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Foot Tattoos - Pain, Healing, and My Questionable Sanity

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Some of my friends think I’m a little crazy for getting different tattoo and piercing procedures just for the benefit of the experience and having personal information to share with my readers. I suppose it may seem a bit extreme to have holes punctured in you for the sake of an article, but my most recent experience reminded me why I do it. There is a big difference between understanding something “in theory,” and having a hands-on experience to substantiate that general knowledge.

I know tattoos and I know tattoo pain, but until the other day I had no idea how a foot tattoo compared. I was aware that it was going to be very painful and I knew my foot was going to swell. I was prepared with all the usual things I prepare myself with before a tattoo – gum, music, food on board, drink in hand, something to read and my bottle of Bactine spray. I was admittedly a little nervous, but ready.

Now, I’ve gotten very painful tattoos before. The one on my chest was very difficult to sit through and I had to do Lamaze breathing exercises through parts of it just to endure it. So, I have experience in pain and getting my foot inked couldn’t possibly be any worse than that, right? (Insert sarcastic remark here.)

Well, the first line told me I was in trouble. Not just because it hurt, but because I felt this irresistible urge to flinch. Kind of a knee-jerk reaction to the nerves being poked and prodded all along the top of my foot. The more Kym tattooed, the harder it became to keep myself from flinching. The more I resisted, the more I tensed up. The more I tensed up, the more painful the tattoo became. Even the Bactine didn’t take the edge off this time like it usually does.

I would say that the first hour of the tattoo was painful and annoying due to the flinching I finally had to give in to. Fortunately, Kym is a fantastic artist and just kept working despite my involuntary movement and none of her lines got messed up. The remaining half hour it took for her to finish the tattoo was pure agony. How I sat through it is beyond me – all I could do was watch so I could see how freaking amazing it looked and reminded myself that it would all be worth it in the end. How right I was!

My sugar skull is absolutely beautiful and I love it. Healing has been annoying – I’m on day four now and this is the first time I’ve been able to put my weight on my foot without causing it to feel like it might pop like an over-filled balloon because of the swelling. I’ve had my foot elevated for the most part of the last three days and have been applying ice packs as often as possible. Being laid up and unable to get outside or just engage in normal activities has been extremely frustrating, especially since we’re finally having some nice weather. But, it’s all worth it and sacrificing a few days for a lifetime of beautiful ink is a small price to pay.

But it’s not entirely over just yet because this tattoo isn’t finished. We’ve decided to add some old school roses to it, plus I still have the other foot to do. After watching me hobble around and grimace in pain the past few days, my best friend is starting to question my sanity since I told her I still have every intention of finishing what I started. Am I a masochist? Obviously not, because I have derived no pleasure from this pain whatsoever. I’m just a body art devotee who thinks the end result is the only thing that matters. Pain is temporary and it just makes us appreciate our ink even more.

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