Sunday, January 8, 2012

Da Plane! Da Plane! Whoops, sorry, I'm talking about the other kind of tattoo. Removal session #1!

I see de plane! Oh, sorry, it's just another college drop-out with a tramp stamp.

Damn straight it is. This is my next tattoo.
So how many of you have some half-faded constant reminder of an impulsive decision from decades ago still lingering on your body? Is it a flower anklet or a tribal tramp stamp? My personal dumbass reminder is a black widow spider in a web tramp stamp, which has bled together to look more like a slug than a venomous arachnid. I took this picture using my cell so that you could really take in it's awesome awfulness for yourself.

You like it? Isn't it 'edgy'? 18 year-olds make good life decisions.
It usually doesn't bother me since it's on my back and I don't have to look at it but since I've been doing yoga on and off and now jogging, it's on display more than I'd like so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for some sort of Groupon or Living Social deal to get this blob zapped off my back. Then bingo! A few months ago, Groupon ran a deal for 3 sessions for $99 and I bought two. It was go time!

Get half-off Indian food, a face peel, and some tats removed, all from the same place!

Mustard? Ketchup? Tattoo removal?
I called the office and scheduled my first appointment for December 1st. I read online that you have a consult first so I wasn't sure if I was actually going to go under the gun on that first day but I was ready and willing. Much like Roughie in college. I wasn't really sure if this place was going to be halfway decent or more like a tattoo removal/ hot dog stand on the corner of Hillsborough and Webb, but I'm game either way. I get there a little early and thank god, the place isn't a dump. It's actually pretty nice, a lot like my own dermatologist's office, which is Versace plush. I fill out all the paperwork, leaving out the medical history that includes STD's and genital wart surgery, and page through a two year old magazine while waiting for my name to be called.
Why can't more men be clearly labeled like this?

The door opens and the girl who calls my name is young (younger than me) and really nice. Let me compare this to my dermatologist's office experience: like I said, my normal derm is pretty swanky and one time when I was there, I decided to get a price on getting this trashy inkspot removed. The girl who does the removal looks like a porcelain doll and while she's nice, she's not super personable, probably because she's so perfect it's intimidating. She takes a look, measures the tattoo, and gives me a price- $350. That's it? It's on like Donkey Kong! Then she finishes her sentence- a session. And since it can take up to 10 sessions, we're looking at over three grand to get this taken off. You know, I think I could learn to live with it for that price. So that's why I was all over this Groupon when it rolled out.

Three grand? I can put that towards a boob job and nobody will ever look at my back again!

At this place, I get my consultation and she says the webbing will go away quickly but the spider will take longer. Luckily, black ink on pale skin is the easiest to remove since it's easiest for the laser to find the ink and break it up. But I had the spider done twice, because I'm smart like that, so it could take more than the six sessions I had bought. 

And then I just connect a potato for the power source!
But after the six sessions are up, it's only going to be $75 a session after that. Say what? I asked her again and she said yep, only $75 since I already had the Groupon. I asked her what it would have been otherwise and she said if I came in on my own, she'd probably quote me at $125 a session. So almost a third of the price that my dermatologist was charging. And no, her laser did not look homemade, everything was state of the art and sterile, so I wasn't worried about catching Hep C or anything like that.

In case there was ever any question.
She explained that we would do the first session that night if I was ready; I was on that table on my stomach before she even finished the sentence. Let's burn this sucker off! She was going at half power since it was my first session and explained that it would take sixty seconds total and I can say 'break' at any time if I need a minute. She started with the webbing part and while at first it felt like being snapped by a bunch of tiny rubber bands, it was so constant that it ended up feeling more like when you hold ice in your hand and your fingers become so cold that it hurts. That was more of the sensation but she moved so fast that the pain was bearable.

He's waiting for a half-off coupon to get the 'T'. Until then, he's still bad-ass.

The day after treatment #1
She stopped and told me that she was finished with the web and was going to start the spider, which would take about ten seconds. It hurt, but it was over quick (that's what she said, heh heh heh). It didn't blister up afterwards but itched like hell while it was healing. Onto the next session in a month!

About two weeks later.
Check back to see how session #2 went! I'll give you a hint: it hurt like a motherf*#!@**r. Be sure to sign up to receive email notification when I publish a new post to the blog- look for the box in the upper right hand corner of the blog page. I swear, I'll stop sending the NIgerian prince emails. 

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