wait, let me take a selfie

With all that is currently going on in and around the world right now we have so much to be worried about because it is truly the end of the world as we know it…and according to Arizona Diamondbacks announcers Bob Brenly and Steve Berthiaume it starts here.

Right here, right now.

Of course the irony of it all was as they continued on with their nearly three minute tirade about parenting failure (with college aged people likely not living at home with their parents) and mocking these college coeds taking a break from their classes, studies, work and other projects to take in a practically pointless end of season game between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies, on the screen was the invite for fans to take and post their selfies while enjoying the game.

Nice! Way to be in touch with your fan base guys!

True, selfies are not necessarily your father’s thing…or my darling husband’s thing…likely not my father’s thing but it is a millennial kind of thing and, apparently, millennials like Major League Baseball and, more often than not, will take selfies and share them…everywhere. The fact of the matter is that no one leaves home without their smart phones these days, and those phones are used to create memories with their camera at sporting events, concerts, and around the every day life that we live.

Get over it! 


Some cluck their tongues and shake their heads as they think this somehow detracts from the natural enjoyment of life and they literally take every opportunity to criticize this practice in a get off my lawn kind of fashion…because they never did anything perceived to be a waste of time or stupid by the generations before them. It’s a generational divide that comes off as bitter and superior. Add to that the usual stereotyping of young ladies who are obviously at the game to be seen on Instagram and Snapchat, or because their boyfriends obviously dragged them against their will and are clearly not hanging on to every single pitch like a good fan and you have the perfect setup for what became a mean-spirited rant against fans in the stands…people the announcers and everyone else watching the video (that is so easily Googled) don’t even know….people just passing the time in-between the fourth inning of a game taking selfies.

Hey, some people dance, some take a bathroom break, some grab another beer or hot dog and some take a selfie. What’s the problem, really? They bought a ticket. They apparently planned for a fun evening together, all decked out in their Diamondbacks merch. Seriously, what is wrong with this?

Meanwhile, to their credit, the young women of the Alph Chi Omega Sorority at ASU took all of this in stride showing much kindness and grace through it all after the Diamondbacks and broadcasting partner reached out to them.

Well done, ladies!

Welcome to 2015, every one else! People take selfies sometimes. There is nothing inherently wrong with the world today because of it.It just makes us human beings in the 21st century.

We sometimes take a selfie; especially when we get new eye glasses just because.

standing down the bullies

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

There, I said it.

Do I care what anyone really thinks about me making that statement?


No I do not.

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, I was a young married twenty-something. And I had no health insurance. I could not afford it. My husband and I could not afford it, nor could we qualify for Medi-Cal because we were employed and made too much money.

Ah, the good old pre-Obamacare days! Good times those were! Here’s where I remind my young adult children how fortunate they are to continue to enjoy your parents’ healthcare coverage. Don’t believe me? Ask your sister Hollie about that.

But I digress…

As a young woman, in the land of San Jose, I enjoyed some of the services that my local Planned Parenthood clinic provided…annual Pap smears and pelvic exams, access to birth control (for when I absolutely did not want to get pregnant), a prescription for antibiotics for an infected ingrown toenail and prenatal care…yes. prenatal care. So that I could be pregnant and stay pregnant for approximately 9 months and deliver a healthy, wonderful, perfect baby.

Thank you, Planned Parenthood. Because of you I had access to affordable, excellent prenatal care, education and support that was provided to me twenty nine years ago when I needed it the most. I looked forward to my regular prenatal visits. I loved listening to my baby’s heartbeat…such a magical sound that was! I appreciated the clinicians’ patience with what I believed to be stupid questions about my changing body and what was going on with the baby growing inside of me. The numbers on the scale and the lectures about my love for Oreos? Not so much. I also did not care much for the Pro-Life protesters calling out to me…no, yelling and screaming at me. I would cover my growing belly protectively as they would call me a murderer when I entered your clinic every month for my regular prenatal visits. I would recognize the same familiar, angry faces. Did they not recognize me…the young lady who obviously was KEEPING her baby?! Did they honestly believe that calling me a murderer as they shook their graphic, bloody posters at me from the moment I got out of my car and walked across the parking lot to the office and back again was going to compell me to join their side and stand with them?

