I am curious: What would be the best places to live with MS, and why? I guess weather is the first issue. I am from a very hot town, and I currently reside in a place that gets very hot summers and there is a high risk of hurricanes. Another issue would be healthcare. Family and friends are an absolute priority as well. What places would you consider?
Now that sounds like a loaded question, hehe. Remember, I don't have MS, but given what I know about it, I'd think you want a cooler climate. That being said, I am really curious if moving closer to the equator after getting MS would have any benefits.
I have to think about it, but this I can see that this could be a tricky question to try and come up with one single answer. I'm hoping someone else will chime in and give some advice.
I would say the Washington DC metro area, but I'm a little prejudice since I live in the area. The good side would be the access to medical care and research being done on MS as well as the great opportunities to stay independent after disability sets in. We have a good transportation system, disability programs, and networking with others going through similar health issues. I am not so sure about the local MS Society though since my only experience with them has been really minimal.
The down side of it is the horrible humidity for the months of June through August. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything.
Forgot 2 more down sides...The expense of living here is high and the other is maybe you won't be close to family. But family can come visit and they often love to as well as friends since there is so much to do here.
BIG vote for the Pacific Northwest!! Very Temperate, mild winters, cool summers except for 6 weeks when it gets into the 90's sometimes, but most places have A/C. Always cool at night. Great breezes. Great Healthcare west of the Cascades. (Basically talking Seattle and Portland). I moved here from Nevada and it is lush and cool and wonderful. House prices are decent. I wouldn't live anywhere else. (I have lived in Wichita, Chicago, Yuma, So Cal, Boulder, Palo Alto, Reno, and here.)
Well let's see I have lived in just about every part of this country at one time or another. Now if I can remember those times I could probably give a pretty good assessment of them.
New England :
Hot and muggy in the summer and cold a miserable in the winter. Spring and fall are nice especially the fall with the leaves. Winters would be very treacherous if you have balance or walking difficulty. You would also have trouble with the language as they speak another one. For example a "milk shake" is call a frappe and a basically chocolate milk is called a "milk shake". That took me forever to get use to. I first developed symptoms while living there. Oh and driving, forget it you wouldn't stand a chance.
HOT HOT HOT. and don't forget to throw in a lot of HUMID as well. I lived in Florida for 13 years after I developed symptoms. Basically you live indoors year round there. There are some great medical facilities and universities there as well. Also on those cloudy days ( which a far and few between) there are lots of things you can do outside such as amusement parks and the like. Getting around is also fairly easy unless they happen to be working on a road you need to take. It will be at least 3 years before they finish and once they do the next year they will start working on the road again.
It has been a while since I lived in that area of the country. Then it was WI, ID, IL. As such I'll have to defer to Lulu on this area.
Here I have both newer and older time references to deal with. I lived in OR, and WA at one time or another. I only have spent any time at all in Southern OR, but it was not nice at all. Loved the fishing though on the rouge river. Also loved the water falls up by Portland the one time I came through there. When I first moved to southern OR it was mostly the pollution from all of the lumber mills that drove me crazy, the last time the altitude was the killer. Quix is right in that there is usually a cool breeze when it gets hot. But WA was a delight to live in. I lived near Seattle and loved every minute there. It was while living there that I fell in love with nature.
Here I have lived in CA all the way from Dan Diego up to Santa Rosa. It isn't so bad when it comes to weather in CA. The main problem is pollution especially in LA. How and how can I forget the traffic. YUCK! But there are many great medical facilities there and probably many resources but with their economy that may be a thing of the past soon. Some parts of CA you really wouldn't want to live in because of the heat (Bakersfield for example), but other wise not too bad.
I have lived in Houston, TX area for 30 years. It's just horrible in the summer time, starting about June 1- through the end of September. Humid as all git out with highs staying in the mid 90's and often getting over 100. Not a great place for MSers, although we have great medical in Houston.
Not recommended! Will move in a year or so I hope to a cooler climate and drier one.
Thank you so much for your comments. Although it's mainly out of curiosity, I will be applying to long-term jobs over the course of the year, so I might need to move (I am currently in Louisiana and I love it here, but I think the weather might be nastier and affect me more over the course of years). I have also heard places like Colorado and the Appalachians are really good (Tennessee/Western North Carolina/Virginia). I wonder what our friends overseas (Canada, Australia, Britain, etc.) have to say about it!
I live in Portland OR, not all that far from Quix, and I agree that this is the perfect place to be. I love it, too, though there is a fair amount of pollution. Luckily, it's not far to drive to either the ocean or mountains.
