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Columns

That line in the sand

For those of my readers who suffer from degenerative arthritis, they know all about the pain we suffer at times. Indeed, it can be a constant companion. A year ago, I was struggling to get my work completed when I found out that errant vertebrates were pushing on my vulnerable spinal ...

Sen. Toomey speaks truth

One of the reasons I used to be Republican is that I thought of the GOP as the party of brass tacks. While Democrats had wild and ambitious ideas about how the world should be, Republicans always struck me as the ones who took what the world gave them and made the most of it. Now, I ...

Daughter driving drives Mom crazy

Dear Annie: My daughter, “Emily,” has been dating “Ben” for almost two years. Ben is a great guy, aside from one issue that’s been bugging me: He refuses to drive anywhere and instead has my daughter drive him. He says it’s because a few years ago he was in a car accident and has ...

Raynaud’s features an aggressive response to cold extremities

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: Sixty years ago, I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s syndrome by my doctor. I started taking nifedipine during winter months, but not during the summer. After moving to Colorado, I took the medication year-round because the weather here was often cool in the ...

A Marx for Republicans

I probably should not admit this, but a portion of me has enjoyed the last ten years of social media melt down and Trump administration. It was like all the prophesies of my old sociology professors came true. One professor from the 90s refused a computer because of what he saw coming. ...

The last line of defense against executive overreach in Pa.

In the face of an emerging crisis, swift and extraordinary action can be warranted. This was certainly true last March, when Gov. Tom Wolf-confronting a deadly, mysterious virus-issued a disaster declaration that granted him emergency powers. There was little time to debate details and build ...

How we can fix this great country starting with just a few steps

It's been obvious for quite a while that our country is coming apart at the seams. People on all sides are upset, and they want to punish their political opponents. We aren't able to disagree in a productive way. We demonize one another; we are too partisan; and we are definitely too ...

Video conferencing tips

Dear Annie: Throughout the pandemic, I’ve noted some things that make for a successful Zoom or FaceTime call. Perhaps these suggestions will be of use to your readers. 1. Look at yourself on your screen. What you see is what others will see. 2. Do not sit with a window or other bright ...

Fecal immune test can be a sensitive colon cancer detector

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 74-year-old male, and I recently received a negative result from my mail-in fecal test. I have been on an every-five-years colonoscopy cycle for the past 20 years (noncancerous polyps were always found) and since my colorectal surgeon recently ...

Blessed are the health care workers

A Blessing for Health Care Workers in Time of Pandemic: Blessed are the ones who cannot be isolated. Blessed are all the healthcare workers. Blessed are the hands that are raw from scrubbing and sanitizing, and the hands for healing, comforting, and supporting. Blessed are the shoulders ...

Dear Annie: The need for personal responsibility

Dear Annie: This letter is a message to “Fed Up,” the reader whose husband dotes on their daughters. She needs to know that her husband, as well-meaning as he is, is NOT doing your daughters any favors. I know this all too well by example. My mother never learned to be independent. From her ...

Chronic cough needs to be investigated for a cause

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: You once wrote a column on chronic cough and suggested a medication that might be useful in treating this. Would you please remind me of the drug name? I have an elderly mother who suffers daily with this affliction. She can no longer have a conversation ...

We need a massive vaccine effort

Americans are stressing out over how long they'll have to endure isolation, closed businesses and fear of COVID-19. It all hinges on getting vaccinated. Yet, only one-third of doses shipped to the states are actually making it into people's arms so far. The public hears the wait will ...

Eroded trust

Dear Annie: My fiance and I want to go back to the way we were, but it is more of a struggle for me than for him. We are planning to get an apartment together, but it is hard for me to be around him without getting upset. I have been going through a lot lately, and finding out that my fiance ...

How long after shingles can a person get vaccinated?

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 81 years old and was diagnosed with shingles at the end of October 2020. After taking famciclovir, I am healing, but still have a scaly rash and shooting pains on the right side of my head where the shingles occurred. I was told that the pain could ...

Reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy

As our nation prepares to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18, I can’t help but notice how much Dr. King’s dream remains relevant to the work we do at Geisinger. Dr. King dedicated his life to the peaceful service and betterment of others, just like we at Geisinger do every day ...

Vaccine delays reveal supply chain issues, worker shortage

After the initial excitement following the authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccines, a harsh reality set in. People who want a vaccine can’t get it, some counties have more than others and older people are camping out for it the way they once might have for tickets to a Bruce ...

Dear Annie: Honoring King’s legacy

Dear Readers: Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please enjoy the below excerpt from one of the most important speeches in history. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are ...

When the source of pain is not where you think it is

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 79-year-old woman in reasonably good health. I am very active and do everything I can for my health. Whenever I feel a cold coming on (which is rare), I have pain on the left side of my throat when I swallow and get a stabbing pain in my head every ...

Applause, applause!

Each Saturday, The Express community newspaper highlights people, groups and activities our readers deem worthy of applause. THANK YOU, Todd, who lives on Pine Mountain Road, for being such a wonderful neighbor and plowing our driveway recently. It’s great to know that there are such ...