By Marian, SF Bay Area – USA
I never thought I would get my belly button pierced…no way, no how. I had a co-worker in the early 90s before it really became popular show me hers – it was in quite an infected state and I almost fainted when I saw it–I have a weak stomach! I had my nose pierced about then (it was done with a gun) and that lasted for a couple of years but I took it out.
Newly separated from my (now) ex husband, I decided to get the nose redone and did that, then my friend “L” said she wanted to get her ear done way up high, so we drove to the place in San Jose, CA so she could get it done. I had gone to Body Exotic in San Jose CA for my nose – it was highly recommended, and L said they had done her belly ring way back in 1993 or so. As we walked through the door, she said “You should get your navel pierced.”
I said “No way! Too painful!” But she reminded me that I had once said if I got down to a size 12, I’d consider it…I never thought I would get to a 12 again or even close, but it’s amazing what the “Divorce Diet” does . She got her ear done, as planned and kept telling me I really ought to do my navel – “It doesn’t hurt much, it was over before I knew it” and she described the experience and breathing technique her piercer had used.
24 hours later, I was there, waiting to get it done! I was pretty nervous and I’m such a big chicken. I chose my jewelry – picked out a barbell with cobalt blue jewels both at the end and on the ball. I figured if I was going to have to wear the same piece for a long time, I needed to really love it.
My piercer, Daniel, had done my nose just weeks before. He was very good but omg it hurt like $#!!!. Afterwards, he said just hang out until I was ready to get up. So I laid down for a while and then thought I was ready to get up and pay my bill…when I approached the counter, the world did a big turn and Daniel and the young lady working there took one look at me and told me to lay down with my feet up. Whoops! I relaxed some more and then started to feel better. Daniel went over the aftercare instructions and I bought a bottle of ‘Satin’ anti-microbial soap. Eeew. I’d have to get used to this process… I was glad I had driven my truck as I don’t think I would have been able to ride my Harley home in the swimmy-headed state I felt.
Cleaning it was a rather difficult process for me to get used to; I’d get light headed all over again, but after about a week, that was gone; I overcame my squeamishness at last.
My gentleman friend made me a little guard for it – fashioned from a kitty toy/whiffle ball cut in half. It provided a ventilated guard so I didn’t have to worry about rolling over in my sleep, or if I was out on a motorcycle ride, my leathers riding on my belly.
I expected the worst – infection, etc. but in the coming months, none of that happened. I had a few little things happen where I would accidently bang into it and it would cause some redness to the top, but this always cleared up in a few days with some TLC and Sea Salt.
About 6 months after the piercing, I changed it. I had collected some adorable pieces. I even made a sweet acrylic rack to hold them – custom made. I chose some dangling cherries and that was fine – I was surprised that changing it was easy – the new jewelry slid right in “like butt-uh.” I had carefully disinfected the piece first; having gone to beauty school, I knew how to do this properly. I wore it for a couple of days and changed back to my original piece. I changed it a couple more times over the next few weeks – dangling chili peppersfor a chili cookoff I was doing, a sweet dangling shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day, and then a butterfly, then a marquis shaped cobalt blue stone. That marquis was where my trouble began!!!
I wore it for a couple of days – it wasn’t a dangler – just a barbell with a large marquis at the end. Dull pain began on Sunday and grew worse. By Tuesday, I was sitting at work writing code and the pain was reaching quite a crescendo. I went out to get something for lunch and found that every little bump I hit in my truck was causing me agony. I soon was resigned to the ugly fact that I had to take it out. This made me very sad. As soon as I took it out, the pain immediately went away. I had nasty discharge (it wasn’t just the lymph stuff that you get when you first get pierced that is non-infection) and I smeled rust. RUST! I took a look at the piece I had taken out – it had a little metal collar near the top/ball – and it was rusty! ACK! No wonder….
It drained for about 12 hours and then I tried to get jewelry back in. Nope. I talked to Body Exotic and they said come on in and they would see what was going on with it.
At first I didn’t want to do it, but every time I passed by my sweet little rack of jewelry, I would frown. Plus, I had ordered a couple of new ones and they arrived in the mail last Thursday. It sucked….
So on Saturday, my gentleman friend and I drove down to San Jose and they took a look…the jewelry didn’t want to go back in so she had to use a tapered tube to get it back in. It didn’t need to be re-pierced, but reopened.
And the pain…was tremendous…
I’m glad no one was there because I invented some brand new ways in which to swear. If you’ve ever seen “A Christmas Story” the comment about the kid’s dad was “My father worked in profanity the way other artists work in clay or canvas…” I was quite the artist that day… 🙂
This time I didn’t nearly faint once it was over. I was advised to ice and take aspirin or whatever if I needed to – I didn’t need to.
Four days later, it’s feeling fine. It gets a little yucky at times but I keep it clean and am not going to change it for a few months – I have an American Flag one that I’ll likely put in on the Fourth of July – so that gives me a little over 3 months before I plan on changing it.
I’m not a svelte thing; I have a spare Harley tire around my midle, so when I sport new jewelry, I don’t exactly go around showing it off; but I know it’s there. It’s like wearing nice undies – you don’t show the world but you know it’s there.
I love it! I finally got around to telling my mom and she can’t figure out why her 45 year old daughter would do that but oh well. (She doesn’t know about the tattoos…. 😈