Hugs for today!
Good morning! I’ve decided to use my blog not only to writing, music, and other facets of entertainment, but, also to share my journey. I’ve had significant health problems for almost two years. Initially, my rheumatologist diagnosed me with systemic lupus (SLE) on June 19, 2013. However, the medication wasn’t working and I kept getting worse and developing new symptoms. So, after second, third, and fourth opinions, my neurologist believes instead I have fibromyalgia.
In April 2014 I visited yet another rheumatologist who I hoped would be familiar with autoimmune disorders. Following an extensive intake during my initial appointment, I found a place where the doctor also listened to me. Based upon my blood work, the doctor believes I have Sjogren’s Syndrome. She also made the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and pre-lupus. I’ve never heard of pre-lupus, but, hopefully it stays in the “pre” category.
Thank you for listening, each week I will have a new installment chronicling my journey- Which is now more frustrating than ever. I test positive for ANAs in my blood, but, the lupus tests are negative. There are several varieties of autoimmune disorders, with different caveats and health variations. It’s so frustrating because I’ve not yet found a doctor to say YES, Eureka! We know what’s wrong.
OMG is my TATTOO POISON?
Not really, that was just to grab your attention. Today I talk with you about getting a tattoo when you have an autoimmune disorder. I’m no doctor and I can’t speak for everyone, but, I can share my experience.
First off, I LOVE MY TATTOO. Kayden DeGiovanni of Dallas Tattoo is The Man. Based upon my lovely daughter’s awesome design, he created something spectacular and bursting with color. I sat in that chair for almost three hours and the time just flew by. It didn’t even hurt.
He talked with me about his preferred method of early tattoo care. I’d never tried his approach before, but, I liked the concept. He suggested keeping saran wrap over the fresh tat for 2-3 days and not to apply anything. Just clean well with antibacterial soap and change the wrapping periodically. Let it “marinate in its’ own juices.” I didn’t need to apply lotion because the saran wrap kept it moist.
It worked well. I didn’t have the obnoxious flaking and scabbing as badly as I’d had in the past by just using lotion, A&D, etc. So, that was a bonus.
But, I’m on day 12 of my tattoo experience and my entire body is still trying to recover. I need to realize that with my condition things that normally don’t affect people negatively might have an impact on me. Now, that doesn’t mean I CAN’T do these type things, it just means I need to remember that I could have a laundry list of symptoms.
Otherwise known as a FLARE.
My flare started on Saturday, the day after my tat. I woke up just tired. The nagging cold that had been starting to go away was back again. My throat hurt and I felt like a wrung out dishrag. I had almost zero energy. My tattoo felt like a sunburn and was extremely hot to the touch. I had some slight bruising that developed just below the area of ink. An odd location I thought.
During the past 12 days, my memory has been much worse and I’ve been in a perpetual fog. I’ve had a difficult time remembering the simplest things, but, I’ve managed to get by using extra post it notes and writing notes on my hand like I did in junior high.
After the point, I researched the subject of getting tattoos if a person has an autoimmune disorder and discovered my flare wasn’t out of the ordinary at all. I should have looked this up BEFORE, to know what to expect. As a matter of fact a person could also experience:
- Heavy bleeding
- Significant bruising
- Increased healing time
I suppose this is good news, bad news in a way. I find it good that my flare is just a result of the tattoo and will eventually dissipate. The bad news is that I have to be willing to chance the extreme in symptoms. Further, if I get more ink, the same symptoms could occur, or not. Or, I could have worse or different symptoms. There is just no way to know.
But, I love my new tat and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m slowly feeling better and taking care of my body with increased rest, increased fluids, and making sure I take my vitamins and supplements. Oh, and applying coconut oil to my now surface-healed tattoo to keep it supple and finish the healing process from the inside.
If you have diabetes, fibromyalgia, or an autoimmune disorder, talk with your doctor or other health care practitioner before getting inked. Maybe you should stop certain meds or supplements before your appointment. At any rate, it’s always good to know the potential risks or side effects so you can prepare with how to handle them.