Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

A tattoo in the future?

I came across an interesting news story yesterday.  Medical scientists are working on a glucose-monitoring tattoo ink that could eliminate the necessity to be a human pincushion  in order  to keep track of daily sugar levels.

Well halelujah!

It would be like a permanent mood ring with the color changing according to the level of glucose detected and would require only a small dot of color impregnated under the skin. Of course, if one has a son who is a tattoo artist, one can envision a larger piece of artwork that would change color several times a day.

Now wouldn’t that be a freak out? Makes me smile to think of it.  I can just see the tattoo I’ve wanted my son to place on my left bicep – a winged dragon emerging from its egg – changing from green to orange to yellow. Well, it might if it didn’t need infrared light to detect the color changes.

I would have that tattoo if my doctor would have said it was OK but since my diabetes obstructs healing, he felt I might be taking a risk to have the artwork applied to my arm.  Why a dragon? My son was born in the Year of the Dragon. Why coming out of an egg? In celebration of his birth, of course.

I even did a sketch once of what I’d like the tattoo to be. Aaron thought the idea was good, but he said I would, of course, pick an extremely difficult set of wings to depict. Well, of course.

My mother was pretty near speechless when she heard us discussing the at that time probable tattoo. “Why would you want a tattoo,” she asked wide-eyed. I said if Aaron was painting oil on canvas or in watercolors, I’d want to hang his artwork on my walls so why wouldn’t I want to have his skin art on my body?

Of course, in more practical terms, a color changing glucose sensitive tattoo would mean you’d never forget your testing equipment, you wouldn’t be leaving droplets of blood over napkins, fingers and clothes, your fingertips wouldn’t be pricked and feeling pricked, not to mention the dollars you could save not having to buy test strips. They can get very expensive especially if you’re asked to test four or five times a day.


February 14, 2009 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. Somehow, a tattoo would suit you well, Kathy. And not just because of the artist in your family, either.

    Very interesting, indeed.

    Comment by Richard Pratt | February 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thursday I was searching for Blogs related to email topics but more specifically to email marketing software review. I found your blog and find it intersting.

    Comment by tattoo review | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hello,

    When and how did you know you had kidney problems? I have a solid mass in my right one, and the doctors are just waiting to see if it grows. It hasn’t since January.


    Comment by Karen | June 17, 2009 | Reply

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