Many years ago, when I first started nursing, before the time when every other woman under 35 wore a tatoo, back when among men it was just sailors and bikers who sported tatoos, I had an elderly woman patient. She was on the ICU on ventilator support – she could not talk. This woman was covered head-to-toe in tatoos. Her chart said that at a young age she had run away from home. She had joined a traveling carnival. A man convinced her that she could make a lot of money as a tatooed lady. This would have been in the 1930’s.
I always wanted to talk to her about that experience and about her colorful life. But she died while still on the ventilator. So I never had the chance. I still regret that.