Sunday, April 3, 2016

Will Insurance Pay For My Tattooing?

"Will my insurance company pay for my tattooing? "
That is my number one question I get regarding the tattoo process. It is a listed service covered by the Women's Health Care Act. I do not participate directly with any insurance company so, I do not bill them. I take payment upfront from my clients and provide a receipt that can be combined with a prescription from the doctor to be turned in for possible reimbursement.  I never can say if they will or to what extent they will cover my services.

In the doctor's office setting it usually is "covered", meaning they bill your insurance company and that outrageous amount they charge will hit your deductible. Since most reconstruction patients have a year long journey or more before they're ready for tattooing,  it very well might not fall in the same year as their surgeries were billed.  Same goes for all the "touch ups". Since the pigment used in doctor's office settings fades, many times to the point where you can not tell it was ever done, they will tell you to come back for a touch up with one of their 6-8 inks ranging from bubblegum pink to an unnatural magenta to coffee bean.  Usually, the nurse performing the "task" of tattooing has had little to no training on this at all. Multiple issues are problematic , first the pigment is not permanent body art ink, combined with the lack of training of the technician,  and improper small grouping of needles for the surface area to be covered, leading to unnecessary tissue trauma. These all create the perfect storm for a less than acceptable result.  A result to be repeated over and over again in the doctor's office for a ridiculous amount of money to be billed through insurance. Sounds crazy, right?

I can confidently say this because I did exactly this "tattooing "process in a doctor's office setting for 7 years.  Being frustrated and wanting to provide a better service led me to this the right way. So, after all this, you decide how much a great tattoo to be the final finishing touch to your breast reconstruction is worth. How much are you worth?


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tattooing Through the Tears

I already explained the idea behind the name "Living Story"  but this week I have never experienced such emotion while tattooing someone before. I literally was tattooing through tears. I was truly overwhelmed not just by her story but the fact that she felt so comfortable in sharing it with me.
I had already heard some of her story from talking before but that day we talked about her family....and that's when the tears began. 

I cannot express what a humbling experience it is.  There is no aspect of life that breast cancer does not touch; from surgical scars, sexuality, and self-esteem to pain from surgery and treatments and of course the fear of mortality,  just to mention a few.  I am so blessed to hear the stories of their journey.

I believe there is a reason I was called to do this type of work as it is my passion to provide each patient with the best tattoo I possibly can.  I am so thankful for my referring physicians for trusting me with their patients and for those ladies who walk through my door trusting me with their new breasts.

It is a rewarding task, as I benefit spirtually just as much as they do physically.... and I welcome those tears.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Living Story Philosophy

The Living Story Philosophy

The more women I hear the stories from, the more I realize two common themes are present even though no two stories are completely alike. 

Scars and Strength  

There is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics called Kintsugi using a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The word means “golden joinery” in Japanese. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. Believing that the object is actually more valuable and beautiful with the history embraced and revealed. The broken places are highlighted in ways that bring greater beauty and strength to the piece than would be possible without the break.
To struggle and deal with unfortunate circumstances is part of our life.  At times, we too can feel broken.  I have heard many times from patients that during their journey they felt “broken” in some way.  I believe this Kintsugi philosophy can be applied to life and how we can overcome adversity.
A Beautiful One.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Story Behind the Name- Living Story Tattoo

Living Story Tattoo is the name I chose for my tattoo company. It is restorative tattooing for breast reconstruction patients and breast conditions requiring areola pigment or asymmetry correction .   

Ok, so now you know I tattoo the nipple areola complex on a woman's breast. But why call it Living Story Tattoo? It's because every woman I have tattooed has a story. It is about her personal journey, her own, unique story. I am lucky enough to have them told to me during the tattoo process.
I am honored to be a part of each person’s journey and to create the most realistic, natural areolas and 3 dimensional  nipples as possible. Helping to regain a woman's confidence and restoring her femininity after enduring so much, is something I hold near to my heart. This is my motivation to seek out learning and to refine my skill and technique so I can be the best at what I do.

The tattooing of the nipple & areola is the finishing touch to the breast reconstruction. It is a medical tattoo with an aesthetic touch.
It is another chapter in her story and I am thankful to be a part of that.

She is the living story.