Tuesday, March 25, 2014.
- Extreme Body Piercing on Takeshita Street in the fashionable Harajuku district of central Tokyo. 1:00 p.m.
- No forms to fill out. Just show identification as proof of age.
- During my recent trip to Canada I had an eighth ear piercing done in my hometown. But this time it was done with a needle rather than a piercing gun. The needle takes a little longer but it is much gentler than the gun. So I decided I liked the needle and wanted something more.
- I was very nervous, but the piercing guy - a heavily tattooed and pierced freak - was a good talker who reassured me and provided confidence.
- First I rinsed my mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. I sat in a chair facing him. Then he placed an ink dot on my tongue to show me where the barbell would go. He inspected the underside of my tongue. I guess it was to confirm the position of blood vessels.
- I asked about tongue swelling. He said it could swell to twice the normal size! I was worried because my voice is my work and if I cannot talk then I cannot work, and I have work every evening, including this evening. He said Really? We recommend you don’t work for two or three days. I said that’s impossible. I have to work.
- He didn’t clamp my tongue but just grabbed it in gloved hands.
- Tilt my head back and look up. He pierced me from top to bottom. I could feel the needle go in, go through, and come out. No bleeding. The pain is comparable to getting a usual ear pierce. Now you’re like a hooked fish. Don’t wiggle! Then he inserted the jewelry - a ¾″ barbell - quickly and tightly screwed the ball onto the threaded shaft. The entire thing went very quickly.
- I bought the recommended non-alcoholic mouthwash at a pharmacy.
- It didn’t feel like much. I could feel the top ball pressing against the roof of my mouth. Maybe a little uncomfortable because of the novelty of it, but I was not in pain. But I was afraid to play with it.
- I ate my usual dinner, but chewed slowly and delicately, feeling the barbell move around in my mouth as I chewed and swallowed.
- tongue is tender, but not swollen.
- I went to evening work and could talk. I talked with a bit of a lisp. I don’t think anyone suspected I had a pierced tongue.
- My family didn’t know.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
- Tongue is more tender and swollen than yesterday.
- Continue to eat normally, but slowly and delicately. Eating is more uncomfortable than yesterday. I have to force myself to eat normally.
- Religiously using the non-alcoholic mouthwash. Also rinsing my mouth clean with bottled water, not tap water.
- It’s difficult to spit - toothpaste, mouthwash. I didn’t think before how much I use my tongue.
- Swallowing feels strange. I try to swallow food, drink, or pills and it feels like I’m about to swallow the ball as well. But then the food is gone and the jewelry is still in place.
- For discomfort I am using the gentle pain reliever Bufferin.
- Feel a little headachy.
- Bruising appears on the surface of my tongue just behind the placement of the barbell. I was scared when I noticed it in the evening. Hope it diminishes tomorrow.
- Too much eating and talking today.
- Sucking on ice or eating ice cream is recommended by some people and some websites. I find constantly sipping cool bottled water to be soothing. Who knows if it’s actually beneficial? Oh, well, it can’t hurt. It’s soothing.
Thursday, March 27, 2014.
- First thing in the morning it looked like the bruising on my tongue had diminished a bit.
- The underside of my tongue feels more tender than the top.
- I felt okay during most of the day, but by evening my tongue felt more swollen and sore than it had all day. I guessed from over use.
Friday, March 28, 2014.
- I felt good enough to chew and swallow more normally, but I guess I still overdid it. Sore gums by the end of the day. Still using Bufferin.
- No bleeding so far. I’ll see what the weekend brings.
- I worry that my barbell is too short for my tongue. Or maybe my tongue is swollen and causing the ¾″ barbell to press. I’ll stick it out.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
- Eating is a lot more comfortable.
- I always feel the ball pressing against the roof of my mouth. It catalyzes a lot more salivation than normal. Sometimes I feel like I’m slobbering.
- I’ve bit my tongue badly a few times. I guess as a result of getting used to the new geography inside my mouth.
- My family doesn’t know about it yet. I am always tempted to show it off to people and boast about it but have managed to keep it to myself so far.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
- I went back to Extreme Body Piercing in Harajuku today because I became worried that the barbell is too short for my tongue. The ball on the top of my tongue seems to be gouging into the soft flesh, creating a small pit there. The staff at the shop checked it out and said, No, it’s healing normally. Don’t worry. Come in next Tuesday to change your post.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
- It feels comfortable enough that more and more I am starting to play with the top ball of the barbell, running it against my teeth or lips. It feels neat, but playing with it like that risks exposing it to view. Be careful!
- I returned to the piercing shop today because they said after two weeks come back to have the barbell changed. The idea, I think, is to remove the piercing barbell and replace it with a shorter piece of jewelry. I like the plain silver color of the surgical steel, and the size feels good to me. It doesn’t impede eating, drinking or speech. So I didn’t have it changed. Instead, I got my neck pierced. Yahoo!
- When I clean my teeth I sometimes get the dental floss caught on the top ball or the barbell. I don’t like that.