Nowadays there's a tattoo/ piercing shop on every corner. It's a pretty cool and trendy form of self expression that's increased in popularity over the past couple of years. I have taken advantage of this art form a time or two, but being diabetic there are certain precautions I realized I would have to take as well as some risk that should be observed. It wasn't as simple as just waking up in the morning and being spontaneous; something I'm known quite well for doing. While I'm no doctor, and I do believe in advising with one or a diabetic counselor before you do anything, go ahead and live your life! But, do your best to be as safe as possible before and after the process! I mean the best part about getting a tattoo or piercing is showing it off, but who wants to see an ugly keloid, some lumpy scar tissue, or have a downward spiral in their health. The fear of some physical deformation or changes to my health had me at a standstill for a while but I had to take a step back and decide if I was going to let diabetes control me or if I was going to step up and do what I had to do to properly control it. I'm not one much for being controlled by situation nor circumstance. Plus in my mind if I let diabetes completely control my life there was no "journey" to be had; just a big ball and chain of diabetes dragging me down every step of the way. That's no way to live in my opinion, so I came up with a couple tips to help myself and anyone else interested in heading down to the shop and letting diabetes know who's really in charge!
1. Make sure your numbers are under control. This is no easy task without the piercing/tattoo but when you add this additional stress to your body your numbers might spike. It's best to make sure you have your numbers under control before you go and get your work done. You should probably test yourself more frequently afterwards as well.
2. Make sure you follow the directions! Whether they tell you to soak your piercings 3 times a day or spread tons of A&D ointment over your tattoo, follow the directions to the "T". You are at a slight disadvantage with the healing process compared to someone without diabetes so you want to do what you can to ensure you don't end up with any unnecessary scaring or even an infection!
3. Eat foods with tons of proteins. Things like egg whites, lean meat, fish, and nuts are all high sources of protein.The protein will build tissue and that's exactly what you'll need during the healing process.
4. Keep up with your vitamins. If you aren't already, you should be taking vitamins, preferably a multipack. I recommend Nature Made "Daily Diabetes Health Pack". The pack includes a Multivitamin, Fish Oil with Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid with Green Tea, and Chromium. All these things will provide the nutritional support needed to keep you at your best which will only help your body with the healing process.
5. Exercise a little more. Get you heart pumping and your blood flowing. Exercising will help with your circulation and allow for your body to help treat your "open wounds" faster. Be sure to wash up afterwards as your sweat might contain germs you don't want to get into your new piercing/ tattoo. Plus people aren't going to be too interested in seeing your new artwork if you smell funky, lol.
6. My main tip with everything, CHILL! Once it's done it's done. Don't stress yourself over the "what-ifs". Trust in yourself that you are able to care for your body and you will be able to handle this. You endured the pain of the piercer/artist, why work yourself up some more?? We all know what a detriment stress can be to our health and this should be an exciting time for you. You got this!
If you need some help or motivation, don't hesitate to shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @beathebetes!!!
Have a great Saturday and keep on living!!