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Old 06-10-2018, 06:50 PM
1 posts, read 744 times
Reputation: 10


I was born in Los Angeles and spent the entirety of my 32 year life in southern California, mainly in Orange County. In December of last year, I moved with a parent to Arlington (Pentagon City) in hopes of furthering my career. She had received a job offer as a manager with a spa company, and I came with the good fortune of not needing a job lined up because she would take care of me until I was able to find full-time work. I have bipolar disorder and have gone through changes in treatment over the last six years, and sometimes it has been hard to hold down stable employment. I was able to find a full-time, temporary retail job at the Smithsonian Natural History museum where I support raising money for the Smithsonian so that they can achieve their goals of educating the public and conducting research. This job is minimum wage, but coming from my situation in southern California, it is a step up. I spent the last two years in California working at the Home Depot pushing carts for six months, and then about 15 months working as a substitute custodian for a school district.

My question revolves around health issues since moving to the East Coast. I have heard that there can be allergy problems, but just generally, I feel awful a lot of the time. I like the East Coast. I like the people, I like the tourists, I like my coworkers and my job, even though it won't take me very far financially. The only problem is that I am spoiled by Orange County weather and my body is having a really hard time adjusting to the DMV area. The thing I notice the most about this area is what was never a problem in California: feeling comfortable. No matter what, you always felt comfortable, body temperature wise, in CA, except on really hot days. Here, I never feel comfortable physically. It just alternates between cold and heat. I spent the entire month of January very ill and unable to even lift my arms in bed. I recovered but I am starting to feel worn out again with the humidity and summer coming, which I am not used to and I know will be brutal beyond my expectations.

I feel my home state has a lot of problems and I wasn't able to find a good job there, but I'm seriously evaluating a way to move to a warmer climate in case my body is just unable to acclimate to northern Virginia. I know this area is pretty moderate compared to other areas of the East Coast. I just am having a really hard time adjusting, and Virginia does not offer good health insurance for individuals with low income, unlike California. I have already amassed several thousand dollars in medical debt since being here because I have no health insurance and have been sick more often than usual. In CA, Medi-Cal covered everything I ever needed without me needing to pay a dime. Obviously, that is very generous, but I was surprised by the lack of Medicaid coverage in VA for people who need it and aren't blind, pregnant, or disabled in the sense of being supported by Social Security (SSI). I like this area and I'm not complaining, but I'm just wondering if people who move here from sunny climates like CA ever adjust to the weather here. Most Virginians and other people I talk to in my job think I am nuts for moving here. I disagree, but ultimately, I can't live in poor health no matter what the benefits are to living here. My symptoms include incredible fatigue no matter how much I rest or sleep, a feeling of constantly "burning up" even though I take my temperature and everything is usually normal, my blood work is fine. I just feel incredibly uncomfortable in my body, like I am sick all of the time, and the stress of not having health insurance really weighs me down and possibly makes the situation worse, because I've been to the ER twice in 2018 and I am on the verge of something really devastating financially if I don't get health insurance. The one thing I have in my favor is a supportive family who will help me as long as I make an effort to be self sufficient and to work at least 30 hours a week, and I have my own car (2011 Ford Fusion hybrid paid off) with low mileage so it's possible that I could move somewhere if I needed to, in order to improve my health. It's frustrating because I know some of the best opportunities are in places with cold climates, but being in "paradise" for 32 years really spoiled me and now I'm unsure if I will be able to adjust to this after a few years or if it's better to just move somewhere like Florida where I can be around some heat. Although as far as comfort, some parts of Florida can be brutal too in terms of humidity. I realize now why CA is so overcrowded and expensive. It's because everyone wants to live there, and the weather factor really is a huge consideration. You don't realize that until you leave. Most of the United States seems to have weather problems of some kind. I always marveled in CA reading about the devastating storms, tornadoes, blizzards, and other things that cause numerous fatalities and destroy so much economic activity and property. We just never had that problem, although we always fear earthquakes of significant power, especially if one were to occur on multiple fault lines simultaneously. That would be really, really bad for my home state.

I hope to get a few answers as to whether someone in my position is likely to acclimate to the East Coast over time. I'm starting to guess that it's pretty rare for someone from CA to move here. Ideally, the person to ask would be a medical doctor, but I can't find one because only my psychiatric care is covered through a program called GAP, which is for Virginians with low income with behavioral health needs. I am thankful to have at least that.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:52 AM
Location: West Hollywood, CA from Arlington, VA
2,770 posts, read 2,685,249 times
Reputation: 1550
Healthcare just got expanded in the state recently thanks to our new governor and its just like Medi-Cal. Unfortunately, it wont take effect until January 1, 2019. Republicans couldnt reach their senses until they got their asses kicked again and realized people that chose to be diagnosed with cancer shouldnt pay more too.

