My mother has this mostly amusing habit of purposely mispronouncing things: she pronounces the "l" sound in tortilla, she puts an extra "e" in parmesan and says par-mee-see-an, and instead of "pain and agony" she says "pain and Agnes".

Today, I figure Agnes is as good a name as any for the pain I currently have in my back and shoulder. After a week and a half of this fairly constant annoyance, I was pretty fed up this morning. Then I sneezed.

Now, for the record, I have a fairly high pain threshold. I really do. It takes a lot to make me cry over physical pain, and while I may complain about discomfort, I can handle it for long periods of time before I will take something for it or, even more rarely, drag my butt to the doctor about it. I have survived collapsed lungs, and broken bones, and even a kidney stone or two, so I am fairly well versed in extreme pain.

That's why when I sneezed this morning, and I found myself staggering to keep off of all fours and literally dizzy with the pain of it, I decided it was time to call in the pros.

And what did my good friends at the doctor's office decide? I have malaria. Again. Only this time, it has decided to take on the form of pleurisy.

Foe those who've never experienced the joy, pleurisy, or pleural malaria, as I like to call it (What can I say? I'm obsessed with the malaria thing. No one reads this blog for medical advice, so I can exercise my poetic license.), is an inflammation of the lining of your lung and chest cavity whose main symptom is fairly excruciating pain every time you breathe in or out. Since regular respiration is necessary in order to remain an active participant in this life, that means quite a bit of discomfort with pretty much every breath until you can get the inflammation under control.

I get this every now and then because one of my lungs has a history of being...um...contrary (that's putting it mildly). All the changes in the weather, the recent week of dampness, colds going around, etc. tend to set me up for some lung issue or other, but this one would be up there on my list of least favorite, as it hurts and it makes me cranky and it makes me feel way older than I should. And this weekend, it has left me pretty much couch ridden, which means I am not on my way to see my new nephew, which is a huge disappointment.

So, I will be entertaining Agnes for a week or so. I'm hoping that perhaps she will get bored with me on the couch and decide to go visit someone else sooner rather than later. If anyone would like to volunteer to host her, I'd be delighted to send her your way. ;)