Is There An App For That?

I watched with great interest, the documentary San Francisco 2.0 by the Alexandra Pelosi, the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, regarding the ever-widening wealth gap in the city of San Francisco. As a former resident of the metropolitan San Francisco area, I can attest to the truths this documentary highlighted. San Francisco has undergone a major transformation. Tech companies have flooded the downtown area, and while that brings much-needed revenue, it also has the affect of potentially displacing a great number of lifelong residents. Housing prices have skyrocketed.

No. Really. Skyrocketed. The median home price in San Francisco now lies at $1.225 MILLION DOLLARS. Yes. You read that right. That’s the AVERAGE price. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds fucking ridiculous. Granted, I grew up in the Midwest in the state of Michigan where $1.225 million dollars got you a virtual compound with major acreage and a home the size of a small Costco. That might be why I can’t stomach this price tag.

But, I’m not alone in this disbelief. San Franciscans are being displaced in greater and greater numbers. Lifelong residents are being squeezed out by new tech startups and while their revenue brings cash to the city, it also brings higher and higher home prices as people play this bidding war to attain their ‘dream home’. Many once-vibrant cultural areas of the city, like the Mission District are suffering a major blow.


Well, in this tech boom, one class of people has become virtually extinct. The middle class. It would seem in San Francisco, there are two classes of people: the ultra wealthy and the working poor. Gone are the vibrant middle classes of the city. If you want to be able to afford a home in San Francisco, you need to earn UPWARDS of $200,000 per year.

Got that?

I don’t. I didn’t. We didn’t.

We left. And I couldn’t be happier.

I love San Francisco. I lived there for almost five years, and our daughter was born there. It hurts to see this city once known for its forward thinking and historical counter-culture turn into a homogenous, boring, bland, city with no diversity that caters to those who have no interest in retaining San Francisco’s wonderful history. The sharing economy has residents desperate to stay in their homes, therefore, people literally share rooms in their homes to earn income. Enter AirBnB. Need a car for a few hours? You can rent YOURS to earn a few extra bucks. Need someone to run an errand for you? No problem. TaskRabbit has someone available RIGHT NOW to pick up your Kombucha from Whole Foods.

The Ellis Act has virtually evicted thousands upon thousands of people with an eviction rate in one year of 115%. The Ellis Act allows landlords to abruptly sever lease agreements to take their property ‘out of business’, to then turn around and make it available to places like AirBnB for a large profit. Lifelong residents of San Francisco are finding themselves homeless for the first time. And gone are the days of long-term residency, as many renters find themselves stuck with exorbitant rent increases.

Before you ask, let me just tell you. The AVERAGE rent in the city of San Francisco just reached an all-time high this year of $4,225 per month. Yes. That’s right. That’s not a typo.

Sad. Really fucking sad.

So, as you walk by the homeless person on Market Street, remember this: he just might have been displaced by the very wealth that tech start-ups brought to San Francisco.

Oh, and be sure to throw him a twenty. That organic, fair-trade, small batch, hand-picked, cold-brewed cup of coffee from the corner barista will cost at least $10, which leaves him enough for an organic donut.

Some days I miss San Francisco, but in light of what’s going on there now, I’m perfectly content to blog about it from the comfort of my home on the outskirts of Saint Louis, Missouri in my four-bedroom, two and a half bathroom 2,100 square foot home for which we pay a fraction of what some renters in San Francisco pay for a studio apartment.

My fingers are crossed that San Francisco can find its way and retain its individuality. Maybe a start-up company can make an app for that.

You Never Forget Your First Time

I just participated in my first podcast last night. I’ll admit, I was more than a little nervous. I mean, what if I had technical difficulties or broccoli in my teeth or simply froze up and said nothing?

Well, luckily, that didn’t happen. My hosts, Sean and Emily were nothing short of fantastic. They walked me through the whole process during the pre-show and left no question unanswered. The podcast flowed smoothly, and before I knew it, poof! An hour had gone by, and we enjoyed meaningful dialogue about a variety of topics. As a result of the podcast, I have so many ideas about other topics I would love to see explored in the future.

I’m sold.

And, I can’t wait to do it again.

The Change of Shift Podcast, Episode 7 Recap

A Bitter Pill To Swallow

It’s payday tomorrow.

While I used to get very excited about payday, I have to admit, these days it’s just nothing to write home about.

Leaving California not only meant leaving behind the exorbitant cost of living, but leaving some of the highest nurse wages in the country. I am now earning less than I did when I first graduated nursing school back in December of 2008.

I’m earning 67% less than I was back in California. Ouch.

And I’m still having a hard time getting accustomed to that.

I keep telling myself that when I earn my Master’s Degree in Nursing, things will turn around. I SHOULD be able to command a higher salary, right? I certainly hope I’m not incurring thousands and thousands of dollars of new debt for nothing. That scares me. I’m just feeling a bit sad, knowing that my pay really isn’t reflective of my work right now, but hey, what can I do? Quit? Not likely. I have it MADE. I only work TWO NIGHTS PER WEEK. Where else can I go and have a fantastic schedule like that? Okay, okay….

My wonderful husband keeps a positive spin on things, reminding me that ANY income coming in is more than was coming in before I went back to work, so there’s that. He also reminds me that I even shared with him that going back to work in my dream niche of Women’s Health and Postpartum wasn’t initially about money at all, but going back to the bedside and being truly happy about my work.

He’s right.

Damn it. He’s right.

So, I will just keep plugging away, taking care of those new mamas and babies and putting a smile on my face every night I go in to work. I get to practice my profession in a corner of nursing that I truly do enjoy. That has to be worth more than the numbers on my check. Right?

