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September 23, 2009

Gupta: I went to Afghanistan and all I got was this lousy H1N1

Posted: 11:52 AM ET

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

art_sanjay_sickIt started as a cough. It wasn’t the kind of cough where something is temporarily stuck in your throat. It wasn’t the kind of cough where simply clearing your throat would’ve been adequate. This was the kind of cough that hurts when you do it. A stinging pain that makes you wince and guard and hope that you don’t have to cough again any time soon. I thought I might have a fever, but of course, I was in the middle of covering a war in Afghanistan, and the conditions were… well, hot. So, maybe it was that. Problem was, the next day I wasn’t feeling any better – in fact, I was worse. I woke up in my dusty desert tent and tried to step out of my sleeping bag. Two steps later, I almost hit the deck. Incoming. Except this wasn’t due to any sirens going off, this was due to my own body simply being unable to hold myself up. I was lightheaded and freezing cold – even though it was over 100 degrees outside at that early hour of the morning.

I was nauseated and my entire body hurt. I tried to explain away my symptoms with lots of different excuses. You don’t sleep much while covering a war. My bulletproof jacket didn’t fit perfectly and was very heavy. There was a lot of dust and dirt, and maybe I had what the Marines referred to as the Kandahar Krud. It turned out to be none of those things.

I remember looking over at my camera man, Scottie McWhinnie. He looked absolutely awful. He was wearing a scarf on his head, and it was completely drenched in sweat. He was coughing so loudly and frequently that I was really starting to worry about him – and about myself. We each had it, whatever “it” was. I made a command decision. As a physician reporter in a war zone, I was going to get us medical care. That prompted our visit to a battlefield hospital, not as reporters this time, but as patients.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Medical


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Jacky Ears   September 23rd, 2009 12:15 pm ET

Hope you're feeling 100% now Doc G. Been reading some scary stuff re H1N1 and MRSA. My family will be getting the shot, hope to stay healthy.


Nicole S. -- North Carolina   September 23rd, 2009 4:27 pm ET

Oh no! I wondered if you'd get sick yourself, from being around so many sick people. Get well soon, Dr. Gupta! 🙂


Terry, TX   September 23rd, 2009 9:06 pm ET

Sorry Doc.....hope you get to feeling better....great stories....thank you....


JIM CARROLL INTERNETFREEPRESS.COM   September 23rd, 2009 11:18 pm ET

September 23rd, 2009 11:15 pm ET

TO MR. MOORE
The answer to Capitalism is Mixturism: THE RATIONAL ECONOMIC, ETHICAL, AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYOND. Businesses, Governments, and people working together to meet the needs and desires
of all. FIND YOUR FREE COPY ON THIS WEB SITE.

WHY DON’T THE DEVIL DAMN BUSINESSES START
PUTTING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK? THEY COULD
END THIS RECESSION NOW!


ROBERT ROSHON   September 24th, 2009 12:51 am ET

If 40 million Americans need health insurance, why dont we just deny health care to the 30 to 40 million inmates incarcerated in prison and provide free health care to those law abiding citizens who need it??


Anne   September 24th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

Dr. Gupta,

I am very sorry you got sick in Afghanistan.

How about CNN doing a show on major depression? I think that was Michael Jackson's main problem. He was alledgely physically abused as a child and starting working at age 6 and supporting his family at age 10. His father was having sex with other women as were his brothers when he was a child and while his mom was a very devout Jehovah's Witness mom whom he worshipped and felt guilty about.

Many shows on CNN were devoted to MJ's "drug addiction" but none to why he got that way in the first place.I think he had PTSD. I read that 70 to 80% of propofol abusers have physical or sexual abuse in their past.

I also wonder if he had a condition called RSDS because in the spider bite photo ABC erroneously said showed iv drug injection sites in his legs, one foot is white and one foot is red. I thing his pain was real.

I think MJ's alleged "drug addiction" was just a symptom.


Dodie ~ California   September 24th, 2009 7:10 pm ET

Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I am sorry to hear Dr, Gupta is ill with the H1N1 virus. He has a windfall of knowledge and I always look forward to his enlightening and innovative comments!

Take Care


~Dodie~   September 25th, 2009 3:45 pm ET

@ ROBERT ROSHON

I really like your idea!


JIM CARROLL INTERNETFREEPRESS.COM   September 25th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

WAKE UP MR. PRESIDENT!

MR. PRESIDENT, IT IS STUPID TO ASK STATES TO PUT UP MONEY
TO GET FEDERAL MONEY. STATES HAVE NO WAY TO GET MONEY
EXCEPT FROM TAXES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS THE ABILITY TO CREATE MONEY, AND IT SHOULD.

EVERY LITTLE COUNTRY OF THE WORLD HAS THE POWER TO
CREATE MONEY; NOT ONE OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES HAVE
THE POWER TO CREATE MONEY.

MONEY HAS TO BE CREATED BEFORE ITS EQUIVALENT VALUE
CAN BE PRODUCED. MONEY SHOULD ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE
FOR CREATING GOODS AND SERVICES.

IF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT HAD LISTENED TO REPUBLICANS, ALL
OF US WOULD BE MARCHING TO THE GERMANY GOOSE STEP.
REPUBLICANS ARE TO BE PITIED, BUT IGNORED.

WHILE THE WORLD WALLOWED IN DEPRESSION, ADOLF HITLER WENT TO GREAT EXTREMES TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE
MONEY SUPPLY; AND THEN CREATED THE MONEY NEEDED TO PUT ALL THE PEOPLE TO WORK PRODUCING GOODS AND SERVICES. MR. PRESIDENT, ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, OF THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
ALL THE POWER NEEDED TO PUT ALL THE PEOPLE BACK TO WORK OR BACK IN SCHOOL. THIS RECESSION IS A PRODUCT OF IGNORANCE.

THE NATIONAL DEBT IS NOT NECESSARY. MONEY SHOULD BE TIED TO THE VALUE OF THE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT AMERICA'S HANDS AND MIND PRODUCE.

WE NEED TO GET OFF OF A GOLD STANDARD MENTALITY. WE DON'T NEED ANY OF CHINA'S MONEY. WE CAN NOT GO BANKRUPT UNLESS WE LET IGNORANCE RULE. WE CAN NATIONALIZE THE NATIONAL DEBT IF NECESSARY.


mariau   September 26th, 2009 1:17 pm ET

To Sanjay Gupta – please take care of yourself 🙂


Pavan   September 26th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

Hope you get well soon!


PETE   September 27th, 2009 7:01 pm ET

I AM A PATIENT AT THE NEUROLOGICAL OFFICE IN FORT WAYNE INDIANA. ANYWAY EVERYTIME I GO I SEE YOUR NAME IN THE LIST OF DOCTORS WHO PRACTICE THERE. EVEN I'VE NEVER MET YOU I FEEL AS IF I COULD ANY GIVEN VISIT TO THE DOCTORS OFFICE. SO I WISH YOU THE BEST OF HEALTH.


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