Getting The Tongue Ring I Feared I'd Never Have
I'm probably going to start my experience in a different way to most people on here by confessing that I used to think tongue piercings were disgusting. I just couldn't see the appeal in letting somebody stab a needle through my tongue, having a lisp, not being able to eat for days and all for what? A shiny piece of metal that most people wouldn't be able to see? That all changed last summer.
I had just watched the movie Thirteen with my friend.
I know what you're thinking, another teeny-bopper who copies the movie because it is an inspiration and just 'so cool.' And I admit, I took a liking to tongue piercings. But I was still only 15, and I knew I needed to be 16 with parental consent to get a tongue piercing at my studio of choice. This studio was Wild Style. So far, my tongue included, I have had 8 piercings. Like most teenage girls, I had allowed my ears to be subjected to the torture of piercing guns in Claire's, three times on each lobe and then on my cartilage. Before I expanded my knowledge of piercing, this also happened with my nostril piercing. I had my bellybutton pierced at the tender age of 12, and this is probably the reason it migrated within a few months and left me with ugly scar tissue.
I had my tragus pierced at Wild Style about 10 months ago, and I was impressed by how clean and professional the studio was. Before long, I began to get the 'piercing itch' again. I began looking at experiences on BME, and I kept coming back to the center tongue piercing. Something just made me want to really badly have this done. I basically fell in love with it. I tried to convince myself I wanted my anti-tragus pierced, but I kept looking at the tongue piercing pictures and made up my mind - this was the piercing that could scratch my itch. Now, my Mum has always been fairly casual when it comes to piercings. But she told me some time ago that the tongue was something she did not want me to do. She just thought they were disgusting.
My Dad said no immediately. Then I told a white lie to my Mum and told her I wouldn't need her consent because I was 16, as I knew Wild Style didn't usually ask you to bring a parent as long as you presented some form of ID. She just sighed and told me that she didn't want me to get it done but she knew I was going to go ahead anyway. I began to get excited, and the next day I called into Wild Style and asked some basic questions about tongue piercing, and asked the guy there to check out my tongue.
My hopes were crushed when he looked at the bottom of my tongue and said he wouldn't do it as I had 2 veins running down the center. I felt like crying, when he said that he knew a guy who would; a more experienced piercer who did tongue piercings practically everyday and worked at Wild Style every other Wednesday. I saw a glimmer of hope, and I was told to call the studio later that week to see if the guy would be in the next Wednesday. I was actually impressed the guy admitted he wasn't comfortable with doing it, as he could easily have given it a try and taken my money and possibly messed my tongue up, however he was honest with me and told me to call back later.
I did this, and was then told to come in on Wednesday morning. Thinking this was the day, I grabbed my passport and a friend and went before one of my GCSE exams. However I was frustrated to find that the guy wasn't there after all. I gave the guy that owns Wild Style, and who pierced my tragus, my phone number so that he could ring me when he'd heard from the guy who would hopefully be able to pierce my tongue. I had him photocopy my ID, as I needed to send my passport off to have it renewed. Bitterly disappointed, I went to get some food with my friend and then realized I'd given the wrong phone number.
I returned to the studio with the correct one, only to be told that the studio had been trying to call me because the guy would have been able to come for a short while to pierce my tongue - but because it was the wrong number, this hadn't been possible. Imagine how annoying this was! This time I made sure I gave the number, and now I could only wait for the go-ahead. I don't know about anybody else, but I hate waiting. I'm very impatient and not knowing whether I was suitable for this piercing or not was torture for me.
Later that week I received a text message saying it would be possible to pierce my tongue next week on Wednesday.
I immediately called into the studio and booked an appointment for 10:30AM, just 20 minutes after my Science GCSE exam. Well now it was all booked, I began to get nervous. But after all the messing around I was just grateful to finally have an appointment. I was more nervous about the possibility that my tongue wouldn't be able to be pierced due to the vein situation, although I was told it most probably was. I did my research with the help of BME and other websites, and Wednesday rolled around fairly quickly.
I still hadn't told my parents I had booked an appointment for my piercing, as I knew my Mum would freak if she knew about the vein situation. That Wednesday morning I sat in my Science exam feeling very nervous. I had 2 friends who were coming with me.
The exam finished 10 minutes later than expected, so I had to rush from school and to Wild Style, where I was relieved to see the guy that was piercing my tongue would be there, finally! While he got things ready, I signed a bunch of forms such as medication I was on, whether I was prone to keloids etc. Finally I could go through, and by now I was feeling pretty scared, but just glad I was getting it done. I sat down on a stool and the guy had me flip my tongue up so that he could check out my veins and he told me he could definitely pierce it. I was so glad but at the same time it was a feeling like "Oh my god, I'm actually going to do this!"
