Saturday, May 03, 2008
A while back I had found photo of some serious Maori (a Polynesian tribal design) foot art that I had found somewhere on the web. This was the design of the Maori Bushwalker – one who travels many miles barefoot hunting and surviving in the wild.
I had thought as soon as I saw this design, that that would be my feet.
On Friday May 10th 2008, I went in and had the ink done after negotiating for over a month with the tattoo shop as the design is very, very complex for that area of the body.
So I had the ink work done and I must admit to everyone who reads this – you must be very dedicated, or a real masochist to get this kind of work done.
This was not like the various other tattoos I have (religious symbols on the back of the neck, Jeep on my arm, etc) which are an hour or two of gentle sunburn-like pain and then it’s all over.
After spending the morning hiking with Chuck we went back to his place an hour or so before the appointment I removed any jewellery I had on (toe-ring, anklet, etc.) and scrubbed my feet with Ajax to get them really clean as I had been barefoot all day.
We arrived at the tattoo place and waited around laughing and joking for a bit while the tattoo artist to got himself ready. I slipped off my sandals and lay down on the massage table to prepare to be once again altered for the rest of my life. The artist stated I probably wouldn’t be able to cope getting both feet done today, so he’ll do one and break for a while.
The pain was incredible. My trail hardened, leather feet were no match for the tattoo needle. I could not believe how I suffered. Thankfully Chuck was there to keep me occupied and laughing and joking. Sometimes laughing so hard the artist had to stop until my legs stopped twitching. The first foot took almost two hours of really bad pain. The Achillies tendon was very, very painful. The ankle bone felt very strange as I could feel it vibrating when the electric needle went over the area.
Almost 2hrs after the first torture session, I decided it was best to just keep on truckin’ and get it all done and overwith.
Little did I know this was only the beginning.
A total of almost 4 hours of excruciating pain – so much that the endorphins made me go into some kind of weird head space and it was almost like a form of meditation and I didn’t even feel the last hour and a half of it.
Then the fun began!
My feet were extremely sore and I couldn’t walk properly, and limped my way to the car – thankfully I didn’t come on my motorbike and Chuck was kind enough to drive me in his car otherwise I would have been in a real challenge. That evening I was so spun from the event that I came home and relaxed for about an hour and cleaned my wounds then went to bed.
The next day was amasing. My feet were swollen and very painful. I could only hobble around at best, and the swelling had clamped down on my ankle and made it so I could only walk on my tippy-toes. Of course this was my big mothers day party for my mother and mother in law and such today.
I sat around wallowing in self pitty with my feet elevated most of the day, as when I put them down and the blood rushed into them it started to get tight and painful, walking was kind of out of the question, except to goto the bathroom and rinse off and clean the ink with antibacterial soap and then a thin layer of “tattoo goo” moisturiser, which was all done walking on my toes.
So the second night things started to get a little better as I was awoken in the night by insane itching in my feet – which meant the ink was starting to heal.
The 3rd morning I am now able to walk on my feet flatfooted. I’m going to have to wear a pair of camoflauge knitted of slippers to work that a Anne Grottick was kind enough to knit for me some time ago. The harshness of even flip-flops would be unbearable.
Of course in the days to come, this incident will fade into history and I will be left with my design and not even think about it that much.
I certainly would tell everyone who wanted to get this kind of ink done to be sure to have at least three barefoot rest days, and don’t expect to be able to wear shoes that much over the next while as it will be very painful and could even disturb your healing ink. It is certainly worth the pain as large foot tattoos are rare and it makes them kind of exotic.