Our goal is to
provide a safe, comfortable and supportive environment for our healing
guests. We do not provide any nursing care but are nurses that care. We work
as Operating Room nurses at the Davies Campus on alternate days so one of us
is available for the house. We reside in the house and are available by cell
is located in Noe Valley, a community oriented and culturally diverse
neighborhood. Public transportation to the hospital and other noteworthy
tourist sites is within one block of the house. Unlike much of San
Francisco, the neighborhood is flat lending itself to healing walks.
Restaurants, grocery stores and most conveniences are located within walking
distance of the guesthouse. Detailed local and downtown maps are available
is allowed on the premises, including the garden. Each guest is provided
with a lock box for valuables; however we suggest leaving valuables at home.
Small closets are available; we strongly suggest comfy lounging clothes.
Help with the first hair washing is offered. Keyless door locks allow for
easy guest access. The garden is for all to enjoy. Laundromats and
wash-and-fold laundry services are available close to the house.
is zoned for 2 hour limit so it's best to leave your car at home. If you
must drive, read the signs for street cleaning and watch for driveway
blocking…people do tow!! We do not provide transportation; local taxi
companies are providing prompt service.
Each guest stay
(whether a single or double) must be booked through Mira in Dr. Ousterhout's
The house is
in its 5th year of operation, and we wish to thank all the souls present,
past and future for passing through these four walls. It continues to be a
place of positive, caring and supportive wonder!!!
Thank you all,
E-mail Cocoon House
A rear garden apartment, "A" accessed down a walkway
to the left of the house is a one bathroom with shower only,
hair dryer supplied. A fully equipped kitchen complete with blender,
microwave, coffee maker, fridge and stove is stocked with foodstuffs
and liquids suitable for those healing from FFS surgery. A queen
size bed and single day bed with lots of pillows and blankets
make a homey environment. Amenities include TV/VCR, CD player,
and phone with local service. French doors lead to the garden
patio. This south-facing patio is often sunny, since the Noe
Valley area has less fog than most of San Francisco.
Main Bed in Apartment A:
photo by Amanda Brooks
The other apartment, " B FRONT" and "B BACK",
is accessed via the main front door through the foyer to the
left. The door opens to a large room with 2 single day beds complete
with pillows and blankets. Continuing through is a fully equipped,
stocked small kitchen and eating area. There is a bathroom with
shower only, hair dryer supplied. Continuing through is another
large room with 2 single day beds. Pocket doors and curtains
create privacy. Each room has TV/VCR, CD player, and phone with
local service. Access to the garden patio is via the walkway
leading down to the left of the house. This apartment can be
busy, it is a shared space! We are hearing from guests that "there
is comfort knowing someone is closeby".
Mary-Lou (l) and Tricia (r) -
photo by Amanda Brooks
DIARIES, NOTES AND PHOTOS
This section contains diaries, notes and photographs from
some of Dr. Ousterhout's patients who have recently stayed at
Cocoon House. We all hope that these items help other women visualize
what the experience will be like at Cocoon House, and will help
them plan their stays there.
Cocoon House notes and photos from Amanda Brooks:
Located at 3877 Cesar Chavez Street near Church Street in
the Noe Valley neighborhood, Cocoon House is all you could ask
for and then some while recovering from surgery. Cocoon House
is owned and operated by 2 wonderful women, Mary-Lou and Tricia.
Both are nurses at Davies Medical Center, in fact Tricia was
part of the surgical team that performed my surgery on January
Although they are not legally allowed to provide nursing
care on-site, their many years of nursing experience uniquely
qualifies them to know if and when the doctor should be notified.
They are always in close contact with Mira and Dr. Ousterhout
should you need any professional care at any time.
You will find the refrigerator and cabinets stocked full
with soft foods like jello, apple sauce, oatmeal, soups, ice
cream and more. You'll also find lots of liquids like apple juice,
orange juice, cranberry juice, milk, and bottled water.
They make a daily visit to replenish food, sheets and towels.
If you should find that you need something that isn't available,
just ask and in most cases they will find it for you. I casually
mentioned that I was bummed that I couldn't eat the ice cream
that was in the freezer since I don't do dairy. Later that day
they showed up with Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Sorbet. Oh happy day!
I found the beds to be comfortable although some may find
sleeping in a partially upright position on the wedge something
to get used to. The sleeping position is doctors orders however
to keep too much blood pressure from the face. I found that a
pillow under my head, another under my lower back and a cushion
under my knees to work perfectly and there is no shortage of
either pillows or cushions. All of the outside doors are controlled
by 4 digit code given to you when you arrive so that you don't
have to worry about carrying a key. The rooms have individual
baseboard heaters so that you can adjust the climate to your
own liking at any time.
