Janet Murphy

My day job is being a urology nurse at Meriter Urology Clinic. It’s a role that affords me the ability to be very hands-on, handle triage and direct appropriate testing and procedures for my patients.

My most memorable caffeine is the day I ordered coffee with lunch, and because I ordered decaf I accepted quite a few refills during the meal. By that night I was having heart palpitations, which continued into the next day. At work my boss insisted that I go to the ER to get things checked out—which is all too easy when you work by the hospital! I was just fine and the ER doc’s advice was to cut back on my caffeine, which I hadn’t intentionally consumed (I feel pretty certain I was drinking caffeinated coffee at lunch). Since that day I’ve largely eliminated caffeine from my life, which means that it doesn’t take much if I’m really tired and need a little boost.

My current caffeine of choice is a decaf espresso.

My favorite place for caffeine is Philz Coffee in San Jose CA. The only time I went there, I admit to having a bit of a chip on my shoulder because I thought the coffee was way too expensive and I had to stand in line forever. But I was intrigued enough to stick it out. The coffee was a pour over and they did a lot of tricky things with it, pouring it from one cup to another. Frankly, I was thinking to myself, “That’s going to be one cold cup of coffee.” But it turned out to be something quite special—which is especially impressive because I don’t have a sense of smell.

My other favorite places for caffeine are the 10 coffee shops I can walk to from my home at Arboretum Cohousing. How perfect is that?

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Sojourner Truth. She was both a slave and an abolitionist and a woman who was passionate about women’s rights. She even met Abraham Lincoln. I’d like to sit down with her and learn more about her experiences.

I’d also like to meet my grandfather’s grandfather. We have a family story that he lived with the abolitionist John Brown in Ohio. I even have an engraved wallet that we believe John Brown made for my great-great grandfather. I’ve tried to get someone at the John Brown museum to take a look at it, but they haven’t shown any interest. It would be fascinating to learn if there’s any truth to this story, and, if there is, to hear more about my great-great grandfather’s experience.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  getting people to base their decision- making on rational information gathering and analysis. It drives me crazy when people ignore evidence, especially in light of the false news stories that have gotten so much press of late. There is so much false information that’s become very sticky. I’ve found that people often hold onto beliefs that are demonstrably untrue, whether that’s in politics, medicine or something else. I wish people were more critical and doubtful—that they balanced emotion and gut feel against research.