Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Post-Salabrasion - UPDATE!!


So, I got a message recently about posting update salabrasion pictures.  I want to apologize to that person....SO very sorry.  We were in the middle of mid-terms, now we're closing in on finals and I've just been WAY busy.  Really, you have no clue but I thank you for understanding.

I mentioned to that person that, once classes started, I realized I wasn't going to be able to keep up with this blog.  I just don't want to delete it because of that info on salabrasion.

Because it's been a minute, I forgot what pictures I've posted so I'm just gunna go ahead and post.  Sorry if they're repeats. :)

Ok, this was a few days after the "procedure".  It was very sore and raw.  I took pain medication for about 2 days afterwards.  We were constantly dressing and re-dressing the area.  I made sure not to get it wet, sweaty or dirty.  We'd really just put a disinfecting cream, and cover it.  This was on my neck so my hair would get the tape was a pain (annoying).  I admit, I was worried when I saw that the tattoo was still visible like this.  But it DOES start fading.  I actually think that our re-dressing it actually slowed the scabbing process but who knows.

This was about 2-3 weeks post-salabrasion.  You can see it had started to scab (crucial to healing) but this was honestly the worst!  It got SO itchy!  You know how you scab your knee or elbow and you want to scratch or pick at it?  Ok...imagine wanting to pick and scratch this big area!  I caved 2-3 times and I even feared my scratching would lead to an infection but, thankfully, everything was fine.  Still, one must be prepared for this.  It NEEDS to scab....NO scratching!!

Sorry for the size on this one (above).  This was almost 2 months after.  Still visible and actually, still healing at this point.  You see that it hasn't actually started to "scar" yet.  The layer of skin is forming here, making it looks glossy but this isn't the scarring yet.  It's still fading too.

From this point, I sort of stop taking pictures.  I know I have more but I cannot find them. :(  However, let me explain that the tattoo keeps on fading for several months.  I believe it completely healed and scarred at about month 4.  It's not been well past the half year mark and this is what it looks like now:

I doubt it's going to fade any more than this.  As you can see, someone missed a little piece but that's okay.  This is with ONE salabrasion treatment, less than $30, but very painful and not for the faint of heart.  This is WITHOUT any sort of fading cream.  I am going to start using one this week to get rid of what's left.  Honestly, we'll probably do one more session just on that little piece.

I knew I would scar badly but I preferred that over the tattoo.  I've got things to achieve and it was holding me back from a particular goal.  I can now move forward.  I do not regret doing this at all.

Questions?? Feel free to message me!  I'll do my best to respond asap!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Please "join" me on my other blog

With full time mommy duties, college classes, fitness ventures, etc., I just don't have the time to keep up with this particular blog.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Post-Salabrasion, Weeks 1 & 2

Hello readers! I'm alive!

I haven't had a chance to blog but, rest assured, I am well. But let's catch you up on what's been going on with my wound since I didn't update on Day 6.

After PS (post salabrasion) Day 3, I continued to be in pain for a few more days. I must admit that the tattoo was still very clear and even though we had done everything exactly right & knew that it would still be there, I'd sometimes worry because it wasn't fading & healing faster, wondering, "Did I do this for nothing?"

1 week in, we decided that the wound was not healing faster because it was constantly covered in triple antibiotic ointment &, therefore,not drying out & scabbing. A good thing, I'm sure, for the first few days but it was around this time that I could undress the area without being in horrible pain. Doubt had also begun to fade because with every cleaning, redressing & undressing, I could SEE a big difference. One time, I peeled off my dressing to find ink on the dressing in the exact shape of my tattoo. I thought that was pretty cool....& gross, but still.

For the past few days, I haven't been dressing it at all. It's dry. The ink is almost completely gone but because of the scabbing & drying, there are times that it gets insanely itchy. Just 3 nights ago, it got so bad that it felt like torture. TORTURE!!! I couldn't stop myself, really, & I ended up making myself bleed. The fear of infection is very much still there so I cleaned it thoroughly & made a promise to myself to not allow myself to do that again, no matter how itchy. Damage was done though, & I set my healing back by days. It's back to post-scratching condition now though.

I think I might be holding healing back now with the antibiotic ointment now since scabbing is very slow, with only some areas starting to scab. I'm not sure. I'm going to have to consult a health care professional here on how to proceed.

The wound itself looks bad, I won't lie. It looks like raw skin mostly even though it's not. I believe it's that clear coating that covers a wound in the natural healing process so it FEELS rough, it FEELS scabbed but it's not entirely. I've been doing neck stretches too so as to keep the skin naturally stretchable in the neck.