Did they?

Did they really?

Yeah, no.

Then there are those videos…those videos that have been thoroughly discredited and continue to be.

Honestly, I would sooner believe that bogus Facebook privacy policy ready to steal ALL of my posts and pictures and that there is really such a thing as a law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute) that will punish Facebook and protect me.


Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) flashed a chart on the screens showing that since 2010, the number of abortions at Planned Parenthood has surpassed the number of its “cancer screenings and prevention services.” But no such shift occurred. The fine print on the chart showed that the number of abortions (327,000 in 2013) never came close to reaching the number of cancer screenings (935,573 in 2013) at any point. Yes, but the bogus graph didn’t seem to matter to Chaffetz, who drew Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards attention to the crossing lines showing abortions overtaking screenings.

Richards said the chart “absolutely does not reflect what’s happening.”

“I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” the chairman said.

In fact, the chart said the source was the antiabortion group Americans United for Life — which Richards pointed out to Chaffetz.

:::mic drop:::

“Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that,” the chairman said.

You do that, sir.

The truth? Planned Parenthood gets money for women’s birth control, STD screenings and the like, not abortions — which Richards calmly reminded her inquisitors. As today’s hearing continued it was clear that the committee’s contention wasn’t against Planned Parenthood and how they spent their money but rather about allowing women in this country . . . to make other decisions about their pregnancies.

To Mr. Chaffetz, and the rest of your ilk, I would ask if those more than 300,000 abortions were stopped and resulted in 300,000 new babies born would you then be willing to support and fund those babies and their mothers, you know, through Medicaid and welfare?

Would you?

Could you?

I stand with Planned Parenthood because I believe that ALL women deserve access to quality women’s healthcare and most certainly without shame, without fear, without intimidation…regardless of what health care they seek.

so about that apology

There is this old saying that goes apologizing doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It means you value your relationship more than your egoIn my heart of hearts, I believe that to be true. I also try to live that. If I insult someone or hurt their feelings or even take offense to something stupid and offensive they might say, do or post online and they are hurt enough to call me out on it, I will, more often than not, choose to apologize…if I value that friendship or relationship.

Try being the key word here.

I learned a long time ago that the best apology is to simply say I’m sorry, I apologize, forgive me. No buts needed…or defensive arguments…or lectures about needing to listen. Anything else just falls flat and isn’t really an apology. The irony over who actually taught this to me is never lost on me. But that’s another story.

Today there was this.


I for one, one out of over 3 million practitioners, say okay, fine. Thank you. But that’s just me. Then again, I know that I am not alone. Last night I had the opportunity to take part in a very long conversation with some very smart Registered Nurses and one physician about what we jokingly refer to as the stethoscope incident. For us, we were at the point in this story to acknowledge that nurses united and showing our stethoscopes has made our voices heard in a big way. Johnson & Johnson, one of The View’s major advertiser had paused their ads on that show which meant revenue lost. Eggland’s Best, another advertiser also had pulled their ads…in support of the nursing profession. That’s powerful and we could not help but take note of that. Our conversation last night was what can we do with this loud voice of ours to educate the public, and knock down such stereotypes as the idea that nurses are wannabe doctors, doctors’ helpers, overpaid waitresses, maids and babysitters. Perhaps we can make known that while we are the most trusted, respected profession, we are often maligned just as much as other service related professions. Think of anytime something goes wrong or is less than one’s expectations when you or a loved one is hospitalized. Whomever is most at the bedside is more often than not blamed. We could use this opportunity to address patient safety as in nurse to patients ratios, short staffing and work hours. It would be a good time to discuss the ongoing nursing shortage and the low salaries of qualified nursing educators to educate and train nursing students. It’s also an opportunity to address the violence in the workplace nurses must deal with. My very first patient, when I was a nursing student punched me in the face…literally. I have twice in my career been threatened with bodily harm by an angry, distraught parent. My colleagues in the ER, adult floors and psych units are sometimes kicked, punched and physically threatened by those whom they are trying to care for. All of this was considered last night in our conversation about what shall we now do as 3+ million strong do with our voice.

