5 Tips for Getting Tattoos When You Live With Fibromyalgia

Three of my tattoos, the first, third, and sixth
  1. Choose an artist you feel really emotionally & physically safe with and who has a reputation for a soft touch. I feel about my artists the way many feel about their hairdressers: it is an intimate relationship of sorts, especially because I can’t stand to be touched by just anyone.
  2. Tell the artist your situation up-front, and that you may have to stop or have shorter sessions to handle it, or you may find you’d like to power through at one time. Let them know you don’t necessarily know what sensations you’ll be having or how you’ll be feeling because of your illness. If you’ve already completed the first suggestion you will feel a lot more comfortable with this suggestion, and I think likely find that the artists are very understanding.
  3. Make appointments when you feel good and be sure to know what the cancellation/reschedule policy is so you can honor it if needed. I prefer to go to artists that I can say “I wanna do this tomorrow” and drop a deposit that day on or who can fit me in the same day, not waiting a week out when I have no idea what I might feel like then.
  4. Make sure you are really well hydrated, have eaten, slept decent, etc so that you feel fairly decent and are less likely to be weakened for the tattoo to cause a flare up of the fibro — this is not foolproof or guaranteed to mean you won’t have pain or cause a flare, but it does improve your chances and is worth the trying.
  5. Follow the aftercare instructions to take good care of your healing tattoo & continue to look after your other needs so that you lessen the likelihood of a flare up during that healing process. It is a common effect of fibromyalgia to find that your body doesn’t take some of the ink as well and needs touch-ups, or that the healing process is slower.

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artist/historian/poet/culture critic — http://aaminahshakur.com — Gratuity: CashApp $aaminahshakur or http://paypal.me/shakurarts

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