Some Reflections, Symptoms, and Good News!

First I’ve got the good news! Last Saturday night my wife, Mariam, gave birth to healthy and beautiful boy Musaab!

The feeling of gratitude towards The Creator was constant. He was crying as soon as he came into this world. Right after they brought him over to his table I gave the Adhaan, or call to prayer, in one ear and the Iqaamah, in the other. Of course Musaab recognized my voice and stopped crying to listen in. (MashAllah, all praise belongs to God, I have been blessed with a nice voice…)


A month ago I sang, wrote, and recorded a lullaby for him while my wife was sorting things out at CVS Pharmacy within 3 hours. I was sitting in the parking lot.

You can find it
here, look for the play
button or SoundCloud link. There’s demand for more “lullabies” so I’ll be recording more songs but for now it’s just the single. If you like it don’t forget to reshare with your friends and send your on SoundCloud.

A week and a half before Musaab’s birth, Ali was had an episode of seizures in the middle of the night. We called the ambulance and they rushed him to the hospital. His seizures were not getting under control, they gave him multiple doses of Ativan and put him on Phenobarbital, a medication I’m not fond of at all, but at that point we had no choice. After a few days he was discharged from the PICU at Good Samaritan Hospital.

My wife set up an appointment for a video EEG, and this past Wednesday I stayed overnight at New York Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in the city.  They monitored Ali overnight with the electrodes glued to his head and back. The next morning, Dr. Mandel, his neurologist, gave me the report that his seizures were under control  and that we can taper him off of the Phenobarbital over the next 11 weeks. A small dosage of Klonopin was also added before bedtime. The dosage of Keppra remained the same.


I’ve gotta be careful how much I disclose about my children as I want to save them from embarrassment or invade their privacy when they grow up and realize what their Dad said about them or felt about them. So I will keep it to a minimal… don’t expect me to post pictures of them on social media (something I advise other parents as well).

On my way out, when Ali was discharged, I dropped a cup of water while he was having his breakfast. I let one of the staff members know, they cleaned it up, but I could tell from her body language that it was a big deal that a cup of water fell to the ground.

A few minutes lateer the social worker who follows our case came back, and politely asked me how I was doing. I told her I’m fine. She commented that “You look different from when I first saw you in the morning”… I told her I had just woken up at that time when she had come in…. She then asked, or should I say implied, that she will be walking me out of the building. I told her it was fine, but she insisted.

That was the point when my paranoia kicked in, I felt like I was now under surveillance.

“I always feel like, somebody’s watching me…” -Rockwell

Walking out of the building I started looking at all the eyes that were on me, people in the elevator, security, strangers in the lobby. It seemed like they were saying “LOOK AT THIS CRAZY MAN!” Hearing those persecutory voices in my head started as well…”They’re watching your every move.” …”Don’t do anything embarrassing now, they’re all watching.” …”Don’t spill anything.” …”Don’t slip and fall… They’ll call Child Protective Services.” …”You know they were watching you on the cameras all night?”

While walking out I said goodbye to the social worker and thanked her for her hospitality.  Now it was time to face the wandering eyes of New Yorkers while pushing Ali’s stroller. “Who’s this guy with the stroller?” …”You know I’m undercover, right?” …”Let’s see how he crosses the street.” I debated whether to pop a Haldol or not, but reassured myself that let’s just get to a controlled environment-my car, first.

Finally I made it four blocks down to the parking garage. I was greeted with a Assalam-o-Alaikum, by the brother that managed the garage, his employee was there as well ready to get my car out. I asked them “What’s the deal with New Yorkers looking at you while you’re walking?” To which, the attendant responded “SCREW THEM!” And that’s when I made a sigh of relief… my symptoms went away. I sat Ali down in his car seat, packed the trunk with all things the we brought.

I jumped in the car and drove off.