This month as we explore the topic of heart disease, I thought it made the most sense to invite a woman I know who is a warrior, and survivor.  She has walked the road and is such a vibrant part of so many people’s lives.  She fights for community. Lives by excellence. And gives and gives and gives.  Let me just turn my space over to Vicki and let her share her beautiful words (she’ll be here next week too…..)

Stress is an insidious fellow. It can seep in and affect us
on every level…body, mind and soul. It can start out as a positive influence,
energizing and motivating us, but it can soon turn sour, making us angry,
disrupting relationships, causing our hair to fall out and stubborn pounds to
pile on, and ultimately stealing our joy. It can also kill us. And that is a result I know first-hand.
Vicki, a heart attack surivor, shares about the day super mom met her match! #NWARKCares
Spring Break 2014. It was a typical crazy, busy weekend. I
was once again playing the role of Super Mom – something I had been doing for 25
years through three kids – running concessions for the men’s annual soccer
tournament, helping raise money for my son’s high school team. I woke up that
morning feeling pretty wiped out after working concessions for 14 hours the day
before. I had run to the store for more supplies when my stomach began to feel
a little queasy. Thinking it was nothing, and worrying that I had given myself,
plus the coaches and referees, food poisoning from the chicken and egg
breakfast burritos I had just made everyone, I powered through. That’s what
Super Mom’s do. I gathered supplies and went on to the next stop. But by the time
I walked into that store, I had begun to sweat, I felt like my esophagus was in
spasms, and I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. After composing myself, I
made it back to my car and sat there for a few minutes, wondering if all those
coaches and referees were all experiencing the same thing by now. My back was
aching between my shoulder blades, I was dizzy, my stomach was in knots, and I
needed to hurl again…but I wanted to do it in my own clean bathroom…so I
headed home…ironically, right past the hospital (note to self: don’t ever be
that stupid again). 
During the short four-mile drive home I was beginning to
think “Houston, we have a problem” (does
Vicki, a heart attack surivor, shares about the day super mom met her match! #NWARKCares

anyone under 30 even know
what that means?). Pain had started in my left jaw and shoulder. By the time I
arrived home and stumbled through the door my left arm was tingling. And oh
where was that bathroom?!? Fortunately my 12 year old granddaughter was at the house
waiting for her mom to pick her up, so she began calling in the troops. My
daughter and husband arrived within five minutes and decided they could get me
to the hospital before an ambulance could arrive (and of course I kept warning
everyone not to eat the chicken and egg breakfast burritos). An hour and a half
later, in excruciating pain, after numerous tests that all came back normal, and
still no diagnosis or clue on how to proceed, I coded…with my husband by my
side, listening, as the last breath pushed out of my body, while I was still
worrying about those dumb burritos.

(KP NOTE: seriously, I love a good cliff hanger…..come back next Thursday for the rest of the story!) 
This post is part of the #NWArkCares series by the
Northwest Arkansas Bloggers group. To view other posts, visit the Northwest
Arkansas Bloggers Pinterest Board or follow #NWArkCares through social media.