The spice begins to flow

Because neither Pauly or Josh was experiencing pain from their procedure, but I was having pain when focusing on objects close to me, at Howie‘s insistence I went in to see an ophthalmologist this morning to make sure there wasn’t a problem (wow do I appreciate universal healthcare!).

First I should say that the two doctors and various nurses treated me with respect the whole time and never hassled me about doing it. The first nurse and doctor checked out my eyes in general, giving me acuity tests and a general look-over, all of which was perfectly normal, although they still referred me to a specialist to be sure.

The specialist — who incidentally had just written a paper on corneal tattooing and was able to give me tons of information and some leads on doctors who might be cooperative in completing the process — confirmed that the damage to the surface of the eye was minor and should heal without complication. He also checked the pressure in each eye since there was a minor worry that the sclera had been compromised. Everything in those tests checked out fine as well.

A number of other tests and tons of closeup examination was done, and everything looks healthy and other than a brief “you really should have this done by a doctor” comment, they were supportive and assured me that I didn’t have anything to worry about (and that it’s safe to do in general terms). The pain that I’m experiencing appears to be related to a minor irritation of the muscle (so when I focus closely, which causes the eyes to pull to centre slightly, it hurts a bit) and I’ve been given a steroid eyedrop to speed that healing, although I was told it wasn’t really needed.

Above is my eye at about seventy-two hours (I’m a shoe-in for roles as a rotten-eye zombie!). Below is Josh‘s eye at about the same. He’s had by far the best results of the three of us at this point I believe, with an absolutely perfectly placed injection it seems.

I’ll be doing a medical follow-up in a week with the doctor, assuming I don’t update before then.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

97 thoughts on “The spice begins to flow

  1. 1st. It’s awesome to see you guys pushing the boundaries of body modification Shannon. It’ll be fascinating to see what this inspires others to do.

    Just hope that they consult medical staff before jumping in head first. Can’t wait till someone completely fills the white of their eye.

  2. It is always a treat to run across doctors and nurses who don’t berate people for their choices. It’s also nice to hear that you got information on people who might complete the process.

  3. I was just curious as to what the future plans are for this. Do you guys just want a large blue spot in your eyes? Or is the plan to eventually try and color in all the white? If you went for totally blue eyes, that would awesome.

    Its also nice to know that the eye is a pretty quick healer. Anyone having laser eye surgery knows that you are usually good to go in about a week, you just have to be cautious for a month just in case.




  5. It’s reassuring to know there are medical staff who are open minded enough to accept procedures such as this. I personally wouldn’t want anything like it but I’m encouraged that your not ridiculed or berated for attempting such a procedure. Keep up the good work. This whole sight is great.

  6. Eyes heal amazingly fast. I am curious as to how colorfast these are going to be over time. Even hemorrhages in the subconjunctival space go away fairly quickly so it may be that the ink gets carried away as well. Time will tell.

  7. How long do you think it will take to get your eyes fully blue? Are the others in your group as committed as you?

  8. Glad to know everything is going alright. I don’t think I’d ever personally want to do this, but it is pretty amazing…hope it continues to go well.

  9. well if we can get my method to hold ill be trying for a sort of design

    the other 2 are for a full color wash of the eye

    i appear to still have the last dots we tried i am just waiting for the hemotoma to go away

  10. For the record, I know someone who got a pencil stuck in their eye and still has a visible black dot from the graphite that got into the hole.

  11. Very interesting and it sounds rather positive as a whole so far.

    As an aside, my gf works in laser surgery and was initially of the ‘ZOMGZWTFZ!!!!!!!!!1′ attitude. now she has had time to think about it, she is quite intrigued.


  12. This is really fascinating! I know this is something you (Shannon) have been interested in for a long time, but I thought it would be a long time until anyone was ready to do it. I just hope less experienced people don’t go out and try this themselves. From what I’ve read about eyeball tattooing done in the past, it’s fairly safe when done properly, but it would be so easy for this to go horribly wrong. I really can’t wait to see what all of your eyes will look like when you are fully healed!

  13. When I first read about this procedure, my reaction was “that’s dodgy”.
    At the time I thought it would result in problems that would require
    a visit to the doctor (granted I didn’t do any research on eyeball
    tattooing). I think we owe each other a special duty to manage risk
    given the tax-supported public healthcare system. I would extend this
    to smoking as well but one ought to determine the sensibility of an act
    apart from the acts of others – it’s not a comparative thing. At least
    under private healthcare systems you can disclose your activiites
    (e.g. smoking) and be charged a premium appropriate to your lifestyle,
    which somewhat diminishes the externality associated with taking risks.
    Food for thought.

    I’m glad the healthcare providers didn’t show you any prejudice in
    your treatment, BTW.

