i've been unable to write recently because i've been sick and stuck in my trailer. the doctors didn't know what was wrong with me (weak, dizzy, strange creatinine levels) so they wanted me to go to the CASH (which is like M*A*S*H) at the International Zone. It took me two days to finally get a flight here, during which i was stuck in my trailer. well, the doctors here took some more blood tests and decided i'm fine and "on the way to recovery." it's embarassing that i came all the way here via helo and nothing is wrong with me except that i had an "unknown viral infection." yes, i know, it's a good thing everything is fine now... on paper anyway. i still feel crappy. at least psychologically i know now that i'm not heading into kidney failure again. for the first time in days, i want to eat something... but the chow hall doesn't open until noon, and i'm supposed to catch a bus back to Victory then (they call the busses Rhinos, and they're armored but ugly). so... to answer emails, i'm fine now and should be all well again in a few days to a week (according to the doctor).

while i was waiting to be seen, there was an Iraqi National Guardsman with his foot wrapped up and he was moaning and crying for some pain meds. he didn't speak any English, but after they got a translator, found out he hurt his foot in Fallujah a few days ago. he kept begging for medication, but they couldn't give him any until they figured out what was wrong exactly. i felt bad for him, but he was moaning incredibly and it was just a foot.... the British guy across from me kept his eyes down as did I, mostly, avoiding the Iraqi's attention because there wasn't anything we could do for him. a pitiful case, and it was unnerving.

there are so many banged up soldiers here. i can tell they've been in battle, and several have shrapnel wounds on their legs and their hands bandaged as if they've been in a fire. and here i am, weak and sick but apparently "just fine" wandering the halls hungry and thirsty until my time to make the voyage back to my home base. i am looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow, but i am embarassed that the only explanation i will have of not being able to work the past few days is an "unknown viral infection." the doctor said she'd seen lots of really strange illnesses here. she got to chalk me up for another.

well i'll get off the computer now and let some other wounded/sick use it. i'll go read my book ("Crime and Punishment") and wait out another hour or so until i catch the shuttle to the bus.

it's sad i came all the way to the International Zone and i don't get to see it.