Bod-mod tales (mainly septum tales)

SeptumI picked this photo because it's gotten a crapton of hits on Flickr so it must be interesting in some way. As you can see, I got my septum pierced a few weeks ago. Sadly my NPN (net piercing number) remains constant because the eyebrow ring is now gone. It rejected as I figured it would; the ball on top wasn't on properly when I got it done and it fell out the second day I had it, so I have put shorter bars into it and watched the bar shadow appear under my skin without much hope it would hold. I finally just took it out. You gets your piercings and you takes your hits. I probably won't get the eyebrow redone. It was a huge hassle for me. Every time I washed my face or rubbed my eye or like ANYTHING it snagged it or threatened to. I had to think about it all the time. Also, I could see the bottom ball in my peripheral vision all the time. Irritating. I have a low tolerance for Things That Annoy Me. And you can't tell what they'll be. Having an unmovable tongue for a week was apparently OK with me (I still miss that piercing, by the way). Sleeping in a bra for a month...also OK. But not being able to wipe my forehead at the gym? Forget it. Eh. I'm a fickle beast. Point being, I am not too upset about the missing eyebrow bar other than the time and money I wasted on it.The septum, I can tell, is going to be one of those I will be very upset if I lose or have to take it out for some reason. Like my tongue. I could part with my nostril piercing or the belly, probably (belly still looks like it might reject, after 6 months, so we'll see), without too much mental anguish, but some others would cause consternation, and this one would.

Why did I get it? Why get any piercing? I like the freaking thing. I like the way they look. This one has the additional prime advantage of giving me the ability to flip it up inside my nose and hide it for work, thus transforming me into a normal-looking person. It's a fun trick actually.

Did it hurt? Yes, it hurt really freaking bad. Pain isn't a deciding factor for me obviously, but people ask me this constantly. I had heard tales of septum piercings not hurting because they go through the "sweet spot" where there is no cartilage and it's actually a really thin piece of skin and la la la, and I'm sure that's all true, but it hurt like a biotch. More than my rook, less than my, um, twin torso piercings. My piercer said it was the clamps that hurt, but whatever, it was the kind of pain where tears involuntarily pour down your face and you feel like you're getting snot everyplace. Piercing is not for people who want to look cool all the time. Doesn't happen.

It was par for the course for piercings. She cleaned my nose, marked it, clamped it, pierced it, and put jewelry into it, all in about 12 seconds, seemed like. I got a badly threaded barbell again (I attract them, evidently; I have a drawerful of them. I can ORDER online nice jewelry, and the balls don't thread), so by the time she was done trying to get balls to thread onto the horseshoe I was pretty sore and my eyes were still streaming. They fell off a couple more times during the next few weeks, and I went back a few days ago having had it with that horseshoe. I wanted a smaller one eventually anyway (she pierced at a 14-gauge and I wanted a 16 at changeout), so she replaced it and my balls, you'll be happy to know, are tight now.

She told me to leave it hanging for 2 weeks, which hit about when I needed to go back to work, so I approached the task of flipping the ring into my nose with some fear. My septum is still pretty sore. It was a little crooked when it was pierced, which apparently isn't uncommon, so I have been twisting it as it heals, and it's actually straightened up. But it's sore, and I had an irrational fear I would be the only idiot unable to stick a septum piercing up my nose. The fear comes from memories like the one I have of me drooling into the sink for about 30 minutes trying to change a tongue bar, which also should have been simple.

Anyway, if you pull your upper lip down it thins the septum and gives you room to flip the bars up pretty easily by sticking two fingers up your nose. Reverse, using pinkie fingers, to pull it out again. (I was entranced. I went to work and asked people "do you want to look up my nose??" Dayshifters: "No!" Nightshifters: "Sure!") When I got the 16-gauge replacement, the ends were a little too close together so my piercer widened them a little; it's a good idea to check that before you leave if concealment is an issue. Which I'm not SURE it is, meaning no one at work has said, "Good God don't wear that thing!" but it seems like it's still a not-widely-accepted piercing, and I did show up with it to a staff meeting (also wearing pigtails and a T-shirt that said "Meat: it's what's rotting in your colon") and got A Look.

I haven't experienced septum stench either. Evidently septum piercings stink, and either my nose doesn't work or it doesn't stink. Other things still stink, so I'm thinking it really doesn't stink. I have been noncompliant with my piercer's instructions, too. She told me to avoid the soap/Witch Hazel this time and instead to soak my nose in a sea salt soak for 5 minutes twice a day. I can't manage to sit still that long with my nose in a measuring cup. I soak it but not for that long, and I don't see the harm in a quick wash with soap. I also clean twice a day with a Q-tip tipped in Witch Hazel. The thing is clean, barely gets the crusty nasties I hear about, and is never stuck in my nose. I can flip it up without soaking it. So I'm calling it good. I'm glad it doesn't stink, too. I wasn't looking forward to that.

Meanwhile my lobes are stretched to 8 gauge, which isn't as big as I thought it was. My experience has been that the SAME PEOPLE horrified when they found I was stretching my ears are stricken by the cuteness of the jewelry I stick in the stretched holes (like the opalite hoops in this photo). I'm not making them huge. I'm waffling a bit over the final gauge and am probably going to settle on 2 gauge. That seems big enough to wear the jewelry I really want and not so big it looks all National Geographic and causes danger of me getting snagged on nails sticking out of door frames and such.