I almost died a few times, ended up on life support and blah blah blah. If you want the full story, email me, friend me on Facebook or mail me some goodies.
My brush with death wasn't painful. I didn't start hurting until afterwards. Removing stitches isn't fun, but I was asleep when they put them in. The pulling-of-the-catheter tale ranks as one of my favorite and funniest stories.
However, nothing hurt more than the thing I tried to do for myself after surviving.
In the hospital, all I could see were my feet. When everybody was pretty sure I was going to breathe my last, I worried nobody would know my name because I didn't have my ID.
The coroner would toe tag me as John Doe or Anon or Who Gives a Shit.
But I lived. Hooray!
I decided I'd get my signature tattooed on my foot. With a permanent mark on my foot, I'd remember this near-death experience and nobody would ever toe tag me as John Doe — unless they couldn't read my handwriting or something ate my foot.
I told my tattoo artist, "Hey, I know we usually only do huge pieces, but I'd like you to do something small for me. Check it out." He asked me if I was a Kansas City Royals fan. "No, I shorten Casey into KC when I'm signing my name. I want this on my foot."
The tattooist choked. "You don't have any idea how painful that is. A big piece on your arms or chest is nothing compared to your foot."
"Oh come on. This will be the smallest tattoo I've got," I said. "Plus, it's just black ink.
"Also, I see girls with ornate foot tattoos. I can hack it." I stuck out my chest. "I had a catheter pulled. Foot tattoo: piece of cake."
He set up his work station while trying to talk me out of it. I assured him I could take handle any pain.
"Here goes." He winced as the needle touched me.
Then I winced. A lot. I thought I'd dislocate my jaw from clenching my teeth. I wondered if I'd pee my pants. Then I realized some things: I was on morphine when they pulled my catheter. That still hurt, but nothing like this.
"You really want to do this?" my artist said. "We can stop. I won't even charge you."
I've never gotten a tattoo drunk or on drugs, but this was the first time I wished to be under the influence. I couldn't talk, think or remember a life before the current millisecond of agony.
Lucky for me, the inking session lasted only about 20 excruciating minutes. I didn't pee my pants, but I did use the bathroom a few times.
The pain tolerance of the dude with the neck tattoos doesn't impress me, but the teenager with the star on her foot does. Whenever somebody asks me the most painful tattoo, I show them my foot. Then they laugh.
I asked my artist if there's anything worse. "Yeah. The butthole."
Yee-ouch! And, um, gross.