  14. Very cool, it’s always refreshing to see people pushing the boundaries. Although it’s not something I think I could personally do (I have irrational fear of things going near my eyes) it’s still pretty effin’ cool.

    And I have to agree with Giles (#11), someone get that man a nail cleaner!!

  15. Very nice to know you´re ok, and very good to know that the doctors and nurses treated you well.
    I´m really interested to see Pauly´s eye, since he got a diferent procedure. I assume you don’t post his photos cause there´s nothing to see, due to the hemotoma. Is it right?

    All the best!

  16. I’m also curious as to what the final goal of the tattoos are, whether it’s full coloration or just spots. Do the three of you have different goals, and if so, what are they? I’ve had Lasik done, which is about as extreme as I’m willing to get with my eyes, as I’m very picky about my eyesight. Thanks for keeping us updated, and I’m glad to hear the medical staff treated you well and your eye’s not gonna fall out :)

  17. Well, so far neither one of you is blind, and theres little pain if any. Thats pretty much all one could hope for at the moment. I wonder if this heals well if you’ll go through with trying to cover the whole eye with blue dye?

    DUNE rocks!

  18. glad you guys are doing okay and that you got some good eye doctors that didn’t hassle you about what you did!

  19. yay! this post made me so happy! i was really surprised to see so much aggressive hostility in the previous posts and to be honest was kind of surprised that it was to one of the entries i didnt feel like i had any trouble understanding.

    its great to see that all those people can eat shit now :D

    PS love that lolcat!

  20. pleased it’s going well. i would love to have this done, if only because i’m a massive fan of James/Brian Herbert. more power to you for having the courage to break ground

  21. they’ve been eating too much spice- blue is the color of free men everywhere!

    ;) ingenious.

  22. glad to hear no problems are occurring and all is going well.

    One question to ask is, is anyone going to listen to the specialist when he said: “you really should have this done by a doctor”

    By saying that, is anyone going to actually investigate in getting it done by a doctor, not a bod mod artist?

    As it sounds like the specialist knows of doctors to go to. So it’d be interesting to see how the doctors would do it and how it’d hold up in comparison,etc.

  23. ya i got the same queation as many here, what is the final goal? a multi colour eye, solid 1 colour etc. the suspense is unfair, and btw glad to hear its healing well and all went well, keep on pushing the barrier. just dont hurt yourselves

  24. is the ink rejecting? or whast with the blue seepage going on in the corner of the eye?

  25. if you injected the other prime colours would they blend together into a psychedelic rainbow?

  26. Naturally you guys do your thing and do it well but I kind of wish you’d found a mod-friendly doctor to consult from the get-go (or if you did, I might have skipped the mention. my apologies). Your risks are your own and I don’t really feel they’re inappropriate to take, but someone with more experience with regards to the details of the eyeball might have been helpful in making this experiment more successful from the get-go.

    Hope the eyes do well boys and of course thank you for posting on this Shannon. It’s much more fascinating than whichever girl sent you naked photos this week. :P

  27. Maybe this is a completely ignorant suggestion which you have already considered, but here it is anyway. For the full eye color wash effect, could you not use a biocompatible dye such as methylene blue (instead of tattoo ink) to stain the entire scleral tissue? Injection/application procedure might have to be modified. Methods like this are used in histology and in labs regularly with great success. Would this even be a feasible option?

  28. was just reading the initial post where this edit was added “Since a few folks have asked “what are they supposed to be”, let me answer: they’re not supposed to look like anything. They’re experiments to see how to apply the ink and how it heals. In my case the goal is to eventually fully fill in the white of the eye with blue.” thx

  29. Pingback: Eyeball Tattoo Updates | Geeked Info

  30. I actually think this is really cool. And brave. I would be interested in doing it, actually…

  31. Well, they can perform surgery on an eye, why not tattoo it? Id be interested to see an interview with that doctor who was doing research on eye tattooing. Bright blue eyes might be fun to have.

  32. in the first picture it is absolutely eerie and weird how the white of his eye has swollen around the cornea. ewwwwww!!!!

  33. I am excited to see the end result, to see what coloring stays and I am glad to hear that all is going well with the healing for all three of you and that you were lucky enough to come across a opthamologist who was actually familiar on the subject.

  34. Fascinating. It is so great that you guys and people like you are willing to push the boundaries of what is possible by experimenting on themselves. Very mad-scientist. I a bit surprised that you would get an encouraging response from the specialist in the form of recommendations. Perhaps it is a symptom of the broken American Health System that Im surprised by this. Cant wait to see an update on this.

  35. All power to you guys, but this just freaks me out too much. My Mum just lost her whole eye to cancer, and shes having such a tough time adjusting to life as a one-eyed pirate lady.

    I’d stick a needle in any part of my body, but not the eye.

    FWIW, Im trying to convince Mum to get an eye tattooed over the skin where her eye socket is – she has no eyelid/lashes, just skin stretched across and covering the hole, so I reckon a tattooed eye would be great!

  36. Shannon could you post some links to information on the history of this practice and more interestingly its occurance 100 years back or so only there appears to be little info around about it.

  37. My sister has several tattoos on her body, large and small, but absolutely cringes at the thought of scarification because she has several large scars from accidents and surgeries and cannot even begin to imagine scarring oneself on purpose. Strange how different people’s sensibilities run, isn’t it?

    I’ve had vision problems all my life. Been modifying my body through tattoos for many years now but never once did it ever occur to me to consider tattooing the eyes. When I first read about Josh & Pauly & Shannon’s experimentation, my immediate reaction was that they are out of their fucking minds. Sight is precious! Why mess with it?! The more I read about it, though, and the more I consider what the final outcome is going to be, the more interested I become.

    Perhaps the best way to overcome one’s fears is to face them head on – and tattoo/scar/brand/pierce right the hell over them! Now my regret is that I live in the USA with no health insurance, so I can only dream of this type of mod.

    Can’t wait to see the final outcome, gentlemen. It should be incredible.

  38. “i was really surprised to see so much aggressive hostility in the previous posts and to be honest was kind of surprised that it was to one of the entries i didnt feel like i had any trouble understanding.

    its great to see that all those people can eat shit now :D ”

    This is the kind of ignorance that labels a community as close minded and bigoted.

    Just because people don’t agree doesn’t mean they’re wrong or should “eat shit now”. If you expect people to be accepting of modifications you ought to practice a little acceptance yourself and realize that not everyone feels the same way YOU do, and furthermore that just because YOU feel a certain way that doesn’t mean everyone else should to.

  39. This gives me the creepin’ willies. I read what it says and then try not to look at the pictures. hahaha.

  40. I think you’re being judgmental to snip that post apart, I must say. We have nothing to have to live up for as a community. We’re here to live our lives….smootches!

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  42. #20 (“Modified Person”):

    What you bring up is really an important consideration. It’s the same kind of thing behind seat-belt laws, and helmet laws, etc. But where should the boundary be set? I think it’s a difficult question.

  43. Very ‘nice’ body modification, what about cutting your nails or at least wash your hands, is it against your religion or something? If the sight of your fcked eye didn’t make me throw up, your dirty nails were certainly closer to do that.

  44. Pingback: Eyeball Tattoo! « 10 Daily Things

  45. Heh, someone put this on the bad tattoos community on livejournal. Your fingernails are under some scrutiny, in addition to the “omg ew” comments :p

    I think it’s awesome.

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  47. Fear is the mind killer….

    Now go scrape that crap from your fingernails…

  48. Apart from yours, Shannon, my other favorite blog is Wil Wheaton’s. To know that you are linked through this proceedure is just a whole bunch of giddy for me.
    …Not saying, of course, that I agree with him on this issue. You are a pioneer for this, in which I say Hip Hip Hooray!!! to you. And regardless of your relationship with your father, I know that you are a wonderful Daddy yourself, an excellent example for other fathers to follow. This world would be such a better place if all fathers loved their kids as much as you do yours.
    That said, I think you are both great fathers, and I admire this trait in anyone.

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  51. well that is completely fucking moronic. theres a difference between ‘open-minded’ and pure stupidity.

  52. Pingback: Blogaholics » Blog Archive » Eyeball Tattoo


  54. Look at the filthy fingers!!! Hope its not the tatooers nor eyedoc´s… Well it is a sure sign of someone has not understood the infectionriscs involved.

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  56. i love it but im too chickensh*t to even get a normal tattoo. oh well keep thepics coming

  57. ive always wanted to have those eyes… ever since i saw my first episode of Dune

  58. Wow,I was just browsing under cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery “body modification” as you guys like to call it.See im doing this project on IMAGE and this is one of the perfect specimens. Thankyou in regards to your twisted heads and currupt ways of thinking on how to change your outer shell comfort an empty space or i dunno or perhaps to be different then everyone else or just plainly for the fuck of it!!

    Hahahah my softheaded people today
    dont you think of the consequences
    just like a tattoo will always altar as you grow old
    what do you think your eye will do
    you need psychiatric help

  59. Pingback: BasuraBlog » Blog Archive » Lo Último en Tatuajes para los Ojos

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  62. could you please post up some new pics?! I would really like to see how it looks now and I also a full headshot, not only the eyeball.. if possible. thx – Tineal*

  63. Pingback: Lawmakers Want to Ban Eyeball Tattoos - Page 2 -

  64. Pour faire ça, y a aussi Photoshop sinon. ça marche bien et c’est, en principe, inoffensif ^^.

  65. I think there is link btw that so dirty nails and cornea issue, and there is a very good reason why you should wash your hands and wear medical gloves when consulting eyes or putting your hands on.

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