tattoo day (with plenty of pics)

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’m home from getting my tattoo!  My Facebook wall tells me some of you are excited to see how it went.  Good news:  Julia was there from start to finish, and she took a lot of pics!  And G caught a few at the end as well.

First, let’s start with that circle I described in my earlier blog – where the skin graft is.  Here’s what that looked like.

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Today’s tattoo was done by Steven over at O’Toole Design, by the way.

The first thing he did was transfer his artwork from a little piece of paper to my arm.  That looked like this.

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He did a great job of getting the skin graft right in the middle!

I wasn’t afraid of the pain, going in.  Even a few minutes before we left home, I was all cool.  I knew the fear would likely hit when I got into the chair.  And that’s when it was.  But it wasn’t insurmountable.  Here I am focusing on the ceiling fan while I worked on deciding how unbearable the pain was going to be – soon I realized that G was right when he told me it basically feels like a cat scratching.  (But seriously, who wants to be scratched repeatedly by a cat in the same area for 3 hours, right?!)

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Steven did me one huge favor – he started with the smallest needles and worked his way up.  I cannot imagine how I’d have made it through if he had started with the biggest needles and worked his way down.  The first 2 hours weren’t bad at all.  The last hour – OUCH!!!!!!

Here we are in process:

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That’s not red ink in the flower design.  That’s me bleeding.  When the thing was all done but the wrapping, I took a potty break.  Looking in the mirror, I saw red in the blue sky and wondered what the heck he was thinking, putting red in the sky.  Until I realized:  oh yeah, that’s just me bleeding.

You can see that the skin on my arm got very angry.  The thing felt pretty dang raw by 2 hours in.  For the first 2 hours, I sat mostly smiling and having quiet conversation with Julia and Steven.  For the last hour, I sat grimacing horrible grimaces, and when G showed up the first thing I did was forbid him to photograph my animated agony.  Because he wants to live, he abided by my wishes.

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The best moments of this process were when he wiped my arm down with a paper towel wet with something (water?  I’m not sure).  It was sooo cool and so comforting that I literally made ecstatic faces and noises every time.  I wanted him to just keep wiping and not so much with the digging needles into my arm!  He did a great job of making the time pass quickly and watching out for me throughout the process, including stopping around the beginning of hour 3 to put a product on my arm that made it hurt less – something about opening the pores or something.  I don’t know.  It helped.  A lot.  Which was important, as by now I felt like I’d slid down a gravel road on that arm at 50 mph for a mile.

The final process was wrapping my arm.  This is some kind of awesome modern medical technology that will facilitate faster healing – it looks like clear contact paper and it gets stuck right to the arm.  I am to wear it for 3 days, not bothering it at all, and then remove it and put more of the same on and wear it for 3 more days, not bothering it at all, and then it will be about 80% healed and will finish healing up over the next couple of weeks after that.  Here’s what it looks like all wrapped up – guess it’ll be a week or so before you get more updated pictures!

I’m told the wrap, called “Saniderm,” will sort of act as a “plasma bag” to catch my bleeding and extra ink.  In other words, even if you see me in person between now and next week, you’re not really going to get a good look at it – it’s gonna be kind of a gross spectacle for a bit.

This was a fun day.  My arm hurts like heck.  I’m glad it’s my left arm, since all I feel like doing is tucking it in close to my body and not using it – somehow it even hurt to try to carry my purse with it.  The feeling is a combination of bad road rash and a severe sunburn.  It might be an interesting night for sleeping.

Having said all that – I’m tickled to have done it.  Will share “final” photos later.  Happy birthday to me!

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