couchnotes in the key of sneeze

If you were me, and were battling a truly nasty cold, and had just taken a swath of decongestants and other meds that you knew would make you fall asleep within the next half-hour, what would you say?

Let's find out. In totally random order.

  • Angie Aparo's "Spaceship" needs to get out of my head real soon now.
  • Tenzing thinks this is the greatest week ever. All the mommycat does is lie on the couch under his favorite quilt, and she doesn't mind kitty cuddles. As far as he is concerned, 2005 is shaping up pretty nicely.
  • Lukas, your email's in the pipeline. Give me a couple more days.
  • Matthew, I owe you a phone call. What do you mean, emergency room visit?
  • I leave out here on the 14th, and fly off on the 16th. I'll be gone for 20 days. Have I mentioned how enormous of a pack job this trip is?
  • I understand the concept of sneezing, but I tend to think it's becoming counterproductive when you do it so much that it causes little nosebleeds.
  • Laundry does not magically do itself while I sleep.
  • I still haven't done Val's shiny new weights workout. I tend to think that a 100F fever should preclude you from weightlifting.
  • Those of you who have read this site for a long time but who have never heard my voice should go to Brian's site,, and download the Pan-Holiday Extravaganza Videos. I'm very very difficult to miss in the first video. Pretend not to notice that he has to swing the camera down to focus on my face. In my next life I'll be tall, ok?

Lastly …

My mother got The Call this week. A donor cornea has become available. She has what is known as Fuch's dystrophy, a degenerative corneal disease. Right now her doctors believe she will only need one transplant, but it is possible that her other eye will eventually require one, too. (She is 61.)

I am happy for her - Fuch's is incredibly painful, and her quality of life will improve drastically after she heals from the surgery - but we must not ignore what events must have happened to bring us to this point.

Somewhere, there's an empty place at someone's table. We don't get to know who, or where, or how, but we know that this person was someone's son or daughter, possibly a brother or sister, or a father or mother. Somewhere, in a hospital and under the worst possible kind of stress, right after Christmas and New Year's, a family made a decision to donate organs and tissue, a decision that would allow their personal tragedy to help others. Others that they don't even know.

Mom's transplant is Thursday. As transplants go, corneal transplants are minor; it's outpatient surgery and she'll go home the same day. (Though it can take up to a year for the patient's vision to stabilize and clear.)

If you're comfortable with the idea of being an organ donor, make sure your driver's license says so -- and make sure that your family and friends understand that this is something you want. It won't take away your friends' and family's pain of losing you, but it may give the gift of health to someone sorely in need.

(Good luck, Mom. Make them give you the REALLY good drugs.)


I'm glad to hear the news for your mom, Amy, just as I am saddened that it takes a donor. :(

Same here. I haven't been sleeping very well, thanks to the plethora of cold & sinus medications it's taking to keep me breathing reasonably freely right now, and about three this morning, it hit me. I understand better now why people want so badly to know where the donations come from. Even if it's just to hug the donor's family to say, "Look, I can't imagine how hard this choice must've been for you, but this is what came of it."

So far as organ donations go, don't just put it on your driver's license and tell people. Quite literally, there are times that if your family is resistant to you donating your own organs, it needs to be in a living will so that there can be no legal contests about precisely what you want to do with your own body. Just a thought, if your family has never responded well to the whole donating your organs thing.

#1: I hope you start to feel better! #2: I hope everything works out with your Mom and her surgery goes well!

I'm glad that your mom is going to be able to get the transplant. I hope that she does well. When I got my non-driver's ID a few years ago, I said I wanted to be an organ donor. When I went back for my permit, they didn't even ask me, so I don't think its on there.