Once in a great while – not often, mind you – I like to step away from talking about my trials, tribulations, and triumphs in the face of extreme adversity. You know, that whole goddess thing I have going on. And I do so when it behooves me to write about things that my people might find useful, like the cancer shit and all. And then some people wind up thinking – “honey, TMI, okay? Love ya, but really, girlfriend.” To which I say: suck it.
All of which brings me to today’s topic: tattoos. Or more specifically, nipple tattoos. (See, I warned you guys.) Which as you can imagine, is one of those things fraught with apprehension for the nipple-challenged among us, as we think – WTF? Really? Isn’t that going to be, you know, PAINFUL?
An appointment was made, and off I went to the office of Dr. Fine, where I was actually going to meet with Michelle, aka PA to the Stars. Things start off as usual, with Michelle explaining the procedure.
Michelle:……..so after we pick out the right color, I’ll trace the shape that….
Me: Can we do it in any shape? Like, a flower or something fun?
Michelle: I only do circles. Dr. Fine once did a star, but only agreed to it if it could later be made into a circle if need be.
Hmm. Okay, never mind that idea then.
So we’re chit-chatting as Michelle is getting all the stuff ready.
Me: So does Grey’s Anatomy drive you crazy, with all the stuff they get wrong or take liberties with? You know, all the things that us mere mortals would have no idea about?
Michelle: Oh, I can’t even watch that show anymore, it’s so bad.
Me: Ha, so you mean everyone isn’t always getting it on in a broom closet?
Michelle: Well, actually….
Michelle: I guess there is a certain contingent like that, though it’s not common.
Michelle is silent for a moment. As soon as I’ve spoken, I’m kicking myself. Shit, now she thinks I think she’s a nurse, which I know she’s not. But now I sound like a dumbass. Geez, why don’t I just pitch everyone into the same category, call them all “technicians” or something?
Michelle: No, can’t say I do. Though I wonder if there are any Physician’s Assistant blogs out there.
Me, scrambling to cover my tracks: Oh, I’m sure there are. Especially since there are doctors’ blogs, ER blogs, you name it.
Me, continuing, hopefully: So do I at least get any good drugs after this? Dilaudid? Whatever that is, it's big in the nursing blogs. Oxycontin? There's bound to be a LOT of pain after this, and I'm kind of a wimp.
Michelle, not moved: Tylenol.
Shit. Let’s face it, I’m still screwed – I’ve just inadvertently pissed off the person about to do my tattoo. Great.
After we get the color matched, Michelle starts injecting a local anesthetic under the fipple, which leads to this kind of dialogue when it hits a nerve or something:
Me: AHHHhhhh! Sorry. I know I’m the problem patient as always.
Michelle, deadpan: Oh, absolutely. Such a problem.
Me: AHHHHHHHhhhhhh! Sorry…..
And so on. But finally that torturous part is over, and the tattooing begins! Except….
Me: AHHHhhhh! Sorry….
Michelle: That shouldn’t hurt. Are you sure it’s pain and not pressure?
Me: It’s definitely pain. AHHhhhh! Sorry….
This continues. The part where the lat flap skin is has no feeling, so that doesn’t hurt. But as soon as it gets to the rest, yep, pain. Definitely pain.
Michelle: Really, pain? Not pressure?
See, I’m thinking this is where I’m paying for my “nurse” remark. I’m obviously an idiot, so everything I say is suspect.
Me: Sigh, it’s pain. But maybe I can just grit my teeth and suck it up?
Michelle: Well, generally with all the surgeries, there are nerves left only on the top, which is where we apply the anesthetic. The ones that run underneath have been cut.
Me: I guess I’m a special case. A freak of nature. It’s a gift.
The needle again, then more tattooing, but this time we’re in business. Pressure, no pain. Whew.
Finally we’re done, and we bandage that puppy up, and I get instructions for the care and feeding of tattoos. Then off to the hallway, where I’m greeted by the other Plastic Surgeon to the Stars, Dr. Schierle.
Me: Hey, your office is a frontrunner in the Pinkapalooza contest! We here at thethighmasterroutetokona really like free stuff.
Dr. Schierle: Outstanding!
Me, adding: And we’re going to wear our glowsticks to the Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night game!
Dr. Schierle: The…..how’s that again?
Me: Really, that’s what they call it. Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness. I know….but we have to remember, they’re hockey players.
Barb: Ah, good point.
These people clearly understand me. Clearly.
Dr. Schierle: That’ll keep us in first place, right?
Me: Well, it should. The problem is that there’s some truly scary Pinkishness stuff out there.
Dr. S.: How about having different categories? Like say…..a Hall of Fame? And a Hall of Shame!
Me, gaping at Dr. S.: Why…..that’s brilliant! I love it! I’m going to steal that idea and call it my own. But you guys will still be in the running for a hat.
Dr. S.: Excellent!
And so it has been spoken, and so it shall be done. Though in addition to the above categories, I’m also adding one called the Hall of WTF – for those entries that are neither way cool, nor way offensive, but just…..puzzling. To the extreme. In a “Huh? What the hell were they thinking” kind of way.
Oh yes, there are plenty of those out there too, trust me…..
Oh, and as for that tattoo? Yeah, it hurts like a sonofabitch, even now, days later. Still oozing, bleeding, makes it hard to drive because of the damn seat belt going over my chest. But you know, in the grand scheme of things as far as SurgeryLand and TreatmentWorld are concerned, it’s not that big a deal. My recommendation: drink early, drink often. I suggest shots of the Bloody Fipple (credit to Kim, who thought this one up, or at least something very similar):: pomegranate juice, flavored vodka, splash of amaretto. Bottoms up!