I got a tattoo in San Francisco this past weekend.
I mean — why not?!?
We were in San Francisco for goodness sake! I had just finished a big bucket-list event. My friends Wendie and Jeff were getting them too.
That’s about all the motivation and reason most folks would need. Right?
Well, there is a little more to the story…
This little heart tattoo marks the spot where my type 2 (T2) diabetes diagnosis became VERY real for me.
The outside of my left foot.
I was wearing cute shoes to a conference in the early 2000’s. While totally adorable, the shoes gave me a nasty blister. Three months later that blister had NOT healed. In fact, it was infected and the wound site was growing.
I was referred to a wound-care specialist. At the same time I was being told that I was no longer pre-diabetic; I was FULL BLOWN T2 diabetic.
The wound-care folks were talking about treatment options being limited because of my uncontrolled T2 diabetes. High sugar in your blood doesn’t allow you to heal normally or well. They would try their best, but they would probably wind up having to cut off part of my foot to encourage healing...
I was suddenly feeling very motivated to figure out how to become a well CONTROLLED T2. I did not want my life to be one set-back after another. One complication after another. Losing my feet one chunk at a time…
At one point in that first year of T2, my sister was going to get a tattoo. I had always wanted one. I was starting to get my blood sugars under control. I mentioned offhandedly to my doc at the time that I was going to get a tattoo with my sis. I remember his response…
‘That is the single stupidest thing I have ever heard. YOU have a team of people that barely saved your foot because you CAN NOT heal and you want to purposefully inflict a NEW open wound on your body? Find a new doctor.’
Um… OK… So maybe I don’t need a tattoo…
I buried the idea for more than a decade.
I saw my current doc this Fall. When she told me I was no longer a diabetic, I asked her if it would be OK for me to get a tattoo. I told her I wanted a reminder of my T2 journey and the fact that I was NEVER, EVER slipping back to my old ways….
She tilted her head to the side and said…
‘I would get that tattoo on my foot if I were you.’
That is exactly what I did.