Today the weather was SPECTACULAR. In the low 70's, breezy but nice. I been outside all day. It got me to thinking about a couple of pertinent safety thoughts, so here goes:
Just before Christmas, I went to my Dr. for my regular 6 mo. checkup. I'm 36, a bit too fat, and I fight high BP and GERD so I get regular checkups. While there, he noticed a big mole on my belly. It's been there forever, and to tell the truth, it was big enough I have kept an eye on it for a long time. Now my MD is good but I am a usually quick, in and out patient and to tell the truth, he kinda mumbles. Unless he mumbles "OH MY...." or "You're dying...." I don't sweat it. But I understood him perfectly when he said "You need to have that biopsied." Now I am scared to death of anything that requires a biopsy. Fortunately cancer does not run in my family, but the stuff is scary. So they got me an appointment with the dermatologist, and off I went about the middle of January. The dermatologist, a very nice man with an outstanding reputation, looked at it and said he >>thought<< it was ok, but just for my own peace of mind, let's take it off. Peace of mind sounded good to me and he assured me there would be anasthesia involved. So back I went 2 days later and his very nice PA cut that little nevus (I didn't know that was the medical term for "mole") off. It came back "normal," however the PA told me that if it had ever started to "change," it would almost certainly become melanoma. Fortunately she got it all, checked me out closely again, and did find a couple more she's gonna keep an eye on.
The only real hard-core exposure to the sun I have ever gotten was three years at FFA Camp during my high school years. Didn't wear a lot of sunblock, stayed in the lake most of the time (that's where the girls were ) and thought I was invincible. Guess that's what almost did me in.
My parents have been seeing this same dermatologist for several years. They've both had several things cut/froze off, and thankfully everything's been ok for them too. From my dad's experience I almost always wear a wide brim hat outside, have for a long time. I only wear my IH cap when I am gonna be mostly indoors. I also rarely wear shorts. My only thing is I don't wear sleeves but I'm gonna start slathering the sunblock on my arms this year.
So, as cool as IH caps are, protect your skin when you're outside at a Cubfest, getting seat-time, or whatever. Don't forget the sunblock. Especially if you're young. It WILL catch up with you!