This week went by fast and by the end I realized I hadn’t done anything for my blog yet. I started making a list of things to do, but my answer for each of them was
No, no, no, no, no, no!
I don’t want to do any of them. My friend Jessica kindly reminded me I’m not supposed to want to do the things on my list and suggested I get my cartilage pierced. I’ve wanted to get it done for a while now but needles freak me out. A lot.
There is just something about a tiny needle piercing my flesh that just rubs me wrong. I can handle shots, you know, as long as they don’t do that stupid count down thing. They think they are being helpful by giving you the shot before they say three so you aren’t expecting it. But I KNOW they are going to go on two and it stresses me out. I start to panic, black dots dance across my vision and all of my muscles tense. That’s just shots, I’m sure we’ll get into IV’s and drawing blood another time.
Because I couldn’t think of anything else to do last minute, we went to get piercings. There is a tattoo shop that does piercings called Big Brain downtown that is open until midnight and looked professional so we went there. Glowing white brains sit on little end tables between benches that wrapped around half of the store. We sat by them after we put our names on the piercers list.
My ears are double pierced but those piercings are just on the earlobe (fleshy part of your ear). The cartilage is the harder part of your ear and contains a nerve. If someone were to pierce the cartilage incorrectly you could have nerve damage or the cartilage might collapse.
Because I was so nervous I Googled what this might look like and tortured myself with lots of images of collapsed cartilage. Basically what I learned is that it is different for everyone. Sometimes the cartilage shifts and looks a little deformed while another one I was looking at it looked like the ear melted!
I pulled out a book because if I didn’t distract myself my mind would play the images of ears with collapsed cartilage over and over again in my head.
I read somewhere that it only happened if the piercer used a gun instead of a needle but it still made me extremely antsy. I tried stopping my leg from jumping by focusing on the book but I didn’t get past the first page. The piercer, Dave, came up to the front and called a middle-aged blond woman back. My stomach dropped to my toes with a thump I was sure everyone could hear.
The woman looked like she came in with someone but he called her back by herself. I looked at Jess, and she saw it too. There was a possibility I would have to go in the back. By myself.
“I’m so sorry!” Jessica said, but I just barely heard her.
“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you,” I said, at the same time but not angrily. More like a desperate whisper of someone on their death bed who wants you to know it’s your fault they are dying.
When Dave came back up to the front with the blond woman and scribbled her name off the list.
“Jessica and Ronny,” he called and I exhaled audibly in relief.
We walked back to his work space and I sat in a glittery purple chair. Jessica said that when she got her cartilage pierced a few years ago, it was the most painful one. I wasn’t afraid of the pain. Just that pesky needle. I tried to remind myself that I had gotten a tattoo, so I could handle this, but it didn’t really help.
Dave picked up on my fear pretty quickly and I worried he might make fun of me for it. Who goes to get a piercing when they hate needles?
He didn’t make fun of me though. He asked me questions, offered to answer any of mine, and pierced it so fast it barely pinched. He had me sit in the chair for a couple of minutes until I wasn’t shaky anymore. Jessica and I switched places and a felt giddy. I did it, and it looks cute. No collapsed cartilage for me.