This topic contains 23 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jen Cueva 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #17889
     Colleen Steele 
    Keymaster

    Has anyone ever relocated due to high altitude, environmental conditions or other factors enhancing their PH symptoms? If so, did a doctor suggest the move? Did you feel an improvement in your health after living in your new environment for a while or did you regret the decision to move?

  • #17900
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    Hi Colleen,
    although I luckily am in a state that is not high altitude, I certainly feel the difference in my body when I am in a higher altitude area. I went on vacation to Canada and the place we stayed was almost at the top of the mountain. My breathing and heart rate were both effected on that trip and just walking around made me feel more tired and my legs were ACHING when I went back home a few days later. It was as if my body was screaming at me the whole time. We still had an amazing trip, did some hiking and really enjoyed ourselves but still I was completely exhausted afterwards. I can’t imagine staying there permanently (as beautiful as it was). I’d much prefer sticking to lower elevation and preferably by a beach somewhere. It’s just easier for me to breathe by the ocean.

    • #17921
       Colleen Steele 
      Keymaster

      I know that Utah has come up in discussions throughout support groups that I follow. Some doctors have flat out suggested there PH patients move from there because of the high altitude. However, I know a family who stayed and managed. If somehow your body adjusts enough without adding to progression then I guess I wouldn’t move either. That would have to be a really tough decision to make.

      Right after I posted this topic I spotted this article on our PH News home page.

      Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollutants Linked to Disease Severity in PAH, UK Study Shows

      The concerns that PH patients face daily comes in so many forms!

      • #17956
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        Thanks for the link, Colleen! I have never had this issue as I’ve only lived in Southern California and Texas since being diagnosed with PH.

        I do know a few PH patients who were told to move to a lower elevation, those few I knew lived in Colorado.

        I cannot even imagine living in a high altitude area as when I lived in Southern California, we drove up to the high desert and I was sick the entire time. I didn’t realize at the time that it was due to the elevation which I believe was about 3000 ft.( I know not high at all ) I had emailed my PH nurse the day after and she said it was most likely due to the higher elevation.

        I know that here on the Texas Gulf Coast, it’s hot and humid, I live indoors most of the summer . I found that traveling to visit family in Ohio during the winter months, I had a harder time breathing and my lungs were burning from the cold air. I know other PH patients who live in the colder climates and do alright. I know it’s also part of how our bodies react as well as what our bodies grow accustomed to.

      • #17960
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Colleen,
        I know that Kathleen wrote about something about the air pollution in one of her columns that she did for BioNews about the fires that were happening through California. Recently I heard that there were more fires going on too. Were you impacted by this? If so is it something that effected your son’s breathing while this was happening? Many of my friends with heart and lung conditions were told to stay inside to avoid pollutants in the air or to wear a certain type of mask when they went outside of the house. So scary to think about having to go through so many extremes in order to protect our health the best we can!

      • #17982
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        Brittany, those fires were awful as I have many PHriends and family in California. I know as you mention that the areas affected, those PHriends were told to stay indoors and turn off their AC. It was awful and I know the ones who had to get out for appointments, etc., said that they did experience an increase in symptoms as well as burning in their lungs.

        Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, it is hot and humid, like Florida, but worse IMO. We also have chemical plants not too far away and had a few recent chemical leaks and spills. I usually can smell those fumes early on and have to be careful and stay indoors as well. Last month, we were told to turn off our AC as well, but with it being in the 90s, we chose not to go without AC. Thankfully we had a front that blew the fumes away from our area after a few days.

        This is an interesting post as it seems that no matter where we live, we can be susceptible to these pollution and climatic issues.

      • #18021
         Colleen Steele 
        Keymaster

        Brittany, yes, I remember reading Kathleen’s column about the fires in CA and the smoke pollution. It was really bad! I live in WA state and the smoke from those fires reached us. My son stayed inside and we kept windows closed. We even canceled appointments because the smoke exposure was too risky.

        @jenc what you said about our bodies growing accustomed to the environment we live in is accurate. For example, if you where born and raised in Utah then even with PH, your body is more adapted to high altitude where someone who hasn’t lived there and visits might find it impossible to function. You are also right about environmental concerns and pollution being something we all have to deal with to a certain degree no matter where we live. It’s sad but true!

  • #17948
     Steve Sallee 
    Participant

    I’m in Custer, SD. There are days here where I almost can’t function. Seems worse when big storms come through. I am seriously contemplating a move to a lower altitude. Possibly Southeastern New Mexico. Hate to give up my business that I worked so hard to build, but its probably time.

    • #17949
       Colleen Steele 
      Keymaster

      Steve, I’m so sorry to hear that you might be facing the decision to move! I can imagine how difficult that will be, especially if you have to give up your business in order to do so. Will you look into medial there first before proceeding? I’m sure your current doctors could help get you recommendations and referrals. Does the altitude just effect your breathing or other things too? I hope one of our members has already experienced this and can give you some helpful advice.

    • #17957
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Oh Steve, I’m sorry to hear that you may be relocating due to the high elevations there. It sounds heartbreaking that you’ll lose your business , but I know that your overall health is most important. It sounds like you’re not able to function, so wondering if you’ve even been able to run or work your business lately.

      This cannot be an easy decision and Colleen has offered some great tips on having doctors lined up if you do have to make that move. I think anything that you can do prior to a move that will help limit stress on you is important. A move is tough on healthy people, so adding health issues to that stress is not good.

