Moving to a New Climate With Asthma
In just a few short weeks my family and I will be moving across the country. My husband and I have lived here in southern California our entire lives. If you’ve ever lived in southern California or visited the area, you know that it is pretty much sunny and 70 degrees year round. Yes, it can get pretty warm in the summer but it is rarely ever humid. We live 10 minutes from the beach and an hour from the local mountains.
We made the decision to leave California a few years ago and the time is now upon us and we recently purchased a home in the mid-west. We are very excited to see where this new chapter in our lives leads us.
Not only will it be very different living somewhere with all four seasons (which I can’t wait to experience!), but I’m also curious as to how my asthma will do in a completely different environment. In addition to moving to a whole new climate, we will be doing massive renovations on our property which will lead me to making a new post about renovation tips (stay tuned for that one!)
While often times we won’t know how our asthma will do in a new place until we are actually there. However, there are some things you can do ahead of time to better prepare yourself and hopefully be ahead of the game. Start your research ahead of time! Here are some things to start looking into before you make your permanent move:
What kind of climate does the location you’re moving to have? Does it snow in the winter? How warm does it get in the summer? How long is the rainy season? What are the normal humidity levels? Not all places with four seasons are the same. Some places it snows a lot more than others in the winter and for a lot longer. The summer here in southern California can get pretty warm (sometimes even triple digits!) but it is usually a dry heat. Humidity is going to be new for me.
Living in a very large city currently and even though it is on the coast, there is still a good deal of smog. I’ll be happy to move away from it! On the flip side, if you are moving to a place where there is a good deal of air pollution definitely look into any patterns as far as what times of year etc have worse air quality than others. Also, make sure to research the common allergens in the area and what times of the year they tend to be higher than others.
Hospitals and Doctors
When you have narrowed down where you are going to be moving to start looking into nearby hospitals and urgent cares to see what is close. Also, start your research into potential doctors. If you know anyone in the area ask for suggestions and recommendations. Finding any local groups on social media as well is a great place to ask for recommendations. You’ll need to find a primary doctor relatively quickly when arriving to your new hometown and then you can be referred to a pulmonary or allergy specialist as needed. If possible, make sure your medications are all filled and not about to run out before you move. It’s worth asking your current doctor if they have any samples they can give you if you will have a temporary lapse in insurance before you get on with a new one in a new area. Make sure your Asthma Action Plan is up to date and ready to go before you move. Chances are that it will need to be tweaked as your body gets used to the new climate, but for the time being it is very important to have it all laid out on paper so you will know exactly what steps to take when/if your asthma flares up. Another big recommendation I have is to gather any documentation you can get as far as recent lung function testing, lab work, etc and keep it in a folder that you can take with you when you have your initial appointment with your new doctor. Of course, he/she can contact your previous doctor to get copies of your medical record, but if you are having an asthma flare-up right away it is helpful to be able to hand the doctor any documentation you do already have.
Moving can be both exciting and nerve-wracking! I’m currently in the midst of this and I’m experiencing both ends of that spectrum on an almost daily basis. But having already done my research into the area we are moving to has helped me alleviate a lot of that stress. Now I can shift my focus over to getting all of this packing done!