Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My Long Awaited Piercing...
For anyone that has known me more than a couple hours, you know that I am slow to decide and slow to act. Some people call it being indecisive, some call it being cautious, some call it annoying. Anyway, my desire to have an little earring/stud in my upper ear (cartilage) has been with me since junior college (eighteen or so years old). I just have always thought it looked super cute and delicate.
Being as I am super cautious, especially when it involves inflicting voluntary pain on myself (funny since I dance on pointe for a job), you can see, can't you, why it took me so long to pierce my ear way up there? Most sources/people recommend going to a body piercing studio where they used a hollow needle to create the hole, then insert the earring. It's just safer for the cartilage that way, and easier to heal. I also, incidentaly, hate shots with a passion (I can never look), so the thought of a needle piercing my upper ear was a little scary.
I just finished my first season with DTDT, and I felt I needed some kind of mile-marker, to remember how I made it through, with God's carrying me through most of the hardest moments of course. I decided that this piercing was it, especially since I'd wanted to do it for so long.
After a lot of internet research (during which I learned there are ALOT of piercings stranger than the one I was considering), asking around, and hemming and hawing, I finally decided Bound by Design in downtown Denver was the place due to the good reviews and recommendations. With Casey and Sarah at my side, I walked into the brightly painted shop and the adventure began.
The bleached blonde, extremely tattooed and pierced girl at the glass counter greeted me. I glanced to my left and there was a room on the side of the shop where a guy was getting tattooed. I glanced into the glass counter which displayed lots and lots of earrings-- there were some crazy looking spirally looking things, plugs the size of racquetballs (the rings people use to stretch out their earlobes), and after that I stopped looking in order to stop my fast-mounting panic. She answered some last minute questions about the safety of this particular cartilage piercing and helped me pick out a small diamond stud that would soon be IN MY EAR (panic still mounting)... I then signed a paper that said I wouldn't sue them and paid for the earring and piercing. I made a quick visit to the bathroom so that if I happened to faint, I wouldn't pee in my pants without knowing it. While back there I looked in the mirror and asked myself, "What are you DOING." But then I thought about how terrified I was to perform a certain contemporary ballet piece earlier in the season, and I told myself, "If you can do that, you can definitely do this."
After waiting a couple minutes for the piercer to get everything sterilized in the piercing room, she called me back. Casey and Sarah went back with me, and I quickly noticed that she had lots of piercings-- cheek, lots in her ears, and lip. After cleaning and marking my ear, she had me check to see if I liked the placing. Then she had me lay down on this hospital-bed-looking thing. At this point I was getting really nervous and was trying really hard not to show it. I had Casey come hold my hand (I know... baby...) which helped immensely. She told me to take a few deep breaths (could she see how scared I was???). She came up really close and then told me to take another deep breath, that she was going to go ahead and get the first step done.
I felt a quick pierce of pain with the needle, almost like a shot, then it stopped. She said "Ok, now I am going to put the earring in, so another deep breath and you'll be done..." One more deep breath, and I felt one more pierce of pain and then that one stopped as well. I asked if that was all, because I had expected something far worse! She said it was done, and gave me a mirror to look at it.
I loved it! It was exactly what I wanted and perfectly placed. My ear was starting to feel very warm, but not painful. She then took me through the cleaning steps I would do at home for the next ten billion years (ok, maybe just the next few months, but it sounded like a lot). Care for a cartilage piercing is a little more involved than an ear lobe because this area of the ear gets less circulation and cartilage heals a lot more slowly. She then told me to take as long as I needed to continue laying down and as long as I needed before I left as well (apparently people have felt fine after a piercing, then drove off only to crash a couple minutes later due to fainting!). She was very professional and soothing, and took great care of me through the whole experience. After taking a couple pictures we walked out, me with a new (long awaited) earring! It is still feeling great after several days hours (it does hurt a bit when I clean it or bump it however), and hopefully this trend will continue.
The moral of the story? If Gina, the slow-as-a-turtle-cautious one, can do it (with many prayers uttered beforehand) you can. And if you decide to do it, I highly recommend Bound by Design if you live in the Denver area.