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Moving from a warm climate to a cold climate


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#1 honeybee

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:33 PM

Hi

 

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia and wish to live in Virginia/Maryland for 3 months mid September to December in 2015 (or longer if I like it). I experience chill blains even in our very mild temperatures and have to rug up in gloves and coats for our very mild winters to avoid Raynaud's attacks. I have dreamed for a long time of coming over to the USA but am unsure of how I will handle the cold. My rheumatologist told me it is a bad idea and I'll be cold (!) and my dermatologist told me to go live and they could give me medication to help with my circulation.

 

Obviously, there are plenty of people who live with Scleroderma and Raynaud's who live in Virginia/Maryland. Are there any tricks/tips? Special wool lined boots? What if there is a snow storm and you have no power? How do you stay warm? What do you do when places are heated if you've dressed with thermals and warm gear? How cold do you get walking somewhere? Do you have to own a car?

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Melissa



#2 Joelf

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 07:16 AM

Hi Honeybee,

 

Welcome to these forums!

 

I'm afraid I'm unable to advise you about the climate in Virginia/Maryland as I'm resident in the UK, where it tends to be wet rather than very cold. Should we get even the smallest amount of snow, the entire transport system and most other things grind to a halt. We're really not very good at coping with snow and ice and have absolutely no idea of "business as usual" in the bad weather!! :rolleyes: ;)

 

However, I'm sure we will have other members in the US who are familiar with Raynaud's and Scleroderma in the very cold weather and who will be able to give you some first hand advice and meanwhile I've included a link to our medical page on Raynaud's Rewarming Tips which includes one of Amanda's super videos and lots of ideas to make Raynaud's sufferers' lives a little easier. I do sympathise with you, as I suffer with Raynaud's and even in our mild climate, it can be most unpleasant.

 

Kind regards,


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#3 miocean

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 04:57 AM

Dear Honeybee,

 

I live in the Northeastern United States and know you would be fine here as long as you take proper precautions. Layered clothing is a must. Once the temperature gets in the 40's here (around 4 Celsius) out comes the long underwear, hats, gloves and scarves. Investing in proper winter gear is a good investment. The stores here will have all the things you need. When you go inside you just start to take off the layers. I have a harder time in the summer when places have their air conditioning on and I get cold inside.

 

Weather is unpredictable and there will be an occasional major snow storm. Power outages can occur and the best thing is to have a generator or a wood fire source like a stove or fireplace. We have none of those and have never had a problem in the winter. After a major hurricane in October we didn't have power for a week, the temperature dropped into the 20's and it snowed. We stayed warm by wearing outside clothes while inside. Some towns have better resources for snow clean up than others but streets are usually plowed within couple of days at most. It is very unusual for everything to come to a standstill for long periods of time. After the hurricane we had crews from all over the U. S. in our area restoring power. One of the things that helps me are disposable hand and foot warmers. These are available at stores in the winter. There are many here dealing with Raynaud's and although winter might not be our favorite season, it is be beautiful and refreshing.

 

It depends on where you are living as to whether you will need a car or not. Big cities like New York and Washington D.C. will have mass transit but otherwise you need your own transportation.

 

My philosophy is to do what you want to do while you can. If you want any more advice once you finalize your plans, please feel free to message me.

 

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#4 quiltfairy

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 02:34 PM

I live in Iowa which is in the northern central United States.

 

I also have Raynaud's, I have always loved the colder weather until I got scleroderma and Raynaud's.    I have a fire place that was never finished so I put candles in it the first time the electricity went out in the winter.   I found the candles do warm one room great.

 

I also have a couple of oil burning lanterns that give off a lot of heat and stay plenty warm.    When I go out I put on the long unders and a tshirt under a sweatshirt.   I also have a goose down winter coat that is very warm and  fur lined boots and warm thermal gloves.  I  go out in the winter in my power chair  all around town in the cold days.

 

I have thought about moving to the southern USA but have decided to stay right where I am for now as I have aging parents.

 

 If I were you I would follow my heart and go where I will and not let my diagnosis decide for me   .I hope you make the right decision for you not for the doctors or the scleroderma.



#5 honeybee

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 04:27 PM

Hi Joelf, miocean and quiltfairy

Thanks so much for your replies! It is so wonderful to receive support in this forum!

Joelf, thanks for the link to the Raynaud warming tips - I thought I was ok with my strategies but it says NOT to rub your hands together and this is the first thing I do if I need to warm my hands up. Not anymore!!

Miocean, this is great information you have shared. The layering sounds like a good idea. I am a little concerned about having to buy a new wardrobe so that I can fit all the layers underneath! In Brisbane, I have heating in my home and can heat at work, but generally where I live there is no heating in people's houses and at the coldest our winter tends to get in the day 16 degrees celcius (60.8F the computer tells me) I will have to already where thermal underwear to go to a friend's house. If it becomes say 4 degrees outside (39F) or worse in the USA I'm concerned how many layers I may need to wear and whether I'd be ok to stand at a bus stop waiting for public transport without getting cold and losing maybe my nose! I am glad to hear of your staying warm during a week of power outage and that gives me some hope. I love that you said winter is so beautiful and refreshing and I hope I can turn my fear into excitement at the prospect of enjoying it.

Quiltfairy, this is great to know you stayed warm with candles and an oil burning lantern. Again, this gives me hope! I think I may need to invest in a goose down coat. That's great to hear about thermal gloves. I had tried searching for warm gloves but was only finding bulky skiing gloves so I will now look for thermal gloves. It is wonderful to hear you are out and about in winter and that you are ok. Surely I will be ok too!

