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Dr. McCoy aka Bones on the original Star Trek was known to say the above or some variation thereof on many episodes of the show. Thus it has become part of the geek lexicon. I use this phrase often to refer
to my own crazy life that is more like someone wandering lost through a "fun house" while high on pot. Neither are easy to traverse and yet we persist.

It might seem weird as all get out that finding out that one has a hive of bees living in the wall of one's house can turn one's life upside down but it can. Trust me. I lived through this. The fact that one of the occupants of the house was barely mobile due to a torn Achilles Tendon that did not heal properly, and maybe never actually healed at all, while the other was more mobile despite having lupus, fibromyalgia and a laundry list
of other health issues. Yeah, that was fun. We were having to excavate the house so that the crew could come tear a wall out of the house to remove the bees and then replace the wall in question. This may not sound SO bad but the only rooms that the crew did  not have to go through to get to the room that needed the wall torn out and etc. were the miniuature bathroom and my bedroom which was already packed full of funiture.

Thus there was no place to put the contents of other rooms that needed to be emptied especially the bedroom that had the wall that needed to be moved. In addition the back room of the house had a stash of boxes and packing material from my days of selling on eBay that could have filled three rooms of the same size. There were also leftover items from my days of selling on eBay that should have gone to my parent's flea market or to a thrift store many moons before.

So, the excavation began. It was slow because I can really pack stuff into a small space, tightly...very tightly and because we only had help one day a week and the garbage cans and recycling bins filled up quickly. We couldn't afford to lease any more of them from the city and you could only put so much out on the corner for the special crew to pick up when you could get them out.

When I say that our lives were turned upside down I am not kidding. As it turned out it was way to damned expensive to do the bee evacuation "thing" so they continued to live happily(I suppose)in the wall and we continued to declutter our house, slowly but surely, very slowly...there were many delays.

After an interminable period of time on this project and much unnoticable progress having been made, it was decided that due to our disabilities and difficulties just getting in and out of the house that we were going to move to more accessible housing. So after I "hem-hawed" and was dragged out of my home of 31 years practically kicking and screaming we found a wonderful cottage to reside in at a senior citizen housing complex. What...what!!!! A place for OLD people...you have got to be kidding me! I was only 58 and Miss Teffers was only 55. We are NOT senior citizens but we were accepted to live there and fell in love immediatly with the cottage we looked at when we were applying to live there. It turned out that the process that was supposed to last six months to a year took less than a week. Yes, that's right. Five days after we turned in our application we got a phone call that there was a unit available for us to move into within less than a week. Holy cow Batman! How were we going to manage that?

Now fortunately, we didn't have to be completely out of the house as soon as we needed to be in the cottage that we were already paying for. With the help of family and friends we were moving in as soon as we got the keys. At the house it was no longer a thoughtful and deliberate decluttering of the house it was more like we had human bulldozers moving things out as fast as we could. Carefully selected and saved items to be sold on eBay when I felt better were given to friends who were helping with the move. I didn't have any place to put them after we moved. Other things were sent to my parent's flea market and the Goodwill got more stuff from us than you can imagine.

We also put things on the curb for people to "pick" so that we didn't have to haul it anywhere. Almost everything we put on the curb was taken very quickly, like in minutes. It was awesome. I love it when things can be used by someone else and as a curb picker from way back I enjoyed putting things out free for others.

Some way, we got most of the stuff packed up and moved out by "moving day!" Of course, the weekend before our move on Monday it SNOWED and our helpers couldn't get to the house to help finish things up. Now that was fun, NOT!

We got moved though and the sanitation department eventually picked up all of the things we had on the curb...that is a whole different novella. City services are not always as helpful as they should be. I will leave it at that.

After moving the last things from the house, "more or less" we started working on truly unpacking and settling into our new living space. We actually had more closet space and square footage than we had in the house. We also had TWO bathrooms!!!! What a bonus!

We moved at the end of January. It seemed that the topsy turvy life we had been living since the bees were determined to be living in the wall was at an end and that we would be able to chill in our new place and start a new life. Hah! Like they say, "Life is what happens when you are making other plans." You bet your sweet ass it is.

