Guess what I did?! I got my tattoo! It’s been about two years since Will and I pressed Freya’s feet into an ink pad and then pressed them onto my sketchbook pages. Only one of the prints was super-clear as she sort of smudged all over the others. I scanned the print in to my computer to tinker around with it on Photoshop Elements Editor. I didn’t change the paw in any way, but I did try arcing text around it. I was always intending to put Freya’s name on there in Latin letters, but because I love alphabets I wound up putting it in Russian Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Japanese katakana. (Yes, these are all languages I speak somewhat, otherwise having them on my body would be a terrible idea). I actually expected the tattoo artist to adjust the text eventually, but everyone I showed it to said it was fine.
Kadek accompanied me to Titanic Tattoo & Piercing, which incidentally was where we got our ears pierced a year ago, although it was called Alteration Nation back then. For most of the build-up I was worried about having to speak to my tattooist and not make an arse of myself, although it eventually dawned on me that the needles may also be something to worry about. My tattooist was perfectly friendly and understanding even when the inevitable dizziness came and I had to lie down on the bench.
I got what I call “blood test feeling” which is a kind of dizziness that sticks with me for the rest of the day. It’s not about needles or blood but instead is my body’s disproportionate reaction to stimulus (I don’t really want to explain Dysautonomia for the 50th time). So I started talking in a very long and flowery way, much like I do after a blood test, and said some strange things like “should I just slide up here like a seal” when I could have just said “shall I move up to the end” or any other infinitely more sensible words.
But yes, I think it went really well. If I live to 60 or 80 or 100, I will be able to look down and see the paw print of my first Assistance Dog, the dog who changed and saved my life. That makes me really happy.
Comparison to original print.
Feeling very OK, even though my inner eyes are a bit red for some reason.
Shiny and goopy.
Might be the start of a Ehlers-Danlos tear, or might just be a needle scratch. Either way, I think my skin did really well.
The feeling of being tattooed is honestly not so bad at all! I would describe it as the feeling of a static shock that you get from someone, but quite hot. That’s all. I was really bad at explaining it during my dizziness though. I was saying to Kadek “you know when you’re being electrocuted? It’s like being electrocuted!” which probably made my artist a bit wide-eyed.
I was looking up a lot of experiences on YouTube to prepare myself, and people made it sound so much worse than it actually was. Pain is subjective, of course, but people were saying things like “the worst sunburn ever, being stung by bees” and “like razor cuts” and I would just not go that far at all. The wiping of the tattoo at the end was a bit like someone rubbing your sunburn though.
The tips of the paw toes and the highest parts of the Hebrew and Cyrillic letters, did get quite spiky and sharp, but I only had to screw up my face a bit and squeeze Kadek’s hand, so it wasn’t the end of the world at all. If you want tattoos, don’t be afraid.
Lettering in general was a total breeze, I completely understand why people get so much text tattooed, it doesn’t really feel like anything. I can’t remember if I figured out how to give a tip via the card reader in the end, I was so disoriented by the time I got to the desk. Next time I should just have cash on me, anyway.
I’ve also learned from YouTube that it’s totally normal for so much excess ink to come out, so I’m not having any worries so far. Just quite tired and I definitely felt hungover this morning. Tattoo hangover is real.
I might have a bit of my own YouTube ramble if I can find my bloomin’ video camera. I saw it a while ago but thought I didn’t need it until I get matched to my Canine Partner and want to make a compilation. Now that I would like to use it before that, I can’t find it again. Which is bloody typical. I suppose I could use my photo camera to do it, but without a viewfinder that flips out I won’t be able to tell if I’m blurry or not.
I used to use DailyMotion, mostly for dog training videos, but now I might actually make proper use of my YouTube account. You know, to talk about my one tattoo.
But even though it’s only one, I am a GROWN-UP LADY and I DID THE THING!