Black Cohosh

is not recommended for people taking Tamoxifen or people who are susceptible to breast cancer. That doesn't sound right. Can you have a tendency toward cancer? Mebbe so. But the physician's asst. who works with the oncologist suggested gabapentin , which seems like the Swiss army knife of prescription drugs: it does everything. Slices, dices, files your fingernails, cures bipolar and epilepsy, alleviates pain, helps with numbness (which is why I'd taken it before, after Taxol), shines your shoes and washes your dishes. Which may be why the company that makes it was sued fby the Dept. of Justice for marketing it as a cure-all. When I took it before, I got cotton mouth, which I don't have. Yet.

I was spooked by the Severe Yoga Incident and didn't go back to the park district on Thursday to work out. I got back on the horse on Friday and went to the park district's dingy little gym and treadmilled and did weights. For a while in autumn an old guy with a foreign accent would sit on the seat of the leg-strengthening machine, reading the Sun-Times and asking what certain words meant. I haven't seen him for a while. A lot of people come in with their Ipods inserted and don't say anything to anybody.

Meanwhile, Iowa is under water. So difficult to believe. And sad.