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"I'm here to help clean up the blood.."

Stretching has been a very long and painful journey for me, and for 7 years worth of work I only had these dinky little 3/4" lobes to show for it. When I decided to move forward from the size I'd been for over 2 years I realised two things: 1. My left ear was thinning at the bottom and 2. I had a blowout and some pretty good sized keloids on my right ear that I felt would make the process more difficult. My first priority was fixing the problems before going any bigger, so I went about looking for someone to remove my keloids and blowout. I went to Brian Decker in Brooklyn. He said the blowout wasn't too bad, but the keloids could be removed fine. That procedure went well, and for 2 weeks I kept jewelry out of my right ear while it healed. After I thought it was healed enough to put jewelry back in, I found that only 5/8" could just barely fit. This was fine, because Brian told me I could try downsizing to coax the blowout back into place, but a few months went by and it wasn't making and progress and it didn't want to move in its size either.

When I was leaving Brian's shop he told me his friend at a shop in Belleville could take the stitches out. I didn't go to him to take out the stitches but I remembered the shop name and looked him up. His online portfolio didn't have any surgical stuff but I called him anyway. I told him my story and he said he thought he saw me on BME a while ago after my surgery. I came in a little while later for a consultation and he said I would be a good candidate for cutting. I couldn't come up with a size at first; I wanted to be as big as possible, but we decided an inch would be a good enough size. He wanted the scar tissue from the surgery to settle a little more before the cut so he said to wait another month before doing it.

In the meantime I ordered some glass tunnels to use and when they arrived.. man were they huge! Maybe I was making a mistake, maybe that's too big. But the more I looked at them the more excited I got.

The day of the procedure I worked from 7:30 am to 2 pm and was running on around 4 hours of sleep. I tried to take a quick nap after work so I would be well rested for the hour long drive but that didn't work out. I got there and we talked about the different methods there were. Originally I was leaning towards getting stitches to minimise bleeding and healing time, but that would involve removing a lot of tissue so after Dominick's really helpful suggestions I decided to just get them slit and have the plug go right in. One of the tattoo artists from upstairs came down and was joking around with us, and I realised he was going to stay for the procedure and I asked him "why are you here?" He said "to help mop up the blood." and I laughed. They gave me two shirts to change into so I didn't get blood on mine. Then he got the earrings out of the autoclave and everything was set up. He got a little needle full of xylocaine and put it in my left ear. Those injections hurt so I held his assistant's hand. Then, blood started dripping out of my ear and I panicked. I couldn't feel anything in my ear though so I let Dominick do his thing. He clamped and cut, and what I thought would be a quick slice turned out to be a couple minutes of sawing, clamping, pushing, and pulling. When it was finally done I was shaking and my hands were sweating because the two guys struggling over me fumbling with my ear had stressed me out, even though I couldn't feel a thing. I needed a break, so they went upstairs to smoke and I laid back in the chair and took some pictures with my phone. They came back and injected my right ear, this time with more xylocaine, I think because it would be a bigger cut. This one took less time, there was no sawing, but at one point he pulled out a hemostat and wouldn't tell me what he was doing with it. They cleaned the blood off my ear and I looked in the mirror and a lot of emotions came over me. The first was an "oh my go d they are so huge!" feeling, which turned into complete adoration soon after. They were a bloody mess but I just wanted to stare at them for hours.

We went upstairs so I could relax. The right ear kept bleeding and at some points didn't seem like it was gonna stop. Blood did have to be cleaned up off the floor. Dominick let me stay and kept me company and after some cigarettes, Chinese food, and Smirnoff ice I decided I had to go before I was overcome by pain. It was midnight at that point, I had been there around 6 hours. Dominick taped a paper towel to my face so blood wasn't running down my face and neck while I was driving. He is such a sweetheart and I recommend him to anyone for any procedure.

When I got home I immediately took a shower as he recommended I do. The paper towel was pretty saturated in blood and the right ear looked significantly worse than it did at first, while the left looked better. Lots of blood dripped off in the shower, but as a female I'm not afraid of a little blood on the bottom of the tub. I put a towel over my pillows which immediately got bled on. The pain at this point was awful, but not unbearable. I stayed up an extra hour to take another dose of tylenol, and I surprisingly slept for 7-8 hours, a lot more sleep than I was counting on getting.

This is only my first day and it definitely looks a lot worse than it feels. My right ear is bleeding a lot because the cut was bigger, and as soon as I clean up the blood more comes pouring out so I'm just going to leave it alone. Aftercare is easy enough: soak with sea salt water at least once a day, spray with h2ocean a few times a day. I'm not sure if I want to stretch any further but Dominick said I could start again in a few months. I'm very glad I had this done, I feel like it has given me a jump start back into stretching after all these years of complications.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Dominick
Studio: Starlight+Tattoo
Location: Belleville%2C+NJ

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