Thanks again for these responses. And thanks for the encouragement to follow my heart and do what I want while I can. :)

honeybee

#6 miocean

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 05:39 AM

Hi Honeybee,

 

One thing you may have trouble dealing with, more than the cold, is the lack of sunshine. On this grey, cold day your warm temperature sounds wonderful. Want to switch places?

 

On the other hand, yesterday was so beautiful I went up to the beach for a little while and opened the sun roof on my car. I actually wish it snowed more...if it is going to be cold it might as well be pretty.

 

 

miocean


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#7 greypilgrim256

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 10:13 AM

I also live in North East US.  My mother lives in Maryland by Washington DC.  It is very rare to have power outages unless there are MAJOR storms and if they do happen they are usually fixed within a few hours.   Bundle up in layers with some thick wool socks and put on some thermals and you'll be fine.  The winter and snow is beautiful. 



#8 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 01:09 PM

Hello Honeybee

 

Although I live in the UK I spent 10 years in Illinois and Texas, there's no way you can function without a car, distance is just too far and that's any distance neither is their public transport everywhere. Please bear in mind I base this on having been in the US many years ago but I remember Ma learning how to drive for these reasons.

 

I guess it's possible to adapt anywhere but do you want to?

 

Take care and keep posting.


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#9 honeybee

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:10 PM

I never considered the grey miocean ! I never see grey....our car license plates say 'Queensland - The Sunshine State'. But we are living in a drought so you win some and lose some. I'm glad to hear you went to the beach when it was cold. I work near a bay and go after work for a walk and it is so beautiful so I'm glad that water can be beautiful in the winter. Can you bundle up enough to be outside your car at the beach? I hope so.

Greypilgrim256, I'm so glad you are saying the winter is beautiful. Thanks for the reassurance that there aren't many power outages.

Amanda, thanks for letting me know about the car. I guess for many years prior to being diagnosed with Scleroderma and Raynaud's I had a dream to go live and work in the USA as this is where my family is from. My parents migrated to Australia from the USA to Australia shortly before I was born and I grew up with no family other than my parents and siblings and being raised with funny accents, eating funny food different from the Australian culture. As an adult I realised what I grew up that this 'feeling funny' was another culture and I want to immerse myself for a little while in this culture. When I first was diagnosed five years ago my scleroderma was working so rapidly to limit what I could do I thought that in the near future I would need to be cared for practically. I have responded so well to medication that I feel I have my life and mobility back that if I could find a way to survive with Raynaud's in the cold I must go on this adventure. I feel that the assurances I have of layering in good products will do the trick. At least I will know that sunny warm Queensland will be waiting for my return and should I not be ok in the cold, I can just jump on a plane and come home!

Thanks everyone. It has been so delightful to ask questions and have people share their wonderful knowledge!

honeybee

#10 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:27 AM

Hi Honeybee,

 

If its something you are determined to do, you'll probably survive it if you are prepared. Generally speaking, it is much easier for most people to adjust going from a cold climate to a warmer one, particularly with scleroderma. There are areas of the US more like Queensland, like southern California. But you must have a particular interest in the Virginia/Maryland area. Do you have an option of going for a 3 month visit in the summer, which could allay many weather concerns?

 

I'd also be worried about medical insurance coverage when traveling with a serious illness, especially if its more than just a few weeks. I second the motion that you are unlikely to get by on only public transportation in most places in the U.S. so look closely at your transportation arrangements.

 

Then once your plans are set, relax and just have a blast exploring and enjoying your extended vacation. Traveling can be enormously fun and refreshing!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


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#11 honeybee

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 04:31 PM

Hi Shelley

 

Thank you for sharing with me. I think your idea about the medical coverage is a good one, thanks. I've now done some exploration into this. I've also checked out car options and think this is the best idea to not have to rely on public transport.

 

I did consider other places in the USA like Florida as they'd be warmer, but (it sounds a little bit silly to me even now) I really wanted to go somewhere that has tonnes of interesting things to do all the time and I thought Washington DC and its surrounds in Virginia/Maryland would meet that criteria. I also have an uncle there so it will be nice to meet some family. I did think though when I posed this question to the forum that if it really looked like it would be difficult to go to the cold, I would go to Florida instead. But I feel I have been given enough hope that I will be able to make it in the cold and that in itself will be an adventure for me as I never see snow or very cold weather.

 

Thank you!

Honeybee



#12 quiltfairy

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 03:52 PM

May you have the best of luck here in the cold part of the USA.



#13 miocean

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 07:15 AM

Dear Honeybee,

We haven't really had snow in the Northeast yet this year so don't be disappointed if you don't see any in the Virginia/DC area. Take a trip to Vermont if snow is on your bucket list. There is something very magical about snow. Especially if you are sitting inside, nice and warm, watching it fall and you don't have to go anywhere!

 

Today winter is not so beautiful here, grey and rainy. Last year this date was the coldest day of the entire year, it is currently a mild 60 degrees so you never know. Right now the only thing that gives me hope is I will be heading for my favorite vacation spot soon and will be sitting on the sand in the sun. I get nervous about going even though we have been there many times. With my sensitive GI system I have enough problems here, yet alone traveling. Half of our carry on will be medicines and my portable oxygen converter will be along for the trip. 

 

Thinking of you basking in the warm sunshine,

miocean


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