We're considering relocating from southern Arizona to central Colorado and want some opinions on the importance of having a warm dry climate. Our son is 7 and currently has very mild DMD symptoms. We travel to Cincinnati annually and have a good local PT. We also have a local MDA clinic available if we need it. Would assume the same in CO, so medical care wouldn't currently be an issue. We also home school, so that's not really a deciding factor either.
The biggest issue is that we currently have an in ground pool in our back yard that we use for 8+ months of the year. Our kids are in the pool multiple times a day every day and we are concerned about giving up such easy access to this great form of exercise. Is this a valid concern?
We primarily are considering leaving AZ to escape the blazing hot summers and to live somewhere that has more of a change between seasons, but are not sure how well our son would be able to cope with snow and winter time activities. He'd probably be fine now, but how well do power chairs work in the snow?
Thanks for any feedback,
I have had MD all my life (since age 1) and for me I am stronger in warm summer weather. In the winter I try to keep warm. Maybe your son is doing better because of where you live.
We moved from FL to IL when my son was around 6. I think you have a valid concern about giving up easy pool access. We also had an in ground pool in FL which we used almost daily from May to Oct. Once we moved, my son really missed having the ability to just hop into the pool whenever we had free time. Once we moved, it took time to find a pool with good hours and was not too cold. I don't know how it is in AZ, but a lot of the "play dates" my son had in FL involved swimming with his friends at our house or their houses. We lost almost all these pool related activities which my son loved once we moved. We were also homeschooling at the time, and even with a more flexible schedule it was hard to keep up the swimming. I personally felt it became harder to stretch when he stopped being able to swim almost daily.
My son enjoyed the snow for probably the first month, but really found it difficult to wear all the clothes to stay warm. As he began to lose more of his strength the next few years he found it difficult to walk with boots and then became fearful to fall when it was slippery because it was so difficult to get back up again. He eventually asked not to go out to play in the snow anymore because it was "too much work for him." We originally got a convaid wheelchair with larger wheels to help with the snow. It became difficult to push in about 2 inches of snow. We are glad my son did get to experience life in a cold climate so he knows what it is like, but my son is now 10, and we are ready to move back to a warmer climate again.
Is it possible for you to take an extended vacation in the winter time up to CO to see how you, your son and rest of the family likes it?
Best wishes to you all :)
Thank you Tom for your insight.
It sounds like you've already lived almost the same scenario we are considering. I appreciate you posting your experiences.
We will definitely keep all your comments in mind as we decide.