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Sick in Melbourne :-(

Sick in Melbourne :-(

Old Oct 2nd 2013, 1:12 am
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Default Sick in Melbourne :-(

Hi everyone,

We moved from Edinburgh to Melbourne 2 and a half years ago with our children (now aged 4 and 7).

We are very settled here, have been enjoying the outdoor life and have been lucky enough to both find jobs we are very happy in. We have also met some lovely people who I can imagine will be long time friends, which is very important especially to me, considering I had such a solid friendship group back in Scotland.

So......... what we are struggling with is the level of sickness within our family since we have come to Melbourne. My husband has had the flu a couple of times since we arrived and also chest infections. The kids are unwell constantly, at least every month - colds, flu, gastro, hayfever, asthma. Last year my daughter accumulated 6 weeks off school - all due to genuine sickness. My little one attends childcare 2 days a week and he is off regularly too. We found out he had glandular fever about a year ago and unfortunately he seems to be coming down with anything and everything since then :-(

Thank God I have such an understanding boss as I constantly have to take time off work. My husband takes his fair share off too. I had actually considered giving up the job as it was getting to the point of being embarrassing and I was worried incase my boss/colleagues didn't think I was genuine. They are actually all very supportive but it's become a bit of an office joke when someone asks 'how's the family?' I always have some story to tell!

I can see we are not the only ones as a couple of my friends here seem to experience the same levels of sickness with their families. At first I had thought we were still acclimatising but c'mon after so long I think we should've acclimatised by now?

Has anyone else experienced such sickness after moving from the UK? Will it get better? I hope and pray that it does as I am so exhausted with it.

I'm interested to ask I suppose as part of me thinks maybe we would've had all this sickness in Scotland anyway but I do feel that the changeable climate in Melbourne is partly to blame.

I type this whilst my husband is in bed with the flu, little one just getting over the flu, daughter just had tonsilitis and now with bad hayfever and conjunctivitis and I'm fighting the cold. Thank God it's been the school holidays!

Angela
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

I think that it is common to pick up little bugs and colds initially whilst the body familiarises with new strains, but no not heard of that going on for 2.5 years before.

It is probably just bad luck and you would have hit this period of poor health wherever you happened to be.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

It used to be quite a common topic on here, but its been a while since I've seen a thread on the different germs etc here.
From remembering previous discussions, part of it is purely that the germs here are different, so you need to build up a whole new immunity - which for some people is easier than others. If you are already prone to conditions like asthma then there may be a deficiency in the immune system anyway,which makes someone even more prone to the triggers that set off attacks. Plus the whole new range of pollens and dusts over here - I know several people, as well as myself, that have had far worse hayfever here than back in the UK.
And some climates just suit some people better than others - even within Australia the differences are huge; generally colder climes like Tasmania or Victoria can be wonderful for some people, while others prefer Queensland's heat and humidity. And of course once you get rundown its harder to climb back to health again.

I have noticed among Aussies, and really long term expats that I know that children in general do seem more prone to colds, upset stomachs etc, don't know why really though but having said that, many of those who migrated around the same time as me, and had children with them, did seem to report less of a problem as time went on - maybe another year and you'll start winning

I won't tell you all the stuff about identifying/avoiding the triggers for hayfever, asthma etc cos I'm sure you've heard it all before, but I can tell you that you're not alone. As someone who has been sick more than I've been healthy since the day I arrived, I really do sympathise with you, and I hope things improve.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Hi

I had my first cold in years within months of arriving here and it was a dreadful one then about a year later I also had flu (real flu!) so yes, being exposed to new germs does take a while to get over them. Touch wood, Ive not had much since those early days.

It also depends on areas as well, you would think the Mornington Peninsula where we live would be good for health, fresh air, sea breezes etc but apparently it's one of the worst areas for asthma! Likewise I've know people who's asthma has improved since moving and some who have developed it or it's got worse. For some reason we all think Oz will be much healthier lol!

My friends got a 7 year old, born here, but he always seems to have something and then of course it gets passed round the family. Having said that I can remember as a kid in the UK having a few which lasted all winter, gradually ceased as I grew up and moved to warmer houses! Not sure if it was getting older or being warmer which helped!

They say people and kids are more prone to colds/asthma now we have disinfected the heck out of our houses! But hopefully things will start to improve the longer you've been here and as the kids get older.

