Today was Day Two of SNOTORIOUS B.I.G. up in Yeehawton, and boy are we feeling it. Everything from Big Tex to the Canadian border is apparently under sixteen feet of snow, mammoths are roaming, and people have resorted to spearing the weak and elderly for food.

In all seriousness, I am worried about Abilene Rob. (You out there? You okay?) A patient's family member tried to drive today from Abilene to Dallas and, after eight hours (it's normally a three-hour trip), gave up and got a hotel.

But I am alive and well and warm, and Max got into his hated doghouse and did okay today in the cold, and there is wine.

And today, for the first time since surgery, I swallowed normally.

I was standing in the med room in the CCU, very thirsty. I got a glass of water from the tap, put it to my lips, and slugged back half of it in three big swallows without thinking. Up to now, swallowing has been a six-step process that requires thought and concentration. You have no idea how frustrating that is when you're really, *really* thirsty.

"Wait a second," I thought, "I think I just drank that water right down."

So I tried it again. And it worked.

For the rest of the day, I drank water for the pure pleasure of being able to drink without thinking about it. Then I remembered the pure pleasure of having a really full bladder. I think I've been chronically dehydrated since October 21st.

I wanted to keep this to myself as a secret, hug-it-to-my-chest happiness, but dammit, I've shared all the crap with you guys; you deserve the good stuff, too.

I can swallow again. You don't realize how much you miss it until you can't do it.