I had considered moving to Maui since I've loved my 3 visits there, but as my symptoms have worsened, I'm realizing it's not right for me. I'm still going for my first two weeks of 2011 there! In a timeshare overlooking the ocean... It is lovely, all that fresh fruit and fish and such, and I can always head up-country if I can't stand the heat and/or humidity.
I just returned from a visit to Colorado Spring where it was incredibly lovely. It got to between 85 and 90 degrees on several days, and I was at 6000 ft. in elevation. Low humidity, some high winds. That's just a small area of the state, though.
I have a friend that lives in Pinehurst, North Carolina and she adores it; golfs almost every day. I visited, and it was very nice. Don't know much about health care there though; she's not much of a doctor-going person.
I hope you find the perfect job and place to live.
I'm starting to wonder the same thing myself - it's been really hot this month, and it won't get any better until October. This weekend they say it'll be 106° - that's way too hot for any normal human, let alone somebody with MS.
Of course, my crappy job is here, and my family is in Texas - I'd have to uproot everything, and that's very difficult. Just refinanced the house, too!
I would have thought anywhere with (a) family and (b) universal health care, which of course rules out the USA! Considering the cost of your private insurance and drugs, I'd dread being ill there.....let alone all the stories one hears about being denied insurance cover if one has a "pre-existing condition". UGH.
Off you all go to Canada! oh, and take family with you!
I also vote for the Pacific NW. I live just outside of Seattle in a little bedroom community and I love it! Lots of lakes (I live just off one), rivers, mountains and trees.My back yard is a wooded area. The weather is very mild. You do have to build up a bit of a tollerence to the rain. I have to remind myself that the clean air and all the green comes from the rain. I have also heard (but never tested) that the NW is one of the major MS capitals of the world so we have alot of really wonderful healthcare and research here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your comments!
In a personal note: The good news is that my wife has sisters and uncles in the NW, and we had already considered moving there before my CIS diagnosis (especially Seattle). We would like a place where she can also have good job prospects (now more than ever, since keeping two sources of income and insurance is critical). Re other countries, I know Canada has plenty to offer, though I have heard mixed reviews about the health care system. I was also considering a position based in Australia, so I would certainly appreciate the comments and input from our friends from that side of the world (if you wish, contact me via a personal note).
It's interesting that nobody so far has mentioned the largest cities in the country as places to consider (since these cities offer excellent health care options).
I have traveled often to Seattle and I love it. I've never been their more than 2 weeks -- but I've been there different times of the year and it was great weather. It never rained very hard when I was there -- just a lot of light rain and misting. But everything was so green (and there were even flowers in the winter) that I could easily get by even with the rain.
I love vacationing in Maui -- but I've only done that when the weather was mild. And I'd be concerned about the health care availability -- the main hospitals are probably on Oahu, which I didn't care for much.
One thing I know for sure ... don't bother with metro Detroit. People that live here already tend to like it or are stuck here with a family or job. I think there is lots to see and do, but the main drawback is the weather. Very cold and snowy in the winter, and hot and humid on the summer. It rarely gets above 95, but the humidity will practically kill you.
One plus -- the housing is really cheap! You can get a home for a dime -- especially if it is already foreclosed on. But then again, you somehow have to find a job. =)
Not exactly 'overseas' lol, but here is a submission from your neighbour to the north.
I'll preface this by saying it's hard to take familiarity bias out of the equation; we tend to prefer that which we know firsthand. Thus, not a shocker when I say I think in terms of best country, Canada at the top of my list.
Access to treatment
Specifically, for RRMS and in some instances SPMS, I think any of the 10 provinces and three territories would do, as all jurisdictions provide, for nominal or free of charge, the approved DMDs on the recommendation of a neuro/MS specialist. As far as I know, no Canadian should go without treatment for financial reasons; big difference compared to USA, and even UK, where DMD access seems to be more constricted and less of a given than in Canada., UKers, correct me if I’m wrong please.
For access to the best neuros, all of the major cities have MS clinics associated with medical schools, and I’d feel confident with any of them: Edmonton (where I go); Calgary; Vancouver; Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax.
Canada Health Act
Which guarantees universal coverage for all medically necessary hospital and physician services, without co-payments. This does not preclude one from having private individual or group supplemental health insurance; in fact very common for employers to offer this coverage. And the Act does not mean in any way that the government makes your medical decisions, a common misconception. These decisions are made between patient and doctor.