Take care....
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Not sure if its down to the Melbourne weather. We moved initially to Darwin and had no issues in the 4 years we were there. Since moving to Melbourne in January all three of us have been bedded down at some point. Daughter had first ever anti biotics for severe chest infection and hubby got sent home from work for the first time in 20+ years! Cant wait for the summer. Give me the heat of the NT anyday x
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 7:24 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

was interested to see this as it also seems to me that my family has been more ill since moving from the UK to NZ year and a half ago.
Interesting point about the differing strains.
No idea how long it could take to get the immune system up and running better as someone said it differs for everyone.
You have not said how well insulated your home is I know in NZ lots of problems here with poorly insulated houses, damp and lack of proper central heating, just heat pumps, makes matters worse.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Are you getting your flu jabs every year? They work for us.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

We have been the total opposite <touches wood>

Much healthier here than in the UK. In the UK between April and early June I used to get shocking hayfever and had to med up all the time which I hated. My hayfever was linked the certain tree pollen that you don't really get here.

I had chest infections in the UK all the time and got pneumonia in 2008 and spent a night in hospital. Again no issues since arrival < touches wood again>

I will end it there as writing about this feels like I am tempting fate a little

we continue as we are
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 9:04 pm
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Smile Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
We have been the total opposite <touches wood>
Us too. I put this down to the fact that I no longer take public transport so don't get everyone sharing their germs with me.

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Old Oct 5th 2013, 4:38 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
Us too. I put this down to the fact that I no longer take public transport so don't get everyone sharing their germs with me.

BB
I had no issues with the change. My wife got hay fever but it subsided in later years and the symptoms were probably due to, or increased by a cat we got that first spring. (She is allergic to cats too it seems). She was told that Melbourne can be awful for hayfever.

I was generally sicker with stomach bugs once children arrived - you can catch their stuff - but now they are growing up - we're basically a healthy family.
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 4:42 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Originally Posted by MrsFychan View Post
was interested to see this as it also seems to me that my family has been more ill since moving from the UK to NZ year and a half ago.
Interesting point about the differing strains.
No idea how long it could take to get the immune system up and running better as someone said it differs for everyone.
You have not said how well insulated your home is I know in NZ lots of problems here with poorly insulated houses, damp and lack of proper central heating, just heat pumps, makes matters worse.
I think central heating is overrated - an overly heated house makes me feel quite ill. I grew up in houses which were a bit cold at times and if anything, being cold when I got up as a child made it easier for me to deal with harsh environments at work and at play in adult life!
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Thanks so much to everyone for their replies. Interesting to hear of other's experiences with the move.

I meant to ask if people generally think it's worthwhile to have the ducted heating vents cleaned every year. I don't particularly like this heating system as feel it's just blowing all the dust/germs around the house. I regularly take the bits out and clean them myself but never had it done professionally as thought the price was a bit steep and could use the cash elsewhere.

The 2 houses we have lived in have been pretty old but no signs of dampness and I air the house daily.

Let's just continue to hope and pray over time and with the kids getting older, we will move away from this awful sickness phase.

(Everyone just better now hence the reason I finally got around to responding )

Wishing all of you good health!

Angela
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Old Oct 5th 2013, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

I would not worry about cleaning the ducts, I have asthma and t;his year we replaced our central heating system and I insisted we have new ducts put in as ours had been there for 26 years. They took them out and they were as clean as a whistle. Why because its not the ducts that put the dirt around its whether we vacuum, sweep etc if not then dust gets blown around. I live on a dirt road so its dusty all the time and it aint the ducts.

Flu shot every year, lots of hay fever and asthma in Aus.
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Old Oct 6th 2013, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

Sorry to hear of your problems. This is a thread of importance to me as I've suffered dreadful health these last 4 years including developing epilepsy after a brain haemorrhage. I've had plenty of coughs and colds so they don't scare me. My immune system has reached new peaks mind. I'd survive a nuclear blast nowadays. As I'm considering Melbourne, this is a good thread (despite the negatives of it).
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Old Oct 10th 2013, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Sick in Melbourne :-(

I've been in Melbourne for 1 and a half years and i have been ill much more regularly than back home. However, for my job over here i travel interstate on a regular basis and even when not travelling, going to lots of different customer sites.

So I put my increased illness down to airport bugs and public transport. I always wash or at least sanitise my hands after i get to the office/home. My job is changing form nbext week to be purely office based so I hope to be much healthier :-)
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