WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mito Houston.

We have lived in a number of cities and states throughout Abby's childhood. Despite the lack of Mito/metabolic care in Houston, Houston has been the best choice for Abby.

Our last move took us to Seattle WA. I grew up there and was so excited to move "home!". It was not a good fit for Abby. A lot of older buildings which haven't updated to include accessible elevators or ramps. It is a mass of hills and mountains and any incline wipes Abby out so quickly. They LOVE stairs there and many of the homes are 2 and 3 stories of stairs. Stairs outside to get to parking lots,parks,shopping..we would feel defeated before we even left the house :-) The schools are gentle but there wasn't much offered for Gifted and physically handicapped. The allergens were hideous- how I forgot that is beyond me!! Another issue we ran into in WA was the lack of central heat and air. Abby does best in a steady climate. 68-72 is ideal for her. So the cold wet winters made her miserable, and then the month or so where it actually did break 80 up there would also drag her down. It is beautiful in WA, but not a great place for my Abby.

We lived in Saratoga Springs NY. It was close to Albany and other great healthcare that only took an hour or two by car to reach. The NE seems to have the most awareness when it comes Mito/Metabolic. However, the snow and freezing temps were not a good fit(I remember finally getting all her snowsuit and blankets on her and snapped into her carseat and would smell a dirty diaper and have to start over!). Again, a lot of older buildings without central heat and air.. and the grass and tree allergens could be explosive in the fall and spring. The summers could be just as hot and humid as they are here in Houston. The best part of the region was they were very aggressive with early intervention services- The amount of therapy we received for Abby as a toddler and the ease with which we got it likely could not be met anywhere else. We did not experience much of the Public Schools- but had a bad experience for kindergarten placement(a blog for another day).

Florida- we loved living in Orlando. Not sure if it was because it was the first place we moved away from the NW, or if we truly loved it. Nice and flat, everyone has central air and heat. Affordable. Newer and lots of old folks so decent accessibility. Lots of rotten schools though, and way back then(likely even now)limited healthcare options. Hard to find good employment as well.

Oregon- Much like WA though the Valley was flater. Portland seems to be expanding their medical programs but still limited. The schools are in crisis, the cost of living is too high(like Seattle). Allergens are high and not much for central heat and air. It is on our where we would like to retire list though. :-) Most of the state is in a state of unemployment for the past 25 years since they decided a few owls were more important then jobs for people.

So Houston- flat. Central air and heat. Public schools vary, but homeschooling and early college were easy though not cheap. Lots of newer buildings so not as many worries about accessibility. Humidity and heat are miserable, but everyone has central so less worries about her cooking or freezing when we take her places. Of course the seasons have us doing activities backwards- we do the zoo in the winter and stay inside in the summer. It is very affordable here and a mecca for decent paying jobs. Lots of Drs. Though most don't have a clue about Mito. However, Houston has a fab med center- if you have heart disease or cancer this is where you want to be. Which seems to bring a lot of agressive rockstar like Drs. to our area. They compete fiercely. It is where reputations are made or broken. Memorial Hermann and UT physicians are working very hard to expand and educate about Mitochondrial disease. I know if Abby ever got sick enough to need the ER, we would be heading to the medical center and Memorial Hermann.

So no where is perfect at least for this Mito family. Houston works though! Oh, and did I mention the food? A great gluten free restaurant in the Woodlands, a great gluten free Bakery on 1960 Champions area.. We are getting a Trader Joe's finally this spring up here in the Woodlands.. Tons of organic farmers and small family farms to get the freshest and the best. Food is definitely a bonus to living in Houston!!!


babyfoodsteps said...

We give Houston a thumbs up too! ..except maybe August!

A trader Joes..no fair! Well maybe we will see you more often ;)

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