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Phantom tattoo pain and conditioned behaviors


SeeSea
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The other day when I was getting into my car, I reflexively pulled forward getting in so I didn't rub my healing back against the seat. Except I had my touch-up session 2 months ago and my second-to-last session-from-hell the beginning of January. (My penultimate session - I never get to use that fun word!)

Sometimes in the shower I turn around so the water won't blast away at my healing back. Except I had my last session 2 months ago.

Sometimes my back itches and I resist with great difficulty scratching my healing tattoo and end up slapping it instead. Except it's already healed.

You get the idea.

Okay, so it's not quite phantom pain, and yes, some parts of the tattoo are still healing under there so some itching is normal, but after 20 back sessions over a solid year, I'm finding that several unconscious behaviors have wormed themselves into my daily life. I definitely don't slouch back against chairs as much anymore. I wonder how long this will continue. I'm just amused when I catch myself being overly protective of something that's just FINE. :rolleyes:

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I am having the same thing, but I also thought it was just me! My ankle took way longer to heal than other tattoos (it is the biggest one, also) and even though it has been a couple of months I still treat it like it is still scabbed and healing, and avoid pulling socks up over it or wearing snug boots.

I also forget about it sometimes and now that the weather is warming up I'll glance down and see it, be startled for a millisecond, and then go, "oh yeah! Cool!"

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I think I've actually conditioned my boyfriend more than anything...for weeks after getting a new tattoo, if he even breathes too hard on it, he's like "OH SHIT, SORRY." It takes a good month or two before he feels safe touching them. :D

Awwww, that is so sweet. :D

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Yeah, I find myself sometimes treating healed work like it was done yesterday... rituals, I guess.

I've had some strange experiences with phantom pain though, which is why the title of this thread caught my eye. Both the backs of my thighs gave me seriously searing, cramping pain several months after being healed. On the back of my right thigh, plenty of nights I would wake up to deep, burning cramps which would last for 30 seconds to 3-4 minutes. It lasted a couple months and completely stopped happening. I chalked it up to be a one-off anomaly.

A year or so later when I had several sessions to complete my other thigh, solidly from knee to hip, I had the same thing months after it being completely healed. Before all of this I had never experienced and cramping in my legs. I never experienced that with any other work I've had done on any other part of my body.

Weird.....

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