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Exactly! Oh, and after...lots of it.

It's all about keeping the average up.

"Booze, Blues & Tattoos"

LOL yep ! that first cold beer after the tattoo tastes really really good ! food-smiley-019.giffood-smiley-004.gif

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During the outline on my stomach, I definitely crushed two beers back to back. I think that's only the second time I've had a drink during a tattoo but I gotta say it helped a ton and healed fine (it was just the outline).

ya,that's just my personal rule,I am am heavy drinker,except when getting tattoos,I learned why a long time ago and didn't like it.

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Advils for the win. I don't notice a bleeding problem, but it helps with the swelling and to help me sit. I've got some screwed up back/pelvis issues that make sitting in any position painful.

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I'm a wound care nurse an I use topical anastetics often. For some reason it never dawned on me to use prior to getting inked. I was sitting in the chair getting a cover up. He was reallying having to dig in an area on the back side of my arm. Friggn pain. Then it hits me. Dam, I have a tube of topical lidocaine in my cart at work. I don't care what anyone says, I get tats because I enjoy the art, not the pain. Really looking foward to trying this

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Word of caution for anyone that may use topical lidocaine. Do your reasearch. It is percription only and is not recommended for anyone with heart conditions. It is not intended for large areas or for open wounds. And I am definately not condoning, recommending, or advising anyone to use it.

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During the outline on my stomach, I definitely crushed two beers back to back. I think that's only the second time I've had a drink during a tattoo but I gotta say it helped a ton and healed fine (it was just the outline).

i don't think some beers hurts anything at all

when i was getting one half of my chest done i'm pretty sure i had beers both times, maybe 3 or 4 in four hours or so, not wasted amount of beers coz you know, it's kinda hard to put beers down when you're lying and yr getting yr chest blasted.

i always just try to go into my tattoo sessions healthy, with a good mindset and ready for some pain. get a meal prior, be hydrated and have something with some sugar to in it to eat midway through if it's going to be a longer session.

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I have sometimes taken a prescription anti-inflammatory in conjunction with some over the counter pain relief medication, but in my view it's not necessary except if you are really pushing the boat out: A very very long single day's tattooing (6+ hours), or if you are getting tattooed many days back-to-back, and need to get as much done as possible. I have never bothered for a 'normal' single day's tattooing, or if the place being tattooed is an arm or a leg - somewhere where the pain level is simply not comparable to the back, ribs, belly, sternum etc.

My experience is that, particularly when I was doing 2 days of tattooing back to back (or in one case, 3 sessions in 2 days back to back on my back piece) taking something can allow you to go that extra 2-3 hours when otherwise you might have to stop. It can slightly blunt the edge of getting tattooed somewhere very unpleasant. It's definitely not some kind of silver bullet or ticket to a pain-free tattooing experience.

I feel like the healing process has never been affected. In fact, anecdotally I would say that the dramatically reduced swelling and discomfort from the anti-inflammatories might actually help the aftercare process overall. It's certainly easier on travelling afterwards.

In addition to remembering that it's not going to make the whole process a walk in the park, I'd also echo @Pugilist when she says that prescription drugs aren't something to take a gamble on if you're already stressed out about being tattooed in a tough spot. It could result in nausea, disorientation etc. I have a friend who is a doctor and I ran things by him first.

The final thing is the question of whether this interferes with some 'authentic tattoo experience'. I can only say that, having been tattooed for long sessions both with and without, at the end of the day there is not such a big difference. In my book, when I travel to get big work done, I want to get as *much* done as I reasonably can during my visit. This is a way to do that.

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following on what I read, I dropped a 60mg vicodin, 5mg valium and a muscle relaxant called norgesic.........I went through 2 1/2 hours fine (all gain no pain) and as the meds wore off, the pain kicked in with a vengeance, like there was nothing left........but when I stood up for a break, I felt high like a kite. I took another 1/2 vicodin, but no help. At first I thought I was going to walk away easy but no, not today. The last 1 hour 45 minutes was sore like when I got the outline done.

The positives: pain from level 10 down to 3 or 4

less flinching, no butt puckering / colon clenching, ab workout, no sweating.

The bad: nausea and unwanted dope high ( I had enough of that when I was a kid to age 25).

I have 3+ hours left to go after 10 days and I am going back to talk to the guy to split it up into 2 sessions, and I will repeat the dosage.

my recommendation for vicodin use: take a laxative or you will shit hard rocks the next day.

crazy cost of the meds? in South East Asia, OTC cost me 1 vicodin $1, valium 10mg for 7 cents, muscle relaxant 10 cents.........vicodin and valium came from Cambodia.

I remember seeing an older guy in Cambodia high like a kite on pills, next 2 years I go back and he is doing the same thing, I call him "Mr. Happy"

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@jonnyw - Is there really a need to take the pain down to a 3 or 4? A 7 isn't acceptable to minimize the side effects for a 4ish hour session?

You really can't handle an upcoming 3+ hour session without being seriously drugged? And even then, you still have to split it into 2 sessions? So 60mg Vicodin+valium+muscle relaxant for what sounds like less than a 2 hour tattoo?

I haven't read this entire thread in a while, but I doubt your conclusion that the general consensus is to dope up to this degree.

Unless you have some medical pain issues you are being treated for, my only reaction to this is to man up.

In full disclosure, I take 3 Advils at the start, and also 1/2 a 7.5 mg Vicodin pill at the start and the other half around hour 3. It is prescribed while I work through some very painful pelvis/spine problems that make it impossible for me to sit without a lot of discomfort. This very low dose makes sitting in a massage chair vaguely possible, and I find it does nothing for the tattoo pain.

