February 23, 2009
Elbow Piercing, to a point
So there I was on Friday night, one week after my nose piercing, at home, doing what most fabulous gals do on a regular Friday night: I was plucking my eyebrows. Now, plucking my eyebrows sometimes makes me want to sneeze.
And, I had to sneeze. Since I was up close and personal with the magnifying mirror attached to my medicine chest mirror, and because I didn’t want to have to drag out the Windex, I covered my sneeze with my right hand.
Ok, normally I’m not that much of a sneezer, but this one was relatively strong. Strong enough to jar something loose, anyways. Something shot out of my nose, into my hand, ricocheted off my palm, pinged against my glasses, and arced into the sink, where it rolled to a precarious stop on the metal ring that guards the drain. Hmm… I had no idea what that could have been.
Oh, no! Wait! Could it be? Nope, my nose stud was still in place. What was that little tiny metal thing? Ah, I deduced, after sticking my finger up my nose to investigate: it’s the protective end for the sharp point of the post on the inside side of the nose stud. I closed the drain and rolled the miniscule ball up into my fingers, and dropped it into a waiting capful of rubbing alcohol. After a few swishes, I pinched the little bead between my fingers. I couldn’t really get an adequate grip on it, so I decided to stick it to one of those miniature bandage tabs, and attempted to reattach it to the stud. It’s not so easy to steady a post in your nose while trying to manipulating a tiny ball immobilized on a bandage back onto it.
After a few attempts, and some eye-watering, I decided to see if the thing was even fixable. I imagined taking the “I’m-supposed-to-wear-this-for-4-weeks-before-taking-it-out” stud out for just a few seconds would be ok. And, it was, to a point. The nose jewelry wasn’t repairable. I just couldn’t get the end back on the post. So, I rinsed the stud in alcohol (the rubbing kind still), and reinserted into my nose. It wasn’t a big deal. It stung a little, but nothing worth crying over.
Until, I realized, the stud would no longer stay in. Apparently twisting and stretching your nostril while aiming to put the back on a nose piercing tends to make the inside of your nose swell up… just a bit. The stud would go in, but it would also pop right out from the pressure of the swollen inner tissues. No, problem. I just grabbed another one of those normally useless mini bandages that come in a multipack and taped the stud into staying in my nostril.
Voila! It worked, to a point. The stud stayed in, but did not come out the other side – the side in my nostril. Now, I started to get a little concerned. You see, if the stud was in one side, but not out the other, the inside part of the hole would close up. That would not be good.
At that point I made the decision to suck up my embarrassment and jumped into my car. Didn’t even bother with a coat. The salon is just a few miles away. It wouldn’t take long to get another unbroken stud inserted into my still cute but a little swollen nose.
The salon was closed. 8:15 pm on Friday night, and it was closed! Hadn’t bothered to bring my cell phone – short trip, right? So, home I flew. I dialed the salon as soon as I got home, figuring they would open around 9:00 or even 10:00 pm. Nope – closed on Friday nights at 8:00 pm: wouldn’t open again until 2:00pm on Saturday. If I waited until 2:00 pm the next day to get a new stud, the inner pierced part would be closed up, for sure. Now what?
I became a strong willed woman. I used my ear piercer stud – the old fashioned kind with a sharp point that they used to shoot from staple-gun like apparatuses when you had your ears pierced. It worked like a charm. Except it was too long and too sharp and stabbed the tender opposite inside of my nostril. I couldn’t get the back on that one, either. It’s a really weird angle you have to achieve to get that to happen, trust me. I considered and tried wrapping another one of those useless mini bandages around the pointy part. Uncomfortable and slippery, it didn’t do enough to keep the stud in place. Now what?
Panic-time. I called my neighbor who recently patronized another salon. “Do they do piercings?” I asked. “Yup,” was the reply. Great, I thought. Next on my list, ask a friend to accompany me. After all, I was going to be headed into strange territory as I’m not related by marriage to that tattoo parlor owner. Back into the car, a few miles further, and there we were. I felt a little like I was cheating on my step-niece and piercer, but I got over that and went in anyway.
