EPISODE 23
LEVEL B2

 

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

 

NAMES OF ILLNESSES

 

Julia and Timothy are sitting in Livia’s office, waiting for her to finish work. Livia is a GP and her office is full of medical posters, books and exhibits, which Timothy is studying with interest.
„Did you know that you can get diabetes if you are overweight?” Timothy shares a piece of newly-acquired knowledge with Julia.
„You mean this disease in which the body cannot control the level of sugar in the blood?”
„That’s right. And did you know that hepatitis, this serious disease of the liver, comes in three types; A, B and C?”
„I did know that, actually. But you know what? It is not these big diseases I am most afraid of. What worries me most are everyday things like asthma, or all the contagious diseases that we are supposed to get as kids, such as chickenpox, when you get a fever and small red spots on your skin, or mumps – I still remember how painful it was when my neck swelled and got all big and was sooooo painful! Or rubella – it’s a good thing I had it as a child because I heard that if you get it when you are pregnant, it can damage your baby… Or you know, things like constipation when I can’t go to the toilet, or diarrhea when I have to go every five minutes, or…”
„I get the idea,” interrupts Timothy, laughing.
„And there are things like AIDS or cancer… I hope Livia can deal with that. If she hadn’t wanted to deal with it, she wouldn’t have chosen this job – right?”
„Right!” says Livia, walking into the room. „I’m ready, we can go. And you know what? If I didn’t enjoy my job, I would quit. But I like being a doctor. It is really rewarding.”

More contexts for the new words:

  • I love being around Marcy. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. (= it spreads quickly to other people)
  • STDs are more and more common among young people. (= sexually transmitted diseases, i.e. diseases that people become infected with during sexual activity)
  • Oh, so you are a Cancer ? So am I! (= the sign of the zodiac, relating to the period from 22 June to 22 July and represented by a crab)

 

 

EXERCISE 1

Complete the table with the English equivalents of the Polish names of illnesses. Try to do it without looking at the text.

 

  

 

1. ……………………………………

 

świnka

 

2. ……………………………………

 

różyczka

 

3. ……………………………………

 

rak

 

4. ……………………………………

 

cukrzyca

 

5. ……………………………………

 

zapalenie wątroby

 

6. ……………………………………

 

zatwardzenie

 

7. ……………………………………

 

biegunka

 

8. ……………………………………

 

ospa wietrzna

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Answer the questions, using the names of illnesses you have learnt.

 

  1. Which of the diseases have you had?
  2. Which of them do you think is the most serious?
  3. Which of them have the most difficult treatment?

 

ENGLISH IN USE 

 

If I didn’t enjoy my job, I would quit.
If she hadn’t wanted to deal with it, she wouldn’t have chosen this job.

Look at the sentences above. Do they talk about reality? No. The first one is about Livia not enjoying her job – but this is not true, because she likes her job. Similarly, the second one talks about Livia not choosing the doctor’s job; however, we know that she did choose it, so it is not true either. Sentences like this are called unreal conditionals – they talk about things which we only speculate about, but which do not take place in actual reality.

There is one important difference between these two sentences. The first one talks about PRESENT situation – Livia enjoys being a doctor now. Here are more examples:
I would go to Paris if I could take a week off.
If you helped me with this report, I would finish it faster.

Sentences like this are often called „2nd conditional.” Our second example sentence talks about the PAST – Livia chose her job some time ago. This is why we use different tenses and structures when talking about it. Here are some more sentences of this type:
If I had been a better student at school, I would have got better grades.
I wouldn’t have forgotten to call you yesterday if I hadn’t been so busy.

 

They are the “3rd conditional.”

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

A/ How are you feeling?

B/ Terrible! I’m AS SICK AS A DOG!

If you’re as sick as a dog, you’re very sick.

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

 

  1. If a part of your body gets bigger and rounder because of injury or illness, it SWELLS UP.

 

His injured face was swelling up.

It was obvious she had broken her finger, because it immediately started to swell up.

 

  1. Another expression for vomiting is to THROW UP.

 

I feel terrible – I’ve been throwing up all night!

Jack threw up his breakfast all over the back seat of the car.

 

 

 

EXERCISE 3

What advice would you give to these people?

 

  1. I’ve been throwing up all night.
  2. My knee has swollen up.
  3. I’m as sick as a dog.

 

NEWS

 

 

HYPOCHONDRIACS

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to get an appointment at the doctor’s? One reason for the waiting lines being so long is the ever-increasing number of hypochondriacs. These are people who think themselves as sick as a dog, and believe they have contracted all the possible ailments. No matter how minute the symptoms are or how tiny a pain is, they are sure to consult a doctor on the issue. Not infrequently, this will result in – otherwise funny – contradictions, for they might claim to be suffering from constipation and diarrhea simultaneously, or ardently believe that their runny nose is due to asthma, flu, allergy, cancer, and diabetes at the same time. A possible explanation for their constant complaints is that they simply crave attention. As they have no family or friends to talk to, they go to their GP to vent their anxieties and simply socialize. So, next time you meet a hypochondriac, just talk to them, and maybe you will save some doctor’s time.

 

 

GLOSSARY

to contract an illness – to catch an illness

an ailment – an illness

minute, tiny – very small

ardently – strongly

to crave – to desire

to vent – to release

 

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES 

 

Ex.1

  1. mumps
  2. rubella
  3. cancer
  4. diabetes
  5. hepatitis
  6. constipation
  7. diarrhea
  8. chickenpox

 

Ex.2

  1. dexterous
  2. screen
  3. overdo

 

Ex.3

  1. Drink some mint tea.
  2. Put some ice on it.
  3. Go to a doctor.

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