I don’t really have a bucket list per se, but there are things I’ve always wanted to do that pop in my head every now and then and make me go “oh yeah – I should get on that”. One thing that’s popped up for 20 years is getting my nose pierced. Lenny Kravitz and Ani DiFranco are to blame for this, back in the early 90’s. At that time, I tended to care too much about what people thought ( and by “people” I mean mostly my boyfriend and my parents) and I never tried it. I still care now, but not in a way that makes me alter what I want to do if it isn’t hurting anyone. And frankly, it’s the least of the evils when you consider what troubling things other people do on their birthdays. Although if this is what I pull on my 39th birthday I shudder to think what I’ll come up with to get out of my system on the 40th. My husband has a whole year to fear this.
I won’t tell you the step by step, but I know I made a good choice Tuesday in going where I did (Sadu, Charlotte NC). They only do piercing, not tattoos with some body jewelry as an afterthought. They do this all day long, deal with problems and complications, and have plenty of jewelry choices for all sorts of modifications that completely creep me the fuck out. I’m the pansy that just wants a stud in her nostril – they could do that in their sleep. And supernice. That’s one of my big things when I walk into any kind of shop – are the people acting way too cool for their own good? Fine. I don’t need people with those insecurities, I’ll go somewhere else.
I chose the smallest thing they had – a 1.2 mm diamond bezel-set (no prongs) in steel. It was tiny in the cabinet but I still think it looks too big on my face. Maybe I’m just not used to seeing it on my face. It might look smaller later. IDK. The jury’s still out on how I feel about it. That’s doesn’t mean I regret it though – if I take it out tomorrow it was still worth doing. I would have regretted more never trying something I wanted to try.
I even let them talk me into buying the H2Ocean stuff to clean the piercing because I was expecting to pay a lot more than I did – tattoos are way more expensive and that’s what I’m used to shelling out for. By the way Yes, I’m more of a giant baby about ONE needle and one second than I am about lots of needles for hours. The piercer is female and she was very kind and gave me much wisdom about what was going to happen. I even had a medical table to lie on. Seriously – no ratty old chairs that I have to contort in like the tattoo places? Heaven.
Breathing exercise: Take a deep breath and hold it. Then count “1, 2, 3” as you breathe out through your mouth. While this happens, imagine a giant, blunt object being forced through a pore in the side of your nose. Like a foot. Okay, the needle is relatively small but it FELT gigantic. I think I said something like “Ohhhhhhh wOWwwwwww…” and thought that if the hole ever closes up before I want it to, I’m not doing it again. Two days later, I don’t remember quite how painful that was, but I remember that very important single thought. It’s as if I need to remember that thought for my own safety because really, I am a danger to myself.
I cannot remember in my life having a sensation weirder than lying on a table with the knowledge that I have a big ass needle in my nose. I knew I would regret not bringing my camera – I’ve let us all down here and I apologize. After some calming breaths, the stud was in and the blood eventually stopped. I sat up and didn’t pass out so I felt like a freakin’ champ. Once my husband came home and found out I did not have a new tattoo as well, he seemed okay. Not that he likes a piercing, but he really hates tattoos.
Two days later and at times I get a little anxious – I like things simple and comfortable. Healing a piercing is going to be a challenge. I get worked up about when the first time is going to be that it gets caught in a sweater and yanked or something. I don’t wear heels, my hair is an inch long, I remove the tags from my clothes – I don’t DO discomfort or complicated. But luckily I sleep on my back, rinse my sinuses twice a day with saline, eat pretty healthy and don’t smoke. I’m ahead of the game for healing this sucker. I had a lovely experience yesterday while I was eating lunch though. I chose a stir fry with Thai chili sauce (you think you know where I’m going with this but you don’t). As I finished eating, my piercing felt tingly so I held a napkin to it and discovered it was oozing blood out the top of the hole. WHAT THE HELL. Lesson learned: that red flush your face gets when eating spicy food is blood rushing to it…don’t have a hole around where it can escape.
Seriously – that was not in the aftercare pamphlet.
Today is better. No constant ring of dried blood around the diamond and it’s not infected yet. I still am not good at moving the curved “tail” around in my nose when I am cleaning it. Freaks me out a little. A lot. My husband looked at it while we were with friends tonight and said it must be infected because it looks like it’s getting red. Turns out he was just kidding. Fucker. Wait until next year.
(SPOILER ALERT! For year 40, I ended up taking a solo trip to Istanbul. It was amazing.)