Another one year anniversary... - A Movement In Time And Space
Moving through time and space in our own way
Another one year anniversary...
January 25, 2005: The day I got my first tattoo.

Here I am, last year, right after I got it done.

Different hair style, different glasses, almost a different person.

I ♥ my tattoo. It was a surprise for Chris. He was here in Seoul, I was dealing with the shock of having to move here. I'd always wanted a tattoo, since I was in college. One of my best friends, Cathy, and I were supposed to get them together on our 25th birthdays. But we didn't. We both sort of chickened out. But I kept talking about it and Chris would say, "yeah, whatever." He didn't believe that I would ever get one.

But something pushed me into finally doing it. Like a last hurrah, I suppose. I got my MIL to watch the kids that afternoon and my friend, Melissa, took me to "Art to the Bone" on Ventura Boulevard. I had a small inkling of what I wanted - something with the OM symbol. Then I thought about flowers. Maybe I'd get a sunflower instead. I looked through the design books, but nothing caught my attention. Until I looked up at the wall and there was a picture of Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of Wealth. The artist had done a HUGE tattoo of her on someone's back. I loved it, but yeah, not getting my whole back done. One of the symbols of her is the Lotus Flower (actually, it is a sacred flower in general in Hinduism, not just a symbol of Lakshmi). But he didn't have any cool pics of a lotus flower. So, he sketched one from scratch for me with the OM symbol! It was awesome. Mine, all mine!!

He made a copy of it, reducing it a little bit (he made it HUGE at first), and then he copied it onto my shoulder. I took a deep breath and said, OK! Melissa was ecstatic - neither of thought I'd actually do it right then and there. But the design was just so beautiful and I didn't know when I'd have another chance - kids taken care of, Melissa free to go with me, Chris out of town so I could surprise him. It wasn't too painful, but there were a few long lines, so I had to use my breathing exercises from child birth a few times!

Anyway, I surprised Chris with it when he got home. He really liked it. That was a fun surprise to unwrap. ;-) I want him to get one too, but again, finding a cool design is an issue. Our friends, sammykate and her husband, Shane, got a couple new ones (Shane's first!) recently and posted pics on her blog. So cool. I want another one...but I don't know of what. I need Luis to draw up another one-of-a-kind sketch just for me. LOL

I'm so happy I did it. Next time, I'm going to get one somewhere it can be shown off a lot more.

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What I'm feeling: contemplative wanting

29 thoughts or Leave your thoughts
sammykate From: sammykate Date: January 25th, 2006 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, tattoos...*sigh*

Thanx for sharing your story.

I remember going in to have my first one, a small violet next to my navel, done. I wanted a violet for several reasons. It had always been my favorite flower, and I had recently learned that it was also my Nana (whom I had never met)'s and my Aunt Kay (after whom I was named)'s favorite. I had recently lost my Aunt Kay, and it just seemed like a good way to honour two remarkable women, and to remind myself how I aspire to be like them (my Nana raised 12 children and I had heard lots of stories of her gentle wisdom and patience, my Aunt Kay was an ex-nun turned schoolteacher who served briefly as a school principal before deciding that teaching was her true calling and returning to the classroom).

So, one day, I walked in to a tattoo parlor right across from the Fine Arts building on campus at ASU and asked the guy (seems like his name was something like Ray) if he could do it. He replied, "Bring a picture of one and I'll draw it out for you."

I went home and searched but could not find a picture I liked. I returned several days later with...a candy dish. I had found a little china candy dish with a pattern that included violets. He laughed at me. Hell, I laughed at me. Then, when we settled down, he carefully studied my candy dish and drew out a beautiful little violet. It has faded and needs a little touch-up (having survived 3 pregnancies!), but I still love it.
pratibha75 From: pratibha75 Date: January 25th, 2006 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been wanting to get a tattoo for a real long time. Infact I wanted it last year so that I could welcome my 30's with somethong special. I was debating between getting my nose peirced or getting a tattoo.

Unfortunately, I did neither!

