Exactly one year ago today I wrote my first post on this blog. For those of you with nothing better to do than watch reruns, I will point you to that post here.
Since that time one year ago, I have written 125 posts; kind readers have left me 798 comments; and this blog has been viewed a whopping 16,478 times.
But that’s not the point of today’s post. The point of today’s post is to tell you about how my cousin (Hi Cousin!) saved my nostril piercing from early retirement. Something I’m sure you all have a great interest in, no? No? Really? Huh… Then here, go read this instead. It might make you laugh.
But for the rest of you, the story goes like this…
I was sitting on my front porch last Monday, Memorial Day actually, and I stood up to go take a look at something that my son wanted to show me in the yard. And at the moment that I stood up it felt like someone had hit me in the back of my head with an axe. A sharp axe. And the pain, it took my breath away. When I sat down, the pain disappeared. As long as I was sitting down, life was all flowers and sunshine and twittering birds with hearts overhead. When I stood up however, the pain was back again, with a vengeance. Think Michael Myers in Halloween.
Tylenol didn’t touch it. Motrin barely made a dent in the pain. And neither pill did a thing for the fear, for the anxiety, the knowledge, like nails dragged across chalkboard, screaming, THIS IS NOT RIGHT!
So early Tuesday morning I called the doctor and went to see her. She felt the headache was probably the start of migraines, even though the pattern didn’t match any Google Migraine searches I had done. Still, she gave me some headache pills and sent me on my way with an order to get an MRI, just to prove to me that this was nothing. Not a tumor. Not a stroke. Just an invisible axe in the back of my head when I stood up and walked around. Proof that life is best enjoyed napping or sitting quietly in the shade with a book and a cool glass of lemonade.
I scheduled the MRI as directed and read the instructions on how to prepare for the test. My biggest hurdle would be removing my nostril piercing, because THOU SHALT NOT HAVE METAL NEAR THE MRI MACHINE, lest its powerful magnet suck you into some kind of break in the time-space continuum and fling you and your nostril piercing into outer space.
But my nostril piercing, I’d never changed it myself. I’d read a lot about it, I visited the tattoo parlor where I had it done to ask for advice, and I shopped around and bought $25 dollars worth of clear plastic retainers, things that you can put in a piercing in place of your normal jewelry to keep the hole open. Because according to all I’d read, these little holes from a piercing, especially the ones in your nose, can close in a jiffy. Ten seconds flat, read one website. And then, if that happened, I’d never be able to get my little diamond stud back in my nose.
Thursday night I took out my jewelry and after a bit of a struggle, managed to finally get one of the many different plastic retainers stuck in my nose in its place.
Friday morning I went for an uneventful MRI where they didn’t even care that my bra had metal underwires in it. Hello? Boobs surrounded by metal…giant magnet…fling into outer space? Apparently, not a problem when they are merely scanning your brain. Who knew?
But then came the tricky part. After the MRI I came home and removed the retainer and tried to re-inset my nostril screw. Without.Luck. I tried again. And again. And again. And again. Eventually I gave up and put the retainer back in. I drove to a local piercing place where they were “too busy” to help me.
So I went home and tried again. And again. And again. Think of it like the very first time you tried to change your earrings. How the earring would go in, but you couldn’t get it to come out the other side. Or if you were one of those lucky girls who changed her earrings without any problems on the very first try, then imagine trying to pierce your ear with a dull backed earring. When you’re sober. Ouch, right?
I tried numerous times throughout the day. I emailed my cousin no less than six times with my Tales of Nose Woes. And then, on Saturday morning, I gave up. I took out the retainer and emailed my cousin to tell her I’d given up. I was done. Finished. My nose, the nostril piercing, it was already closing up, healing, the hole was gone.
And I was more or less okay with it. The hassle was too much, and how, I wondered, could I have my nose pierced if I was unable to take care of it, unable to change the jewelry by myself. I emailed my cousin to tell her so.
She sent me an email back. She knew I couldn’t even manage to get the plastic retainer back in. She makes jewelry for a living , and her nose is pierced too. She said: For your nose…do you have a tiny regular earring you could put in there for the weekend? I did, but I didn’t even want to try. I was done.
Except, apparently I wasn’t, because that one little question got me thinking. And suddenly, I HAD TO KNOW whether the hole in my nose was really closed. Or not. The same way I sometimes try to stick an earring in the 3rd piercing in my left ear, expecting the hole to be closed because I never wear anything in it but being pleasantly surprised that here, 20 years after I first got that hole, it is still open and I can still put an earring in it if I want.
So one more time I grabbed the nose screw and my tube of KY Jelly. Oh stop! I’ll have you know that the KY Jelly was purchased specifically for the purposes of changing out my nose screw because all the advice I had read on the subject said to lubricate the jewelry to make insertion easier. And the tub of Vaseline I had was so old I was afraid to use it. I bought the KY Jelly at the grocery store when I had a bunch of other things to buy because I was afraid if that was all I bought, I’d end up in the checkout lane run by the only male teenage cashier in the store. And you and I both know he would barely be able to contain his giggles as he assumed the stuff was for something else, like the commercials suggest.
Anyway, so this was my last attempt. I had no expectations because I had tried so many other times to change the jewelry and it didn’t work, and my nose was sore, and like I said, I had officially given up. But what do you? This time, it worked! The jewelry went in! And there it stays for fear of never being able to repeat this miraculous feat.
It may be that leaving the piercing empty for a day let the swelling and irritation of my previous attempts go down and that is why it worked. Or maybe it was because this attempt was out of sheer curiosity and I wasn’t even really trying. But I actually attribute it all to my cousin, who with that one little sentence, got me curious enough to try it one last time.
Thanks, cousin! And Happy Blogiversary to me!