Note to self:

So, epilepsy I got a tattoo last Saturday (September 3rd). It’s a memorial tattoo for my dad who died 16 years on September 19th.

I had it all planned out what I wanted for this tattoo for my dad, buy more about to go on my right forearm, opposite the memorial tattoo for my mom. I had saved up the money for a few months, and finally was able to get a date scheduled. Now, I had two tattoos done back in April, and I was already sick, but undiagnosed, and not medicated. And while of course they weren’t necessarily pleasant, but besides some overstimulation afterwards (I have sensory processing issues), I wasn’t really any worse for wear when I was finished.

This tattoo experience, however, was an entirely different story! But I didn’t know that going into it. I honestly hadn’t the tiniest clue that this experience would be any different. After all, I was using the same artist, I was still sick, and this time I was on meds, so I should be better. Right?

WRONG!

Now, there are many different factors that played into what caused me to go into my flare last weekend. But I believe that my medication and the fact that I am more sick now than I was 6 months ago played a big part. But let me tell the whole story…

We did the tattoo in two parts, the black lettering and then a 5-minute break and then started on the color. After the lettering was done (which happened to be my dad’s signature from his original military orders in 1960 from when he was in the Marines), we took a 5-minute break so the artist could prep the color and get my input for what I wanted for the design. I had showed him a picture of what I wanted before we started, and he liked my idea, but I had said he could put his own spin on it. He got started on the color, and the way I was laying on the table I couldn’t really see what he was doing. But I trusted him, as he did my other two, and he free-handed the tree on my leg, which turned out beautifully, and while the bird on my arm was drawn by my sister, he did add some color very gracefully. So, I trusted him. When I looked up again, however, the design had turned into something completely different than what we had discussed, but it was already too late to stop what was happening. Inside I was devastated and crying, because my memorial tattoo for my dad is now nothing at all what I wanted, and I am stuck with this permanently. He finishes the tattoo; I pay him because I am too upset to even say anything, and My Loving Man and I leave.

As the evening goes by, I am already starting to become sick at this point, I cannot look at the tattoo (which should be very special to me) because it was not at all what I expected. I realize that it was all my fault, because I should’ve printed out a picture of the design I wanted so it was right in front of him; I should’ve paid more attention to what he was doing, rather than trying to relax. I begin to become very depressed about it. Depression is something that runs deep in my family, but I personally have never dealt with it. Even with both of my parents dying, and both of my kids being born prematurely and their health issues , and all of the health issues that My Loving Man and I have dealt with over the last 20 years. So this was a first for me.

Overall, I feel like the illnesses, the meds (the methotrexate and the prednisone), and the depression I was experiencing, is what caused my body to go into my first real autoimmune flare (since my diagnoses). I was sick (fever, chills, hot flashes, major fatigue, nausea, diarrhea) for about 6 days. It was a very difficult week.

And to top it all off, it seems as though my body is now rejecting the tattoo in some places, making my arm look so ugly. Some of the ink is being pushed out. Nearly all of the black lettering is now almost gone (faded). Almost as if it were an old tattoo. Parts of the colored areas are so blistered, and feels like my skin was burned with acid. My skin is sunken in, blistered, and weeping pus and color (and I am 8 days post tattoo). I can tell that it is going to take weeks for it to heal, instead of the normal 5-10 days.

Note to self: no more tattoos for this girl, unfortunately. And I really would love to try to get this one fixed, but I just don’t see how that would be a very good idea without getting sick again, or the possibility of my body rejecting it again. I am still so sad about how this tattoo turned out. I keep going over it all in my head “if only I had printed out that picture; if I had been more specific; if I had just told him that I wanted it to be dainty like my other one; if I had just been paying more attention; if…if…if…” But to move forward and get out of the funk of this depression, I need to do my best to quit dwelling on the ‘shoulda-coulda-wouldas’. But I am still having a very hard time looking at this tattoo. 🙁

For now I’m not posting any pictures of it. I had one posted up on my personal Instagram, but I deleted it. I may add a picture at some point, but I’m just not ready yet.

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