BTW, I like your journal, especially the pics of your neice. She is so adorable. I have added you, hope its alright with you.
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 25th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a red scorpion above my left ankle. I've never regretted it, and it's been 8 years now. It's hidden unless I want to show it off and then I have to watch those professional suit-skirts.

If I ever get another, I know I want a small tag on my nape that says "Made in India". But I will not get another.

1 year after my tattoo, I was babysitting for a house with cats. I'm allergic and this cat had clawed me a few times. I started to develop a mass on my left poplitial (back of the knee). Being a busy student, I didn't give it adequate attention, and kept the MRI results as nothing serious. The lump grew and finally 4 months later when it was too painful to drive or to sit comfortably, I sent the MRI to my surgeon uncle in Memphis. He booked tickets for me 2 hours after he received my fax and as soon I landed in Memphis took me to the best orthopoedic surgeon he could access. The MRI had shown a possible cancer. The biopsy was not conclusive and when I went for surgery 2 days later, I signed away my leg in the event that the potential cancer could not be contained.

Fortunately, when I awoke, I had my leg. They are researching the mass, but it was the early stages of a type of unknown cancer. My surgeon uncle was firmly of the opinion that a dye particle of the tattoo was the cause of the irritation that began the mass, and explained to me how most cancers begin exactly this way with an irritant. The orthopoedic surgeon who operated on me suggested that my cat allergies may have led to the irritation. My uncle and aunt have not yet forgiven me for the tattoo.

I tell the story to all those interested in a tattoo or more tattoos. The risk of the needle is well known. The risk of the dye particle, dye allergen, or blood unable to flush the dye is not only unknown, it cannot be prevented or forseen. Had the tattoo been on my neck or back, and the dye particle caught closer to my brain, I may not be here to tell the tale.

Indeed an older lady who came in the week after I did was not as lucky as I was to get scheduled with the best orthopoedic surgeon. The surgeon who operated on her experienced the 60% risk there was even in my surgery. Her mass could not be contained and the lady now has only one leg.

I love my tattoo, but when I think of the other one I want, I have to think hard about whether it's worth the risk. I urge you to do the same.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
How is he sure that it was the tattoo (which was a year earlier) and not the cat?

Definitely, be careful. Always check that the tattoo place (in the US) has been health inspected and recently. Check that they use sterilized needles straight from a new wrapper. My artist had me check the packages of the needle before he opened it right in front of me.

Everything is a risk, to be sure. But there are ways of protecting yourself.

shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
There's no way to protect yourself from a dye particle that doesn't get flushed out by the blood naturally. You just pray that it happens.

My uncle isn't sure, he just thinks it is more likely the dye. The orthopoedic surgeon thinks the same, by the way, but he wanted to ease the family tension by offering the cat explination. The car allergen happens only in a few rare cases of allergy, and I have had no tests to prove that I have that particular allergy or not.

At any rate, there's no concept of checking the tattoo dyes used... any dye is not natural to the body, and if it is not flushed by the blood in a natural purging process and gets caught in a nook like whatever was causing my problem did, it could result in some issues.

It's a risk you take. As one of my friends put it at the tattoo parlor less than a year after my potential loss of limb, "You take a risk everyday when you walk out the door". Just know that the risk is there.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
As one of my friends put it at the tattoo parlor less than a year after my potential loss of limb, "You take a risk everyday when you walk out the door". Just know that the risk is there.

So very true.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
By they way, I forgot to say that I'm glad you are ok! That must have been scary for you.
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's quite alright.

It was scary. Fortunately, I didn't have a whole lot of time to brood, but that intensifies the wonderment. At 20, I was imagining the possibility of a life on one leg. Would the man I love find it worth the life I would now assume... so many things would have to revolve around the disability... I couldn't run after my children... I couldn't run ... stairs ... shoes ... pants... excercise ... cooking ... lifting children ... dancing ... feeling complete ... running away in an emergency ... balance ... I can't even begin to describe my 4 days of excrutiatingly detailed thought and anticipatory preparation. If I did lose my leg, those 4 days was all I had to prepare for it.
From: gabbytheguy Date: January 27th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your comment. Very scary and I'm glad you're OK.

I don't think my view has changed (as you said, you take a risk every day just by walking outside the front door)) but it's certainly something to take into account.

To be honest I don't think me or my wife will be getting tattoos in any hurry anyway, and with stories like yours the romance of the idea has somewhat faded!
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
> romance of the idea

How about a belly button piercing ? For some reason tattoos and piercings get lumped in the same category. Piercings are less permanent and if they provide you the wild streak you need, heck, choose that.
From: gabbytheguy Date: January 27th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
As you say, I do kind of lump it in the same category...a piercing wont be happening any time soon either! I don't have anything against either - although I prefer tattoos because of the art personally - I guess I'm just not that wild after all!

priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome! No, I don't mind the add at all. :-)

My sister got her nose pierced...and then got a tattoo. LOL
From: gabbytheguy Date: January 25th, 2006 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Martha and I discussed getting tattoos together on our dream holiday to Easter Island where they have some amazing artwork. It seemed an appropriate time and place to do it.

However we both chickened out when we saw the tattoo parlour which was little more than a ramshackle house on the outskirts of the *one and only* town on the island. We suddenly realised it might not be the *healthiest* place to take the plunge despite the romantic appeal of it.

Never say never I guess, but for now I'm happy to just admire other peoples tattoos - and yours is wonderful!
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Take a look at my story above, I like to tell the tale to anyone who's considering a tattoo.
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! You were probably right to not go to a place like that...did you take a look inside at all?

I'm crossing my fingers that Chris comes home with one. :-D
From: gabbytheguy Date: January 27th, 2006 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, we gingerly peeked inside and that was the deciding moment not to do it.

Easter Island is really remote (obviously) but I mean that in every sense. Some luxuries we take for granted they've only had for 10 years or so, like a main road built through the town, and a taxi service. I don't think they even had a telephone exchange until recently.
From: shiroitori Date: January 25th, 2006 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
beautiful! I love tattoos. I really like your's, I love lotuses a lot, not as much as lilies though. The first tattoo I got was when I turned sixteen, a crescent moon on my hip. The next tattoo I want, will probably on my lower back or shoulder, of a lily and a moon or a lily and a sun, undecided yet lol
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, a crescent moon sounds wonderful. Got a pic?

I really want one of a peacock feather...but i have yet to find a pic of one that I like.
xpapergirl From: xpapergirl Date: January 25th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Priya! Its beautiful! I have one on my right upper back..and on my ankle. I love them!
priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!! Got pics of yours to share?
From: junetoo Date: January 25th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so very much want a tattoo too!
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I tell my story to everyone who wants a tattoo. Just be aware.
From: junetoo Date: January 27th, 2006 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw a story like this on Dateline or 60 Minutes, one of those type of shows. I also saw a show on a university study on tattoo ink. They discovered all sorts of toxins and chemicals that had no reason to be in the dye. Those stories played just last year so perhaps they will affect the tattoo industry in the future.

By any chance, do you have a sensitive body? Sorry if it comes off as strange, but I do. I had severe allergies as a child (they seem to lessen up as I grow older), I always have reactions to prescription drugs (I am very weary of any drugs I take now), and once again in my life with this pregnancy I am experiencing severe symptoms.
shortindiangirl From: shortindiangirl Date: January 27th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, my body isn't very sensitive. It's extraordinarily hardy. I grew up in India and my immune system is robust. I have a few allergies, but no major ones, and no problems with them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool tattoo. If you listen to it backwards, it says satanic things, and that is what makes it VERY cool.
From: stuckincustoms Date: January 26th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
wups that was me again...hmmm
sammykate From: sammykate Date: January 26th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, I thought if you listened to it backwards it said, "Paul is dead...Paul is dead..."

priyabradfield From: priyabradfield Date: January 27th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)

From: (Anonymous) Date: February 4th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Has it been a year already?!

Seems like a month ago. I miss you.
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