I got a new tattoo a little while ago, inside my left forearm. It was pretty damn exciting. It's been fifteen years since I last got a new tattoo.
This tattoo is a little different to most, in that it has a very practical function. It's a medical alert tattoo.
People have been telling me for years that I really should get one of those medical ID bracelets, but I was not at all attracted to the idea. I don't like to wear much jewellery at all except for dress-ups. I find it so annoying and fiddly to have bits of metal or whatever dangling off my person. And they only end up broken or lost and have to be replaced. No, I couldn't put up with it. But then I happened to hear about the relatively recent phenomenon of medical alert tattoos. And I do love tattoos.
So I looked into it. When I started to come across more and more anecdotal evidence that suggested that the people most likely to get a medical alert tattoo are paramedics and ER workers, I was convinced. I have a lot of respect for those people. If they think it's a good idea, then I'm sure it is.
I found a lot of images online - most of them really kind of ugly. Or just completely ugly. I was feeling discouraged when I found that a lady named Amy had come up with this design and I was inspired anew. She didn't say on her post where she had found the image or who designed it, so I don't know. I took the picture to Nimbin Tattoo Studio where a lovely, smart lady named Beki copied the design and worked out the font I wanted and the spacing and so on. I had already 'seen' the typewriter font for this tattoo before I had a chance to think about it. I would have liked a pretty font, but it was like my brain had already made the decision - that was just how I saw it, and how it had to be.
I absolutely love it and I'm so thrilled that I can have this and that it is also beautiful. The caduceus of Hermes is a powerful and wonderful spiritual symbol and tool in its own right, and I'm so glad that the medical profession has such a beautiful symbol.
And, if I ever find myself in a bad way and not able to communicate, the paramedics will know that I'm having a seizure, and not just on some bad drugs. Plenty of people have made that assumption before, believe me.