Hat Lady Nicole

My Health Journey and the Hats I Wear - Navigating Chronic Illness with Style

Finding Health and Happiness through vintage hats

What started as a blog to document and process a bone tumor in my skull is now a celebration of the lessons I've learned from chronic pain and fatigue, while wearing vintage hats

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Wearing Vintage Hats

Wearing Vintage Hats

Love vintage and reproduction hats? Check out my personal hat collection. Don't look good in hats? Try my styling guides for vintage hats for women before you donate that gorgeous pillbox, bucket, fedora or beret.

Coping with Chronic Illness

Coping with chronic Illness

Tips from a Spoonie on how to improve mental and physical health, with 10+ years of trial-and-error experience*. Maybe you'll find a technique or two that helps you cope a little better.

Distraction During Flares - Bee visiting dahlia

Glimmers for a Rough Day

Some days a Spoonie just needs a little self-care and some bright glimmers of hope - instead of doom-scrolling on social media, check out positive reminders of self-worth, wander through vivid nature photos, and chuckle at silly cat videos.

Nik headshot 2023 final sm Hat Lady Nicole

Who Is Hat Lady Nicole?

Meteorologist - Entrepreneur - Spoonie - Designer

As a lover of all things science and art, I’ve taken the road less traveled in my chronically-shortened professional career. After earning a Bachelor of Science at the University of Oklahoma in Meteorology and Master of Science in Atmospheric Science at North Carolina State University, I started my career in storm safety/education – a field I was very passionate about. In my first post-graduate job, my mental and physical health deteriorated, even though I believed very much in the cause I was sacrificing myself for. I found myself losing physical strength, even though I was constantly on my feet and moving, which led me to question what was happening to my body.

*The "I'm Not a Doctor" Disclaimer

While I’ve walked (sometimes limped) the chronic pain and fatigue road for over 10 years now, read medical journals to understand my diagnoses, and talked with many specialists, I’m not a trained doctor or medical guru. This website is all about sharing my personal insights and experiences, so others starting the same path have some ideas on where to start with their doctor. May my stories bring you hope and inspiration, but they are not meant to be medical advice, only information and entertainment. 

ENT surgeon specialist who IS a doctor - I am a patient only
I am an experienced patient only, NOT a doctor. And sometimes I need a fuzzy blanket.
What is spoon theory meme

What's a Spoonie?

And What is the Spoon Theory?

A “spoonie” is someone who lives with chronic illnesses, including conditions that cause daily pain, fatigue, and limitations in their lives (e.g., invisible illnesses like Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Lupus, etc.). Christine Miserandino created the “Spoon Theory” to explain the challenges of living with chronic illness to those who don’t have first-hand experience.

In Spoon Theory, a person’s energy and daily activities are represented by a finite number of “spoons.” Each activity, such as getting dressed, cooking a meal, or going to work, requires a certain number of these spoons. For spoonies, managing their chronic conditions means that they often have fewer “spoons” available than people without such health challenges. Consequently, they must carefully budget their limited energy and make choices about how to spend their “spoons” each day.

The term “spoonie” has become a unifying and empowering label for those of us who share these experiences, fostering a sense of belonging, understanding, and solidarity among people living with chronic conditions. It’s also easier to say when we’re exhausted than “Chronic Illness Warrior”!

Where to buy vintage & Repro hats

where to buy vintage hats - thrift stores
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