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Tattoos

  1. #1
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    Oct 2014
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    Tattoos

    About 20 years ago, a fellow Trooper was telling another Trooper and myself about a health issue that had popped up. It seems that he had a tattoo of the Navy emblem put on his left bicep when he joined the Navy back in the late 60’s.

    I think it was around 1986 that he noticed changes in his day to day health. He would go through periods of being very hot or very cold, headaches, cramps and other issues. He went to see his doctor who referred him to an Internist, which had a battery of tests performed.



    When the results of the tests were returned to the Internist, they showed that he had a form of hepatitis, plus another liver ailment, which I forget what he called it. After having a biopsy, it was determined that he would be in need of a transplant. He had explained to us the procedure that’s involved in receiving a liver, which to me, seemed fairly extensive, not to mention the costs involved because at that time, our insurance covered nowhere near the total costs.

    He finally went on the list as needing a liver “now.” A donor was found with just weeks to go before he may have died. Since the transplant, he keeps telling me that he really only feels slightly better and his quality of life is maybe only about 10% better. His travel is very limited and he spends most days indoors and sleeping several hours per day.

    Do any of you have any experience with someone you may know that is in the same boat? Does life get better? He thinks the anti rejection meds do more harm than good. I spoke with him yesterday and he is really depressed. He tells me that he has a death wish and almost took care of that just a few weeks ago.

    I wish that I could give him some hope and this is why I have been asking people on the various forums that I belong to for some information, if they are able to provide any. Thank you.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

  2. #2
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    What does the tat have to do with your friends hepatitis? Did his doctors say that the tat (from 20 years prior) was the cause?


  3. #3
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    How I wish I had some knowledge of this condition but I've nothing beyond a prayer sent for his well being.

  4. #4
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    if I understand you correctly 911, you're essentially asking if anyone knows if your friend will eventually feel much better since he's had the transplant is that right? How long ago was his transplant, and how old was he at the time?

    What has been the prognosis from his surgeons..?

  5. #5
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    The tattoo had been designated as the culprit for the hepatitis and the liver disease. He received the transplant about 6 or 7 years ago at Tampa General. I wish that I knew more how this all came together with the tattoo being named as the reason for his liver disease, but I didn't want to ask him a lot of questions. He has become very depressed and is seeking help through the VA for his mental state.

    I would like to give him some hope, which he believes there is none. He is now 72 years of age. This is why I have been asking around to various people if they have known anyone with a similar situation. He must live in a warm weather state due to his being cold so much of the time. He stays inside mostly and sleeps several hours per day. He sleeps mostly during the daylight hours and is up almost all night every night. I try to call him at least once per week and we talk about anything and everything, except he does not want to talk about his health.

    If you would see him, it may make you wonder what's holding him up. I thought that he gained a mess of weight, but his wife told me that the steroids are to blame for him looking so large. The anti rejection meds make him sick off and on, but he must take them no matter what.

    I just spoke with him in the past few days and he told me that his kidneys are now being affected and he will have to have dialysis 3-4 times per week. It may be possible after he has been on the machine for a few months to have his dialysis in home. This is all new to me. I have started reading about liver disease and kidney disease and very little of it makes a lot of sense to me. He was last in the hospital about a month ago for about 3 weeks due to having Sepsis, which again is something that I knew very little about.

    I know this post must sound very confusing, but I am very confused myself. I never knew tattoos could cause such havoc in a person's body.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

  6. #6
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    911- Thanks for the response. Prayers for your friend.


  7. #7
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    It probably wasn't the tattoo itself, but that it was done with a contaminated needle (or perhaps the ink was contaminated). I've heard of this happening -- it's basically the same thing as drug users getting it from sharing contamiinated needles.

  8. #8
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    What are you trying to prove by getting a tattoo? WHY do you want to ruin the nice skin you were born with?

    You'd be surprised to learn how many peeps are NOT interested in them.

  9. #9
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    'Stuck inside the Midwest with the LA blues again'
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    I've heard of some treatment on t.v., not sure if this is it, but there are options he could consider: https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/...es-95-percent/

    As for a tattoo being the cause, it's certainly possible. I don't think there was even widespread use of rubber gloves (on tattoo artists) until individuals started becoming aware of AIDS/HIV. and much further back, I was told tattoo shops in NYC were outlawed for a very long time because the practice was spreading syphilis.
    Still, even today, it's hard to know if an artist is cheap and reuses needles and ink, which they're not supposed to do.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaniceM View Post
    I've heard of some treatment on t.v., not sure if this is it, but there are options he could consider: https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/...es-95-percent/

    As for a tattoo being the cause, it's certainly possible. I don't think there was even widespread use of rubber gloves (on tattoo artists) until individuals started becoming aware of AIDS/HIV. and much further back, I was told tattoo shops in NYC were outlawed for a very long time because the practice was spreading syphilis.
    Still, even today, it's hard to know if an artist is cheap and reuses needles and ink, which they're not supposed to do.

    There are a lot of things in this world that people aren't supposed to do, but all too often, many people tend to throw caution to the wind. I can't even begin to count the number of times that I have sat in interrogation rooms and people have told me that they didn't mean to do it, or that it was an accident. The latest was just a few years ago when I was interviewing a suspect in a case where the person being interviewed was suspected of killing his girlfriend with a .357 magnum pistol and he tells me that the gun went off "accidentally."

    As for getting a tattoo and having it caused my friend's cancer, he did explain it to me a long time ago, but me not having any medical background just could not comprehend what he was trying to tell me. It had to do with the ink being absorbed by the lymph glands, which then can be spread to different organs in the body. This is way beyond my comprehension of being able to understand the immune system, glands and organs and how they are all dependent upon one another. I was just never able to grasp it.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

  11. #11
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    I've gone 82 years without tats, think i will keep it that way.
    We are either growing or dying.

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