Employers in provincial and federal jurisdictions are held to a high standard with respect to accommodating employees with disabilities. Failure to do so results in financial penalties. I work in HR and some of our employees who are on assignment here who are from the USA are astounded at the lengths we go to (accommodate employees in new jobs; provide full re-training; provide ergonomic and other equipment as required, ie: for me, voice activated software; provide flexible work schedules; allow employees to work from home; reduce wages only to a minimum of 2/3 of regular earnings, even if the accommodated position normally would pay much less; pay for private medical testing to speed up the diagnostic process; etc). Not all employers go to this extent, I am lucky to work for one that does, but even with that said, employees with disabilities do have greater protection of employment related rights in Canada than many other countries.
For employment opportunity, I would say Alberta (where I live) is in the best shape, mostly associated with the oil and gas industry. Another plus for Alberta is no provincial sales tax, which is more money in your pocket to buy the expensive gas to drive to your medical appointments, lol.
Quality of Life
Canada ranks 4th on the last U.N. Human Development Index, after Norway, Australia and Iceland. This index measures life expectancy, literacy, education standard of living, well being include health care and child welfare. It is used to measure the impact of economic policies on overall quality of life for all countries worldwide.
Being a land of extreme temps, from way too cold to way to hot and humid; I’d have to settle on Vancouver as the best place in Canada for someone with MS. It does rain a fair bit; very comparable to Seattle actually. Very mild temps winter and summer, so always comfortable/tolerable. It’s a large but very accessible city, gorgeous scenery, and has the other benefits mentioned above. I can't live there now, but someday, probably at retirement, I'll get to live there again. Lucky me :)
Thanks for the comments about Canada. I think Canada and the Scandinavian countries might be the best equipped countries against MS, because of the high incidence of the disease. I am originally from Latin America, and I wouldn't mind moving back home, but I'm worried about having little support for my MS there.
Pablo, I seriously don't know, if I were you, that I would be prepared to even consider moving half way across the world, into a different hemisphere, leaving friends and extended family, while unwell.
I was living 1300km from friends and family when I became unwell and it was seriously awful, and I felt very alone.
Health care here is good, everyone contributes 1.5% to 2.5% (depending on income) of their annual tax to medicare, and everyone has equal access to its resources. One can also pay for private health insurance, but I find that is overepriced for-profit nonsense, and stick with medicare and pay privately myself for some things - which I can claim at least 50% of back from medicare anyway.
Thanks, Jemm. Yes, it's not an easy decision. I already had a tough decision to make regarding staying abroad or moving back to Latin America before the diagnosis came up. On one hand, being away from family if I get worse would be really tough. On the other hand, being there limits your access to treatment alternatives and care, and salaries are much lower.
I'm no longer as stressed about making the choice to stay abroad or move back as I used to be. Now the choice will be.... different, contingent on how my condition goes and so many other factors! I will keep my fingers crossed the best outcome for us takes place...
Hi all I have had RRMS since aug. 1999. I recently moved from Rochester to Buffalo ,ny. My question is:When moving is dry heat as bad as moist heat? i am considering taking a job in NV but worried about the heat.... my husband has very bad arthris in his spine he LOVES the warm dry weather.... how does NV care for people with MS? Buffalo has messsed up my care... please help
Moist heat and cold are worse. Higher humidity increases the Thermal Transfer Rate, so you get hotter faster (and colder quicker.) Low humidity can also save you money. Swamp coolers (Evaporative coolers) and other evaporative cooling (vests, towels, etc.) work in low humidity, but are not very effective in high humidity.
Particularly because of my active fantasy life, I love imagining living in a lot of places, always on a coast, though. San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle all have their charms, and since I've been to all, this has some basis in reality.
But when it's all boiled down, I'm an east coast kind of lady. This is where my roots are, my family, my home. Horrible hot summers, very unpredictable but often bad winters, beautiful springs and falls. Home is always best. I just have to deal with MS on home terms.
Bet people here didn't realize I'm a sentimental fool.
I would like very much to move upstate. Texas has become very hot, and it won't get any better. It's starting sooner and sooner - this year, it got hot in April, and we were seeing 100° days before June. Wow, only 98° today. Whoo-hoo!
When we got our house, I expected to be able to mow the yard and take care of things - now I'm lucky to be able to stand up long enough to do dishes. So we're keeping the option of moving to Canada in our minds...
I am voting for my area as well: Pacific Northwest. I live in a nice little suburb of Seattle. It's a 40 minute drive to get there for me.
