It's no surprise that I'm into piercings. Since getting my septum done a few months back, I got a second nose piercing, a number of lobe piercings and my daith done. My editor at Houstonia remarked that I'm one piercing away from people assuming I work there every time I get coffee. They're a low commitment (read: not permanent) way of playing around with my appearance in an edgy way. And it turns out that they're pretty addictive.
This column is about my experience getting my daith pierced. What's a daith anyways? First, it's actually pronounced "doth." Second, it's the innermost cartilage fold. It's an awkward place to pierce to say the least. Why did I do this to myself? I wanted something pierced in my ear but didn't want the typical upper cartilage done like most women. There are also a lot of beautiful jewelry options out there these days and I wanted something pretty in white gold inside my ear, preferably surrounded by diamonds.
I spoke with my piercer beforehand and explained that I was nervous and worried it would hurt and be difficult to heal. He assured me that the tissue in the area is pretty thin so it won't hurt too much. Though he did tell me that the healing process was going to be a bitch. I braced myself and went for it. He started the prepping process by cleaning the area thoroughly and talking me through what he was going to do.
But when the needle pierced my cartilage, I nearly cried from the pain and grabbed my sister's hand, who was there with me as support. I actually heard a crunch. They tell you there's no crunch sound but I promise you, there is. There's also a lot of pain. And blood. A lot of both, really. The pain eventually subsided before I left the piercing shop and I felt okay, though the piercing was obviously tender.
The coming weeks were awful while my daith healed. Cleaning the weird crooks and crannies in the ear was difficult, awkward and painful. A Q-tip and saline solution should have done the trick but it didn't seem to be enough. It would be fine one minute and the next it would be throbbing and bleeding. Not fun. Sleeping on that ear wasn't much of a problem since the piercing was inside my ear, but I had to worry about germs from my pillowcase getting in there and causing an infection.
I also got my share of "bumps," those awful/gross small raised scars on the exit holes of piercings. This lead to a number of visits back to the piercing studio to assess the damage. It could have been from my pillow, improper cleaning or incorrect jewelry. It was a game of trial and error and it sucked. Eventually we changed the jewelry to more of a barbell design instead of the simple hoop we originally used and that seemed to help the healing process along.
I'm lucky that I didn't develop an infection or have my body outright reject the piercing. Though the piercing and healing process was a pain in the ass, I wasn't ready to abandon it just yet. I couldn't stop thinking about all the pretty jewelry I will soon have in my ear—sometimes beauty and fashion trump pain. I do, however, recommend not rushing into any cartilage piercing without fully researching what you're getting yourself into. They're not without risks and they definitely take a lot of time and energy to make sure they're healing properly. I think this might be the last hole I punch in or around my face for a while though.