My new hat from Heartland Research

My First Tattoo! (A drug testing thing)

My first tattoo - a marker used to check hair growth.
My first tattoo – a marker used to check hair growth.

So, I’ve got a tattoo.  Except, it’s not that sort of tattoo – see the picture to the left, with a small dot near the center?  That’s my tattoo.  See, I decided to try the whole drug trial thing at Heartland Research again, which resulted in me getting a very, very small tattoo.

Quite a while back, I participated in a study on smoking cessation.  I won’t say it was a huge success (I went back to smoking later), but it was interesting.  Got a number of health checkups from time to time (for free), tried out some of the smoking cessation drugs (well, probably did – it could have been a placebo), and got paid a small amount for doing it.  Not a bad deal, really.

That, of course, put me on their mailing list for various studies.  Most of them were things like “Do you have Crone’s Disease?” and stuff like that – in other words, nothing that applied to me.

So, when one of them showed up in my Inbox with “Do you have male pattern baldness?”  Well, now folks, that one is right up my alley.  I’d get a health checkup again (though, this time it didn’t involve a cholesterol test, so I still need to do that one of these days.  Too many people I know having heart attacks lately, I need to check that from time to time.  Yes, everyone I know that’s had a heart attack in the last couple of years, you have served as an example to me 😉  Then, if accepted (I was) I’d end up with a checkup for progress every two weeks or so, and more of the baldness treatment drug every two weeks as long as I don’t have an adverse reaction.  (Apparently, spending lots of time in direct sunlight with this stuff on your scalp isn’t a good idea.  Considering I’ve already had one go around with Basal Cell Carcinoma, and the Dr. told me on my last visit I’ve got quite a bit of pre-cancerous tissue, I’m not too keen on that whole direct sunlight thing anyways.)

Oh, and of course a small tattoo on the scalp that’s used as a reference point for hair growth – they take pictures every time I visit, for the full 135 study, to see if it had any effect.  There’s basically a one-in-three chance I don’t get the actual drug; it could just be a placebo.  Of course, even with a placebo, it’s still possible to end up growing hair – funny how that works.  Oh, and they also gave me a cool new hat to wear.  OK, not really cool.  Actually, anything but cool.

My new hat from Heartland Research
My new hat from Heartland Research

I’m sure someone, somewhere will probably point out that I just got a tattoo – shouldn’t I be against tattoos because I’m all sorts of religious?  Nope, and with all time times I’ve kicked around that particular piece of Leviticus to discern it’s meaning, I always come back to something interesting:  I’ve never quite felt the modern interpretation is right.  It boils down to how you read it – it’s part of a commandment instructing you not to cut your flesh for the dead:  “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:28 – slight variations depending on which translation you’re looking at.)

It’s a conjunction in the middle of a sentence, indicating – to me, at least – that there’s two things you’re not supposed to do to honor the dead.  And, apparently I’m far from alone in that thinking:

As for God’s instruction regarding tattoos, the Bible does not specifically address the modern practice of tattooing as body adornment. While Leviticus:19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord,” most scholars believe these practices were related to mourning for the dead. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary’s article on tattoos says, “Any kind of self-laceration or marking of the body was prohibited among the Hebrew people. Such cuttings were associated with pagan cults that tattooed their followers while they mourned the dead” (1986). (Link)

There’s also bits about treating the body as a temple, and reflecting “God’s values”.  Not sure if the dot on my head does that.  However, if I were to get real tattoos, I already know what they would be, and they do. (They would also be fairly expensive, one of many reasons I don’t have tattoos.)

Anyway, so no, I don’t have any problem with a tattoo, thanks. 😉

I am curious to see if I end up growing hair.  I’d get a real kick out of it if I ended up with a much better body after my 15 week workout cycle for the Wichita Highland Games, and a full head of hair!  Not holding my breath, of course 🙂


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