For those who think it looks bad, because it does, remember the scar will shrink eventually 40-80%, it's not going to have the same pigment it does now &, more importantly, I knew it would scar &, as I've said before, I'd MUCH, MUCH rather have a scar than the tattoo!! Ha ha.

As for my working out, I actually only took a week off & got back on schedule last week, much to my husbands dismay. It hurt some, of course, but I expected that. I'm crazy, I know.

I keep hearing it. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Post-Salabrasion Day 3

I'm not gunna lie....I'm in a helluva lot of pain right now. Day 1 was not so bad. It really only hurt when we had to clean & dress the wound. Day 2, pain was worse & I spent most of the day on pain meds,doing light cooking/cleaning, rearing of children etc.

Day 3: The area has a begun to heal and you can tell where there is still ink coming off but I am in horrendous pain. The husband woke me up this morning to make breakfast but when he got home a few hours later, he told me to dress the kids & get in bed. I'm not sure how long he was gone but I think he thought I might just lay down, watch TV. Nope. I knocked out for HOURS, only waking to turn from one side of the bed to the other. My sister-in-law told me she came in to check on me & even poked me to make sure I was alive. Haha. I really don't recall her doing that but I was OUT.

I've been up for several hours now & finally decided to take some pain medication & take the dressing off for a bit. It was really hurting but having the dressing off isn't helping. At the moment, it literally feels like it's on fire. When my husband was taking the dressing off, the peeling was horrible. Apparently, the dressing had begun to stick to the raw skin. My shoulders and upper back hurt even though I don't have any "wound" in that area. Even my bra shoulder straps are making my shoulders hurt. Everything is just swollen there.

I know this isn't my fitness blog but because I wont be able to workout for a bit (hopefully till I have been eating extra clean. Anyway..I'll update again on Day 6.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Salabrasion Experiance

So if you've been reading..or have previous posts you have somewhat an idea what I'm talking about here.

I don't really feel like going into the whole regret thing again so I'll just go into the actual salabrasion experiance.

We, my husband & I, had already stocked up on first aid items and everything else we were going to need.  If you want to know the actual salabrasion process, go HERE.  To reiterate, we had done plenty of research on the subject as well as consulted with a dermatologist.

I took some pain medication prior to starting, also took a shot a vodka to just calm my nerves as I was begenning to get a little nervous.  After about 30 minutes or so, I sat down in a chair, my husband sat in one behind me, wrapped a Jenga block in gauze, dipped it in water then salt & began "sanding" at my tattoo.  Immediatly, it began to hurt but, of course, this was expected.

I can't tell you how painful it was.  I'd rub my legs, squeeze my hands into fists & try to focus on something else.  My husband kept needing to stop because he was rubbing so hard, the gauze was tearing into pieces every 5 minutes.  Mistake #1, we didn't stock up on enough gauze.  Mind you, we're doing this with salt.  Have you ever had an open cut & you accidently get salt in it?  It burns.  This is what I was feeling on the back of my neck x 10.  Almost like someone had a lighter way too close to my neck but I really did not want him to stop.  Every time he did, the salt just sat there on my tearing skin & it burned that much more.

20 minutes in, I began to cry silently.  By this time, it wasn't just burning but because he was using a wooden block, it felt like the bone in that area was being shaved at.  I could feel it scrubbing agains the bone and it was at this time that I decided to drink the rest of my husbands beer (I had already drank one) and I told him to open another bottle of Grey Goose for me, which he did.  I guess he was also rubbing against some nerves there because there was this "pain" radiating from my neck to my shoulders to my arms.  For those of you who lift, it's the feeling you get after you've fatigued your arms lifting heavy weights, going maximum rep.  It wasn't pain, pain..but it was uncomfortable. 

My husband stopped again for a bit so I decided to take another pain medication so I did.  Then I took another.  I realized that mixing that amount of pain medication with alcohol was not a good idea but I was in tremendous pain.  We did about 15 minutes more when we realized that we had ran out of gauze.  There was this little pile of pink and white gauze (blood) & had no more to continue OR dress the wound.

I called my mom who lives not 5 minutes away and, after speaking to her, we decided we'd jump in the car and go get the gauze from her.  I had already told her a little bit about our plan and though she didn't like the idea, she wasn't going to NOT help me relieve the pain.  I didn't get off because I didn't want her to see anything but she kept saying for me to stop, not to continue this and that she would pay for laser treatments, etc. Bless her heart.  But there's no way in hell i'd want HER to waist over 2 grand on the treatment.  Besides, we were half way done anyway. Mistake #2, don't tell your mother.

