Life After 50: Got Hats?

A hat crafted by a friend for a friend diagnosed with skin cancer on the top of her head. Courtesy/Bernadette Lauritzen

Los Alamos

Recently, I went to schedule a physical appointment, only to find out that a great practitioner at MANNM is moving away. A year ago, I had the pleasure of seeing some great medical personnel, so why send a thank you when heralding people in the media is so much more fun!

Shenika Carter is a Family Nurse Practitioner and may have provided the most pleasant annual physical I have ever had. Her bedside manner, sense of humor and kind disposition made me realize I needed to do better self-care. She recommended doing an annual skin check, and as 55 was nearing, I decided why not?

Linda Taylor, a Certified Physician Assistant was another shiny penny on the path of putting myself first. She was smart, made education in this arena easy and gave me small things to do, so that I could benefit my health. She took care of a variety of issues on the spot, and made any plan for a follow up appointment something to look forward to in the future.

Fast forward a year later, and an older friend of mine was navigating a scary time related to potential cancer on the head. A small, shaved spot, some deep removal of skin from the head, was a great concern and lengthy process. Then came the recouperation time, dedicated wound care and avoiding sun on the top of the head at all costs.

A very lovely friend of hers took the time to craft some beautiful accessories to make the difficult time a much better experience. Of course, the crafty friend would not accept public adoration, but the gift of time and talent was beyond measure. A lovely, I’ll call it American fascinator would allow her to look lovely at church, a concert or on Mother’s Day.

The moral of the story is two-fold, get a skin check and let many things that may bother you, have the weight lifted from your mind. Also, at our elevation, why don’t we all wear some type of hat? Your brain or in this case your head, is one of the most important things you can protect, whether it is with a seatbelt, a helmet or a simple hat. So, spend a few dollars on something you like and get with the program.

Also, thank you to the many doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and medical staff who touch our lives daily. Oh, and will some friend of Shenika’s let her know she is already missed and we wish her well?

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