So when the nearly six minute apology segment aired on The View today, I decided to accept it.

Of course they were pandering to the advertisers. Anyone could see that. But they did say I’m sorry, we apologize. They also gave an opportunity for our voice to be heard with what it is we do, the education and training we must have along with the skill, heart and physical and emotional endurance to do what we do. I’ll take it.

Now can I stop watching segments of The View because I am not a fan and have not really watched since Lisa Ling left the show…2002 in case anyone didn’t know. I sure hope so.

I understand for some nurses this apology is not enough. The nurses who appeared on the show are regarded as traitors. I imagine for some nothing will be enough. It’s hard to put down those torches and pitchforks once they are picked up I guess. But what, if anything, will right this wrong for them? The blood of the ladies of The View? Is that who we are as nurses? As educated, skilled, respected healthcare professionals?

I like to believe that we can move on. Joy, Michelle, Whoopi, Paula, and even Raven with her eye-rolling and I-can’t-believe-we-have-to-do-this-segment body language never should worry that they and their loved ones won’t receive the very best of care the next time they need a nurse because they will. It’s what we do. It’s part of the oath we have taken. As a nurse, over the last 25+ years, I have cared for the babies of Olympic athletes, professional athletes, musicians, politicians, television personalities, farm workers, prostitutes, the homeless, child molesters, clergy, doctors, drug dealers, convicts, gang members, illegal immigrants and just hard-working-everyday kind of people. At the bedside no one patient and their family was more important than another because ultimately my responsibility has been to provide the very best nursing care. I have been compelled to. It’s what I do. It’s what we all, as nurses, do.

Future RN? I don’t know. A Mima can dream. – Hazel Faye 2010

I, for one, believe that it is time that we nurses don our stethoscopes proudly, stand tall together and move on. But we should not be quiet. What has happened in the social media landscape shows just how powerful our voice is. People ARE listening. Who knows? Perhaps some of them will finally come to understand that we did not choose nursing because we were’t smart enough or too lazy to become doctors. Perhaps they finally will understand we do so much more than pass out medications and food trays. Maybe, just maybe they will begin to recognize that we are indeed one of the most vital part of the healthcare that they receive whether it is at the beginning, the middle or the end of their lives.

Oh and because my Dad asked, Kelley Johnson, RN, aka Miss Colorado was second runner up in the Miss America pageant so no, she did not win. But today she is the one contestant from the pageant whom we all are still talking about.


Not to brag or anything, but I am a pretty talented person. It’s not bragging when I repeat  back what people have told me over the years. I can sing. I take great pictures. I have beautiful handwriting. I’m a good writer. Oh, and I am a nurse.

Wait, nursing is not a talent?

True, Miss Colorado did not sing or dance or twirl a baton with fire or play a musical instrument. Still her monologue was quite moving; moving enough to be selected in the top ten of the Miss America Pageant.

Yes, I watched it. I was on call Sunday night and just trying to pass the time so why not? I got paid to do it being on call. Again, why not?

Perhaps Kelley Johnson’s talent wasn’t the most talented. Then again, some of the vocalists made bad karaoke at Torii’s sound great…and don’t get me started on the crazy smile while dancing to Bridge Over Troubled Water or the pointe dancer who couldn’t even relevé because once a dance mom always a dance mom. Original, yes. Spoken with a lot of heart and soul. But, yes, perhaps not the best talent performance. The ladies of The View seemed to think so.

Oh Dear Ladies of The View…are y’all enjoying the blow up today on social media? I sure hope so. Please allow me to educate you on a few things because that is one of the many things nurses do…we educate. We even have to document when we educate.

First of all, that is not a costume that we wear. We wear scrubs. We wear scrubs because they are designed to move with us as we go about our duties caring for our patients for 12 or more hours a day or night. They also provide a barrier from blood, poop, vomit and all kinds of body fluids. Kind of. Sort of. They are designed to clean up pretty easily because they are laundered a lot…A LOT…because of blood, poop, vomit and all kinds of body fluids.

