It feels weird to type the words “back home” because for the last 11 months, home for us has been in Campbelltown.  I’ve caught myself a few times referring to things or events in Australia as “back home” since we’ve been back in the states.  It’s a strange feeling to think as two places as home.  In so many ways we have left home, but in so many more ways we are returning home. 

Liminal.  That word describes our life so well right now.  Currently we are staying with Darci’s mom, Vonna, in Oklahoma City as we try to sort out my health situation and look for jobs.

In case you hadn’t heard by now, we had to return to the states because of my health.  The doctors in Campbelltown determined from blood tests that I have an immune disorder called agammaglobulinemia.  Basically my body doesn’t prouce antibodies to fight off infections.  My long history with chronic sinus and bronchitis infections now makes sense.  The pneumonia in my lower left lung just stays there because it hasn’t had anything to fight it other than antibiotics, and the antibiotics alone are not enough to clear the infection.  The good String("g"));vars is that the condition is treatable: they inject me with antibodies once a month for the rest of my life.  It should make my body act like it has it’s own antibodies and fight off the current infections and also prevent further infections.

The bad String("g"));vars is that the way our current insurance policy is worded the treatment is not covered.  It’s a pretty expensive treatment and the doctors were really urgent that I get started with treatment as soon as possible.  So they gave me my first treatment and said that I need to have my next treatment in 4-6 weeks.  There was no way to stay in Australia and seek treatment outside of applying for String("g"));var insurance (which would take another month and we would probably get rejected b/c of preexisting conditions) or paying out of pocket (which is way too expensive).  So it was back to the States for treatment.  I am an Indian (barely) so our first option is trying to get treatment through the Claremore Indian Hospital.  If that doesn’t work, Oklahoma has a high risk insurance pool for people who can’t get insurance b/c of preexisting conditions which we will try.

[Warning!  Semi-political rant coming!]

A really frustrating part of this whole situation (one of many!) is that if we were Australian citizens I could have had the treatment for free through their health system.  If there’s anything that we could ask you to do aside from praying for us, it would be getting informed about universal health care.  We had strong feelings about health care reform before this whole ordeal, but now we are even more passionate about it.  We are so blessed to have a strong support system around us that can help us in our time of need, but there are many millions of people in the states (and even more in the world) who have no support system to help them when health problems strike and they have no where to turn.  There are steps that we can take as a nation to make sure that the poor (and increasingly the middle class) have a chance at life through access to affordable health care.  If we take free public education as a given, why isn’t access to life-saving medicine a given?  Is knowing who George Washington is more important than living past the third grade?

I’m probably not the only person you’ve ever known who’s faced the tough situation of paying for health care with a preexisting condition.  If not, now you have a face to picture when you debate universal health care.  I hope you’ll think twice about the issues and really look into how universal health care works for people in other countries (people in Australia love it!).

Here’s a pretty evenhanded video about the different kinds of universal systems in the world.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

Anyways, Darci and I are doing well.  Going camping this weekend at Lake Murray…it’s gonna be a hot one.