I am in limboland but the limited exposure I've had to heat has been a really good thing. I've had ONE day were the temperature reached 80* and my symptoms flared. We also are a hot spot for MS so I'm hopeful that the doctors are a little more aware and knowledgeable.
I am from Colorado Springs. I'd move back there in a second as well. I'd try to limit my time outdoors during the peak of the summer. I love the Rocky Mountain back drop and the dry heat. I miss living there. I'd have to live near a lake in order to bring my PNW roots back with me. :)
I would love to retire in Hawaii. My husband and I had intended on it - snorkeling with my Starbucks (I am a Seattle-ite by nature!) at sunrise every day is my dream. I'm not sure how that will work if this is MS. Is it possible for your body to acclimate to the temperature changes? ::)
Canada has a great health care program - sometimes the wait time for appointments and tests is longer than in the U.S, but the services are just as good. I have lots of family in the U.S. and my sister pays so much for her insurance that I can't even imagine it... so the difference really comes in regarding cost. I don't have to pay for any appointments or tests. I was just recently diagnosed and found out that most of my drugs are covered by my province's health program (some province's cover more and some less) and the remaining cost is covered by a grant - I've never heard of anyone who has not been able to get full coverage.
Regarding the weather - Canada has so many different climates that it's just as broad of a topic as considering a move within the U.S. Most parts of Canada, except the west coast and the northern provinces and territories, are 4 climate seasons, and have severe swings from hot to cold throughout the year. The west coast has a more mild climate but it's wet, which is not ideal for MS as it promotes inflammation. The territories are very, very cold, but they are dry. Ideally the mountains flanking BC and Alberta would be ideal as the temperatures are mild (although colder than the valleys in the winter - they do get snow) but are dryer. I would think mid U.S. mountain ranges would be ideal as well. What I do know is that while less people who live close to the equator get MS, living closer to the equatore once you have it is difficult. the temperatures are more even but are much warmer. Although if you live on the coast where coastal breezes help to cool things down, that would help. I've often thought that the San Fran area would be great as the temperatures are fairly regular, not too hot or cold and not too wet.
Canada ***** the wait lists suck. Doctors r burnt out working in a public system. Don't move to a cold country with MS. Canada has extreme barometric changes from the ocean and mountains in west and over the great lakes. Plus it is boring and expensive. Canada has the most amount of MS patients in the world. Interestingly everyone I know who has tested positive for MS tests positive for Lyme disease. Is it really MS or MS secondary to untreated Lyme disease? If you treat the Lyme disease would the MS go away?
You make an awesome point. I am not in the meical field but I don't believe it would go away unless they find a way to scrape the plaque off the brain but maybe it would slow it down so more wouldn't form. I have MS no lyme disease. So it wouldn't help me either way. :(
I live in Syracuse, NY, snow capital of the USA :( The snow is horrible, but they sure know how to handle it. Roads are always well plowed! It really is great weather for me. We get all4 seasons. Our summers are beautiiful- hot, but not humid. There are 4 major hospitals in the city. Heat and humidity totally exasperates my MS which is why I feel best in the cool north east.
The Pacific northwest sounds perfect. I would consider it but everyone I know is on the east coast!
humidity knocks me for a loop. dry heat is very tolerable. lived in yuma arizona, very dry and lots of heat and was better than san diego after may when the heat gets up and over the years the humidity has been increasing there.
For anyone thinking Arizona! Not! I was born and raised here. And its the closest to haidys that i can think of. Like this past week and this coming weeks are way in the 109.+. And if we are lucky it may cool down by XMas. Not to leave out the high winds and humidity that we seem to have more and more of each year. And winners that goes without saying , some years we have one some we don't. there are times when you're not sure if summer ever stopped.Now don't get me wrong.You can go to the north or south of Phoenix. But to fare either way,and your to winntery. All the family i have is here,Ex,Kids, Grandkids.But I Am looking to move from here.I love them all but,I Am no fun when i can't do anything with them.I have RRMS + other med conditions.and this is not! the place to be.And with the heat,you have to wait till after sunset way after,then everything's closed! I tell people to spend one full summer then decided.
I moved to NM from the NE and I have been having more flares and developed more strange MS symptoms. I am an upstate NY girl and used to a degree a heat and humidity. The extreme heat wipes me out and I am sick more than I feel well. We are heading to Portland ME, Boston is nearby for specialist. I spent 15 years without needing to be on continuous medication and within one year my MRI is devastating. Starting Rebiff soon and on enough Baclofen to put down a horse. I am putting off the baclofen pump until we finish our 2 year commitment here in NM, hoping to feel better.
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