By Kimberly from Enfield, USA

*DISCLAIMER* My story is disgusting but don’t make my story be the deciding factor as to whether or not to get another piercing. I was a young know-it-all. I’ve had many piercings after this. It didn’t stop me, that’s for sure.

I’ve had many, many piercings – a total of 59 piercings to be exact. Currently, I have 32. I’m going to tell you about the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.

One day, I decided to get a few piercings. The piercer warned me that having that many piercings in my cartilage can complicate things. I’d be at a higher risk of infection. I didn’t care, I wanted them.

I laid down on his cold masseuse table. After sterilizing the rook area on my left ear, he began. The hollow needle cut out my cartilage. In a few seconds, he pushed jewelry into the hole as he was pushing the hollow needle out. He squeezed the jewelry ends together with a pair of sterilized pliers. I had my first rook piercing.

He completed two other piercings – exactly the same way; left ear anti-tragus and right ear rook.

I was proud of the piercings and pleased with the way they came out. (As seen in my poor quality pictures, I had a lot. Industrial, conch, rook, lobe, helix on the right side and rook, tragus, anti-tragus, helix, lobe on the left).

Not even two weeks later, I had an infection in all 3 piercings. My ears became really puffy and painful. After a few days of not being able to sleep, I broke down. I took pliers and attempted to pry the piercings out of my ears. It wouldn’t budge. I was in so much pain that the slightest touch made me cringe. At this point I had an ear infection in both ears because the infection from the piercings dripped into my ear canal. I shoved cotton balls in my ears so it wouldn’t get worse. I couldn’t take time to go to the ER yet, I had 3 days of work a head of me. I lasted about 4 days like this; no sleep and extreme pain.

FINALLY, I went the the emergency room. The ER doctors had no clue how to deal with me. My ears looked awful. The cartilage was so puffy that the rook jewelry in my left ear was actually making an indent in my cartilage. The cartilage was swallowing it.

I had the entire ER staff inspecting my ear in horror. At this point I was crying. The main doctor came to the conclusion that they would have to cut the piercings out, especially the rook in my left ear.

She found a pair of METAL or WIRE CUTTERS in a TOOL BOX. She sterilized the cutters and dug into my puffy cartilage. She got a good grip on the jewelry, and attempted to cut it out. She couldn’t do it. She called in for help. Two other doctors tried to cut it out, they couldn’t.

Finally, they called the janitor; a big, strong looking guy. She explained to him how to cut it out of my ear without exerting too much pain (impossible, I was in pain regardless). He cut that piercing out immediately, and without much of a struggle. The rook was out. The cartilage was cut in the process and was oozing infection. He cut the last two piercings out. My ears looked awful. I felt awful.

I damaged the hearing in my left ear. It took a long time for my ears to look somewhat normal.

MORALE OF THE STORY: if a piercing artist tells you NOT to get more than once piercing, FOR ANY REASON…. LISTEN TO THEM. They are the professionals.

Needless to say, this hasn’t stopped me from getting more piercings.