God Help Us All!

I thought I’d share another Grandma story with you, too. Some of you are dealing with elderly relatives. When it gets too awful, hang on to the thought that you’ve still got ’em here to be an annoyance! As much of a pain as it was dealing with Mom, I miss her.

A funny hospital story…. Mom, a life-long Democrat, had TIA’s, (transient ischemic attacks) mini-strokes, sometimes 10 or 20 in a day. It’s what caused her mental slippage issues. Most of the time the only “treatment” was to not let her get upset and just out-sit the problem. That’s hard….

We were having dinner at a restaurant when she threw one right between ordering and food coming…a pretty bad one because she kept right on talking and never noticed that nothing coherent was coming out of her mouth. Word-salad, big time! It wasn’t getting better, so I made an excuse to Mom that I needed to use the bathroom, and after explaining, got the waitress, got her to box up our dinners (as though they were left-overs, so Mom didn’t twig) and took Mom down to the ER. She was horribly confused but not too upset and they got her tucked up in bed and hooked up to all the machines for observation and I was right with her. They finally did an MRI because they were starting to think it was a real stroke and had already given her the blood-thinners and all and still no change…

An hour went by with the nurses trotting in and out, checking things and asking the “orientation questions”…. you know… the “what’s your name”, “what day is it”, “who’s the president”, “What year is it” set of questions…. She seemed to be waking up a little bit, getting more with it, after about an hour, but still word salad, although one question about the year actually got a word… “green” … well, it was a word…

So about 3 hours into this ordeal a nurse comes in and fusses around a bit and says, “Ok, Mrs. Bues! Here come the stupid questions again!”
She grinned and said something unintelligible.

He asked her, “What’s the date?”

He asked her, “What’s the weather like today?”

He asked her, “What’s the month?”

He asked her, “And who’s the current president?”
…and she, perfectly clearly, came out with, “George Bush, God help us all!”

The nurse nearly lost it.

As soon as he was done he must have gone out to the nurses’ station and told the story, because a roar of laughter could be heard.

Then a bit later, similar laughter from the triage station.

…and then from the outpatient area.


Follow-up to the story:

Some years later Mom had a serious incident with her heart. The actually put clot-buster right into the vein leading to her heart right through her chest wall and I was right there with her, keeping her stable while they were doing that.

I was standing outside awhile later, teary and shaky as all get-out, when a nurse that I didn’t know from Adam came up to me and said, “You’re her daughter… that’s the George-Bush-god-help-us-all lady, isn’t it?”

What a way to become famous!

Page created and published 3/5/21 (C) M. Bartlett
Article (C) 2019 M. Bartlett
Last update 3/6/31