Alphabet Challenge: P

I’ve signed onto The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2021.

The challenge is to blog the whole alphabet in April and write at least 100 words on a topic that corresponds to the letter of the day. 

Every day, excluding Sundays, I’m blogging about Places I Have Been. The last post will be on Friday, April 30 when I finally focus on the letter Z. 

P: Pediatric Unit

On one of the pediatric units at Babies Hospital in Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, I contracted chicken pox. 

My roommate Gloria and I and six other students from St Peter’s School of Nursing in New Brunswick, NJ, spent three months at Babies Hospital where we did our pediatric rotation in 1960. We explored the city on our days off. While it was fun to be in NYC, I didn’t enjoy caring for sick kids. I couldn’t detach myself from their pain, sadness and the misery of their hospitalization. Give me healthy, happy kids every time. 

Toward the end of the rotation, I was dressing a toddler for discharge. I lingered in his room, playing with him just to hear his infectious laugh. 

It wasn’t until the parents had collected their son and left for home that the head nurse informed me the toddler was discharged because he had chicken pox. 

I never had chicken pox. After two weeks, I noted the first spot. The nurse in the infirmary diagnosed chicken pox and quarantined me. My classmates headed home since our rotation was over. I lived in New Jersey and couldn’t cross the state line with an infectious disease. 

The infirmary nurses treated the itch with Benadryl and calamine lotion but they couldn’t lessen the tedium of my confinement.  

Later on in my nursing career, I had to declare a specialty. I chose geriatrics.

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. I remember that so well! I sneaked in to the infirmary to visit you and got in so much trouble because I never had chickenpox! (Remember Miss Kent?) Well, all 10 of my children had chickenpox(not all at the same time) and I never did contract it. When I worked in hospice at JFK hospital we had bloodwork done every year and I got a message saying that I was not immune to chicken pox and therefore would not be allowed to care for anyone with Shingles! Go figure! Your blogs are bringing back so many memories to me . I look forward to them every day. Thank you Marianna!


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