Tattoos & Diabetes

My arm with a tattoo
Crisis: Danger – Opportunity

I know that this is going to completely shatter whatever “mental image” you may have of me. Yes folks, that is a tattoo, and yes, that is really my arm.

I’m big on symbols. Certain images convey to me a million messages with one quick glance. This particular symbol has been a part of my mental arsenal for a long time – in fact an early post on this blog, back in December of 2004 (wow!) covered some of the feelings this symbol evokes for me. I am an optimist, probably to a fault – even through my rough periods, I know that there is some purpose to it.

I had it done a few months ago, but had been thinking about it for a long time. Earlier in the summer, Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine authored a piece over at dlife called “Tattoos and Piercings: Does Body Art Jibe with the Big D?“.

The timing of her article was uncanny. I had been to the tattoo parlor myself not even a week or two earlier. I was so excited that I had to e-mail her right away! I had intended on posting something about it here, but wanted to let it heal up some more.

Amy posted a follow up to that article today, and I thought now might be a good time for it.

My experience was a good one. It was uncomfortable to get done, but I attribute that to having it done on a sensitive place. It was sore for a couple of days, but proceeded to heal normally over the next 2 to 3 weeks. It was probably a complete month before it was 100% healed. I’m not sure if that is longer than typical, but I’m wouldn’t be surprised if it takes me longer to heal up after 26+ years of the big D.

So, there it is. I’m on the record as a long-term type 1 diabetic with a successful tattooing experience. I wish I could have found more of this when I was researching the subject.

I enjoy my tattoo, and the symbol is powerful to me.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…