Guest Blogger Shelly Afthim Shares Her Journey Living with Heart Failure

Follow this page for updates from Shelly Afthim, Southern Maine Heart Walk Director and Heart Failure Patient, as she shares her journey.

11/5/18: Sometimes I impress myself! Decided that if I’m going to get my heart better, I need to plan our meals better! A lot of work but hopefully this gets us through the week without anyone saying “there is nothing to eat!”.


11/2/18: Good news from my nuclear stress test. My ejection fraction increased to over 20% – still not good but it’s over 20 and that is better than 15-19%! I will take it! I also did not have any ischemia. Cardiac ischemia refers to lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. Cardiac ischemia happens when an artery becomes narrowed or blocked for a short time, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. If ischemia is severe or lasts too long, it can cause a heart attack and can lead to heart tissue death…and I don’t have it! I am cleared to start cardiac rehab!

10/31/18: If this doesn’t scare you on Halloween! Nuclear stress test done this morning. Hopefully this will help determine what the next step is for me!#LifeIsWhyME #MEHeartWalk #GoRedMaine








When you are the Heart Walk Director being treated for heart failure, this is the new normal! Weekly blood work to test for sodium, possasium and other biomarkers that can put extra strain on my kidneys and liver. If you know of someone who is short of breath, fatigued or coughing without any improvement to their health with medication, blood work can detect heart failure like it did for me. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a protein that the heart makes when it is failing. #HeartFailureIsNotAnOption#LifeIsWhyME #GoRedMaine #MEHeartWalk

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