A few years ago (I can't remember the exact year to hand) I suffered severe tennis elbow, possibly a result of a joint dislocation when I fell 13ft fall onto a cement floor whilst I was in my 20's. Months of Dicofenac and Co-Dydramol did little to ease the pain. The wearing of an Epi-clasp for 'a couple of months' - turned into a couple of years, numerous steroid injections into the joint failed to make any difference and so the elbow (and the rest of me) ended up on the operating table to try and surgically correct what mother nature couldn't fix.
Although the operation made things a little better (it still hurts and there's still weakness in the joint) the elbow isn't what it used to be and I was left with a thick white two inch scar (complete with a 'dot' where the 'It will be invisible once it's healed) - continuous stitch' was sewn into my skin.
The above photo was taken after our lovely long hot summer of 2014 (a rarity in the UK) and the ugly scar stood out a mile on my nicely tanned arm.
Previous summers hadn't bothered me. Being one to feel the slightest chill, I'd always kept my arm (and the rest of me) covered up. But this summer the scar seemed to get noticed and I became more aware of it. Foundation make-up failed to cover it and only resulted in a brown mess on my work blouses. The Scar and Tattoo Camouflage off eBay, resulted in an itchy, red rash.
Just before Christmas I decided that I would like a tattoo, not just any tattoo but one sketched in white ink - A white ink tattoo.
I read up on white ink tattoos, the pros and the cons, how white ink is thicker than coloured ink and leaves a risen mark, that itself resembles a raised scar. How you have to protect it from the sun to prevent it turning yellow, and how they can fade significantly as time goes by.
I like the delicateness of white tattoos, resembling lace and they looked rather 'ladylike'.
It didn't take long to find a brilliant tattoo artist. I called into Liquid Ink one Sunday and discussed my odd request with a lovely tattooist called Gemma https://twitter.com/missravenartist
So on the day of the tattoo I felt nervous and my stomach had butterflies. We found a nice style of peacock feather on the web and Gemma made a sketch of the small, floaty feather, just long enough to cover the scar.
The needle felt like a cat scratch, the sort that a nasty cat gives you as he swipes at you with his paw and catches you unaware. And that's it - it feels like a continuous cat scratch, until the machine stops buzzing and the tattooist stands back to admire their work.
This was taken right after Gemma had finished. It was going to take two weeks of Bepanthen Cream and lots of TLC for it to settle.
And as you can see - No hideous scar - Perfect!
* Those of you who know me will know that I'm a member of the Disabled Photographers Society, due to an accident in my 20's that left me with a hand disability.
You can find out more about the DPS here: http://www.disabledphotographers.co.uk/