Three Little Birds

…Don’t worry, ’bout a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be alright…”

Really, Bob? Is it gonna be alright? I’m beginning to wonder.

I am sitting at my computer, catching up on emails, cruising Facebook, chatting with friends via iMessage, and this song begins:

I needed that.

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve been struggling with learning that a friend of mine has suffered a major heart attack and subsequent health setbacks. She’s married with two small children. She’s 39 years old.

What in the actual fuck?

I can’t even deal. I can’t even wrap my brain around this. I can’t even think of what I would do in a similar situation. So many things I can’t process.

Invariably, I’m transported back in time. College days. Those heady times of life being lived to the absolute fullest, memories made that seem to get more important over the years. This friend of mine was a part of a small group of people that I have now known for almost thirty years.

Wait. THIRTY YEARS? Jesus.

Anyway, without getting into specifics, I have drifted away from these friends over the past few years, and that, along with the current situation hit me really hard. These people with whom I have shared memories for more years than I can even accurately count are simply not part of my daily/monthly/yearly life anymore.

And that makes me sad. Incredibly sad.

While I am miles and miles away from the current situation, feeling helpless, there is one thing I can do. I can do my best to reach out to these friends of mine and let them know just how much I love them all. It’s not necessarily important for them to reciprocate, but if they do, so be it. I’m not even going to sit here and say, ‘life is too short…’ yeah, no shit. Whatever water has flowed under the bridge we have built between ourselves, I hope that you are all well, loved, happy, fulfilled, and content.

And Fire up, Chips……

Survival of the Fittest

I made it.

I did it.

I survived orientation in my new Postpartum job.


All that anxiety. All those feelings of inadequacy snuffed out with a single kick-ass shift this past Tuesday night. All the thanks go to my final preceptor. She kept it real, no-nonsense, common sense, and put things in a way that made things logical to me. Her bedside manner is one I will do my best to emulate. I took lots of notes, made crib sheets, and put mental notes in my head to best prepare me for my first solo shift on Monday night.

Truth be told, I was basically flying solo last Tuesday, as well. My preceptor was in the background as a resource, but I did all the assessments, care, meds, teaching, follow up, rounding, and charting for four couplets/eight patients. For those who think Postpartum is ‘boring’, I challenge you to take care of two distinct different type of patients. One is adult, newly-postpartum, and the other is a brand new human being. There are different ranges of normal for each, and it’s YOUR job to remember that. The charting, care plans, and teaching is different for each type of patient, too. Your boring is my world, and I love it this way. Take your adrenaline-soaked self back to the unit from whence you came. I’m happy to stay here with my moms and babies and the occasional urgent issue.

So, after a short meeting with the assistant manager (how ironic that I used to sit in that seat just a short time ago), I have been released from orientation. I was told that the current staff is very happy to have me on the team. I don’t know if that’s the truth or a fluffy nugget of bullshit, but I’ll take it just the same.

Now, I just need to channel those positive feelings and vibes from my last shift, remember that I CAN DO THIS, and continue down the road. Bottom line: I will always do my best and hope that it’s good enough. If everyone makes it through the night intact, then I’ve done my job. I’m a nurse, not a magician.

I have to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I am brand new to the world of Postpartum. Slap a telemetry monitor on any one of these moms or babies, and I’m your girl. I can still interpret a cardiac rhythm with the best of ’em. These eight weeks of orientation have taught me humility, gratitude, and respect. I had the distinct pleasure of working in a labor and delivery/postpartum unit back in Michigan as a unit clerk for seven years. Those seven years likely taught me much more than I ever realized. It taught me that indeed my true love in nursing and the field of medicine in general is women’s health, moms, babies, and new families. Those nurses and OB doctors are with me every single day now. I am happy that some of them are still good friends and have followed me on this new journey. If you’re reading this, please know that you helped shape me into the nurse I am becoming today. Thank you. You’ll never know how much I appreciate you.

So, I begin my next nursing adventure with my first solo shift on Labor Day. How appropriate. Labor Day in a Postpartum unit.

Stay tuned.

Nervous Nellie

Confession time.

Leaving the bedside as a nurse for a management job was quite possibly one of the worst things I have ever done.

Now that I have returned to the bedside, I feel nervous, anxious, worried, and doubtful. And it sucks. Big time. Things as simple as an IV push medication have become anxiety-provoking. I am afraid I’ll forget something, forget everything, forget to chart a detail, forget to draw a lab, forget my brain at home.

Yes, it’s true. I have forgotten how it feels to be a confident floor nurse.


I have bit my tongue for quite some time about my stint in management, but when I look back upon that brief experience, I don’t have much to feel good about. I felt awful going to work almost every single shift. I never once felt that I was making a difference.

I felt like I was checking boxes.

I felt like I was patching the bursting dam with bandaids.

I felt isolated. As a matter of fact, so much so that only working weekends and nights meant I never once met my direct manager after she had been on the job for six months. Not. Once.

I felt like I was espousing ideals that were no more rooted in reality than a magical unicorn.

I felt like I was becoming increasingly alienated at the bedside, through no fault of anyone but the job itself.

The biggest regret I have about that position is that it’s two years of my life and nursing career I cannot get back. To those who manage, my hat is off to you. You are better than me.

Fast forward to today, and I sit here awaiting my shift tonight. I am filled with trepidation and anxiety. Why? Well, because the bedside is all new once again. I almost feel like a new grad in some respects. The time management, the education, the feeling of being new once again sits front and center in my brain.

Sometimes I just wanna be a secretary again….

I can only hope that as I wind down this orientation that I’ll have that epiphany, that moment of clarity where I realize that it’s all gonna be ok, and that I’ll muddle through these moments only to emerge on the other side a better, stronger, more confident floor nurse.

One day at a time.