Right after I got my 6th piercing
Over a year ago I went with my sisters to get our ears pierced, me taking the next step towards having 7 piercings. I chose to pierce the middle of my left ear which only had the lobe pierced from when I was 11, sorta evening out my ears in a very uneven way.
At the time I was really excited about it (even though the shop itself was a bit too shady...) and it didn't feel any worse than any other piercing I'd ever gotten. But it ended up getting a slight infection and I had to use saline solution for a lot longer than usual, but then it got better.
The earring was a bit bigger than the other cartilage piercing I have, something I didn't notice at the time. So a month ago, when my newest piercing got suddenly swollen and painful, I took out the earring and put in my smaller one. It felt great and the hole started to close around the smaller earring. Success!
And then yesterday it swelled up again and was immensely painful. Goddammit.
It throbbed and itched and huuuuuurt to touch. The boyfriend's advice was to stop poking holes in my ears and they wouldn't hurt. My mom's advice was to stop getting piercings. I started to think they might be right, so I took out the earring.
It was disgusting. I won't go into detail here but it was super gross. On the upside, after taking the earring out and cleaning the piercing it felt way better. So I've decided to let it close up. I'll settle for 5 good, healthy piercings and not worry about having 7 like I originally wanted. And when it comes down to it that piercing was not my favorite anyway, so it's better to sacrifice that one and keep the ones I love.
And, you know, keep a healthy ear.