Thursday, January 15, 2015

So the Removal Begins...

No, no, not that removal, silly!
I'm referring to the removal of the permanent ink that was imbedded into my skin years ago.
My first tattoo was when I was a freshly turned 18 year old.  It was my right of passage, so I thought.  I walked into that tattoo parlor, without my parent's consent of course, who needed it...I was an adult now!  I had in mind to get something inked around my belly button.  Back then I was what others referred to as a tree hugger, you know, a hipster who's a vegan as they call them these days.  So being into the "recycle or die" trend, I wanted the three recycling arrows to encompass my belly button.

The tattoo artist informed me that if I ever decided to have children and I get a stretch mark through the tattoo, I'd be'll destroy the ink and it'll look like one big blob.  Back then I figured when the time came and I had children, I'd be covered with stretch marks, so I decided to forgo the tummy area.  (Five children later and I never acquired a mark on my belly.  I'm sorry I chose not get the tattoo there, I could have always been able to hide it.)

After my selection of where to place the ink was shot down, I knew I had to find another spot, and do it fast!  I wasn't about to leave that place without having my body permanently marked.  The next best place was my ankle, but the arrows would look so misplaced on that section of my body.  I grabbed a book that was on the counter.  I thumbed through sketches in search of the right one.  I found it!  I pointed out page 107 to the artist and told him I wanted those dancing paper dolls around my ankle.  He asked how much money I had.  I told him $70.  Oh well, in that case, I can only go from ankle bone to ankle bone if you've only got that much dough on ya'.  Ugh, shot down again!  Instead of seeing the red flags and vacating the premises right away, I decided to go forth with his offer.

I walked out of High Desert Tattoo one happy, but later in life, regretful young lady.

The "paper dolls" are supposed to represent togetherness or unity.  When I get asked about them these days, I quickly mutter their new meaning, a symbol of my stupidity.  

Ten years ago, I had a quarter-life crisis.  Besides doing the unmentionable stupid things one must go through while approaching their thirties (not everyone was as juvenile as I was at the ripe age of approaching 30), I got another tattoo.  Back then, a splash of ink on your inner wrist was not a popular place to find a tattoo.  But today, it's one of the more common spots...and that's too trendy for me.

The tattoo says, Amore, which is love in Italian.  Why amore?  Good question.  Guess I needed to have the  desire to "express" myself.  Yes, big eye roll is needed there!

Over the years, I have blossomed out of my teens/twenties and now approaching my 40's.  I have very strong emotions on why I chose to have these little guys removed from my circle of friends.  Personally, I think my tattoo represents me in a fashion I don't want to be represented in.  Do I judge others with ink on their bodies?  Absolutely not.  This was a very personal decision for me.  When I have my ankle exposed and my wrist as well, I feel as if the need to hide my ink has become increasingly more and more as I age.  When I hear my children speak of getting tattoos later on in life, I cringe.  I tell them NO!  But of course they say, Mom, you have them.  Yes kids, I do.  But let me tell you that was a poor choice I made years ago.  If you want to go do something to your body, make it less permanent because you'll more than likely change your mind like I did.  That goes in one ear and out the other with them...figured it would.

To make a long post short, I ventured off into the Google world and found Dr. Rodgers in Meridian.  They do tattoo removal in half the sessions it would take with regular conventional laser machines.  Less time and less pain...I was sold.  I went into my consult several months ago and spoke with Lorian, the tattoo removal expert.  She was out-of-this-world awesome!  She answered all of my questions, some were repetitive I'm sure, and she didn't pressure me at all to make an appointment to have them removed.  After I left the office, I knew this was the place for me to go.
Low and behold, Santa...aka Steve, gave me the option to get my first session done after the holidays.  I was elated!

Today I went into Dr. Rodger's office and Lorian took me back to the surgical suite to get the removal started.  To say I was getting nervous was such an understatement!  I chose to have the Dr. anesthetize my wrist and ankle before the laser touched my body.  Lorian had informed me in my consult that it hurts like H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks without it being numb, plus it was included in the price.  So why suffer?  After the Dr. ever-so-hurtfully- administered the local (is local ever done painlessly?), Lorian set up the machine to begin.  My palms were sweaty, my heart rate was skyrocketing, and I'm sure I looked the part, because she kept asking me if I was okay.  I assured her I was (I lied...I was a wreck!).  She ran the laser over my wrist first.  I didn't want to look, I somehow felt it would hurt if I did.  I heard snaps, pops, and crackles coming from the machine, but yet I felt absolutely no pain!  It took her less than 15 seconds to do the tattoo on my wrist.  She told me to look at it - I refused because I still had my ankle to do and didn't want to freak out.  I peeked at was gross, but continued to carry on.  After finishing up my ankle, I took a huge sigh of was done and all the while pain free!  Here's a look at them right after:

I'm excited to see them go bye-bye.  Although I've had many years with them, it's much needed that they pack up and go away.  
I will return in eight weeks for my second session.
I must say, Dr. Rodger's, Lorian, and his office staff were the friendliest bunch I've ever encountered!  They were professional, courteous, and followed through with their promises and their return phone calls...something that is very hard to find these days. I'll keep you updated on the progress. 

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