Making time is apparently not a priority for some

I’d think that if you have a friend for longer than a decade, you might get to see them in person more than once every couple of years or so.

I’m just a little peeved that, after asking, again, to see one particular friend in person, that they have essentially kicked me to the curb. There’s always some excuse…no time, I live in the wrong direction, too busy, etc., ad nausea (misspelled on purpose, btw).

It’s not like they live real far away…still Oklahoma after all, and I realize they have a life that doesn’t include me; but I don’t know if their idea of our friendship is the same as mine. They’d like me to think so, I guess.

They have always kept me at arms length, I suppose because I’m not a regular part of their life anymore. I feel like just another friend on Facebook to them.

Maybe I should stop asking them to come visit. Even when I was in the hospital in January, I asked them to stop by, and they couldn’t make the time for me. I wasn’t disappointed (okay, maybe a tiny bit) when they didn’t come. I’ve learned to expect it.

I have my theories on why they can’t seem to spare the time to get together…most of which are wishful thinking on my part. I mean, just who the hell do I think I am anyway, Little Ms. Important, wanting to spend time with a friend? It’s not like I’m asking them to drop everything and come to my beck and call. .

I still value their friendship. They gave me a reason to stay in Oklahoma when I really wanted to leave and go back to New England.

Perhaps it’s all my medical problems that’s made me rethink a lot of things about my life and where it’s headed in 2015. One place I hope it doesn’t lead me is an operating room table at Integris getting a liver transplant. That scares me on so many levels that even I don’t want to think about it.

And maybe that’s the gist of these feelings…and this post.



I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~


I hate feeling like I have no get up and go

…because all I’m feeling is that my get up and go got up and left.

Not that I could go anywhere today, with it being a holiday AND we got sleet last night. So anywhere I wanted to go was closed due to the holiday or the weather.

All I want to do is sleep, and that’s not normal for me. Yes I’ve gone out for the day then when I returned home, took a nap, but nothing like this. Sometimes I feel like I can’t summon the energy to even get out of bed, but I do it…mostly because all my meds are in the kitchen at the other end of my apartment.

I need to make phone calls tomorrow, now that I know that the phone number for the government agency I was trying to call last week was wrong because my sister wrote it down wrong. Thanks, sis!

I demand the immediate return of my old life, because now I feel like I’m in some dark abyss that I can’t escape from.

Minus the 125lbs. I’ve lost in the last 2 years, of course.


I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~ 


It’s late and I’m listening to my stomach gurgle


It’s this sweet syrup that is a laxative, and I’m just waiting for the next trip to the bathroom. It also is supposed to dissipate any ammonia that builds up in my brain (which causes confusion and forgetting things in the middle of sentences) and the only way to eliminate it is thru constant trips to the bathroom. The diuretic I can handle, but God help me if I go somewhere and can’t get to the bathroom in time! It actually happened to me in the hospital the day I was discharged! Fortunately, I was just steps from the bathroom so cleaning up the mess was easy.

I hate the damn stuff! But, if it fixes the problem, I’m all for it. Thing is, I have a months supply and five refills!

This will be an interesting year.


I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~ 


If you’re so inclined, check out my gofundme page at :  Thank you for taking the time to read my story. There will be an update soon.

Adventures in the Integris Healthcare System, Part 3 (2015 edition)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

I went back to the hospital on January 24, and this is serious. I had trouble breathing and it turns out my right lung was surrounded with fluid to the point that it impeded my breathing properly. The ER doc at Integris Edmond told me I was cyanotic.

At first, they thought my lung had collapsed and were set to reinflate it, then sent me for a chest xray. That and the subsequent CT scan confirmed the fluid around my lung. It was decided that my condition could be better treated at Integris Baptist in Oklahoma City, so I was transferred there via ambulance.

And, what seemed like forever to be seen by someone, a doctor comes in to the ER room I’m in with Tori and Amalia and pretty much confirms what I was told in Edmond: I have a lot of fluid surrounding my right lung, and want to drain it Sunday morning, so I was admitted to Baptist.

Then it took hours to actually get into a room! Sitting on a gurney gets kinda uncomfortable after a while, and I was hungry and tired. But finally, after I sent everyone home, I am actually taken to my room on the 7th floor in the east wing. Too late to get any food :(

I’m hooked up to oxygen, got the catheter that was inserted in Edmond situated, instructed to ring the nurses station if I needed to use the bathroom, and was left to sleep. However, sleep was just not going to happen right away. A nurse’s aide came in to take my vitals every time I managed to drop off, then I made two unproductive trips to the bathroom, then got various drugs to help my condition via the IV port that was also inserted in Edmond, and some time around 6am, I was out like a light…then I hear, “Ms. Pera, I have to take your vitals.” It was nearly 8 am, and I managed to get two hours of sleep.

Then breakfast arrived. Scrambled eggs (which I’m certain never saw the inside of a chicken), turkey bacon, cereal…this was the “heart healthy, low sodium” diet my doctor had ordered. It wasn’t that bad. The eggs were gross though.

All day Sunday, I’m waiting for this thoracentesis thing to happen (draining the fluid from around my lung), and by lunch time, I’m convinced it wasn’t going to happen until Monday. Meanwhile the family came to visit, and Joey can’t seem to modulate his voice… oh great, everyone within earshot of my room gets to hear my hyperactive, autistic, almost 12 year old nephew go on and on about Nick Toons…whatever that is. He doesn’t seem to get that Aunt Steffi is sick enough to be in the hospital.

I finally get the thoracentesis on Monday, but not before one of the liver docs comes in to sees me, and tells me that at some point, I’ll need a liver transplant. Excuse me, what?!  My liver is that damaged? However, he says, my financial situation has to be a lot better than it is now, and I have to get insurance (duh?)…but he and his team will take care of me.

I finally go for the thoracentesis, and it takes like 45 minutes to an hour to get things set up and drain the fluid. Imagine a 2 liter soda bottle. Two liters is a lot of soda, right? That’s how much fluid they drained from the pleural sac around my lung! No wonder I couldn’t breathe! It would take a while for my lung to reinflate itself, and it might be a bit painful to take a deep breath. But I noticed that my breathing had considerably improved from what it was when I went to Edmond on Saturday. I still can’t believe they got 2 liters of fluid out of me. That just blows my mind!

I finally got discharged on Wednesday and got five of the seven prescriptions I was given filled (one was a controlled substance, and the doctor forgot to put his DEA number on it; the second one wasn’t available at the CVS pharmacy I went to). One of my meds cost over $1000, but the pharmacy at the hospital could fill it for ten bucks, and the other four were filled at CVS.

So now, I follow the low sodium diet plan, take all these meds, work on getting health insurance, and some how find a source of income (SSDI was mentioned as a possibility, since I’m apparently too sick to work.)

And I haven’t even had my 51st birthday yet. Ain’t life grand?


I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~

PS: I set up a GoFundMe account to help pay my medical bills. If you are so inclined, please check it out here, and if you can, please donate. It would be greatly appreciated.

Hoodie law, Part 2

I have read the text of the proposed update to the law regarding the wearing of items that conceal one’s identity during the commission of a crime. And, I don’t know, but it still seems like, with out specific language spelling it out, it could be open to misinterpretation, as to the wearing of hooded sweatshirts.

Taking ones hat, hoodie, knit cap, etc. off indoors (especially in places of business) makes sense, and most reasonable people would do so without being asked. But those with ill intent aren’t “reasonable” people. If they’re there to rob the store, they’re going to do it, law or not.

So, here is the text of the proposed law:

STATE OF OKLAHOMA  1st Session of the 55th Legislature (2015)  SENATE BILL 13 By: Barrington      AS INTRODUCED  An Act relating to crime and punishments; amending 21 O.S. 2011, Section 1301, which relates to masks, hoods and disguises; modifying certain restrictions; and declaring an emergency.     BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA: SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     21 O.S. 2011, Section 1301, is amended to read as follows: Section 1301.  It shall be unlawful for any person in this state to : A.  To wear a mask, hood or covering, which conceals the identity of the wearer during the commission of a crime or for the purpose of coercion, intimidation or harassment; or B.  To intentionally conceal his or her identity in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise. provided Provided, the provisions of Section 1301 et seq. of this title shall not apply to the pranks of children on Halloween, to those going to, or from, or participating in masquerade parties, to those participating in any public parade or exhibition of an
educational, religious or historical character, to those wearing coverings required by their religious beliefs, for safety or medical purposes, or incidental to protection from the weather, to those participating in any meeting of any organization within any building or enclosure wholly within and under the control of said organization, and to those participating in the parades or exhibitions of minstrel troupes, circuses, sporting groups, mascots or other amusements or dramatic shows. Any person, or persons, violating the provisions of this section, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not exceeding one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SECTION 2.  It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.  55-1-227 BH 12/5/2014 4:05:08 PM

Strikeouts were in the original text, and passages that are in bold type were underlined in the original text. Nothing specifically regarding hoodies, per se, but check out Section 2 (emphasis mine). How many “emergencies” would be declared under Section 2? And at whose direction?  Any law enforcement officer? The head of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol? The National Guard? Gov. Fallin? If, say, 50 people come to the Capitol wearing hoodies, would THAT be considered an emergency, even if it’s a peaceful protest? We still have the right to gather to demand a redress of our grievances, right?

I’m not a conspiracy nut or anything like that (far from it), but given the events of last summer with the Michael Brown/Ferguson, MO/ “hands up, don’t shoot” thing, could this particular section be misinterpreted by overzealous law enforcement officials?

I honestly don’t know, but it would be something to ask my state representative about, right?

What do you think?


I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~


UPDATE: 3 FEB 2015

OK legislature declines to hear the controversial hoodie bill; rather, they are going to concentrate on more important issues.

“After evaluating the legislation assigned to the Judiciary Committee this session, I have decided that Senate Bill 13 will not be heard so we may focus on other legislation before us,” said Senate Judiciary Chair Anthony Sykes. (source:


It’s a good day when…

I can actually get out of bed and not feel like I’m being weighted down by the crushing fatigue.

Actually any day I get out of bed is a good day. Getting out of the house is a bonus.

Though I am concerned that I could die one day and my sons wouldn’t even know.


It’s a good day because there is more music in the world.

There are stories on the news feeds that are actually good news for a change, and not about fighting governments, violence, or people getting killed for reasons they can’t help.

It’s a good day when the frontman of my favorite band (currently on hiatus) posts pictures of his 16 month old son and is just proud to be his father.

It’s a good day when something makes me smile. Someone told me recently that I don’t smile enough.

So… Here’s a smile–



I’m Stef and this is where it’s @ !~


On to the next bit of stupidity…

Oklahoma’s proposed “hoodie law”.

According to our local NBC affiliate KFOR, and reported by the Huffington Post, the wearing of hooded sweatshirts (aka “hoodies”) in the commission a crime could cost you up to $500 in fines and/or a year in jail. It would be a misdemeanor. But, the language is too vague, and could lead to innocent people being fined and hauled off to jail.

First of all, how DARE the state of Oklahoma tell me what I can or cannot wear in public. What’s next? Ball caps? Knit caps commonly worn during the winter months? My hooded scarf with the pockets? A rain coat?

Second of all, I wouldn’t be committing a crime of ANY kind. This proposed law, if passed, would effectively be punishing the many for the crimes of a few ne’er do wells.

Thirdly, good luck in trying to enforce such a law, Oklahoma. Hoodies are rather popular, and have been for (at least) my entire lifetime.

Maybe our “esteemed” leaders at the Capitol should rethink this proposal seriously before voting on it.

I understand that there has been a version of this law on the books since the 1920’s, and I understand why it’s there. But come on now…the majority of the people who wear hoodies in public are NOT going to be committing any crimes.

Can you imagine getting arrested for a piece of clothing? And you’ve done nothing wrong?

I’m wearing my hoodies, law or no law, fine or no fine.



I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~