“Tenth-Floor Clinic”

Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic -by Marianna Crane

  • a DougInNC book review

If one wishes to explore a new world, let author Marianna Crane take you there. Hers is not a galaxy; not a fantasy; not the whereabouts of witches and warlocks. In Chicago exists a universe far, far away from your reality.

The reader will be mystified and startled to discover an assortment of genuine human beings in sub-standard housing clinging to life, unseen but in full view of the broadest shoulders in the American Midwest.

It is not a telescopic lens that reveals this place, but a telepathic pen wielded by this former geriatric nurse who practiced her craft operating a meager clinic sporting a motley staff of imperfect but motivated caregivers. Ms. Crane is akin to the school nurse, whose patients of a “certain age” exhibit patterns of potential dilemmas and little wherewithal to deal with them.

This book contains excellent descriptions of people and place. It takes you up the last-legs elevator, past the soot-coated windows, and through the often-unlocked doors of apartments where the only certainty is unpredictability. You meet the helpless and the hapless. Many are forgotten, most are forgetful. Some are cured, others curiosities. Maladies and mischief are threats. They may no longer care to live; even the dead need someone who cares.

The author takes you inside this world and also lets you inside her mind as events unfold and her approach evolves. Decisions were made by feel in an age when there were few bookish practices for geriatric medicine. There are sufficient personal details to understand the writer’s own life challenges while dealing with her patients.

Clear, concise, and informative, the Tenth-Floor Clinic pages are a place of discovery. One might think of finding medical processes there, but the ultimate reveals are the common people and the surprise at how unknown the elderly community is to most of us. I am not equipped to render care in the manner of Nurse Crane, and it is beyond my reach to grasp how such professionals persevere. These sublime stories help one appreciate their work evermore. Bless them all.

Read “Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic” to find a world you likely have never seen that is more important than domains created in fiction and more real than any reality show.

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