This is going to hurt…

Actually, that’s not what she said. But it did.

Bristol, 5th May 2021. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I stood in the rain outside the back door. Mask on, hood up. A heavily tattooed young man was having a cigarette under a canopy. “I’ll let her know you’re waiting,” he said, and disappeared inside.

A woman opened the door, and beckoned me in. She smiled, and took my name. “You’ve come all the way from Cardiff?” she questioned. I nodded. “Did you send the forms?” I nodded again. I was shown to a cloakroom to wash my hands, and then followed her to the operating theatre…

Ok, I’ll stop with the suspense now… It wasn’t an operating theatre 😂 After literally years of will I / won’t I deliberation, I was finally about to get my nose pierced.

I was shown to the studio by the lovely Boo, who has been piercing various parts of people’s bodies for 13+ years, and currently works at Pin Cushion Piercing in Fishponds, Bristol. How I ended up there was mainly due to lockdown regulations and where I was ‘allowed’ to get a facial piercing, but as soon as I met Boo I was reassured that I had made a good choice.

Step one was selecting the jewellery. That was easy, as I knew I wanted a small, clear crystal stud. In the studio, there was a sort of dentist-style chair, where I sat as Boo explained the procedure. Fastidious cleanliness, including an alcohol swab of my nostril… I could have done with alcohol for some Dutch courage, I’ll be honest! The instructions were “Breathe in through your nose, then long exhale through your mouth as I make the hole. Breathe in again through your nose, and long exhale through the mouth… By the time you’ve exhaled, the jewellery will be in.” Sounded simple enough.

“Do you want to watch me doing it, or do you want to close your eyes?” asked Boo. Brave, but not that brave! Eyes shut was the obvious choice. And so we began. I breathed in through my nose. I felt what I would politely describe as a degree of force on my nose, and aaaaaaaaaaaargh… I breathed out through my mouth emitting a somewhat startled groan as I did so! “Breathe in again” instructed Boo. Still groaning, I inhaled through my traumatised nostril. There was another sense of pressure, and as I exhaled I heard the words “All done.” As predicted by Boo, a single solitary tear rolled down my left cheek.

Bloody hell. That hurt. I felt like someone had punched me in the nose. Which I guess they had… but with a hole punch rather than a fist! I sat, somewhat dazed, on the couch whilst Boo cleared away her kit. “Are you feeling okay?” she asked. I guess I must have looked a bit pale, and I felt a bit shell-shocked. I had a cup of water, and then a Vimto lollipop for some sugar… and a cold, wet towel on the back of my neck. I felt just a tad pathetic.

Once ‘recovered’, I received the aftercare instructions. I am now in a routine of bathing my nose in salt water twice daily to aid healing. I can categorically state that I have never wanted to blow or pick my nose more in my life. For the first day or so I could see the stud in my peripheral vision, and for the rest of last week my nose definitely had that ‘just punched’ look and feel.

But I love it. It’s exactly what I wanted, and to me looks like it’s always been there. What do you think?

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