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I have a fairly high tolerance to pain meds, the muscle relaxant I take all the time for migranes if they come on, Ive taken the vicodin (marked 60mg on the foil) for a bad toothache before, and bought them if I get into a motorbike wreck.

I know the difference between abusing and using meds as medicine.

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I know the difference between abusing and using meds as medicine.

what you described is most certainly not using "meds as medicine." there is absolutely no medical justification for taking large amounts of opiates before getting tattooed, unless you're dealing with chronic pain thats unrelated as SeeSea described.

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In full disclosure, I take 3 Advils at the start, and also 1/2 a 7.5 mg Vicodin pill at the start and the other half around hour 3. It is prescribed while I work through some very painful pelvis/spine problems that make it impossible for me to sit without a lot of discomfort. This very low dose makes sitting in a massage chair vaguely possible, and I find it does nothing for the tattoo pain.

That's interesting, I was thinking about taking Advil while getting tattooed, hoping it would reduce the swelling and maybe reduce the amount of pain I get from excessive wiping in areas where the artist is going over and over... that's probably the worst part for me sometimes... the damn wiping with a dry papertowel... feels like sandpaper on a sunburn. Blergh.

I would've figured the Vicodin and Advil would take the edge off, pain-wise... good to know it's not going to do anything lol

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Let me be clear that Arnica is not a painkiller in any way. Tt just helps with the side effects of tattooing, like bruising and swelling. Buy the pills, not the topical cream, for obvious reasons. You should be able to find it at any pharmacy. I take it like every two hours on the day of and day after tattooing.

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I might have to find this ASAP.

I'm starting to panic. I have nothing on my back and Nick is starting a Tomomori tomorrow, luckily nothing on the ass region, but still. I dropped the ball buying Dr Numb. Part of me wants to do it without anything just like I have for every tattoo I have.

Whatever.

I went into my back thinking that I was going to die from the pain, and it has been fine so far. By that I mean that there have been sessions where I felt that I'd been beat the hell up afterward, and there have been plenty of OH SHIT moments while getting tattooed, but other than a beer during my last session (which was GREAT) I've done it straight and it's okay. Good to go into it with the proper amount of respect for it because it's not a walk in the park.

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I had planned on taking a couple vicodin before starting the session on my ribs/chest/stomach, but I left the pills at home. This was the day after a 4 hour session on my thigh and still I managed to survive about 5.5 hours. It was painful and challenging but not so bad that I would take anything for future appointments. Sure the artist would prefer to tattoo another 1-2 hours but I'd prefer not dealing with any side effects of prescription meds.

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I mean, I know that tattoos hurt, sometimes a lot, but I had some medical shit happen to me in the past year that was among the worst pain I have ever experienced, like pain that makes you vomit uncontrollably (for which I was prescribed far LESS in terms of painkillers than what some people are describing in this thread), and it's made me have a low, low tolerance for otherwise healthy people (i.e. without chronic problems that exacerbate what it means to sit for a tattoo!) not being able to grin and bare it through a tattoo. It really sucks sometimes, I am not disputing that, but we all deal with it. And we are doing this voluntarily. We are feeling the pain because of something we want, not because our body is telling us that we are ill. The pain also stops as soon as the needle does. If folks want to use painkillers or muscle relaxants to make the process easier, that's up to them and their tattooers--I have never found it worth the side effects, and I really resist the notion that it is ever "necessary". Like do whatever you want, but let's remember that just because something is really painful, doesn't mean that we can't just... deal with it. We all like to complain about how much tattoos hurt as some kind of bonding exercise, but we wouldn't still be getting tattooed if it really required sedation to survive!

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I have nearly 100hours and have never taken anything, but some ibuprofen to help with swelling. I suck it up and take it. I was pretty amazed to read that someone would need an opiate to make it through a 1.5 hour session, but I guess it's not my business. For me having a good session is where I have a clear mind and I can focus on nothing but sitting well. It takes a lot of focus. It's actually one of the rare times when I don't have random stupid thoughts floating through my head because all my energy is going into the "sit". A good sleep and a healthy solid meal before hand never hurts.

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when i was getting my chest done i started with nothing then i was like holy fuck...this tattoo hurts worse than any other tattoo i've ever had done...it was my 21st tattoo. so i took some hydrocodone i don't think it helped much. and then after i was done i felt like shit. and it started to fuck with my brain. so the last session i didn't take anything and it hurt pretty much the same amount. which is to say it didn't feel good at all. but pretty sure the pills made it worse.

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I'm quite lucky, actually. I have such a low tolerance for pain that if it gets real intense - I pass out! Can't feel it if you are unconscious! Now, that said I have had a 1.5 and 2 hour tattoo and a nipple piercing this year and none of them hurt very much. The artist warned me when she headed toward my underarm (just a half inch or so), but it was no worse. There was one place on the outside of my shoulder that felt like she was digging for bone, but it was just a brief unpleasantness. I'm planning one for my forearm from wrist to elbow that may take up to four hours and I don't plan to take anything. Might take Advil after to keep swelling down if it seems a problem. I know I'm a real wimp when it comes to pain, just so far haven't hit a sensitive spot. When you do, please keep me from hitting my head on the floor. Thanks!

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^THIS

I agree, but at the same time, if you were to get plastic surgery, or have your tonsils removed, you're not just toughing it out because that's something you want... I understand why some people chose to take medicine to help with the pain... it comes down to personal preference and pain thresholds.

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