Oh but she did give us first aid tape which we had forgotten to buy.  That was Mistake #3.

Stopping for a small amount of time made it more painful, stopping for 10 minutes made it EXTRA extremely painful once we started again.  I can't explain how painful it was.  I was crying silently again, feeling like there was a torch on the back of my neck, burning, there was blood on my shirt, the area was swelling BUT it pumped me up so much to see a clean, salty gauze get scrubbing and then seeing little black spots all over (the INK!).  The ink was coming off!

I could tell my husband wanted to stop.  He would squeeze my hand, I'd keep crying, he'd ask repeatedly "are you sure you want me to keep going?" & I'd just nod or say yes.  I hated that he kept asking me questions because it felt like it took all my energy to answer him and it would come out muffled.  I'd half say, half breathe out, "stop talking".  I have no idea how many swiggs of the vodka I took but it wasn't enough.  Finally, when I could feel myself getting ready to pass out, either by the pain or medication/vodka combo, I told him he could stop.

He sanded for over an hour.

This morning, he let me sleep in of course.  I actually woke up in much less pain than I had anticipated.  I even made Fideo con Pollo, bathed the girls, put the little one down for her nap & am now writing this blog.  It hurts, especially when sweat runs down, so I'm going to heed Juan's advice and not work out.  I really need to focus on keeping the area clean and dry to prevent infection.

If you read the procedure, you know that I still have clean it with salt in 2 days.  That's really going to suck but I've already handled the worst of it, I think. 

I won't post pictures yet.  Maybe in 2 days after we check the healing progress.  But that's my salabrasion experiance.  That it's barbaric, it is.  I was the most painful thing I've ever had to go through (besides childbirth).  It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Forgetting Regret....

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."

Well..we meet yet again. Previously, I had blogged about removing a tattoo that I didn't want anymore.  Then I wrote another about a goal I am holding on to with the tips of my fingers.  These go hand in hand, friends, because my tattoos are actually keeping me from reaching said goal.  Now, I am still not prepared to share this secret goal  but I will say that, today, I am taking the first official step to getting my tattoo removed.

I must warn, however, that it's not exactly a traditional tattoo removal.

I may have mentioned that we are currently building our own house.  Now, it's nothing fancy & is actually smaller than our first apartment (975 square feet) but we know making these sacrafices right now, pinching every penny, asking for help from family, etc., is going to pay off once we have it built & move in.  Then once we both start school, it'll be great to not have rent or worry about payments.  If there's anything my husband is great about, it's money management and I thank God that he left the Marine Corps with zero debt.  Everything we own, from our couch to our car, was either paid in full or got completly paid off before coming into the civilian world.  Therefore, the only payments we'll ever have is utilities and, of course, the basic needs.

Because of this, it's near impossible to afford those $300 a pop laser tattoo removal treatments.  And because we're on a tight schedule with school, kids and my goal timeline, I don't have time to sit on with creams & the like.  Other methods of tattoo removal are incision, cutting it out, or dermabrasion which is basically like having a professional sand it off.  Originally, that was the option we were going for (we being my husband and I ) but, to be honest, the fear of infection, not to mention lack of anastesia, really turned me off.

Ironically, the method we have now chosen is considered the most "barbaric" manner in which one can remove a tattoo at home.  This method is called "Salabrasion" and it's still like sanding it off but with salt.  Basically, my husband will clean the tattooed area, get it wet, pour salt over it and then rub the heck out of it until it's gone deep enough to reach the ink (about 45 minutes - 1 hour).  I'm lacking a few details here but I'll get more into the process some other time.  I should mention that infection is still possible but, rest assured, this isn't something we just cooked up & decided to try.  We've been researching, planning, reading and preparing for several weeks.  I also consulted a dermatologist who explained the process of salabrasion; the oldest method of removing a tattoo.

I have never had any type of tattoo removal procedure so I can't say how they work or if they work but I do know that, for me, this is a great option.  I really don't mind the scarring & actually much prefer it over my tattoo.  Other procedures which people pay thousands for can still cause scarring but, again, I don't know anyone personally who has used any of the aforementioned methods used for removing tatts.

I will be updating my blog, probably with pictures.  The first ones will probably look a little gruesome and bloody but I'm warning you right now so be prepared.  I am oddly excited and can't wait to get started TONIGHT.

Wish me luck & please pray for a quick, infection-free recovery.