her first response was to call me a "freak" and I returned the favor by calling her a "prude"-some things never change with sisters, name calling, that is. At the end of the conversation she was still referring to me as a "freak" but said, "If this is what I wanted to do, then do it."
I also told my Dad and he was very "shocked" and asked me not to do it. I had told him that it was something I have been thinking about for a while and that I WAS going to do it! I was so excited all week, everyone I talked to (friends and family) I told what I was going to do. As, I said before I received many different responses, my cousin told me that it was "awesome" and that she wanted to do it as well, but her boyfriend would freak out, if she did. My uncle called me "nuts," my Grandmother pleaded with me not to do it, and my son thought it was the coolest idea in the world! He said to me, which I thought was cute, "Mom you were cool before, but now you're going to be even cooler!" I laughed and almost cried at the same time. And Don was intrigued to say the least.
Day 1-Saturday, May 21, 1999 (The day of my piercing)
When I woke up I told myself, "Hey, today is the day, I'm really going to do this!" I fed the kids and myself some breakfast and then went to check my e-mail. My Dad was online and I don't think he took me seriously when I told him the week before that I was going to do this. I reminded him, that today was the "day" and he said, "Please don't do this." I responded with, "Why not?" He said, "Why do it?" Then I said again, "Why not?" At this point I guess he figured, he was wasting his "typing" and he said, "Never mind." With that we said good-bye and I told him that I would let him know how it went.
When Don got home from work, I hopped in the shower and started to get ready to go. When I came out of the shower, I decided that I should probably eat some lunch before I go do this, considering it may be my last "real" meal for a couple of days.
After getting ready and eating lunch, we got our things together and took off to the store to get some Biotene. I heard that it does the same job as Listerine but was not as harsh and I thought it would be a good idea to get it before I had the piercing done. We arrived at Excalibur at 4:20 p.m. We walked in and the guy working (George) came to the desk and asked what he could do for me. George was not what I expected at all, he was very "normal" looking and very nice and had a great sense of humor. I explained that I wanted to get my tongue pierced. He asked me to stick out my tongue and then he reached in the glass case and chose the correct size and length of the barbell. He put it in a small plastic cup and added some disinfectant to the cup, "to be safe," he then asked for my ID and copied it on the paper work that I was to fill out. I filled out the paper work and he told me that it was $55 and I paid him.
There were 2 "normal looking" guys in the shop before I got there and George told me, that he was the only one working in the shop today and that he just had to touch up this other guy's tattoo and then he could pierce my tongue. He said, that it wouldn't take him long at all and that he should be done at 4:40 p.m. Which was OK with me, that wasn't long to wait. Surprisingly enough I wasn't feeling nervous at all, which I thought I would, once I got there. George handed me the aftercare instructions and told me if I had any questions to shout them out to him and he would answer them.
Another girl came into the shop with her boyfriend and said she wanted a tattoo and George told her it would be about a half hour. Then right at 4:40 p.m. he was done with the first guy's tattoo and came out and told me to give him a minute to get set up and then he could pierce my tongue. The girl who had come in, whipped her head around really fast, to see who George was talking to. She looked at me, like I was crazy. It was funny, to say the least.
George called out to me and told me to come on back. I went back into the room and sat in the little black chair they had set up. I sat there, thinking, "I'm really going to do this!" He then reached in a drawer and got a new individually wrapped needle (14 gauge) and then he put on his gloves. He dipped the needle into some Vaseline looking stuff which he had scooped out of the bottle with a tongue depressor looking thing. He pulled me over to him in the chair and told me to rinse my mouth with the mouthwash he gave me. He then told me to lean forward as close to him as possible and stick out my tongue as far as I could. He had a pair of clamps in his hand and another pair that didn't actually clamp closed. The other pair of clamps had a circle at the end of it and that's the one he used to hold my tongue out. He grabbed my tongue with this clamp and blotted my tongue with a paper towel to dry it off and then just started going for it, with no warning or anything, which to tell the truth, is what I wanted him to do anyway. I didn't want to hear the step by step plan. So, I took a deep breath and could feel the point of the needle on my tongue and then he says, "Oh shit, I hate lips like this." I was like, "What?" He said, "Your bottom lip is in the way, I don't want to put a hole in that too, otherwise I would have to charge you for that." And he laughed. I said, "Are you trying to say that I have big lips?" With that, we both just laughed. (Note: They are NOT big, just full and voluptuous!)
With me being a little nervous at this point, I had forgotten to tell George that I wanted the barbell to go back as far as it could, so this was my chance to tell him. I was afraid it wouldn't be able to go back too far, because of my webbing. George said that it wasn't a problem. Then he said, "OK, let's do this." So, I stuck my tongue out again and he grabbed it with his clamp and at that point I closed my eyes, cuz I knew this was "it" and I didn't want to see the needle coming towards my mouth. The next thing I knew, I felt a little pinch and he was screwing the ball on the barbell. He used the barbell to push the needle the rest of the way through. That was it, it was done! I got the biggest rush from it! I didn't drool or anything. George said, "Good job, you did very good!" He then handed me a mirror to take a look at it, it was exhilarating, I loved it!
Don watched me have it done and he asked me to stick my tongue out and he said it was bleeding. So, George handed me a new paper towel and told me to blot it and it would stop bleeding if it was dry, which it did, it bled very little and only for 2 or 3 minutes. George explained the aftercare instructions and asked me if I had any questions and I said, "No." George told me if I had any questions, to not hesitate to call him and ask. He then told me to go get a Slurpee. I thanked him and gave him a $5 tip.