In late March some of the cognitive issues Steffie, had for years, started to get worse. By April they were much worse. By May
her mobility issues escalated rapidly and we talked to the doctor about the possibility of getting a motorized wheelchair. As part of the process of evaluating Steph for a wheelchair she was referred for in home PT and OT. Less than a week after PT started Stephanie had 3 falls in one day that required the fire department to help her get up. After the last fall I had her taken to the ER. She ended up being admitted to the neurology floor of the hospital for evaluation and testing. Then she went to rehab for 3 weeks. After she left rehab and came home Steffie was doing much better. PT, OT and a home health nurse came out to the house several times a week.

We were referred for a home health aide. After much paperwork and many evalutions Steffie was approved for mulitple services due to her disablity including a home health aide. We were so very grateful for that. She was going to be here 20 hours a week to help Steph and that would give me a much needed break.

I am always nervous about a new person being in my space but this worked out perfectly. Our aide was our Angel and she quickly became part of our family unit while caring for my Stephanie. It was a match made in heaven.

We had our Angel with us for almost a year when Stephanie's mobility began to deteriorate again. I took her to doctors and tried to find answers but in November everything really started to fall apart. The falls became very frequent...almost daily and sometimes more than one a day. Sometimes I could help Steph get up but more often than not I would have to call the fire department. Finally on December 1st she ended up in the ER again, the doctor referred us to a nurse case manager who assisted in getting Stephanie into rehab again.

This rehab program was very structured and worked Stephanie quite hard but they also had Steph in a wheel chair or in bed at almost all times. She was not allowed to get out of bed unless she was assisted because of being a fall risk.
Steph "graduated" from the program on December 13th. That night she fell. She fell again the next day and the falls just escalated. On December 16th she was back in the ER for a possible broken nose.

The doctor then referred us to a nurse case manager again. It had been decided that Stephanie could not go home because of her fall risk but yet they sent her home and handed me a short list of sub-acute rehab facilities that could handle Steph's special needs. I tried to make phone calls on Sunday but no one for admissions would be available until Monday. In the meantime Stephanie, who did not have a broken nose by the way, had FIVE falls on Sunday. They all required assistance from the fire department in getting her up. It was a most stressful day.

Stephanie's focus was also blurring more and her dementia was very evident to everyone including the fire department personnel who assisted us. It was heartbreaking to see her helplessness and confusion.

On Monday, I started making phone calls and located a facility that met Steffie's needs, as well as, having an opening. The admissions nurse made a home visit that day. We did a ton of paperwork and then she went to work on making sure that Steph met all of the criteria for admission. The final approval came through on Friday, December 22nd at about 4:30pm. Since Stephanie could not get into my van and transportation through the nursing home would not be available until the day after Christmas that is the day her admission was scheduled but the admissions nurse told us that if anything happened between that time and the scheduled admission to call her as she was on call and could help us with an emergency admission.

After several more falls including 2 on Christmas day, Steph was again sent to the ER because she could not stand even with the firemen holding her up, she fell immediately. I called the admissions nurse at the facility for an emergency admission. She met me at the facility to do even more paperwork which we had just finished up just as the ambulance brought Stephanie to the facility from the emergency room.

My mom who was with me helped Steffie get adjusted to her room. We left when the nurse came in to do vitals and talk to Steph about the program. I think that this was one of the most bizarre Christmas Days in my life.

Miss Teffers has now been in rehab for two months and 1 day. Her mobility is still very limited and she has had numerous falls. She spends most of her time in a wheelchair and in bed when she is not in therapy but she is in her wheelchair most of her time while in therapy as well.

The doctor at the facility has determined that Stephanie has Alzheimer's and for a while Stephanie was completely "lost" while at the facility. She is doing better now but her short term memory is very poor.

Because of her inablity to meet the bare minimum of mobility standards in order to come home and due to her increasing cognitive issues Miss Teffers will like be in long term care when her rehab days are used up. This means that Steffie probably will not ever come home again even though work will continue in an effort to improve her mobility and her therapy will still be part of her case plan.

Since the situation with the honey bees which started in 2014 through today and beyond our lives have been turned upside down and backwards. Any degree of what is considered "normal" has vanished and we continue to have to adapt to "new normal" on an almost daily basis.

The Winter Olympics that just ended are the first Olympics since the summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 that we have not watched together. That was very difficult because the Olympics have always been so very special to us.

"It's life Jim but not as we know it..." but we are beginning to know it, live it, cope with it and find every ray of sunshine that we can because if we do any less we will fall into the abyss of hopelessness and darkness. I absolutely refuse to let that happen on my watch.

Ciao babes!


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