January 31, 2012

Tattoo Removal.

My destroyed tattoo, after 3 or 4 removal treatments
When I was 21, I went by myself in the middle of the day to a tattoo parlor in Knoxville. I knew I wanted a sun tattoo on the back of my neck, and I sat right there and picked the best of the worst from the sun/moon tattoos in their book. This tattoo was the stuff that '90s throw blankets were made of, and from the second the artist first passed me the hand mirror to check it out, I thought, "Oh, nooooo." My stomach sank. I don't know what I was thinking. What was I thinking? 

Worse, I don't really know what I was thinking when I started the process of having it removed three years ago. Because it's really not that bad, and I never hated it. It was just sort of embarrassing me, and not something I wanted to live with forever. I had three or four treatments, but stopped when I got pregnant because they don't really want to shoot you with a laser while you're cooking a baby. In the meantime, my body worked a little more on dragging away some of the ink, but I still have a long removal road ahead of me.

Yesterday I had my first removal treatment in two-and-a-half years. It lasts all of 20 seconds, but is the most excruciating thing I can remember since labor pains. I felt sort of faint for an hour-and-a-half afterwards, and this faded little sunshine turned blood red and puffed up and throbbed like a biatch. Right about now it feels like someone let acid fester on the back of my neck. And ... I am estimated to need another 8 or so treatments to get it fully removed. At $100 (at least) a pop. Plus, it's a time-consuming process because you can only have a treatment every two months. At this rate, I'll be 40 by the time it's gone. The point of this: Don't get a tattoo unless you're bonkers about it, and don't remove a tattoo unless you loathe it. Trust me.