It’s finished! My tattoo memorializing my diagnosis and excision surgery of Endometriosis. It’s fresh, hot off the presses, and still gooey, a bit wet and shiny, but I didn’t want to wait before sharing! I’m sure there will be better photographs in the future. 🙂 I love it, so very much.
If you don’t yet know what Endometriosis is, it’s an invisible, chronic disease that effects 176 million women worldwide. Implants grow inside of our abdomen, causing severe pain, inflammation, bloating, and other complications such as scarring that weaves our organs together. Doctors can surgically remove the growths that permeate our abdomen, but they grow back and subsequent surgeries are required. Many women control their symptoms with diet and supplements, but it doesn’t work for all women. And there is no cure to Endometriosis, nor effective treatments. More info can be found here.
A bit of history and meaning of my tattoo:
I have a special sort of anatomy…a septated vaginal canal with a dual cervix, but only one uterus. “What is that,” you ask. Your vaginal canal is likely a singular “tube” (I like that word…haha) leading up to your cervix. Mine is split in half: I have a left side and a right side, and likewise have a left cervix and a right cervix. Both are fully functional and operational 😉 I require two tampons during my cycle (one on each side) as well as two pap smears each year (again, a left pap and a right pap). TMI? Too bad! Take your left hand and form an O with your fingers, now do the same with your right. And put the two O’s together. Voila : my special anatomy! These two big O’s remind me of owl eyes (I obsessed on owls after my dual cervix/canal discovery…)
So, for my tattoo, I have an owl. It represents my lady bits. 🙂 Owls are also associated with change, wisdom, intelligence, and death (interpreted by many as a “life transition change”). All of which I have gained since my Endometriosis diagnosis, which has also drastically changed not only my emotional life, but my physical well-being, diet, and mindset.
Blue Lotus Blossom:
While researching things for my tattoo, I was fascinated to learn that lotus blossoms are “born” in mud & grime. They rise up each day up out of the muddy waters and unfurl their petals, clean as a whistle. Beautiful. And each day they retreat back into the murky depths, only to be reborn in the morning, again beautiful. Blue lotus blossoms are held in ancient Egyptian culture as a sign of rebirth and renewal. And Buddhists believe it symbolizes victory of the senses, spiritual wisdom, and intelligence. I have been given a second chance in life since my surgery and treatment. For the moment, I am pain-free, and now know what that feels like! I have been reborn, renewed. And also since my diagnosis, I have learned, and continue to learn, SO very much! Not only about my condition, but about myself. And continue to grow. The blue lotus blossom also personally represents to me that great beauty can come out of the worst of situations. A necessary element in my tattoo.
As any Endometriosis sufferer knows, it hurts like hell. Many women refer to it as barbed wire tearing up their insides. It’s true. It’s what it does feel like. So, the barbed wire represents the pain of this disease.
Drop of Blood:
For each surgery I have regarding my Endometriosis, a drop of blood will be added. It will be a way for me to not only keep count, but to remember. And to endure and thrive.
If you haven’t seen the Sneak Peak photos of my first session, you can see them here.
A HUGE thank you to my artist, Will Novotny, of Bad Influence Tattoo. Not only did he design this glorious beauty, but asked questions about it’s meaning, Endo, and was, as always, charming and witty throughout the entire process. If you’re ever in the Fountain Valley, CA area and crave some ink, I will always highly recommend him.
Do you have your own Endometriosis tattoo? I’d love to see it!!
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa