Stephanie | CaringBridge

Stephanie’s Story
Thank you for visiting. Welcome to my Caring Bridge Website page. This is for my kids, to have a story to tell, and to learn the truth in the days when I'm not around. I'm so grateful for an online platform that allows this kind of updating for FREE. Currently, I'm working on logging the past and my story so I'm dating all the titles of the journal entries. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Stephanie Smokovich

My MRI looked great he said. That's great news, Steven and I are relieved, and we buy another 3 months! Although we did talk about some other things going on that I seem to be distracted by. The stresses of work, the constant what ifs and the ups and downs that I am feeling lately. He explained that it's all very normal, and that when someone almost loses their life it takes time (mentally) to recover from that. After some discussion, he explained to me that I am most likely suffering from a form of PTSD and that it can go on for more than a year sometimes after the near death experience. He recommended a few things:

1. A therapist. Talking to someone is good, someone professional is better. I actually had it on my list of things to ask about so he is on the right track for sure. He referred me to someone that will be calling this week. (again, answer unrecognizable phone numbers has become my new "job")
2. A very low dosage of anti-depressents. When I asked if I could just see a therapist first he shook his had no. Annoying. But I get it, it's like one day I'm completely fine and the next day I'm balling my eyes out. Something is clearly going on.
3. A form a meditation (I've done yoga in the past, so I'm going to look somewhere close to home and seek out some classes--more for mind concentration than a workout though as I did in the past mostly for workout reasons)
4. A recommendation of a vacation. Like a staycation at home with the kids, enjoying a stress free atmosphere and just being. When I heard this I tearfully said to the Dr, "I did. I took a 3 month vacation from work--I wasn't there" to which he replied, "That was not a vacation. You were hospitalized, in therapies, barely alive. I want you to really consider a vacation." The idea of leaving Bella again for up to 2-3 weeks is terrifying. Like it stresses me out more than if I just go in each day as I am now. I really need to wrap my brain around that.
5. A recommendation of working 2 days a week ideally. Again, because of the stresses that occur when you own your own company that seems unimaginable. I've already made choices about not going to shows (like the AFCI summer show happening right now) and staying home. Those choices I feel like truly are game changers for me, I am always at every. single. one. I thought by pulling back, scaling back, that would be fine and good enough. But apparently not.

.......So.......I'm going to have to find my new normal.

I've shared this with my team at work and for now I just plan to work it out in my head and then discuss it more with them. I need my team at Bella now more than ever and I really am so thankful for my team. I know we can survive this-it's just a matter of making a new way. And also, for my dearest staff to work even harder. That's what worries me....will they resent me? Will they understand in the beginning but get sick off the boss not being at work? What happens if they begin to fall down like pins and quit? See......all the what ifs begin to consume me!

I just need to stay strong the path and push forward and through it. I will trust in God and trust in my staff that it will all work out! After all, I still will be at work, just not 5 days a week like I once was. I got this I can do it.

Overall, the idea of all those things stress me out. After the Doctors appointments my husband and I hopped on a plane and went to a brand new (for us) destination, Boise, letting go of all the Dr./hospital/cancer stuff for a couple of days and just lived our life. Adventurous and free, just Steve and I...and Josie my cousin too!

That's the update, along with a terrible looking portrait of myself. I have like a third of the hair I used too and still have a really hard time looking in the mirror. But I wanted to show you myself, in case you've been wondering. Hats and wraps are my "thing" lately but I hate that I have to wear them....they were much cooler when they were optional to add to my outfit. Now I think about what am I going to wear on my head before I pick out my outfit for the day. Also, the idea that my hair will start growing back....has me thinking about shaving my head because how the hell will it look growing in? I just don't know....I really don't want to shave my head....
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Thoughts & Well Wishes

Darlene Topping | May 7, 2018
I am praying that all goes well for you.  Being a retired nurse I have a perspective of what you are going through. I hope your care givers keep up  with your care with compassion, and are gentle. Praying for you and your family.  You are such a strong woman.  Hang in there . 
Wanda Colangelo | May 6, 2018
I'm a nurse....I know from that perspective what you are going through and how difficult it is to trust complete strangers with your health care. I pray that all those involved in your care are compassionate, gentle, well informed and professional. I pray that you have decades and decades of joy ahead of you as you raise your children. 
Susan Bullock | Apr 18, 2018
I only know you through your paper lines and you don't know me at all.  Just wanted you to know that your strength and even your weak moments inspire so many that you may never know.  I admire you and through your journey stay strong and know you are loved by so many. May God bless you during this chapter of your journey.
heart 1 Heart
Janna Landis | Apr 16, 2018
Hey there cute gal. Being on the fringe, I had no idea the scary extent of what you were/are dealing with, other than what you post publicly. I continue to think about you daily and send you (and your Mr & babies) love, hugs and strength to keep moving forward. 💕