Today I got my first tattoo. It was something I had planned for a very long time. It took a while to coordinate my schedule with that of my ASL interpreter and SSP. Finally! We found a date we could all live with. Then I went on the hunt for an artist. The first place I tried wouldn't accept relay calls from people who are deaf or hard of hearing, so that disqualified them. Eventually, I ended up choosing NOLA tattoo. I made a great choice!
I arrived around 12:30 and met my interpreter and another friend.
I handed the artist a rough sketch of what I wanted and he "made it pretty" while I sat and chatted with everyone. Then my interpreter read me the fifty-bazillion forms that I needed to sign which basically said that I don't have a blood clotting disorder and I am not on drugs or drunk and that I don't hold the tattoo company responsible should my leg fall off from the tattoo.
My tattoo artist was called Lad and he did a great job. He first traced the design on my leg and got it centered right. My interpreter and friends told me that it looked fabulous. After he got the design centered right, I handed Laveau off to my friends and I climbed up onto this padded table. The interpreter interpreted everything he said. He turned on the tattoo gun thing and started.
I was expecting it to be much more painful than it was. Everyone kept telling me how much it was going to hurt and other people kept expecting me to chicken out. It really didn't hurt bad at all. from 1 to 10, I'd say the pain was around a 2, sometimes a 2.5 or 3 if it was on the bone.
My tattoo took almost two hours. It was a lot of fun to lay there and chat with friends while he inked me up. My interpreter gave me regular progress reports on the status of the tattoo.
The design I chose was five paws walking up the side of my calf. In the center of each paw is a letter in braille. Each of the paws stands for each of my assistance dogs, and the first initial of each dog is inside each paw. I have a piiiiicture!
Sorry I don't know how to post it here but have a link to my
After the tattoo was finished, he put soap on it and that burned like all hell. Then he stuck a bandage on it and gave me care instructions.
Then my friends and I left for Sushi, and in my case, beer.
It was a super awesome experience and now I am addicted and have begun plotting my next piece!
Laveau was really good during the whole thing. She watched every move of the artist, and when my tattoo was complete and I got off the table, she ran up to me and wrapped her front paws around my neck in a huge hug. Poor dog was worried.