Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Getting My Tongue Pierced
That picture was taken directly after I returned from having my tongue pierced. At that moment I was happy that I had gone and done it, yet at the same time my tongue was throbbing a little bit and I was worried what would be in store for me during the healing process. Because I didn't give you a real account of what happened in my previous post, I'll lay it out here.
The process happened so quickly, much more quickly than I imagined. So quickly that I had hardly any time to process emotion at all. I walked in to the shop, intending to find out tongue piercings, ask some questions, then *perhaps* get my tongue pierced. Instead I wound up sitting in the chair, prepping for the piercing within 10 minutes. I didn't really have time to think or be very afraid of the piercing process. I just kind of took it step by step. First, the Listerine. Next, the clamps. That part was hard, because I'd stick my tongue out, then everytime he'd go after it with the clamps, my tongue would back away automatically. I really had to concentrate to actually let him grasp my tongue with the clamp.
I found the tongue-clamping thing to be pretty uncomfortable. He pulled my tongue out, and at that point my eyes closed until the process was finished. I didn't want to know when he was going to do it -- I'm one of those people that ask not to be told when I'll be stuck with the needle; just do it and I'll be fine (and I promise I won't jump!). So I was there with my tongue clamped and pulled out, eyes closed, and nervous. Oddly enough I wasn't scared, only nervous. I waited, and felt something poke my tongue for a few moments. I wondered if that was it. My question was quickly answered when I felt him start to shove the needle through my tongue. It felt so weird that I can't even explain it. It *almost* hurt, it hinged on pain, but it never quite got there. At the same time, it was very uncomfortable and odd, enough so that I made a "uuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound the whole way through the piercing. It also took longer than I antipicated -- my belly button piercing was done in a fraction of a second, this one took what felt like a couple seconds to get the needle through.
"Okay, okay ... it's pierced! But you have to keep your tongue out so I can get the jewelry in!" I hear the guy say. At that point I was fine. Yes, I was drooling everywhere (and bleeding, although I didn't know that because I had my eyes closed) but the hard and scary part was finished. But it didn't sound like the piercer was fine. I heard him panting very harshly, and I could tell by his breathing he was a bit nervous. Why? Was I bleeding too much? Was it the noise I made while I got a needle shoved through my tongue? Does he just get nervous while he does it in general? I guess I shall never know, but it was very odd to hear him pant like that.
I kept my eyes closed while he threaded the jewelry through. The only thing on my mind at that moment was why he sounded so scared. "Okay, it's done! You can roll your tongue back in now!" I looked down at the kleenex he gave me and noticed how it had blood splats all over it. I knew the tongue was a bloody piercing, but I still wasn't prepared for it (my belly button hadn't bled at all). I got the Listerine again, only this time it was black when I spit it back out. I got up, looked in the mirror and noticed how it was still bleeding. I asked the piercer, who said it would bleed for a while.
Even though the piercing itself hadn't really hurt, my tongue was throbbing afterwords. It felt like I had just stuck something through my tongue and injured it (I know, imagine that, eh?). The piercer made some small talk while I paid for the piercing, but I found it hard and painful to talk already. I knew that would happen, but somehow I expected it to be a delayed reaction and thus wasn't prepared for the immediate change. 20 minutes after walking in, I was headed out the door to go home!
As I walked out, the guy hands me his card. "My name's Biscuit, by the way. Call if you have questions." Wow. First, I let myself get pierced without even asking the piercer's name, and second, I just let myself get pierced by a guy named Biscuit! I struggled with regrets as I drove home -- I was supposed to be a mature mother of two yet I was acting like a stupid teenager, my tongue was injured and letting me know it, I wouldn't be able to talk or eat for a week, and I had to go home and fess all this to the hubby. And the hardest part was yet to come: healing and recovery!
Wow! I didn't realize that this blog entry of mine had become so popular. Because this post gets daily views now, I thought I'd give a bit of an update. It's been close to 3 years since I got my tongue pierced and yes, it is still pierced. I love my tongue piercing and have no plans to get rid of it anytime in the near future. I noticed some people had left questions, so here are some answers:
Q. How long was it before you could eat?
A. I was on a liquid diet for a good 4 days before slowly transitioning to more solid foods. Within a week I could eat any texture food I wanted to but I had to be careful of spices. Anything with too much garlic or other strong spice really burned my piercing for about two weeks.
Q. Is it easy to hide?
A. Yes. As long as you're aware that you need to hide it you shouldn't have a problem doing so. Practice talking in front of a mirror and you will see how liberally you have to talk to show your tongue piercing. While you will be able to visibily hide it, your speech will most definitely be affected. You will have a serious speech impediment while your tongue is still swelling. I recall being in the elevator one unfortunate day with my boss's boss, 3 days after getting my tongue pierced. I was praying he wouldn't talk to me but he did. It took every bit of effort to try to talk with as little slur as possible but I didn't fully succeed. If you have a job where you have to talk (telemarketing, sales rep, etc) then you'd better plan on 5-7 days to be able to control how you speak. If you wait 4 days or so, you'll be able to speak, but your customers will probably assume you have a speech impediment.
Now that I know this page is very active I will keep an eye on it. Please ask any questions you have and I'll try to address them.