I had a scaffold bar piercing done in my left ear (2 holes in the cartilage, so one bar can cross through both), at a different place than the one I usually go to, simply because, with the latter's opening hours, it would be a few weeks before I could get to my regular shop (Mistake #1). They put what seemed to me unnecessarily large (as in diameter) plastic retainers through the holes, gave me a bottle of sterilising solution, and sent me on my way.
Later that night, it started to HURT. And swelled up quite a bit. I thought I might have to take them out, but my ear wasn't so swollen it had reached the whole length of the bars, and I decided one night of nasty pain would be worth it (Mistake #2). So, I put a lot of sterilising solution on, and went to bed (lying, of course, on my right side).
Eesh. I was tossing and turning with the pain, which was now VERY severe to the point of bringing tears, frustratedly drifting in and out of sleep, and felt feverish (I wasn't, but felt as if I was...if that makes sense. I felt like a swooning heroine
). I was sweating profusely, which was driving me mad - the whole left side of my face and hair was soaked, sticky and making me itch, and I kept batting at it and scratching.
After 2 hours of this (which felt like 2 years), I muttered to half-asleep (marvellously patient, not-a-word-of-complaint-or-irritation) DF that I was going to go and stick some antiseptic cream on my ear to try and soothe it.
I stumbled into the bathroom, turned on the light...
It wasn't sweat. The entire left side of my head and face
in bright red blood
My ear (still horribly, piercingly painful) had swollen up to gigantic proportions. I could see the blood pumping merrily out of my piercing wounds as I watched (forgive the disgusting analogy, but [pale font: highlight to see] you know the way chocolate fountains just keep going in perpetual motion? Yes...quite...
Well, I lost it. I carried on screaming until DF staggered into the bathroom, then gibbered to him that I was bleeding and I REALLY needed to get the dingdangity things out NOW.
DF was GREAT. He tried to help me get the retainer bars out (too painful - I kept squawking), he kept passing me tissue, he held the mirror so I could try to remove them, he talked soothingly to me, reassurred me I'd be OK, but that he'd get me in a taxi to the hospital if I wanted or if the bleeding wouldn't stop.
It took over half an hour to get those dingdangity things out (sticky, slippery, shaking hands), and I was bleeding constantly all the while. And whimpering and incoherently whining that it wouldn't stop, it wouldn't STOP, I was haemorrhaging and might DIE...
(I know, I know. I was panicked).
Managed eventually to remove them. Sanitised and antisepticed my ear to within an inch of its life, and stumbled back to bed.
It was only a dull ache by morning, and I did manage to salvage the top hole, which hadn't swollen much at all. The lower one...I had a cauliflower ear for a week after, and was terrified it'd stay like that (it didn't
I still haven't a clue why that happened.They used a new, sterile needle, and I had no infection from it. I think they maybe shouldn't have put such thick retainers into new holes...
But I'm never going back there.
I don't care if I have to wait a year for my usual place (same one which does my tattoos); I've never had any bad reaction to anything done there