[Amanda took the following photographs that will
help you visualize the Cocoon House facilities]
Amanda recovering in Apartment B-front:
With TV remote control and laptop computer nearby:
Entertainment Center in Apartment B-front:
Kitchen in Apartment B:
Kitchen in Apartment A:
The Garden Patio:
Cocoon House notes from
I had the pleasure of staying in apartment B, upper level,
front for six nights. At any given time, though Apt B has 4 beds,
there were between two and three of us living there.
The thing I liked most about staying at Cocoon House was
getting to know other girls. We were all in the same boat.....transsexual,
packed and taped up from Dr. Ousterhout surgery, and having many
stories to tell about our transitions. In my case, I made one
very special friend, and I'm sure that friendship will last the
rest of our lives. Cocoon House is a good place for post-ops
to be uncomfortable together, as we daily compared notes on our
recoveries, and encouraged one another.
Rarely did we watch television. We were too busy socializing
or sleeping. It is a quiet place, and I had no problem resting
and sleeping when I needed it.
Since I had my car with me, and had found San Francisco to
be a very difficult city to park in (especially long term), I
was pleasantly surprised to find ample unstreet no-limit parking
right in front of Cocoon House. For six days, parking was not
an issue for me. For any of you that will have a car to contend
with, this can be an important item to consider.
Tricia and Mary-Lou (ML), the owners, are sweethearts from
the word go. They are extremely energetic and fun. I personally
enjoyed every minute of their company. They had no problem stopping
in and yacking forever, and they were a joy. During my first
post-op appointment with Mira, ML stopped in Dr. Ousterhout's
office just to see how I was doing. A few days later, when I
was having the final facial hardware removed at Dr. Ousterhout's
office, Tricia came in the room and helped Mira give me advise
on hair fashion. These are two great landladies.
ML took the time and effort to wash the blood out of my hair.
We had fun with that, and joked around the whole time. That is
probably more than my mother would have done for me, as it was
Laura Ann DeVries did a great job describing the inviting
atmosphere of 24th Street. I personally spent a several hours
roaming the area, and agree that 24th Street has everything to
offer. I found a nice laundromat on the corner of 24th and Church,
where I caught up on my dirty laundry. For most, laundry isn't
an issue, but I had driven in from Michigan, and had been traveling
for two weeks...so it was time to rejuvenate some underwear.
My roomate, Melissa, and I took a walk to Lovejoy's Tea Room
which is 2-1/2 blocks from CH. Both of us had the classic "X"
bandages on our faces, and I'm sure all the other women in the
place considered us quite a spectacle. But we didn't care. We
ordered tea, which tasted great to our dried up mouths, and had
orange and shrimp sandwiches, which were decrusted and soft.
Soft is important post-op. Anything that has to be chewed is
outlawed. I found that Lovejoy's sandwiches could be gummed quite
One thing I found about the Noe District is that, in spite
of my "X" bandaged face, everyone was very friendly.
I had absolutely no problem wherever I went. If someone looked
at me twice, I just offered a big smile and a hello. It was always
returned. Hey, isn't that what life's all about?
In summary, I would go back to Cocoon House in a heartbeat.
In fact, I plan on returning for another forehead advancement
and total facelift in August, and I will be once again a resident
of Cocoon House.
MAPS AND TRANSPORTATION:
Cocoon Guest House is located at 3877 Cesar Chavez Street,
near the corner of Cesar Chavez and Church Streets, in the Noe
Valley district of San Francisco. The residence is about 1-3/4
miles SSE of Davies Hospital. The maps below show the relative
locations of Cocoon House and Davies.
For convenience, especially during early recovery, many patients
use a taxi (cost is about $5.50) to go back and forth between
Cocoon House and Davies.
However, there is also good access to public transportation
from Cocoon House. By walking 2-1/2 long blocks west to Noe Street,
you can get the Number #24 busses that travel north onto Castro
Street and thence on to Davies Hospital. The bus stop at the
hospital is on top the hill, so little up/down hill walking is
Cocoon House is also within easy walking distance Muni "J-Line"
light rail transit on Church Street. The closest stop is at Church
and 27th Street, just one and a half short blocks away. The J-line
runs north/south on the surface of Church Street until it gets
to the intersection of Church and Duboce Streets near the Safeway
supermarket in the Castro District. There it turns NE and joins
the N-line, heading towards downtown as a subway underneath Market
Street. Therefore, the J-Line provides very easy access to downtown
San Francisco. (The J-Line runs every 10 min on weekdays and
every 20 min on weekends).