Im not sure what part of Cali youre from but Norcal definitely isnt much worse than the DC area weather wise.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:28 AM
128 posts, read 58,638 times
Reputation: 134
Virginia just expanded Medicaid thanks to Ralph Northam and the 2017 blue wave. I'd recommend focusing on attending college full time while you have a parent to support you so you can get a good paying job. I'd recommend George Mason.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:11 AM
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
The climate and how you feel is certainly something to consider. I'm 54 and I am a native Washingtonian. With the exception of 6 years out of the area due to military assignments (to similar or worse climates), sometimes the climate gets ME down. I go through the same issues you've desribed: I'm cold, I'm hot. I hate the cold, the humidity gets bad, etc. But I am used to it so it's not a shock to me.

Do not underestimate what the weather can do to your well-being. Depending on where you come from in California, you are likely now running on a "sunshine deficit" which is a real thing. Also, the stress of just moving from one coast to another should not be minimized. It's a huge deal for an adult...kids tend to adapt much better.

For someone with bipolar or any psychiatric issue, a move like this with a drastic change in everything can throw you into disarray. The weather may be an important component of your mental stability.

Being as one of your parents moved here and you with them, what is the likelihood of going back to California?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:33 AM
2,670 posts, read 4,519,607 times
Reputation: 2117
Welcome! I love California and think you’re right about why many do.

People have offered good suggestions. If I could add in another two cents it would be:

1) we had a cold and rainy spring but usually we have more very pleasant days in the spring and fall. If you can give yourself time to adapt, I think you’ll be happier.

2) light therapy might help a lot.

3) a lot of recreation here is indoors where climate is controlled. Can you enjoy some of this?

4) Norwegians say there is no bad weather; only bad clothes. Maybe some wardrobe adjustments would help?

5) I think you sound like a very smart and educated person who would be more stimulated building on your current job than reverting back to a more routine job unlikely to change, but in a better climate.

FWIW— I searched for a job here because I always loved DC. I came from the Midwest, with WORSE weather than here. But there are still challenging (allergy fatigue) days to adapt to. It’s a matter of time, prescriptions, and liking opportunities here that you can’t get “back there.”

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Old 06-11-2018, 02:31 PM
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,282 posts, read 5,570,810 times
Reputation: 1166
I'm East County, San Diego and the only problems I had were when the Santa Anas blew up and then I was an allergy disaster; Nose inflamed, lungs and breathing spongy my skin and ecxema were the worst. But I was fine once all cleared out.
Here there are a billion bugs, gnat, mosquitos, flies all sorts of crap that bite and bother your skin. The trees here, most especially the evergreens here, scratch up my throat. I lalso find in fall, when the leaves fall, I am sensitive to crushed up dry leaves and it bugs my breathing
Humidity is rough too but I find my allergies are calmer the higher the humidity
If you like it here, find ways and methods to stay!
I would never move back.I will never give that state govt any taxes! I wish California would CAxit.
I have an awesome allergist. With the combo on 2 inhalers, I feel great and I dont need them all year long, fall and part of spring
I also take 10,000 iu Vita D daily as there is not a bunch of sunshine.
Do you like your shrink? He'll let you know which allergy meds you can and cannot ingest
I have excellent insurance so I don't know how much$ you have for doctor stuff, esp since Mental health is generally not covered
If You need a pDoc md I can recommend an awesome one.
Good Luck!
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:55 PM
Location: Northern Virginia
665 posts, read 227,871 times
Reputation: 1473
Lack of sun would only really stand out to you if you're only familiar with conditions in Southern California. The D.C. area gets more sun than the Upper Midwest or the Pacific NW and pretty comparable levels to most East Coast cities. But it has to be said that this spring has simply been a very rainy and cool one. It feels like everything's a month delayed. April felt like March, May felt like April, now feels like May.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:38 AM
1,326 posts, read 2,687,166 times
Reputation: 992
"Although as far as comfort, some parts of Florida can be brutal too in terms of humidity."

All parts of Florida are brutal in terms of humidity. As a native Floridian, who has lived all over the US and 3 other countries, 8 yrs of it in NOVA and returned to FL, I speak from experience. Sure we have milder winters (some parts of Florida, no winters) but the summer is brutal in terms of humidity. The being uncomfortable feeling might not be the humidity, but allergies. You really need to figure out what is bothering you, it might be the trees and pollen, and Florida has its own issues. If it is humidity, I would consider Nevada, or Arizona before I moved to FL. Though there are different allergens there. I couldn't take the dry air and dust in Vegas. Though my hair loved it!
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