My Diabetic Tattoo

tattoo 1

I first decided I wanted a diabetic tattoo a few years ago. Sometimes you just don’t want to wear a medical bracelet all the time. A tattoo is always with you so you can’t lose it and you can’t forget it!

When deciding on a design, I didn’t want something too big or something that would not represent the true meaning of the tattoo. So I settled on a simple design, just the word “diabetic”, in a beautiful font.

I had the design, the desired location (wrist) and only had to tackle the hardest part… convincing my parents. The first person I had to convince was my mom. Growing up my mom always said that tattoos on women looked cheap and I couldn’t get one until I was married. Obviously, I didn’t feel the same way. It took me almost a year to build up the courage to talk to her about it.

tattoo 2

One day on the news I saw a special segment on how medical tattoos, specifically Type 1 Diabetes and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) tattoos, were becoming popular. This was a perfect video to show my mom to help convince her! I emailed her the video and waited for her response. She emailed me back with a “We’ll see. Let’s talk about it.” Well that wasn’t EXACTLY the response I had hoped for, but hey, it was ok, or so I thought.

Time went by and we never talked about it. When I tried to bring it up, she changed the subject. It really frustrated me, but now I understand. It’s hard to let your youngest get something so permanent!

During that time, I asked some of you here on Glu how to convince and prove to her that it wasn’t dangerous for diabetics. Y’all (yes, I’m a Texan!) gave me some great advice and I appreciate it greatly. A few months passed by and I decided to try and talk to her about it again. It was a hard topic to bring up but I did and she finally listened to what I had in mind.

I showed her the design and she finally agreed! OMG! I was so happy! Now I had to convince my dad! His response? “Ask your mother.” That’s basically a yes! I finally had a green light!

The next step was to find a tattoo salon. A diabetic’s safety is very important so I called a few tattoo shops and specifically asked them if any of the artists had tattooed a diabetic and if they knew of the safety measures and precautions. One knew nothing and the other was very informative. The shop was also a very clean and did amazing work. It was an obvious choice.

Fast forward to the big day !

I was really nervous. The artist sat me down and went over all the machines and what to expect. It did hurt, like a bunch of lancets poking me at the same time. Luckily, I was finished in no time.

tattoo 3

I finally got the tattoo that meant the world to me and I look at it every day and smile. It’s not simply the word “diabetic,” it also represents that, even though I have this disease, I am strong. We are all strong.

My advice to anyone who wants a diabetic tattoo and is unsure would be to do your homework. Look for a tattoo shop that knows how to handle diabetics. The risk for us is slightly larger for infection but, if you take care of it like you are supposed to, you will be just fine. Get it and let the world know that you are a diabetic and proud of it!

Feel free to ask me any questions here on MyGlu!

Karina Mata

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