rectal exam Checking the rectum for growths
or other problems. A rectal exam can also
give information about the wall or lining of
resistance The ability of something to
defend itself against something that would
normally harm or kill it. Bacteria, biruses,
and parasites can become resistant to the
effects of certain medicines, especially
antibiotics and antiretrovirals, so these
treatments no longer fight disease.
scar A cut or wound that leaves the skin or
tissue rough and raised after it has healed.
scrotum The bag between a man’s legs that
holds his testicles or (‘balls’).
seizures See convulsion.
sepsis A serious infection that has spread into
shock A dangerous condition with severe
weakness or loss of consciousness, cold
sweats, and fast, weak pulse. It can be
caused by dehydration, heavy bleeding,
injury, burns, or a severe illness.
side effects When medicines or hormonal
methods cause changes in the body other
than those needed to fight disease or
spasticity Uncontrolled tightening or pulling
of muscles that make it difficult for a
person to control her movements. Spasticity
often occurs with cerebral palsy, spinal cord
injury, or brain damage.
stress The result of activities or events that
put pressure on a woman, causing tension
in her body and mind.
stroke A sudden loss of consciousness,
feeling, or ability to move caused by
bleeding or a clot inside the brain.
List of difficult words 375
subcutaneous injection An injection into the
fatty tissue under the skin, not into the muscle.
syringe An instrument used to inject
temperature The degree of heat of a person’s
thermometer An instrument used to measure
how hot a person’s body temperature is.
tissue The material making up the muscles,
fatty areas, and organs of the body.
toxemia A dangerous condition during
pregnancy, which can lead to convulsions.
vaccinations or vaccines Medicines that are
injected to give protection against specific
diseases like tetanus.
Velcro The brand name of a strong, fuzzy
plastic tape that sticks to itself. (The surface
of one piece of the tape has little plastic
hooks that catch onto the curly hairs on
the other piece of the tape.) Useful to use
instead of buttons, buckles, or laces on
clothes, braces and shoes—especially for
people with limited use of the hands.
weight-bearing Supporting the weight of
the body on a particular joint or limb. For
example, weight-bearing on the knee is
possible if the strength of the thigh muscle
is good, but not if it is poor.
x-rays Pictures of parts of the inside of the
body, such as the bones or the lungs, which
are created by rays sent through the body.
The body does not need to be cut open.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007