I’ve written a couple times before about my own health issues. I’m a Type 2 diabetic, diagnosed ten years ago but probably had it a year or so before that. I’ve gotten all three of my tattoos since being diagnosed, and had no particular problems.
The last tattoo was slow to heal, but I believe that was more due to a reaction to the red ink. Diabetics don’t heal as quickly as other people, and the slow healing can be even slower if the person’s blood sugar isn’t under good control. It’s not a complete barrier to getting inked, but it’s something to take into consideration. Slower healing means more chance of infection, scarring, and generalized messing-things-up.
This week I started on insulin at bedtime because my blood sugar was NOT under good control. Something went haywire somewhere over the last six months and I was getting higher and higher readings and having little success getting back to business-as-usual with my former combination of diet, exercise, and oral medication. Many Type 2’s think of going on insulin as somehow having failed. I don’t see it that way. It’s a lot easier to adjust the dosage of insulin than it is to try to monkey around with oral meds. I mean, how many times can you break a pill before you’ve got nothing but dust?
As I watched my readings get higher and higher I knew that it would be a very bad idea for me to get any more tattoos. High readings mean slow healing, and since I’m leaning very strongly toward having a more-visible tattoo next time (if there is a next time) I definitely do not want to have something that will swell, itch, weep, crust, and look like space-alien skin for months. So I have even more incentive to get the insulin dose right and keep things in equilibrium.
Doing a Google search on “tattoo diabetic” brings up a lot of interesting articles including several on the concept of having your Medic Alert information tattooed on your skin so you won’t have to wear a tag. Of course, if your medical condition makes tattoos a bad idea in the first place…. um, all in all, I’d rather just keep wearing my removable tag.
Do you have health issues that make you wary of getting more ink?
photo credit: mcbill