“I need help,” I announced to the woman at the counter. As I explained my dilemma, she kept saying “I’ve never heard of that happening.” I kept trying to describe the little ball that fell off my stud. “I’ve never heard of that,” she said. After a while, I gave in. “Look,” I said, “All that really matters is that I need a new stud with a back of some sort to keep it in my nose because this piercing is only a week old.” So, we looked at all kinds of studs in different sizes and styles, with screw backs, straight, curled… there were a lot of choices. Due to the swelling, it became clear I could not get a straight bar stud. I needed the curly “screw-back” type. I picked out a teeny-tiny pink crystal. The screw back sort of looks like a spring that has been stretched a little. You actually have to screw it into your nose. I opted to wait my turn to get some help with that. I was feeling a little unsure of my abilities, and didn’t want to get home and find that I was too squeamish to do it myself.
The owner was otherwise occupied tattooing 3 gentlemen in his cramped work space. Still, he interrupted his art applying to call me in. It wasn’t as easy as either of us had hoped. There was a bit of re-piercing involved. But two minutes later, I was plugged up properly, and happier for it. It felt a little weird, but I was told I’d get used to it.
As we got in the car to head for home, 2 hours later, I pulled down the visor to get a gander at my cute pink stud. What? The screwy part of the screw back was sticking out of my nostril. Oh, good grief. I wasn’t about to go back in, so I figured I could live with it until 2:00 pm on Saturday. I planned to be waiting eagerly at the salon door as it opened for business.
In the meantime, my friend who was kind enough to go with me announced she was feeling a bit light headed. I cracked open the passenger side window for her. “I’m afraid I’m going to hurl,” she said, at which point, I began to get a little uptight. Ok, a little more uptight, whatever…. Things went ok, though. I dropped her off at her house, and continued on to my driveway just a few feet up the road.
“Phew, what an adventure,” I thought as I parked the car and tiredly stepped out. Onto ice. Down I went, perfect aim on the left elbow. I now have an idea why they call it the funny bone. That’s because when you’re lying on your back, looking at the clear winter stars as ice melts against your back and butt, you realize that you just spent 3 hours trying to save a hole you purposefully had punched in your nose, and that sometimes your life is kind of amusing. Painful, but amusing, to a point.
My elbow hurt… really bad. I finally got myself up off the ground wondering if any of my neighbors had seen my ice-capades. If they had, no one had come to my rescue. But then again, they can’t be faulted for not wanting to run over and help a newly re-pierced gal who seemed content to be lying on her driveway laughing at the mid-evening sky.
I was thinking of calling the brave friend who went off on this wild adventure with me, but realized that, at this point, it might discourage her from going on further adventures with me. It turns out that she had barely made it to her front steps when she lost it. Her prediction had become true. I’m glad I wasn’t around for that, because I probably would have joined her. I’m really open to suggestion when it comes to throwing up – if I even hear it, I want to do it. And I hate to do it, but that’s an entirely different tangent we're not gonna explore right now.
In any case, I started thinking that alcohol was needed – not the rubbing kind. But opening a bottle would have been wasteful, to a point. Although, the Pentamere Michigan Harvest Apple wine did get opened, and shared, on Saturday afternoon. Yes, I shared it with that same brave friend who now says she knows better than to run off with me when I call and ask, "Hey, ya feel like goin' for a ride?"
All's swell that ends swell. As it turned out, the swelling went down overnight. The screw back squiggly ends respectfully retreated into my nose chamber where they are out of view range. The pink stud is really tiny. Maybe a little too tiny for my taste. You can hardly see it. I’m definitely going to change it, but not for at least three more weeks. I’m only willing to subject myself to pain and stupidity to a point.
You know what the moral of the story is, don’t you?
Only pluck your eyebrows when you are sure the piercing salon is open.
Posted by jaselin at February 23, 2009 03:54 PM