The Star-Herald

I Have That…

Our vivid imaginations and a profound appreciation for drama tend to embellish an innocuous observation beyond all recognition.  In the medical field, this trait is common enough to be identified by name:  First Year Medical Student Syndrome.  

Classes, cadavers, and way too much coffee push neophyte med students to succumb in droves.  By the end of the first semester, a slight cough is a manifestation of rampant tuberculosis and minor swelling in the lower legs from hours and hours sitting in the library is a sure sign of elephantiasis.  Under the harsh light of the bathroom medicine cabinet in the wee hours of yet another all-nighter,  Baby Docs examine a faint red pimple on their tired, sallow faces, comparing their personal incipient decrepitude to symptoms of a rare parasitic infection found in some third-world, African country.  They read the textbook description of skin eruptions, pustules and general malaise resulting from worm infiltration of the bloodstream through small breaks in the skin and say to themselves, “I have that.”  

Most of us manage to avoid stress-induced hypochondria and navigate our daily lives with few concerns about undiagnosed infections.  Bumps and bruises, skinned-up knuckles, or an occasional sunburn are just part of life. Phantom pain is dismissed as the net result of overly ambitious yard work.  Enthusiastic berry picking may cause some thistle rash, but also jars of preserves to be slathered on toast next January, a fair trade for most of us.  

On the other hand, asthma, allergies, and earaches make life harder than what seems necessary. Creaking, overworked joints may restrict our pleasure, if not our participation, in daily life.  Some symptoms of chronology seem downright mean.

Who you gonna’ call?  Not Ghostbusters, but almost as good.  Six generations of focused investigation of the natural apothecary are available right at the Presque Isle Farmers Market in the person of Natalia Bragg, who brings her own products from Knot-II-Bragg Farm in Wade. She is knowledgeable and sympathetic, happy to visit with you, and full of suggestions and anecdotal information.  

Visit the PI Farmers Market in the Aroostook Centre Mall parking lot on Saturday mornings.

The Presque Isle Farmer’s market’s chair/president for the remainder of the season is Deena Albert-Parks of Chops Ahoy farm in Woodland. For information about participating or visiting the market, contact her at

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