Taj has the flu

Fort Dix, New Jersey --  This is a pic of Taj, just a few days before he was stricken with the flu. I wish I was home with him now.

Fort Dix, New Jersey —
This is a pic of Taj, just a few days before he was stricken with the flu. I wish I was home with him now.

Muna sent me a text last night to tell me Taj had a high fever and was vomiting a lot.

She tried keeping his temperature down, but without much luck. Eventually, she went to the hospital. I tried to call occasionally while she waited in the room. According to her, the entire emergency room was FILLED with kids who were suffering the same illness with Taj.

Muna said he didn’t talk much. But when he did, he was asking for his dad.


While she squirmed with him in the hospital, I squirmed without him here in the ‘stan. I paced back-n-forth, trying to think of how I could somehow help him, even though I am half-way around the world.

Want to know what I came up with?


I did send him a picture of me to Muna’s Blackberry, so he could see me smiling and read an email from me telling him I love him. But, as far as being able to DO anything for him, I was helpless.

Muna called me after the visit was over. She says that the docs hesitated to say Taj has swine flu, but they still gave him Tamiflu (the treatment for swine flu) just in case. (I think that was just their way of trying to downplay the epidemic. By treating people for swine flu without actually diagnosing it as such, people are less likely to panic at the mass amounts of people who are being treated for swine flu.)

Since I’ve been here in the ‘stan, our team has been hit with an IEDengaged in a firefight, and insurgents have attacked our base with rockets several times while we sleep. Although none of those experiences were events I’d ever want to repeat again, I’d much rather experience them all over again than go through the mental pain I went through last night … The pain of knowing my son needed me, but helpless to do anything about it.

I talked with him today. He sounds a bit more active, but he’s still coughing. He’s supposed to take it easy for a week while his body recuperates. I can assume that as long as Muna stays on his schedule of medicines, he’ll be okay.

This deployment is making a superwoman out of Muna. (Although she would argue that she was already one before I left.) I can’t thank her enough for acting as both Mom and Dad while I’m away.

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