Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Copied & pasted from myspace... will do my regular update ASAP

As most of you know, I have an armband tattoo on my arm which I've outgrown (sorry, Artie - wherever you are!!)... I didn't think about the placement, and the tattoo itself has no personal meaning to me other than being 18 and wanting to be cool and get a tattoo. I started thinking about having it removed probably 5 years ago or so. I alternated between having it touched up or added on to and having it totally taken off. Usually those 'adding on' thoughts happenned when I was drunk.
Well, it's been nearly ten years and today was the day that I began the process of having it removed. It was actually prompted by Angela, who has been having her underarms done and has raved about laser hair removal. So I was thinking.. hmm.. I hate shaving and I'm always getting ingrown hairs... what the hell. Let's find out the deal for both.
Probably a year ago, I contacted Monarch Medspa after hearing their commercials. They tried calling me, but I never called them back. I guess I wasn't ready. I began looking into it again after hearing another commercial that they were running specials... go to their website and they're offering 30% off tattoo removal packages and 30% off laser hair removal + 1/2 off an additional package. It isn't cheap, but it's come down in price more than 300% since I began considering it.
You see where this is going...... when I do things, I jump in with both feet. So I opted for the laser tattoo removal package, and both a bikini and underarm package, 6 sessions each. What the hell, ya know... I can knock them out all at once.
I took a half day vacation today... I was super anxious this morning... probably most anxious about the bikini part just because of the shyness/vulnerability factor. I didn't use a numbing cream, and according to the nurse who did the procedure, she didn't think that it helped all that much anyway. The underarms were quick and easy... it was a little painful at times, but nothing I couldn't handle. People have likened it to a rubber band snapping against the skin, but I think more of it as feeling like an either super-hot or super-cold blast of keyboard cleaner with each pulse- you know, that stuff where the can gets all cold and frosty after you use it? The bikini was more painful than the underarm, and surprisingly the parts I thought would hurt the most weren't as sensitive. The modesty factor goes away after the first pulse - all you think about at that point is the pain and ohgodwhenwillthisbeover?? Not to mention that the nurse says she does about 10 of those a day. That being said, I think that it's well worth it.
On to the laser tattoo removal... which I'm thinking is going to be cake. I saw it on Youtube and it looked fast and painless. HAHAHA!!! Was I mistaken! First they inject you with lidocaine - in my case it was a little more difficult, since she had to get all the way around my arm instead of a general area. After probably the 10th stick, I started feeling woozy. After a minute rest and some water, I laid down for the remaining injections, which seemed to take forever. It wasn't the pain or anything - I just hate needles.. it's more the thought of it.. plus, I could feel that the area was getting numb and it just made me feel weird. Next time I'll probably lay down for the whole thing and try not to think about it as much. After she was finally done with the lidocaine (or maybe it was some other numbing agent, I don't know), the laser started. The numb parts were fine, it felt like something snapping against my skin, but wasn't painful at all. However, the parts that weren't numb hurt!! It actually did feel like a laser at that point... it was a hot, stinging sensation... that's the best I can describe. Fortunately, that part didn't take long at all. It looks like the care is going to be the most problematic part.. I can't get the dressing wet for 3 days, so I guess I'll have to saran wrap my arm somehow. I have to change it regularly and make sure that it doesn't dry up... it looked pretty gross when she was done and it was bleeding. Ick.
Right now, my arm is extremely sore, but my underarm and bikini areas feel fine!
So anyway, that's my story... guess I'll post this as a bulletin and a blog. When I take the bandages off for the first time, I'll post some pictures. So remember, kids - tattoos are not fun to have removed, not to mention expensive - so think REALLY hard before you get one! I do have 3 characters on my back/shoulder, but I'm keeping those since I can a) cover them and b) they actually have a little meaning. Those are the tattoos that you want - those you can cover and those that have meaning.
Please think long and hard before inking yourself!

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