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On a rainy Saturday afternoon, my best friend and I were on a school trip in Bloomington, IL. We were antsy and I was irritated by the other people and it was time to shop. Our teacher took us to College Avenue and let us wander for an hour or two. We met up with some friends and wandered into a couple of shops... finding nothing we liked. My friend and I had talked earlier that week about getting pierced on Saturday. I had been wanting my eyebrow, tongue, or tragus pierced, but knew that I couldn't come home with something easily-noticed by my parents. Although I AM 18 (the legal piercing age in Illinois), they have made themselves overly clear that I need not pierce anything more (that is, nothing more than the three in both lobes and right basic cartilage) while they're paying my insurance.

So we decided to search out a piercing place to get my tragus done.


We were walking and walking and came across a building that had a huge sign saying "TATTOOS" and so we crossed the street to check it out. In our favor, there was a sign on the door that read, "Body piercing done here." I got a HUGE sick feeling in my stomach but ventured inside both doors.

We got in the waiting room and there were about 4 or 5 people sitting on couches and chairs, obviously waiting to mutilate their body in some form or another. I heard the calm buzz of a tattoo artist going at it in one of the rooms. I made my way nervously up to the desk to talk to the lady and told her what I wanted done. She said "Okay, I'll have to have you fill out this form" and I don't think she knew that I wasn't 100% sure about this. I looked up and it said "TRAGUS......$40.00" and turned back to my friends and said "Should I get this done???" with a pitiful look of despair in my eyes and they were all nodding and laughing at me. I filled out the paper and returned to a couch with the rest of my clan to wait.

While sitting there, a long-haired guy wearing these funky pants and a tight tee-shirt (not flattering at all) yelled tongue. Just as he said that, this macho looking kid that resembled Cartman on South Park jumped up and went in. We didn't hear anything but when he came out, he went to leave and turned to us and stuck out his tongue and said "See? Didn't even hurt." I am SO sure. He was just trying to be cool... I know it.

I knew it was my turn when the man peeked out after like 5 or 10 minutes and said "Are you getting the tragus?" I nodded and got up, almost falling back down I was so weak from being so so so nervous, and stumbled into the room. He directed me to sit on a chair, and I was facing him. I glanced down to what resembled something you would see in a dentist's office: a sterile white table with a big thick paper towel with his utensils on it... the main thing that caught my eye was the needle. I started to think about that when he said "Okay I need you to turn like this" and so I had to move, and turn away from the weapons I was so petrified of. This was good... I couldn't see them, so I wouldn't be so paranoid. He put a small clamp on my ear which hurt REALLY bad, and me with my eyes closed sat there breathing heavily. I don't know what he did but it hurt and I thought he had done it, but he didn't. So I sat with my eyes closed, and before I knew it, he had pierced my tragus. I didn't hear the cartilage crunch or pop like some people say, but after he put the ring in and took off the clamp, it felt so good, and I couldn't even feel the ring in there. I sat there while he put everything back in it's place, and set the needle in a little dish (I think he put it in this container hanging on the wall similar to those in doctor's offices, used for disposing of needles) and he began to tell me how to care for it. He said not to play with it a lot, and try not to sleep on it.

I walked out in the waiting room where my friend was laughing her butt off at a naked picture that was a tattoo on some guy's arm in a book...they were all like "Let me see it! Let me see it!" and so I pulled my hair up to show everyone. On the way home, my teacher asked if I was going to tell my parents and I was like "OF COURSE NOT!!!"

My mom and dad haven't noticed it but I was getting anxious so I told my little brother. He's cool and promised not to say anything.

Aftercare is something important. I don't play with it a lot...actually hardly ever. I clean it with a salt water solution (mix some salt into warm water and get it on a clean cotton ball.. wipe the front and back, this loosens the crusty stuff that dries from the discharge from your ear), and I also use an antiseptic solution to clean it with (I got it when I got my cartilage pierced). These past two days I have been doing the following procedure: MORNING--clean with saltwater, put Neosporin (anti-bacterial ointment) on the ring and GENTLY slide it through so that the ointment gets into the hole, and then again clean the entire thing with saltwater again.

Don't play with it a lot. If you do, you'll irritate it and it can get infected or very inflamed. My tragus is a little sore and swollen, but what can you expect? The saltwater is the thing that has helped the most because a warm salty solution cleanses and also it loosens up the discharge that comes out of the wound. Make sure if you get this done, to keep the ring clean too. If the ring has crusty stuff on it, it will eventually scratch your piercing because the ring moves freely and the crust will agitate your piercing making it infected, swollen, inflamed, and painful...



submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999
in Ear Piercing

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