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Columns

Lessons from embedding with the Michigan militia

Details are still emerging about the men arrested on federal and state charges related to an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Federal prosecutions can take months and even years, so it will be quite some time before a full analysis of this situation becomes ...

Dear Annie: Sink or swim

Dear Annie: My sister-in-law of more than 40 years has again done something that I feel is disrespectful. She has taken one of my granddaughters under her wing. What’s wrong with that? A few years ago, our then-21-year-old granddaughter moved in with us to save money. We gave her three ...

Big tech acting like Dems’ Pravda

Big Tech is the biggest threat to democracy — and must be reined in by Congress — before our rights enshrined in the Constitution protecting free speech and freedom of the press are placed in the dustbins of history. On Oct. 14, Twitter and Facebook acted no different than Communist ...

Barrett’s ‘originalist; stance is the only one that makes sense

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, is an "originalist." Given that originalism is a term coined by lawyers, it shouldn't surprise anyone that there are many different flavors of originalism. But, as Barrett explained in her confirmation hearings, they all share the ...

Elections turn on a dime

Elections can turn on a dime and a lot more money than that. One of the issues in the current matchup between President Trump and challenger Joe Biden addresses the security of an election utilizing mail-in ballots. While the question has tweaked the passions of President Trump, who ...

One million avoided power outages … and counting

PPL Electric Utilities’ smart grid is proving its mettle and keeping the lights on There are a lot of truisms out there, like “the apple never falls far from the tree” or “patience is a virtue.” Here’s one from your electric utility: “The best power outage is the one that ...

Wanting to be happy

Dear Annie: I have been married for over 20 years to a woman who has been a good mom, but not a woman I am in love with. I care about her tremendously, but I have lost all interest in her romantically. She refuses to work to help with the rising cost of living and impending college tuition for ...

Can high blood pressure readings cause high blood pressure?

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband had a hemorrhagic stroke in 2014. He is 75 years old. His blood pressure in the past five days has gone from 123/64 with a heart rate of 50 to 142/77 with a heart rate of 45. It will be in the green for days and then read in 140s for a couple of ...

The prime directive

There is a multiplicity of social issues out there that affect us and our world each day. These issues flood the media and we are constantly bombarded with them each day ... issues like healthcare, economy, jobs, foreign policy, COVID, quarantine restrictions, education, religious freedom, ...

Dear Annie: Lost intimacy

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married coming on 19 years. We have two kids. Since we had children, she never seems to want to be intimate with me — so much so that she went to her general doctor for some help. That was three years ago. She finally figured things out and determined ...

Doctor and endocrinologist disagree on metformin dose

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and prescribed 1,500 mg of metformin. My A1C is now 6.0, although even when it was 5.8, my endocrinologist kept the same dosage. My primary care physician suggested I cut the dosage down to 1,000 mg, but my ...

Applause, Applause!

The UPMC nurses and staff who give flu shots in the parking lot outside their Bellefonte Avenue office deserve a big round of APPLAUSE. We arrived on a cold, rainy morning but were met with smiles and professionalism from the nurses and staff who were working under a small canopy. They quickly ...

Dear Annie: Mother of the Groom — on Zoom

Dear Annie: My son and his fiancee are getting married next month at the courthouse in the city where they live. Due to their feelings about COVID-19 and the travel involved (they live in another state), family is not invited and they will only have their two attendants. They plan on having ...

Searching for a cause of mystery discharge

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: Back in late 2014, I noticed a dampness in my underwear — no coloration, only dampness. I consulted a gastroenterologist about a possible anal discharge. After obtaining a history, we took some conservative approaches to deal with this, including ...

Self-awareness helpful during COVID-19

In a conversation with a physician, I learned that there are more COVID cases in the White House than in all New Zealand. I don’t know if that is true, but close is embarrassing enough. As a result, New Zealand is not really shut down. We could attribute this to their totalitarian ...

Dear Annie: Celebrating while being mindful of others’ struggles

Dear Annie: After years of fiscal discipline, my wife and I have paid off our mortgage. We contemplated having a mortgage-burning party to celebrate but were advised this would be in poor taste and akin to bragging. While we are justifiably proud, we don’t wish to offend anyone. What is your ...

Nuclear stress test is better diagnostic option for heart disease

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 64-year-old woman with a family history of heart disease. Both of my parents had heart attacks and open-heart surgery. At ages 50, 55 and 60, I experienced what I thought were signs of a heart attack. With each experience, I ended up in the hospital ...

Addicted to love

Dear Annie: I am depressed and deeply heartbroken over the final breakup with a man whom I have loved for eight years. I went to endless therapy and even went to a wellness center in Germany to help me get over him. Nothing has worked. Here’s the backstory. “Steve” has hurt me deeply ...

Trigger finger doesn’t get better on its own

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: My left thumb has been “clicking” and locking in position for the past five months. Moving it from one position (straight) to another position (bent) can be done with the help of my other hand. Trying to move it without the other hand’s assistance ...