A few weeks ago I mentioned I had gotten a tattoo as a tribute to my oldest son who is a cancer survivor. (he has been in remission for 317 days…not that I’m counting) Now, I sailed through my last two…this one? Not so much. I had anticipated  pain and I actually kind of like it. Did I anticipate the pain being comparable to that of having 1,000′s of small nails pounded into my veins causing the sensation my toes were seconds away from exploding? Not so much, I kind of didn’t like that. I was a trooper though and after a high-five and a fist bump with the tattoo artist paying for my new ink I hobbled to my car.
It was pretty sore the next few days, and the next few days after that. I hadn’t anticipated the healing process to take so long, nor did I anticipate redness, swelling or the pain that accompanied it. Although my “foot tattoo leads to amputation” “death caused by foot tattoo” Google searches only directed me to encouraging news, I wasn’t convinced. I might have even snapped into O.C.D. mode. You can ask my family, you can ask my friends…heck, you can even ask the sales lady at Target that directed towards the cream you use for red, swollen, painful tattoos.
“Follow me” she says, “I just found it for someone else for the same thing.”
Somebody else might need an amputation too? The tattoo industry sure is going to pot!
“Oh really?” I asked pointing to my foot, “Did theirs look like this?”
“No, I…I think it was a butterfly.”
Clearly that’s not what I meant. The fact that I had even turned to the Target lady was humiliating enough. Responding would only make it worse…if that’s possible.
Suddenly, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I remembered I had a doctors appointment in a few days, I could just have him look at my foot while I’m there. He would be able to assure me everything is fine, or he could tell me having my foot amputated was the least of my worries. Maybe that light at the end of the tunnel is really an oncoming train?
The morning of my appointment, I was thrilled to see my foot was redder and much more swollen. At least I wouldn’t appear to be such an O.C.D. hypochondriac. Right? I finished up the appointment but for some reason was hesitant to bring my foot up, the red, swollen, irritated, tattooed foot. Was I in denial? Possibly, as inevitable as it was, nobody wants to hear, “yes, we will need to amputate your foot. Do you have someone to drive you home today?” I put my big girl panties on and explained my dilemma. The doctor took a quick glance as he walked back over to me,
“Looks like cellulitis
“Huh?” I quickly came to my foots defense, “Because it’s swollen…because it’s red and swollen? Both my feet are swollen, look at both of them…they’re fat…I have fat feet!!!” I wailed.
Still standing on the examination table with a syringe in each hand, I warned them not to come any closer. My obsession of being reassured had just backfired on me. After a closer inspection, both the doctor and his nurse were in agreement that it looked o.k. The nurse explained she had a tattoo in the same place, and it did the same thing. (I wonder if it’s a butterfly and she bought her cream at Target? hmm…)
“It’s a very tender area…every time you walk…it takes much longer to heal.” Helllooo?? To be on the safe side, I was given some antibiotics. If all went well, I wouldn’t need my foot amputated. As I walked to my car on my fat feet, I had a skip in my step…I had really handled that pretty well! I took an antibiotic when I got home, and another before bed. I generously applied the topical antibiotic to my (irritated but not infected with cellulitis, newly inked, fat) foot, laid down and closed my eyes. (continue)

When I awoke the next morning my room was filled with sunlight, a gentle breeze blow through the window and the sounds of birds chirping filled the air. I lay there enjoying nature at it’s finest realizing for the first time in awhile my foot didn’t hurt, it was a glorious morning! Then nature called. Not like called called, but called…you know. That’s when I realized…I was paralyzed. I could not move my leg, the leg with the tattoo, the one that was red and swollen. The one the doctor obviously misdiagnosed. My first thought of course was to get to a phone, I needed to call and report this doctor to the Better Business Bureau, but nature was yelling at this point so that phone call would have to wait.
I used my upper body and pulled myself to the floor. Just as I hit the ground and that’s when it happened. The miracle. The sounds of hall-e-lu-jah filled the air and I was no longer paralyzed. I also no longer had my p.j. bottoms on. (too much information I know, just hear me out!) Well that was one hell of an antibiotic I thought as I answered natures call. I my doctor.
As I walked back into my room, I couldn’t help but chuckle at my p.j. bottoms still lying perfectly on my bed. When I grabbed them to put them on my un-paralyzed, yet chilly legs, they wouldn’t budge. Was I dreaming? Delirious? This is so not funny! At the top of my lungs I begin yelling, I rebuke you in the name of the… My cats have now joined in this game of tug-a-war as I tugged and pulled,  I finally won. What I saw after that was not a pretty sight, it was worse than my foot, worse than my red, swollen, irritated foot. I had fallen asleep with a Sugar Daddy, my Sugar Daddy. Do not ask me how, because quite frankly I don’t have an answer, but it some how ended up near my legs and melted my p.j.’s to the bed. (my bottle of Vodka however, was still in the same place it was when I fell asleep!! Oh, I’m kidding…kinda.)
Well I didn’t have to make that call to the Better Business Bureau after all. My foot, my feet are no longer red, fat or swollen and my new ink is healing nicely. Each time I see it, I’m reminded just what a hero my son truly is. I did learn a valuable through all of this though. If you sleep with your Sugar Daddy, there’s a good chance you’re going to wake up one morning and realize you’re now stuck with Sugar Babies. I’ll just play it safe for awhile and stay with the bottle of Vodka! Oh, I’m just kidding…kinda.