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Beautiful Tattoo, Not for Me

About 6 weeks ago (on January 10th), I foolishly...

About 6 weeks ago (on January 10th), I foolishly got a tattoo of a watercolor rose (hence the username) on my left shoulder blade. I wanted a little tiny baby rose, but it quickly became much more as I let myself be influenced by the artist's opinion.

I plan to post a picture whenever I get the chance to take one. But the tattoo itself is about 5" (according to a consult I've already had at Dr. TATTOFF). The stem and leaves are 3 different shades of green-- pretty dark to pretty light, with some white. And the petals of the rose range from magenta to a light pink that peters off into my skin.. he used my skin color to contribute to the shading.. hopefully that won't make removing the pink difficult.

First of all, he was very professional and did an amazing job on the piece-- it didn't scar at all. I don't attribute any fault to him.. but it would make me feel much better about myself if I could say it was all his fault and move on.

Secondly, I should have listened to my gut when it told me to forget about the $40 deposit and move on with my life. However, I didn't want to waste the $40 and be a flake because I already feel like I don't commit to anything long term in my life.. I had an appt. set up for Jan 17th, and ended up texting the artist and having him do it the very next day (which was Jan 10th).

So long story short, I go in there with an idea of what I wanted in my head and the drawing he showed me was way too big and not what I thought it would be at all. Keep in mind we already met and I explained exactly what I wanted. I felt my stomach drop, but went ahead with it anyway. And I haven't stopped feeling guilty to this day.

Now I have this beautiful piece of art on my back that looks airbrushed and is quite gorgeous (thankfully I don't have to see it often). But I always feel disappointed in myself for desecrating my perfectly good skin.

My purpose behind getting it was to visually represent the process I've gone through this past year (and my middle name is Rose). So many struggles and so much pain finally subsided and I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel of my misery.. I finally felt confident, successful, and happy after 2013 ended. I rid myself of toxic relationships that were holding me back and just began to excel at everything I tried.

So I thought I would take a stretch and dip my toes into the unknown with something to represent all of that.

What a terrible idea for myself. However, I've made the choice not to let the tattoo I never see control my life. I just never realized that it would influence everything I wear, how I conduct showers (of all things!!!), and give me a stutter because it was so detrimental to my self-esteem.

Therefore, I have resolved to get it removed. PicoSure will most likely be my best option for the green leaves and stem. And I'm not quite sure what to do about the pink, but I have a consult next week and will find out what my best option for that is.

And sorry this is so long and personal, but I found that writing helps me cope with this "tattoo regret".

First treatment

So I finally got the pictures, the first one is right after getting it, the second one is 3 months later before treatment. I just got the very first treatment today. And it was extremely painful (but doable). They gave me laughing gas, which helped because it have me something to think about. And they have me Tylenol Extra Strength. I was able to sit through it all at once and she said she was more aggressive with the PicoSure laser since I was so adamant about having it gone quickly. I'll post pictures after I'm able to take the bandage off.

Typos

Sorry for the typos. My iPhone autocorrects "gave" to "have" for some reason.

Day after 1st treatment

Skin in pretty raised up, but the results were more than I expected! So I dreadingly took the bandage off while thinking there would be 1 inch high blisters. But so far there are none! It's just the day after, but that's pretty good. I put Aquaphor on it and it was kind of tender, the skin swollen and raised a lot where more ink is.
The nurse said it may darken a few days after and then will lighten. But all that's left now is for my body to break the ink down as best as possible!!!
This is going to be a really difficult journey, but I'm glad progress is looking good.

Laser aggressiveness

Sorry the updates are a little sporadic! I keep remembering important things I need to add in here.

The level of intensity she used to treat my tattoo was pretty aggressive, I'm not sure what the proper name for it is, but she said she could go up one level next time, but if I want to go up more, she needs doctor's approval. Which I'm guessing means it was fairly aggressive.

Day 2 of recovery

Well the tattoo is bruised horribly. And it's pretty painful. There are some blisters beginning to raise up and putting the bandage on over it with cloth tape is difficult, even with help. Overall, the most difficult part of the healing process is that the tape irritates my skin and makes it itch. I really don't want to let any shirts rub up against it.

Bandaging

I've been struggling with the bandage things. The aftercare list they gave me said I must apply a Tefla or non-stick pad over he would until it's healed.

And my advice for anyone with a back/shoulder tattoo, get cloth tape and the big pads from CVS. I was having my friends put them on for me, but they kept peeling off and separating from each other.

I figured out if I put the bandages on myself, I can straighten my back and make a little star shape so they stay on all day!!

Recovery, Day 4

First of all, Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!! I hope you all are having a nice weekend.

I didn't expect removal to incapacitate me so much. I'm exhausted and irritable a lot. Also, I woke up yesterday morning with severe nausea. I read up on it, and some have said it comes from toxins as the ink is metabolized by your body. But after a few hours and some tums, it went away.

Also, my mom is trained to do lymphatic drainage massages. And she gave me one of those!! It's supposed to now lymph fluid around and get rid of the ink faster! It's easy to do yourself too if you look it up on YouTube or something.

Still Day 4

Well I can't sleep! So I thought I'd check the tattoo and see if there's anything new. This picture was taken by me through a mirror since it's like 2am and no one is up. It looks like the light green is faded a lot. It's still pretty bruised, so any dark parts you see in the pink are bruises. Except I see these weird magenta circles inside the petals. Not sure what that is. But it's probably nothing serious. If anyone knows, please let me know!

Side note

If anyone can see the little curly thing at the end of the stem, I know it cute initially, but seeing it faded and (to me) almost gone makes me feel so happy!
Ever since I did this, I felt like I desecrated my body. It's completely personal because I do like tattoos on others and I don't knock them down at all! But for me, it felt like I was disrespecting myself and now that I feel like I'm making much more progress than I thought I would with just one treatment, I'm filled with joy!

Blisters

I know I have a lot of random little updates, but reading people's detailed journeys helped me tremendously. So I only think it's fair I show close ups of the reality of this whole process. I couldn't sleep tonight (which is really bad) because I drank coffee too late in the day and I'm quite uncomfortable.

10 days post 1tx

Last post was a bit of my most frustrating time. Everything was really itchy and I was deprived of sleep but am much better now! Blisters popped and I am finally able to give myself a break from those pesky bandages. I'm pleasantly surprised for the amount of fading underneath the peeling skin! Punk is proving difficult to deal with, but it looks like the darkest sections in the pink are gone and the lightest green is substantially gone! I feel a bit like it's fading more than it should be!! But in a good way.

Also, I will post side by side before and after pics once it's fully healed!!

Approx. 3 1/2 months post 1 tx.k

Well it's been about 3 1/2 months since my first treatment! I will probably get another treatment done in either August or November! That's the goal. I do see more fading, which is still encouraging. And the emotional turmoil that came with an unwanted tattoo is slowly going away.
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