So now that you know a little bit about long QT syndrome, I want to share my experience with the syndrome with you. About 1-1/2 years ago, my teenage son started complaining of some dizziness, which occurred both at rest and with activity. I scheduled an appointment with his primary care provider and in addition to giving him a thorough exam in the office, she also ordered an EKG just to be on the safe side. While I thought ordering an EKG was a bit overkill, I'm extremely grateful that she did. That EKG actually came back borderline abnormal so she referred my son to a pediatric cardiologist. The cardiologist determined that my son's dizziness was actually due to a fluid/electrolyte imbalance where he wasn't drinking enough water and wasn't related to his heart at all, however, all the subsequent EKGs he ordered at followup visits were still coming back borderline abnormal and then finally at one visit the EKG results were undeniably abnormal and he discussed with us that my son might have long QT syndrome.
This prompted the cardiologist to obtain a 24-hour Holter monitor, which is a continuous tape recording of a patient's EKG for 24 hours, and a referral to another cardiologist who specializes in EKGs. The Holter monitor, which my son had to wear on his 16th birthday, didn't show any significant findings so the next step was to obtain an exercise/treadmill stress test to see how his heart responded to exertion. Weirdly enough, his heart responded exactly how it should to the stress portion of the test but still looked a little funny at rest so they ordered an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. The echocardiogram came back normal as well.
Basically, besides the funny looking EKGs, everything is looking good so far but the cardiologist still cannot determine whether or not my son actually has long QT syndrome. Our next step is to undergo genetic testing, as LQTS can either be acquired or inherited. There are three possible outcomes to genetic testing: positive, negative, and variant of unknown clinical significance (VOUS). Genetic testing in a clinically affected patient with LQTS can reveal a disease-causing mutation and determine which of the different LQTS genes is involved, thus confirming the clinical diagnosis. Based on genotype-phenotype correlations, it is then possible to suggest triggers to be avoided. Genetic testing of affected individuals can also assist in the identification of other family members who are at risk who would benefit from cardiac treatment and/or surveillance. Regardless of the results of subsequent testing, my son will likely need to have serial cardiac evaluations throughout his lifetime.
My family, but especially my son and I, will never forget this experience, all of the doctor visits, testing, and traveling, as well as all the anguish and anxiety involved while we await a more definitive answer. Regardless of the results, I obviously feel it is important to raise awareness of heart conditions such as long QT syndrome. You can learn more about long QT syndrome and other sudden arrhythmia death syndrome and ways you can help by visiting The SADS Foundation.
I'm also a pretty sentimental person and because of this experience I've been on the lookout for heart related products, something that could serve as a constant reminder of my son's journey and that's where Heat Holders comes into the picture. Heat Holders socks are the warmest thermal socks, made with a three-stage manufacturing process that incorporates a high-quality yarn mix with an incredibly soft, cashmere-like feel, an innovative knitting technology, and finally an intense brushing process to maximize the amount of warm air held inside for all day warmth and comfort. There's also a wonderful story about how they first came about. Meanwhile, the Heat Holders product range has grown to not only include socks but hats, gloves, tights, leggings, thermal underwear, fleece and blankets as well. Some of their newest products include ladies lounge socks with heart shaped non-slip grippers on the bottom. They provide the same warmth and comfort as the original Heat Holders Crew sock, but in a shorter ankle length with cozy turn over cuffs.
Let me tell you, these socks are absolutely fantastic. They keep my feet toasty warm and they are very soft and comfy, by far the most comfortable socks I've ever wore. These socks are on the thicker side. The heart shaped non-slipped grippers on the bottom of the socks grip the floor well. They are perfect for lounging around the house on a cold day. Every time I wear these socks with the heart shaped grips, I'm reminded of my son's heart condition, his journey, how far he has come and how much further he still has to go and as a mother I am comforted and confident that everything is going to be okay.
Heat Holders socks are also diabetic friendly and provide relief for cold feet due to circulation problems. These particular lounge socks come wrapped in a pretty ribbon that says "Just for you" so they would make a great gift as well. I received a pair of solid lounge socks in muted pink, but they come in many different colors and patterns.
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Disclosure: I received a pair of Heat Holders socks in exchange for my honest review. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.