Friday, November 13, 2009

Metallurgy and allergies

This is one of those posts that probably could be classified as random blatherings but I've already used that title. I think. Well I've given you enough random blatherings that I might as well have. I'm at home sick today (no, I don't have the flu I have the hubby's bad cold) and am now bored senseless and am avoiding starting dinner. Which, btw, is going to be an artichoke heart and some sort of salted ham like meat with cheese quiche. See now you know why I'm ass dragging about getting off the couch and cook.

So I got this belly button ring a few weeks back right? And ya'll know that I'm allergic to metal? Yeah I didn't start out that way but had about 7 earring holes in jr high/high school and after awhile they were less than happy. By like the time I was 15 those holes were seriously irritated. First people told me I must be allergic to the nickle in the silver so I switched to gold. That didn't work so then I tried white gold. Then platinum, no go. After that I stopped bothering with them at all. In my first year of college I got a nose ring. I loved that nose ring, it was way cool and my button nose looked very cute with a gold ring in it. It lasted maybe 3 months, after that it was a mess. I had to take it out too, very disappointing.

This was back in the day before piercings were very popular and there were not a lot of different metals available to use in them. Please note, I don't like most piercings at all. Facial piercings especially, most hated being that cow nose ring. You know which one I'm talking about? Yeah it looks stupid. Even the side one (that I loved so much) looks bad on most white women. Sorry, it's true. Those big tall noses were not built for jewelry, why attract attention to that? Don't even talk to me about eyebrow and random in the middle of the face piercings, ew. Earring piercings are just dull, plus when my hair is long (like now) they get caught in it and it's annoying. Bet you guys never really bothered to think so much on piercings huh? Don't get me started on tattoos either, if I could tolerate the pain I'd have full sleeves. Seriously.

So now, what almost 20 years later, there are options for those of us wanting piercings with metal allergies. I opted for the only thing in the piercing shop that I most probably wouldn't react to, titanium. They had only 1, it was blue. I'm not all that into blue but as long as I didn't react to it I didn't care what color it was. Plus I could change it after 6-8 weeks. So the on line hunt for a new piece of jewelry began. Ah shopping on line, I love the options...

I found that there was something called bioplast that is basically a biologically compatible plastic like material that can be sterilized. It is flexible and is supposed to help heal the piercing faster. It's not metal so I was game. I couldn't find one that had titanium ball ends though, only bioplast and surgical steel. OK I was game but just in case I also ordered a titanium one just like the one I had but it was silver in color, not blue. Good thing too because I waited the required time and changed it to the bioplast and surgical steel one. After 10 days the skin was pissed. Not infected but definitely not healing either. It was red, inflamed and didn't let me turn without pain. Yeah, not so much. I don't like pain, it's not my thing. If it was I'd have more tattoos right?

So I made the switch to the full titanium silver colored one. The skin was happy within 30 minutes. Boy let me tell ya when I say that I'm allergic to metal I am so not kidding. Surgical steel? Man that's not good. I made sure to tell the hubby that if I'm in an accident of some sort and they need to cut me open again that he needs to remember these little allergies. Antibiotics (there's actually a list which includes all of the most oft used), latex (yeah, that means most condoms too, hence the child I have), most metals (yes, I've tried platinum too), and that really makes me high maintenance patient in a hospital right? Filling out the paperwork takes awhile. I used to have a medical bracelet but you know those things are metal right? See the problem? Yeah, reduncuous isn't it?

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