In May 2006 Stefanie had a very bad experience related to her health. Now she has contacted us to tell us her brave story and her desire to never give up. A story made of tattoos that we would like to share with you readers
Hello Stefanie, we already know your story, but would you like to tell it again for the readers?
In May 2006, I had a stroke. I was in the hospital with locked-in syndrome – quasi trapped in my own body. I was in a state in which I was conscious, but physically completely paralyzed and unable to make myself understood by speech or movement. It has now been 17 years since my stroke.
You obviously reacted right from the start, didn’t you?
Yeah. In the beginning I wanted to get totally healthy again and work day and night for it. Since a few years I am realistic and realize that it is no longer possible to become totally healthy. Now I make the best of it and the tattooing belongs for me to a large extent to the healing process.
Let’s talk about your tattoos: do you have tattoos exclusively on your arms, neck and chest or do you have other pieces that are not visible?
On my shoulder blade I still have a Grim Reaper and on the side of my calf a skull.
You described your tattoos as a kind of “therapy” because they are imprinted on your skin and no one will ever take them away from you. Maybe that’s the real message; sometimes people forget, for purely aesthetic reasons or just banal indifference, how important tattoos can actually be to the lives of those who “wear” them….
Every tattoo is relaxing for me. It makes me forget for a short time that I have a disease that I will feel all my life and will never again lead an independent life.
Can you tell me about the skull you have tattooed in the middle of your neck? I find it very striking in contrast to all the flowers you have on your arms.
I really like skulls – I wanted one big tattoo on my neck and not several small ones. When people see someone in a wheelchair, some really gawk.
So I chose a flashy tattoo and now I don’t mind if people gawk. Now I think the wheelchair is less the reason for it!
Is that an indigenous warrior face you have tattooed on your right shoulder? And deep down do you feel a bit like a warrior yourself?
It is supposed to represent a Guardian of Time. A warrior who fights against himself, you can say.
Since my stroke I have been fighting for 17 years.
Partly with success but also with great defeats. The biggest defeat is that I have lost my self-sufficiency.
Do you have a reference tattoo artist in Upper Franconia (Bayreuth district) – that is, in your place of residence – or have you been tattooed over the years by other German or international tattoo artists?
Initially, when I wanted to tattoo again after my illness, I first had to find one who tattooed me. A few probably had concerns that I twitch. No idea. Now I go to ‘Mystic Art Tattoo’ from Thuringia (www.tattoo-piercing.net) and ‘Tinent Tattoo’ (IG: @tintent_tattoo) from Bayreuth/Upper Franconia.
Will you get tattooed again in the future?
My future will always be connected with tattooing. Unfortunately, the necessary change is always missing.
Do you have a social media page that we can post on our website in case someone wants to get in touch with you?
I’m in the process of creating an Instagram page right now. But I’ll be happy to give you my email address – StefanieLeben@web.de
And your last words are…. ?
Even if you are sick and think your own life is lost, a piece always remains that only you will determine! Life can also be beautiful in another way.