Living in a Cold Place with Sickle Cell


Question: Since your location is in Oregon; could you tell me how you have coped with the cold weather? I’m thinking of moving to a cold area, but I am really scared of how it might affect my health given the fact I’ve never lived in a cold place before.

I’ve lived in Baltimore, MD and Berrien Springs, MI…both of which are infinitely colder than Portland, OR. To survive, I usually pump up the heat in my home around 69 degrees on mild days, and up to 72 degrees on colder days during the winter and cold season. To save on my utility bill, I also augment with using space heaters versus heating the whole house at night. My centralized heating drops to 67 degrees automatically during the day when I’m not home.

When going out, I always dress as if I’m in a Chicago dead winter; with boots, hat, scarf, gloves and a heavy, lined coat with a hood. Although it might look strange to the locales, I make sure I’m warm at all times when I venture out of my house. Layering is very important, I always wear silk thermals under all my clothes, it’s amazing how much warmer you are with silk thermals on. I spend more times indoors during the cold weather and tend to shy away from anything that doesn’t involve me going from car to a warmer place indoors. The cold does seep into your bones and make them ache, but that’s why layering and dressing for the season is very important. Of course, I do complain bitterly about the cold weather…lol.

Some people state that living in cold places makes them have more crises’ but I’ve found for me it’s actually opposite. Because I”m more aware of my surroundings, and dress for the weather, I tend to take care of myself better. When I lived in Cali, I had the most # of crises in one year than I’ve ever had…and it was mainly because it would be sunny during the day, and the temp would drop at night and I wouldn’t be protected.

There are several SCD patients in cold places and we have learned to cope just like you have to with anything else. I wish you best of luck as you make this decision.


  1. its nice knowing some drugs actually help in our crisis. but it invariably affects parents finances.
    I am a warrior and knows how it usually is with my parents when ever am down on crisis.
    thank goodness I have graduated from the university.
    thank God am still alive.
    just that the labor market is harsh especially as a scw.

  2. Just got a job in eugene or.walked a mile every morning and a mile home. For some reason i experienced the worst chest pain..high blood pressure..body pain…i quit today cause no one could handle my pain at work!it was annoying where everyone thought i was unhappy…mean .I am a very hardworking woman but have a problem with managing this pain. I dont know how i will be able to find work…please help

  3. Dear all, I have received a lot of strength and wealth of information over the years from this page, thank u all so much for sharing ur experiences and advise. We will b going on vacation to central London this winter… For a few days…. I’m wondering if there is anything I need to guard against.
    We leave in a tropical country.


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