Beautiful Tattoos That Spread Fibromyalgia Awareness

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Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States, and symptoms include fatigue, pain and problems with cognitive functioning (aka “fibro fog”). These symptoms can vary from day to day and person to person, making the chronic disorder notoriously difficult to diagnose.

While fibromyalgia can be frustrating, the online communities for those with fibro (and others with chronic illnesses who identify as “spoonies“) are strong. We’ve noticed a number of individuals sharing their personal stories on social media, and among other things, photos of tattoos that symbolize their experience with fibro. The butterfly and the purple ribbon are the most commonly recognized symbols for fibromyalgia.

We asked our Facebook community and Discussion and Support Group ” Living With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness” to show us their fibro-inspired tattoos — and tell us a little bit about why they got them.

Take a look at Fibro Warrior’s Tattoos…

Here’s what they shared with us:

1. This is my new inspiration for life! Combination Fibromyalgia, Hemipeligic Migraines and Suicide & Mental Health Awearness survivor! I will continually fight these battles in my life but I am a warrior and Gods got me! (The red will fade to a faded purple & the yellow is actually an electric lime green it will change when my body heals)

2. This semicolon is a symbol for a common symptom of fibromyalgia: depression. I’ve been a self harmer since I was young and attempted suicide last year. My life almost ended from the depression and the pain and feeling like I’d feel horrible forever; instead it just took a pause. The heart is a reminder that sometimes this disease does make me fall apart, but no matter what, I need to keep pulling myself together and keep going. It’s not the normal ribbon, but it has a lot of meaning behind it. I’m not proud of what I did, but I’m proud I made it through.

 

3. Butterfly for fibro, ribbon has purple for fibro, lime green for my mom’s lymphoma, and teal for my sister’s cervical cancer. Pansy represents how strong we are. People look at us as delicate like the pansy yet it is really a strong flower, able to survive spring frosts. Those of us living with fibro while seeming delicate are really quite strong living with this disorder day after day.

 

4. Not the best picture of my tattoo but This is my fibro tattoo, the butterfly 🦋 being my weakness (fibro) and the wedding rings being my strength (my husband) both set inside a photo frame x

 

5. Mine represents Fibromyalgia & suicide awareness

6. Diana Compton shares

 

7.“My daughter and I both have the same tattoo on our arm because we both have had fibro for many years. The butterfly represents fibromyalgia with the purple color but also the saying reminds us that although every day is a struggle, life is still beautiful and we will get through one day at a time.”

8. Main aim of this tatto was to make the inVISIBLE illness, VISIBLE

 

9. “About two years ago I had been thinking about how I wanted to embrace knowing I have fibromyalgia and a tattoo came to mind. I explained to the artist what and why I was doing this, and he completely understood. Knowing that it takes so much to spread our wings daily to get through the day. I’m reminded when I look at my tattoo quite often that I’m not alone.”

 

10. “I got my tattoo after being diagnosed with celiac disease, and going through a rough patch emotionally and physically with all types of symptoms which oddly overlap with fibromyalgia. I wanted to remind myself to be brave and strong. I got my version of a Thunderbird. Now, that I have a fibromyalgia diagnosis, too, it’s just an even better reminder to get up and get going. You can do this.”

11. “This is my snow leopard to remind me of how agile and graceful I once was and how lucky I was before this kicked in. It also represents the determination of how difficult is to survive the hard times, and a leopard never changes its spots; I’m still me.”

 

12. “My daily reminder that I’m a warrior and will not give up for this horrible condition and will keep fighting.”

 

13. “I was diagnosed at 16, and got my spoon tattoo on my 18th birthday. The tattoo is inspired by ButYouDontLookSick.com‘s spoon theory. It is my way of always having an extra spoon on days where I feel like I need one. My older sister is on the left, and she got the tattoo in support of me. It’s her way of having an extra spoon for me when mine still isn’t enough.”

14. “All the depression before my diagnosis had me inpatient several times, so I have the serenity prayer.”

15. “When having a bad day I just look at it, and it makes me feel positive again.”

 

16. “My purple ribbon is for fibromyalgia and Chiari malformation.”

 

17. via Vickie Storey‎

18. “This is my daily reminder to get out of bed and give it my all. Even when I’m having the worst day. This tato also serves a dual purpose. The body of the butterfly is a semicolon for suicide prevention and awareness.”

19. My Wings

 

20. “I recently got this feather on my foot that reads, ‘strength lies within.’ It is a daily reminder for me that I have the inner strength to carry on every day despite whatever pain I maybe in. I never thought I would ever get a tattoo, but I love it, and after the pain fibro puts me in I was not worried about the pain of getting it done.”

Tips

Be sure you have a ride home, too, in case you have a symptom flare or need pain meds and it’s not safe for you to drive. Tattoo artists recommend certain things for anyone getting a tattoo, such as:

  • After and before getting tatto stay hydrated
  • For 2 das don’t drink alcohol
  • Remember, be well rested before and afterward.
  • if you are sick, dont come up for tatto
  • Take a good meal before going in for tatto
  • don’t consume a lot of caffeine or take aspirin before going in because it can thin the blood
  • communicate you’re feeling throughout the process, and before it becomes a problem

Make sure you follow the artist’s instructions for preparation and recovery and that you get prompt treatment for any problems, such as infection, that may come up afterward.

You know your symptoms best, so in the end you’re the only one who can decide whether a tattoo is worth the possible consequences.

Do you have a fibromyalgia-inspired tattoo? Share it with us in the comments

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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