Now about that stethoscope…

This is not a doctor’s stethoscope. This one in particular is a nurse’s. Nurses don’t wear them. We USE them. We use them to auscultate or listen….listen to all kinds of things: heart rates and rhythms, clicks and whooshes that might indicate problems with the valves in the heart, air flow that indicates the lungs are working or the endotracheal tube to help a patient breathe is in the right place along with wheezes and crackles that might indicate problems with a patient’s lung function, blood flow through arteries like the carotid, renal, iliac, femoral and the aorta, bowel sounds or perhaps the absence of bowel sounds. We use them as a percussion instrument when measuring the span of the liver. They also can help to check reflexes and can be used as a hearing aid in a pinch. In the NICU we most definitely don’t wear our stethoscopes. We don’t even carry them as each of our tiny patients have their own at their bedside because of infection…so that means it is not a doctor’s stethoscope or a nurse’s or a respiratory therapist’s, it’s the BABY’S!

Being a nurse requires a lot of education (which never does end), skill, intelligence, patience, civility, wisdom, guts, a very strong stomach and talent. It is something that a lot of people can not do…much like some people can’t sing…or perhaps should not sing…ever…just saying.

I won’t lie, I was a little pissed off at the dismissive, mocking tone the ladies of The View had regarding Ms Johnson sharing her passion which was no different than other contestants sharing their passions in the talent portion of the pageant. Okay, fine. I was a lot pissed off. What Ms Johnson does, what any nurse does every day (or night), what I do is amazing. We save lives…each and every day.

Today is National Neonatal Nurses Day and I was reminded all day today by families of some of my most favorite patients of that truth…and how damn lucky I am to be a part of their lives…lives I cared for.

To the ladies of The View, like Miss Colorado, and like the more than 19.3 million women and men all across the globe, my talent is nursing.

I save the lives of tiny humans for a living…and what is it you do?

the lives that matter

It seems that lately we need to be reminded what lives matter because, it seems that some lives matter more than others. At least that’s the way that it seems in the news and all over social media.

  • Some conservatives are outraged and demanding the shut down of Planned Parenthood because #unbornlivesmatter and #ppsellsbabyparts – factually wrong.
  • Some liberals are incensed because #blacklivesmatter  yes, get it…preaching to the choir.
  • The privileged are aggrieved because #alllivesmatter – um, clueless? Yes, clueless.
  • Others are fired up because #crueltyfree#righttobeararms#banalltheguns…and on and on and on
  • and then #CeciltheLion

Here’s the thing, the way that I see it – one can be outraged by all the atrocities we perceive happening right now in and around our globe – and yet be moved by the senseless killing of a beautiful animal.

It is one thing to kill an animal in order to eat and sustain one’s life. It’s another to kill an animal simply because they are MAJESTIC. To think to one’s self that this thing, this animal, this work of art is so majestic that I need to kill/destroy it so that it can no longer thrive in its own life, have offspring, nurture its existing dependents – and to PREVENT ANYONE ELSE from experiencing/appreciating its beauty.

Oh my god! This is not just the epitome of hubris – it’s intentionally, actively, and at great expense, taking away something from the rest of us. It’s deciding that your momentary pleasure in destroying something beautiful is more important than everyone else’s joy/pleasure at seeing that individual, majestic animal alive.

I personally believe that people who kill random wildlife for shits and giggles and grins are asshats. Sorry, not sorry. I grew up with y’all and I believed then as I do now that yes, y’all are asshats – but that’s in a different league than a “sportsman” paying top dollar to kill a rare, endangered animal.

In the grand scheme of things, Cecil does not matter to human lives lost to the worst of human atrocities, war and violence – insert appropriate hashtag here. However the thought  of someone killing an animal they have no intention of eating – PAYING to kill an animal they have no intention of using to provide for their own sustainability galls me.

So yes – other societal issues take priority for me – and yet, I can still be maddened by what happened to this beautiful creature, to Cecil the Lion.

~ photo credit – Diane Davis Maas