The piercing truth

Dec. 31, 1969, 7 p.m. | By Alexa Scott | 54 years, 1 month ago

Of course I've heard the horror stories; almost every person I've come across who's had an eyebrow ring was forced to take it out. But my body has managed to keep three metal posts in my skin without mishap, two in my ears and one through my navel. I figured one more would not hurt, even if it was through a notoriously dangerous place. However, the adventure I've been through since the day I went under the needle has made my life a lot more complicated than I was betting on.

Days after my piercing, after which I was rewarded with a popsicle (orange), my eyebrow area was fine, maybe a little sore; I couldn't wear goggles or take off my shirts in less then a minute. It wasn't until about two months later that I noticed a lump under it, which, after close inspection and a lot of cringing, turned out to be filled with pus. I went to a doctor twice, and was given two different kinds of antibiotics. The lump would swell and go down pretty regularly, but it never really went away. Finally, about twenty days after I started my second course of medicine, I woke up to a lump above my eye the size of a grape. I could hardly see, and after icing it, I decided that the time had come to take it out.

I took the ring out, close to tears at my loss, and went to the doctor. The nurse who took me in actually gasped, and started asking me why on earth I would do such a thing to my, "beautiful, beautiful face!" What did she want me to say? Sorry? My bad, let me un-pierce my face.

After waiting for about 45 minutes, I was seen by a woman who took one look at me and rolled her eyes. I believe by this time I had become the classic teenage statistic, a perfect example of why not to put needles through bizarre places. At least she resisted from giving me a lecture. She pulled on a pair of pink latex gloves and preceded to poke at the lump for about eight minutes, giving me dirty looks the whole time, as if by looking at me she could get across how stupid I had been.

Finally she gave me two more antibiotics and explained that I had an abscess, which is a pocket of pus. She said she was going to have to numb my eyes, take a needle and pop open the area to drain it. Something like the way I would treat a pimple…a pimple the size of a grape.

Before she let me leave, she wrote in big letters in my file, "No foreign objects in eyebrow ever again!" I guess asking if I could pierce my left eyebrow was a mistake.

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