Thursday, August 16, 2012

Water, Salt Water & Wells.

I am often amazed at how improved the lives of people in India are when they learn about basic hygiene. Clean water provided through Jesus Wells and BioSand water filters make a huge impact on health. Amazing how parasites and infections can be seriously reduced by such a simple thing.

Learn about Gospel for Asia's Clean Water programs
Employees Beg for Water - Gospel for Asia

When Gospel for Asia started the Jesus Well program I was so excited. We scrimped and saved and pinched Lincoln till he screamed. After we had scraped together the moola, we gave it to the Jesus Well project. It felt so good to know a village somewhere in India now has clean water, because we chose not to have a few extras.

I'm very particular about the water we as a family drink. The first year at  Gospel for Asia my Knight in Shining Armor came down with what seems to be a common complaint at the ministry; Kidney Stones! Picture me saying that in an ominous tone of voice. I'm not surprised, the water here in the summer tastes like mud. The water is very hard and full of minerals. Considering most of our water comes from man made reservoirs that have a things like houses at the bottom of them I'm not surprised at the taste. If you walk the beaches at many of the reservoirs here you will see brick red sand and warm brick pebbles.  All the poor drowned houses are breaking down under all that water.  So here in this house we do not drink the water from the faucet. In the summer it smells so bad, and when I do drink it or shower in it, I take a Benadryl to avert the inevitable allergic reaction I have to it. This is why I have a water crock taking up counter space in my tiny kitchen. I suppose I should bite the bullet and put in a whole house water filter, but I'm just as happy filling up my 2 gallon water bottles every week at the water store.

Lately our pulmonologist prescribed a new medicine for Sweet Potato to help her break up the mucus in her lungs. He had 2 in mind but since she doesn't have cystic fibrosis he is hesitant to prescribe the second one because it typically doesn't work on non cystic fibrosis patients and is super expensive.  Upon hearing this we whole heartily endorsed just using the first medicine. It has a fun name to say "Hypertonic Solution."  He suggested this medicine because of our reports that Sweet Potato is so much better when we vacation at the beach.  Her nose clears up and her cough is lessened. Yes you guessed it Hypertonic Solution is Salt Water!!!! We put it in her nebulizer once a day instead of the recommended 2x per day, because you see we can't afford it. No seriously it is over $50 a bottle (15 day supply @2x a day). Plus I have to give her Abuteral 2x a day and that makes her loopy!!!  The doctor is fine with us only giving it 1x per day but since she is tolerating it he would like us to try for more often.

So putting on my Mom administrator hat I called the insurance company. The $50+ cost comes from having to have this prescription made up at a compounding pharmacy, because no one in our area carries it. Oh and since it  has to be created (Yes folks the pharmacist has to measure out distilled water, pure salt, put it in a bottle and shake.) the insurance company won't pay for things we have to have compounded.  Yes it does come in little plastic vials that are pre-mesured and easy to use. I told them the doctor would happily prescribe any of the available solutions 3%, 5% or 7% whatever they carried/covered  is fine with him. Alas not even the insurances' own home delivery pharmacy carries them.  SERIOUSLY? The mail order can't get them...

Why do I think that if I typed this into Amazon they would carry it? Yup they do but I have to add water...

I did approach my doctor and ask him if it would be a problem if I just made it up at home, distilled water and non iodized salt? Oh no you might introduce bacteria into her lungs this way or get the proportions off. sigh...I do have a sterilize feature on my dishwasher but I guess that doesn't count. A decent scale runs about 50$ I could so make up the cost of this very useful kitchen item in one month!

Well for now I have a call into the insurance company to see if they will carry it just for us so we don't have to pay 50$ for a bottle of salt water. They will get back to us next week, I expect to hear a no.  I guess I'm just a pessimist After this last 12 months of harangues with them and the non payment of bills and how much out of pocket we had so far this year. I've had to many calls that went Yes we do cover anesthesia, oh wait not the one that works solely at the hospital we approved, even when you did call beforehand to check and make sure it was covered. The doctors office called and checked as well but oops no we don't cover that sorry... But you see I had been down this road before, and they never cover any anesthesiologist we have used so far... (I was not surprised.) All these "extra" expenses do not count as part of our Total Out of Pocket per family member.  (don't you love how anesthesia is now an extra expense). I know our emergency fund can't handle another "emergency" and yet we have not yet reached out $1000 out of pocket expense toward Sweet Potato, some how were still just a hundred dollars or so off that goal. Can you picture me rolling my eyes...

Don't get me wrong I love the low copays for specialist and things they do cover. I could tell the customer service person on the end of the line found 50$ for salt water excessive, tho the "we record every call bit" kept her from agreeing with me in words.  Oh well I'm sure God has a solution to our Hypertonic Solution dilemma. I'll just wait on him and rejoice I do have "relatively" clean water to drink and wash in, considering we live in one of the hottest states in the union.

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