Friday, February 19, 2010

On My Now Unadorned Tongue

Earlier this week, I decided to take out my tongue ring. It was a very hard decision. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that it was causing me pain. I had been thinking about taking it out for a couple weeks. On one hand, I had no real reason to take it out. On the other hand, after 11+ years, the novelty was wearing off. When I first got it, it was part of a whole ensemble. And now it was the only thing left of the image of that 20 year old guy. (baggy pants, big earrings, backwards hat etc) That's precisely what made the decision so hard. I got it done only a few months after Becky and I got together, so it was almost like a symbol of "us". (The tattoo on my finger and our wedding rings are the real symbols) I had basically gone my whole adult life with it. It had become so much a part of me that I hardly ever noticed it.

But I noticed when it hurt.

I've been sick a couple times this year. When I saw the doctor the first time I mentioned that the back of my tongue hurt. He said it was because of my tongue stud. I said, no, it doesn't hurt there, it hurts at the back. He said yes, but if a bit of food or something causes a small infection at the piercing, the lymph system drains at the back and could cause a secondary infection. Hence, the back hurts.

With my most recent sickness, it wasn't the back that hurt. The top and through the middle of the piercing hurt. Enough so that I felt I should take it out. I thought I'd clean it, give the tongue a rest and go from there. I cleaned it up. (lots of crusty stuff on the bottom ball. Not a good sign) I put it back in a day or so later. When I was pushing it back through a bunch of white gross stuff came out the hole. Not a good sign either. But I left in for most of the day. When I had it back in it felt awkward. I was amazed at how quickly I had adjusted. Alas, near the end of the day it was hurting again. I figured the pain was for a reason so I took it out again.Possibly for the last time. I doubt I'll put it back in but it's hard to let go of something that you've had for so long.

I've gotten used to not having it in pretty quick. And I feel okay with my decision. I can do a razzberry again! Although, I have noticed that I fiddled with it ALOT. No worries. My dentist is happier this way. Other happy people may include my parents and conservative friends and relatives. But I didn't take it out for them. If that was the case, I would have done it 11 years ago. No, it was just time.

Mind you, if I was a girl, I would have toughed it out and left it in. It's way cooler/sexier on a girl. Always has been, always will be.

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