We left the tattoo parlor and headed off to 7-Eleven for a Slurpee. I got the biggest one they had called the "Brain Freeze." The coldness of the Slurpee felt good, but sucking on the straw, HURT! At this point my tongue wasn't really hurting it just ached a little and my speech was a little slurred, but nothing major.
We went home and I couldn't stop looking at it in the mirror. I noticed that George had put it in on a slant, going towards the front. That way it was as far back as I wanted without hitting my webbing. About an hour later, I noticed that it had started to swell, but surprisingly enough it was only minimal swelling. I sat and read the aftercare instructions again and they said that I needed to get some Gly-Oxide and that it was a very important step in the healing process and that it shouldn't be omitted.
About an hour later I had decided to go to the grocery store and get our groceries for the week. My son had decided that he wanted to go with me. The first thing we did when we got to the store was head over to buy another large Slurpee, so I could drink it throughout the store. I went to the toothpaste isle and looked for the Gly-Oxide and put it in the basket. I also bought a box of popsicles to suck on to reduce the swelling. My son kept asking me throughout the store to stick my tongue out, he wanted to see it. He just kept saying, "Cool!"
When we got home, I was starving and decided to try and eat something. Well, needless to say, it was virtually impossible to chew, because of the swelling and the barbell. You take for granted how much your tongue is involved in eating and swallowing. So, I grabbed a popsicle and even that was impossible to suck on. At that point, I just gave up and drank a lot of water. It wasn't bad and I was willing to do what I had to do. I continued through the night with the mouthwash and all the aftercare instructions. I even had to relearn how to spit the mouthwash out! Then I went to bed, I was a little scared of the possibility of swallowing the barbell in my sleep. (I have a cousin who got his tongue pierced and he swallowed his barbell in his sleep.)
Day 2 Sunday, May 23, 1999
Wow! I woke up and still no serious pain, just a little aching! I was sure it was going to be killing me this morning, but it's not! The swelling is the same, no more and no less. I'm still loving it and carefully following the aftercare instructions. I was able to eat a half a bagel for breakfast. I had to break it into small pieces and chew on the right side of my mouth and it took FOREVER! I had to actually push the food into the side of my mouth to avoid the barbell. But it was worth it! I took an Advil for the aching and it worked really well! I'm still a little in "awe" that I actually did it! But I have absolutely no regrets! I laid down for a nap and skipped lunch. For dinner I had half of a steak sandwich and a couple of fries. I still had to break my food up into little pieces and chew on the right side. Now, a little over 24 hours later, I am still very pleased with my decision to get pierced.
Day 3 Monday, May 24, 1999
Well, everything is still great! I'm eating normally now, still a little difficult and I still have to be careful not to bite the barbell. The swelling has still not gone down, but that is the only hassle I'm having. Getting more used to the barbell being in my mouth. I can't wait until I can get a shorter barbell, though, this one is too long! It keeps hitting my teeth, if I cough or sneeze and if I'm not careful when I do, it gets caught on my bottom front teeth. OUCH!
I ran into some people I know and they wondered if I went through with it, at first I said, "No," and about a half hour later I stuck my tongue out at them. The first question out of both of their mouths was, "Did it hurt?" They didn't even notice it or notice that I was talking a little funny.
I've been taking good care of my tongue and following the after care instructions very carefully, but now I've noticed a little pus at the piercing site. I'll try some Listerine before bed and see if that helps.
Day 4 Tuesday, May 25, 1999
I woke up this morning and my tongue was feeling a little weird. I looked in the mirror and the swelling has gone down a little bit, but now around the piercing site it's a little raised and swollen. I'm wondering if it's from the Listerine. And now I'm starting to wonder if it's infected? I really don't see how because I've been doing everything that I'm supposed to. I'll continue my daily ritual and see how it does. If it's not better by tomorrow I will call George and see what I can do.
Day 5 Wednesday, May 26, 1999
Everything is the same, except my tongue is not infected like I thought. It's still swollen and it's pressing against the bottom ball, which is uncomfortable! I've been taking Advil, hoping that it will help. When I wake up you can see impressions of my teeth on the sides of my tongue! Talking is a little better, but the "lisp" is still there. S's and Th.'s are the worst. Talking on the phone is funny and when I talk fast, I stumble over some words. Can't wait to get a shorter barbell! Eating normally, but still having to break my food into small pieces. Still loving my pierced tongue and have NO REGRETS!
If anything changes I will be sure to post it, but I expect a full recovery! Thank you for reading my story and I'm sorry it was so long. I just have one more thing to say, if you are thinking of getting your tongue pierced, DO IT! You won't regret it. Reality is, it's your body, your tongue and you can do with it, what you please. Society will always have something "negative" to say about people who do things that are on the "edge." America is a great country, but "we" as a "whole" are very uptight and need to loosen up and "live and let live," as they say! Who really cares what other people have to say, anyway? You only live once, so make the most of it! Don't let other people's opinions hold you back from experiencing the things you want to experience, life is too short and who wants to be 80 years old and think about all the things they "WISHED" they had done? Not me! Besides if you don't like it or grow out of it, you can always take it out and let the hole close up!
Good Luck! Tracy
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 1999
in Tongue Piercing