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English for PTA


The words in the title are usually attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. Whether Churchill actually said them or not, no sporting activity should be considered if one is not feeling well. If you are feeling tired and lacking in energy, it’s most certainly your body telling you to slow down.

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 Amazingly, one commonly held misconception is that by forcing the body to the limit, it is possible to “kill” things like the common cold or flu. This is, of course, complete nonsense!

Male pharmacy customer: Hello. Could I have a packet of paracetamol, please?
PTA:Certainly, which size, 10 or 20?

I think 10 should do it. I have only a slightly raised temperature, and my joints aren’t aching that much. You see, I need to be fit for the race tomorrow.
Oh! Really! What type of race is it? Are you driving?

Oh no, not at all. In fact, I’m taking part in a charity marathon. We’re raising funds for sick children.
That is nice, but do you think it’s a good idea to run a marathon, or take part in any race for that matter?

Why? I mean, lots of people are participating and it’s for a good cause.
What I meant was, if you are not feeling well, do you think that you should participate. It can be dangerous you know.

In what way can a marathon be dangerous, aside from the number of people running?
It’s not the marathon that’s dangerous taking part is a danger to your health especially when you have a cold or possibly the flu.

In what way is it dangerous?
Have you ever heard of myocarditis?

Well the “carditis” part sounds as if it’s something to do with the heart. Doesn’t it?
Correct! The myocardium is the medical term for the muscular tissue of the heart and myocarditis is an inflammation of this muscle.

I think it’s highly unlikely that I have myocarditis!
Not at present, but the chances increase if you exert yourself like during a marathon run instead of resting and not doing anything strenuous as long as you have these flu-like symptoms.

I wasn’t aware of that!
Most cases of myocarditis are as a result of a viral infection. The problem with myocarditis is that its symptoms are no different from typical flu symptoms.

What are the symptoms?
Fatigue, shortness of breath and fever.

Wow! I have some of those symptoms already! I think I may cancel my participation in the run! You are right, it’s just too dangerous!
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have myocarditis! But you might consider getting a full medical check-up, including a blood count!

I’ll think about it! Thank you.
You’re welcome!

lacking fehlend, mangelnd
commonly held misconception weit verbreiteter Irrtum
common cold Erkältung, grippaler Infekt
slightly raised leicht erhöht
joints Gelenke
charity marathon Wohltätigkeitsmarathon
funds Gelder, Mittel
myocarditis Herzmuskelentzündung
myocardium Herzmuskel
tissue Gewebe
inflammation Entzündung
highly unlikely höchst unwahrscheinlich
exert anstrengen
strenuous anstrengend
fatigue Abgeschlagenheit
shortness of breath Kurzatmigkeit
blood count Blutbild

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 09/13 auf Seite 66.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker