2020欧洲杯时间

Chapters 15–24

In this memoir, journalist Susannah Cahalan recounts her battle with a mysterious and terrifying neurological illness at the age of 24.

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. stead
    the place properly occupied or served by another
    When I was unable to answer questions, my mother, clutching her folder full of documents, answered in my stead.
  2. mercurial
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    I was acting even more mercurial than in recent days. Things seemed to be going downhill fast.
  3. labile
    liable to change
    Immediately she noticed that I was “ labile,” meaning prone to mood swings, and “tangential,” meaning that I skipped from topic to topic without clear transitions.
  4. tangential
    of superficial relevance if any
    Immediately she noticed that I was “labile,” meaning prone to mood swings, and “ tangential,” meaning that I skipped from topic to topic without clear transitions.
  5. lesion
    an injury to living tissue
    For years, psychiatrists believed this syndrome was an outgrowth of schizophrenia or other types of mental illnesses, but more recently, doctors have also ascribed it to neurobiological causes, including brain lesions.
  6. caustic
    harsh or corrosive in tone
    “The hospital,” I answered, caustically.
  7. forgo
    do without or cease to hold or adhere to
    It was important for her to provide a visual picture to match the psychological one, because my rumpled, suggestive appearance could be a sign of mania: those on a high often forgo grooming and exhibit less impulse control, engaging in destructive acts...
  8. conflate
    mix together different elements
    Many patients conflate DID with other types of mental illnesses, like schizophrenia.
  9. pert
    characterized by a lightly saucy or impudent quality
    All the wrinkles on her face smooth out, her eyes grow pert and oblong, her cheeks gain baby fat, and her hair turns a deep chestnut brown.
  10. jargon
    technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject
    Because of his fondness for beat generation writers and his cerebral way of communicating abstract medical jargon, a colleague described him as a “walking beatnik dictionary.”
  11. apathy
    an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
    To earn such a diagnosis, a patient has to experience two or more of the following: positive symptoms, like delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech, and negative symptoms, such as mutism or general apathy.
  12. vigil
    a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe
    Since I wouldn’t let him in the room, still convinced he’d murdered Giselle, he decided to hold his vigil out in the hall and read a book.
  13. precarious
    not secure; beset with difficulties
    Although many of these findings were kept from my family and me, it was clear that my place on the epilepsy floor was becoming more and more precarious, just as the nurse had warned my father, both because my seizures seemed to have stopped and because I was such a difficult patient.
  14. autoimmune
    of a condition in which a body attacks its own cells
    The fourth day, doctors number six, seven, eight, and nine joined the team: an infectious disease specialist who reminded my dad of his uncle Jimmy, who had earned the Purple Heart after storming the beaches of Normandy in World War II; an older, gray-haired rheumatologist; a soft-spoken autoimmune specialist; and an internist, Jeffrey Friedman, a spritely man in his early fifties who, despite the severity of the situation, exuded a natural optimism.
  15. exude
    make apparent by one's mood or behavior
    The fourth day, doctors number six, seven, eight, and nine joined the team: an infectious disease specialist who reminded my dad of his uncle Jimmy, who had earned the Purple Heart after storming the beaches of Normandy in World War II; an older, gray-haired rheumatologist; a soft-spoken autoimmune specialist; and an internist, Jeffrey Friedman, a spritely man in his early fifties who, despite the severity of the situation, exuded a natural optimism.
  16. exhortation
    a communication intended to urge or persuade to take action
    Still, he couldn’t help but hear the woman out, especially since my own paranoid ravings seemed confirmed by her exhortations.
  17. invocation
    the act of appealing for help
    “I’m dying in here. This place is killing me. Please let me leave.” These invocations deeply pained my father.
  18. disposition
    your usual mood
    He took it in stride, maintaining an extraordinarily cheery disposition, and joked with me about the Yankees and the New York Post, his favorite newspaper.
  19. fateful
    having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences
    After that fateful accident, H.M. experienced clusters of seizures that increased in intensity until, by his twenty-seventh birthday in 1953, his doctor had decided to remove the bit of brain tissue that seemed to be the focus of his seizures: the hippocampus.
  20. declarative
    relating to an explicit statement or announcement
    (The movie Memento is modeled after H.M.) His case also established the existence of two different types of memory: declarative (places, names, objects, facts, and events) and procedural (those learned as a habit, like tying shoes or riding a bike).
  21. apt
    being of striking pertinence
    His wife, Deborah, wrote a book about his case, aptly titled Forever Today.
  22. prolific
    intellectually productive
    A prolific writer himself, Wearing kept lengthy diaries.
  23. unassuming
    not arrogant
    There in the room with my mom and Stephen, she seemed immediately at home, quiet, unassuming, and supportive.
  24. pensive
    deeply or seriously thoughtful
    My mother, dressed in a Max Mara suit for work, sits nearby, looking pensively out the window.
  25. intrinsic
    situated within the organ or body part on which it acts
    A bulging area nearby, the pons, plays an important role in the control of facial expressions, so it made sense that my symptoms might be coming from this area. Still, it’s hard to lay blame. Many areas of the brain are also involved with these kinds of intrinsic functions.
  26. causal
    involving an entity that produces an effect
    It’s often difficult to locate one area and make a causal connection to basic functions or behavior.
  27. rebuff
    a deliberate discourteous act
    “I don’t know what to say. It’s no longer my case,” he replied. He turned and walked briskly away. She suddenly felt very alone. There had been many low points throughout my illness, but this rebuff was the lowest.
  28. intravenous
    within or by means of a vein
    The other possibility was that it was some sort of autoimmune response, which he could treat with an experimental immunotherapy that he had tried successfully on another patient with brain inflammation; the treatment included steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and plasma exchange.
  29. antibody
    a protein that produces an immune response
    Each of those ordinary-looking bags contained the healthy antibodies of over a thousand blood donors and cost upwards of $20,000 per infusion.
  30. tourniquet
    a bandage that stops the flow of blood by applying pressure
    One thousand tourniquets, one thousand nurses, one thousand veins, one thousand blood-sugar regulating cookies, all just to help one patient.
  31. mobilize
    make ready for action or use
    If the innate system can’t eradicate the pathogen, the next defense stage is the “adaptive response,” which tailors itself to the specific intruder, using an arsenal of white blood cells and antibodies. This takes much longer to mobilize than the innate response, ten days versus the innate system’s minutes or hours.
  32. latency
    time that elapses between a stimulus and the response to it
    He wrote the following in his progress note:
    Some sleep problems overnight and increased speech latency, the latter a concern because it may be an initial catatonic sign.
  33. catatonic
    characterized by unresponsiveness or lack of movement
    He wrote the following in his progress note:
    Some sleep problems overnight and increased speech latency, the latter a concern because it may be an initial catatonic sign.
  34. mnemonic
    a device used to aid recall
    The mnemonic that doctors use to diagnose catatonia is WIRED ’N MIRED:
    • Waxy flexibility/catalepsy (muscular rigidity and fixedness of posture)
  35. lobotomy
    surgery on nerves to and from the frontal lobe of the brain
    Catatonia is more akin to the results of a botched lobotomy than a persistent vegetative state because the person is technically still active.
Created on April 15, 2020 (updated April 15, 2020)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, sheffieldwind.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.