Apologies for short-changing the offspring's ability to contract a serious illness. Her cough wasn't due to cold but rather pneumonia, which has since been brought under control. As for the puppy, she is in the veterinarian's capable hands and we plan to bring her home on Wednesday.

In the meantime, I'm at home dying of my own illness. There's some debate in the household as to what exactly I've come down with. My guess: acute hyperglucomyokenesthesis with a touch of mitrohypoallercardiolisis. The missus' take: a sniffle.

Whatever the case, here I am left to my own devices and I thought: what a tremendous opportunity it would be to finally talk to my readers about my hernia!

According to Wikipedia, a hernia is a pain in your abdomen usually caused by serious strenuous activity, such as the type of activities normally associated with movies on channels your parents or wife have blocked. Or by performing a clean and jerk in the Olympic games with a weight roughly equivalent to the average Overeaters' Anonymous meeting. Also pooping hard.

Or, as in my case, it can be conveniently attributed to genetic factors for those people who prefer not to take responsibility for their general health.

So after a multitude of tests by various people, all confirming what my regular doctor determined just by looking (well, that's a bit of an exaggeration but if you don't mind, we'll skip the initial examination), I was declared the proud owner of a baby hernia. (Side note on private health care: The average Canadian would be astounded at how badly things have deteriorated in the public system.)

So the day of surgery arrives and, as is my way, I met it with naive optimism. "At least I won't lose much billable time," thought I, "since I work from home." I met the doctor beforehand and after putting him through the same tests police use for possible DUIs, I went under the knife.

Cut to a couple of hours later. My first sight is the beautiful Mrs. Hillbilly smiling in that way that says, "I love you but DON'T EVER PUT ME THROUGH THIS AGAIN!" Before long, a nurse appears with a wheelchair so that I can be transferred to it and another unsuspecting victim can use my bed. I lift my head to prepare to move to the wheelchair.


It seems I underestimated the invasive nature of slicing through the abdominal muscles because the feeling was not unlike having several hundred chorus girls tap-dance on your groin in golf shoes. (And hoo boy, remind me to tell you the story of how I know what *THAT* feels like.) And this was while I was still under pain medication.

Needless to say, the road to recovery was a learning experience. I learned the exact position to rest a laptop so as to minimize the impact on your abdomen (answer: in its carrying case on the floor beside the bed). After careful analysis of various digital music channels, I learned that it is very possible that a woman could get pregnant simply by listening to Dean Martin sing. And I became acutely aware of just how many muscles are involved when one sneezes (answer: Every. Single. One.).

Mrs. Hillbilly definitely earned a Purple Heart for duties that made me feel guilty about how inadequately I treated her after her c-section. And the offspring had a ball playing, "let's hide the remote in plain sight on the bed just out of daddy's reach."

But now, ten months later, it is an ordeal I can laugh about. Particularly when I talk to someone whose own hernia repair surgery is upcoming.