The guy sprayed my tongue with some numbing stuff that tasted like banana and told me to swirl with it but not to swallow it, as it tasted gross. He told me to spit it out when my mouth stopped tingling. After about a minute he was waiting, but I could still feel a slight tingling and I was scared it wasn't numbed. However I just wanted this over and done with, so I spat it out, and was surprised to feel my mouth and lips were numb. The guy dried my tongue with a paper towel and then quickly marked it and placed the clamp on. I was surprised that he didn't ask me to check the placement, but I knew I had a pretty difficult tongue to pierce and that there weren't many options. The clamps felt like a slight pressure on my tongue, and before I knew it my tongue was pierced! I closed my eyes so I didn't see the needle, I just felt a small pinch and then the jewellery was in, just a plain barbell.
My mouth was so numb and it felt so weird having this huge barbell in my mouth. I was surprised that I was bleeding quite a bit, but the guy stemmed it a little with a paper towel and told me it was normal. I was then given a cup of water to rinse my mouth out with. Let me tell you, it felt impossible to spit! I didn't want to knock the barbell or anything. I checked it in the mirror and despite the blood, I fell in love with it.
The guy told me to rinse my water out after smoking, avoid spicy foods for a week and to rinse 3 times a day with a mouthwash, he recommended Listerine watered down. I was then told to return within 10-14 days to have my barbell downsized, given an aftercare sheet and sent on my way. The first thing I did was to take two Ibuprofen and buy an ice-cold Slush Puppy. I also had to buy a bottle of water to rinse my mouth out with, as there was still quite a bit of bleeding. I dragged my friends to the chemist where I bought a new toothbrush and a bottle of Dentyl mouthwash, which was alcohol-free and which I knew was a good mouthwash.
I then went home, and had to face my Mum's wrath. At first she was furious I'd gone behind her back, and it wasn't until a few days later that she cooled down. Thankfully, my parents let me keep my tongue ring in.
And now for the aftermath :)
That night, I drank two Slush Puppies and attempted to eat a bowl of soft mashed potato. It didn't work very well so I had some ice-cream instead. I was surprised to see my tongue hadn't swollen very much, and I took some more Ibuprofen and went to bed. The next day I awoke with a throbbing pain in my mouth. Seriously, this is about the worst the pain got, for me anyway. My tongue was also bleeding a little, so I cleaned it and took more Ibuprofen.
That day I had two exams, so I went in with a bottle of ice that gradually melted and allowed me some relief. Of course lots of people wanted me to show them my tongue but I had been told not to stick my tongue out for at least a week, so I didn't. I survived my exams, and for lunch I just about managed some minestrone soup and some ice-cream. That night I had spaghetti hoops with mashed potato, managing to eat most of it. I also ate a slice of bread, making sure I tore it up first and placed the chunks on my back teeth.
I didn't bite down on the bar, and began to get more confidant with the piercing. The next day was Friday, and I noticed a little bit of swelling. Once again my piercing woke me up at 6AM with pain and bleeding. By now I was able to talk a little better. And then there was Saturday. Now, I spend Saturday's working in a delicatessen and so I have to speak all day. Imagine my horror when I woke up on Saturday morning with a tongue twice the size, throbbing pain and speech that was barely understandable.
I doped myself up on Ibuprofen, took two bottles of iced water and dragged myself to work. I survived the day, although I probably sounded very strange indeed. The next week wasn't so bad, my tongue stopped bleeding and I gradually got used to talking and eating with the piercing. I loved the reactions I got, such as the one from my grandmother, an Italian Catholic..she wasn't impressed at all. I began to eat solids again and could talk more.
On Sunday, 10 days after I got the piercing, I decided to be stupid and go smoke weed with my friends. However I did rinse my mouth out with water afterwards and clean it as soon as I got home, and thankfully no problems. I did avoid alcohol however until 2 weeks after the piercing, and the bar change. For aftercare I brushed my teeth three times a day followed by rinsing with Dentyl, and rinsed my mouth with water after eating.
Two weeks after I got the piercing I returned to Wild Style to get the bar downsized, as the swelling had gone down a lot and the bar was really irritating me. I picked a bar with pretty glittery purple balls, and I can't describe how much better my tongue felt with a shorter bar in. I looked at my original bar and it seems huge in comparison!
I've kept it just in case the balls from my current bar fall off, although I tighten them twice a day to make sure they don't. The only problem I've had with my tongue piercing is a slightly raised, red lump forming around the top hole. However when I had the bar changed, the guy said it was just because the barbell had been too big. Sure enough its been 2 weeks since I've had the smaller bar in and the lump is getting smaller everyday and is barely even there anymore, I am confidant that it will totally disappear by the time my piercing is fully healed.
Overall, I love this piercing. The only problem is fighting the temptation to constantly play with it. I am still following the original aftercare routine, and I am so glad I was able to get this piercing. It really hurts so little, I know I had mine numbed but I still had to go through the hellish 2 weeks afterwards the same as everyone else and I can honestly say..they are not that hellish. Of course this depends on every person, but I would say my tongue was pretty painless. I hope reading my experience helped you and I would like to recommend Wild Style for people in the North Yorkshire area, because the guys there are great, they know what they're doing and they really go out of their way to help you.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 July 2007
in Tongue Piercing