      Do you think that maybe you could run your business from a remote location? Maybe that’s an idea you maybe can consider. Please know we are here to support you when you need it .

    • #17961
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Steve,
      I’m sorry to hear that is happening and you are feeling so crummy ! I know that the elevation really effected my after just less than a week. I can’t even imagine what it would do if I was somewhere like that year round. Have you always lived there or did you move there from somewhere with a lower elevation? Moving is such a huge life change. It is hard to think about all the sacrifices that we are sometimes forced to make because of our health and to better our health. Hope you know that all of us on the forums will be of support to you. I know thinking about this can’t be easy.

    • #18011
       Robin Webster 
      Participant

      Steve, I’m so sorry you are having to face a choice about giving up the business you built in order to be able to function. Wishing you well.

  • #17958
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant
  • #17967

    I live in Phoenix and I feel I am very lucky to be there. Both for the amazing Dr.s and the climate. The desert stays warm of course but as long as there are no dust storms everything is great. The dry air really helps with my breathing. I could not imagine being in places with humidity and or elevation all the time.

    • #17974
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Christopher,
      I am glad that you are in a suitable climate for you! The dry air helps me too with my breathing. That and the salt air by a beach really helps me too. I couldn’t imagine living where the humidity is unbearable either. I have family and some friends that live in Florida and they can barely leave their house in the summer time. Walking around all the Disney parks in the heat and humidity is NOT my idea of a good time. Hopefully there aren’t many dust storms ! I could see how that would increase coughing or breathing problems. Do you get many per year?

    • #17983
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Christopher, it sounds like you are all set! It is great to hear that you have great doctors and weather there in Arizona.

      I know you have the dry heat, do you have issues with extra fluid if you’re out in the heat? Ive had family in Lake Havasu and when I visited, I had an issues with extra swelling. I did like the fact that the air was dry , even in the 100 degree temps. Here in Texas, we are prone to heat and high humidity, unfortunately.

      Those dust storms can be horrible out there , I have been visiting a few times and experienced the storms. I can imagine that would affect you. I hope that you do not get those storms too often in your area.

      • #17990
         Brittany Foster 
        Keymaster

        Jen,
        I’m the same way in the heat. What do you do for when it gets too hot and humid ? Do you just stay indoors or do your try to “deal with it” with medications/ etc? Sometimes I really want to be outdoors and catching a nice tan, but I know that when I look down at my hands and lower legs they just get so swollen an I retain more fluid than usual.

      • #18015
         Jen Cueva 
        Participant

        Brittany, it is funny that you ask what I do when it is so hot out. Last night, being my hubby’s Friday, we went to see a movie @9:30PM! It was still hot and humid, but not too bad just to get in and out of the vehicle.(Yesterday our feels like temp was 105-107)

        It depends on the day and how I am feeling, some days, I just feel like I need some sunshine ( Vitamin D), so I will just try and “deal with it”, even for a short period. I do know that I will have to “pay for it “ later as I need extra diuretics and rest. Other days, I already know, there is just no way that I am putting my body through that heat and humidity. I am sure most of y’all can relate.

  • #18010
     Robin Webster 
    Participant

    I have not moved but would be very eager to (except I love my doctors.) My husband is not willing to move. We don’t live in a high elevation area, but I’ve noticed when I have traveled and had a layover in Colorado, by body feels very different there — not good. Currently there has been so much rain and humidity where I live that it’s like living in a rain forest. When I have vacationed in Palm Desert, CA, or Phoenix, AZ, I love it because I don’t even feel as if I have any illness at all. Just like my old self and able to take in full breaths of air. It’s amazing. The high temperatures don’t bother me at all, only the humidity. And then, of course, in the winter, the sub zero temperatures make it literally impossible for me to breathe here, and I often miss work because I can’t safely go outside even to get from the car into the office. I know relocating is a huge life change, but I truly envy those who have that as an option.

    • #18017
       Jen Cueva 
      Participant

      Hey there Robin,
      Ohh I feel your struggles with the rain as it gets muggy and hot. That just makes breather even that much harder!

      I think it is funny when you mention in the desert you feel like you have no illness, when I lived in Southern California, I felt like I could be outdoors all year and throughout the day. My daughter and hubby skated and I would hang for hours outside at the skateparks watching them and reading. I definitely cannot do that in this Texas heat and humidity!

      Relocating, even for a healthy individual is a huge step, so I cannot even imagine moving now. Plus, as you mention, I like my PH team here!

    • #18022
       Colleen Steele 
      Keymaster

      Robin, I can relate to your attachment to your medical team and not wanting to lose them in a move. I live in WA state but my son’s PH was treated and he received his transplant in CA. He has remained with that transplant team but on the verge of transitioning from pediatric to adult, he has the option of changing his care to a hospital close to home. Even though his team will change even if he stays with CA, we have an attachment to the hospital. The other thought over the years was to move to CA, but that would mean a job change, insurance change and leaving friends behind. So, here we are still in WA.

  • #18055
     Jen Cueva 
    Participant

    I just came across this article and thought it would be helpful for some as it discusses altitude as well as climate .

    PHA Starts 12 Days of PHA Resources with Climate Issues and Tips

    • #18063
       Colleen Steele 
      Keymaster

      Jen, that article is excellent! Spot on for what we are discussing. Thank you for sharing, I’m sure others will find it helpful.

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