Davies Hospital can also be reached from Cocoon House via
the J-line by getting off at the Safeway supermarket (just before
Duboce Street), and then either taking the Muni N-line west on
Duboce to Davies, or walking that last section (note: although
it's only a five block walk, most of it is steeply uphill).
- Cocoon House (lower right)
is about 1-3/4 miles from the Davies
Medical Campus (upper left)
- There are many shops and
restaurants along Market St. in the Castro District near Davies,
and along 24th St. in Noe Valley near Cocoon House (blue strips
in map below)
- Sketch Map of Restaurants, Amenities
and other services near Cocoon House
- by Mary-Lou and Tricia
MERCHANTS AND RESTAURANTS:
by Laura Ann DeVries
Cocoon House is located 1-3/4 miles south southeast of Davies
Hospital, in the Noe Valley section of San Francisco. Like the
rest of the city, Noe Valley has its share of restaurants and
local ambience. Noe Valley has been area of active urban renewal
and gentrification. Because of this, the 24th street merchant
strip is a thriving and diverse street that spans approximately
eight blocks, beginning at Church street and tapering off just
after Castro street (as indicated in the map above).
This area has several things to offer the recovering patient:
It is relatively close to Cocoon House (five short blocks), the
terrain is reasonably level, and the merchants and restaurants
are both diverse and offer a range of prices and services. To
get there one only has to walk less than half a block west on
Cesar Chavez (used to be called Army Street) where Casa is located
to Church street, turning right (north) onto Church and then
walk five short blocks to 24th street.
As you approach 24th street on Church you encounter a slight
gradient which can be negotiated by most patients. Turning left
(west) onto 24th street reveals eight blocks of merchant, retail,
and restaurant services. You should be able to find anything
you need here during your stay at Cocoon House.
Most area restaurants are sit-down restaurants of small to
medium size, however there are a small number of restaurants
that will deliver to your door. Mary-Lou and Tricia are working
on assembling a list of restaurants for reference and use by
In the meantime, the following is a partial listing of restaurants
and merchants and their locations:
Modern Market: Cesar Chavez and Church Streets
Very small ma and pa owned super-market with a little bit of
everything just one quarter of a block from Cocoon House. Hours
8:00 to 8:00pm.
Eric's Hunan and Mandarin: 1500 Church Street, 24th and
Excellent Chinese food. Moderate prices. Fast Service. One and
half blocks from Cocoon House.
Chloe's Cafe*: 26th and Church Streets
Small, local cafe that serves breakfast and lunch only and is
worthy of being listed in Zagat's restaurant survey. Open from
8 to 3 pm daily. Great food and just 1 and half blocks from Cocoon
House (*I personally loved this little spot)
Chloe's Cafe - photo by Laura Ann DeVries
Lovejoy's Tea Room: 1359 Church Street, Clipper and Church
Small very cozy tea room filled with antiques, delicate tables,
and white linens offering a large repertoire of teas and sandwiches.
Open daily for afternoon tea soothing the beast in us all. Two
and half blocks from Cocoon House.
Video Rental Store: 24th and Church Streets
Small video rental store with sufficient titles to please most.
Fast friendly service. Travelers and transients are welcome.
Hours 10 - 10pm ?
Donut Shop: 24th and Church Streets
3901 24th street
This juice bar offers a ride variety of slush's, freezes, smoothies
containing yogurts, fruits, and health giving herbal additives.
$3.50 - 4.50 Hours: 10 - 10pm ?
Savor*: 3913 24th street
A great casual restaurant with a wide selection that could be
characterized as San Francisco - American Cuisine. Serves sandwiches,
salads, special omelets. and soups. Price ranges $7 - 11. Hours:
Open for lunch thru 10pm daily. (*I thought it was great place)
Pomodero's: 4000 24th street
A good casual Italian restaurant with a full menu and reasonably
priced. Reservations maybe required and food pickup is available.
$6 - 15 Hours: Open lunch thru 10pm daily
There are many more decent restaurants located on 24th street
depending on your needs and tastebuds. On the practical side,
you can find the following along the eight block 24th street
Bell Foods Market: on 24th between Noe and Castro streets
Full size grocery store covering most needs
Riteway Drug: on 24th between Noe and Castro streets
Full service drugstore and pharmacy
In addition 24th street sports a variety of shoe and clothing
retailers, 2 hardware stores, several branch banks and or ATM
machines,Laundromat, antique and stained glass merchants, two
coffee shops, cheese purveyor, bagel shops, toddler and toy shops
and a variety of other small merchants and retailers set among
a local neighborhood setting.
From our experience all the merchants we encountered were
friendly and helpful, but also a little puzzled over us "X-people"
and our worn-looking faces!
Laura Ann DeVries
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