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June 14, 2013
 

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PAGE 2B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 14, 2013 By Amy Bromberg NEW YORK (JTA)--I slept soundly through the thump, then creak of footsteps, as my 18-month old son climbed out of his crib and ran to our room. He clawed his way up the queen-sized mattress to nurse. I turned toward my baby's soft, warm body and fell back asleep as he sipped, shifting between our three older children, who'd also woken up from bad dreams and found solace in our bed. Getting kicked in the ribs by four sets of tiny limbs, my husband, Dan, escaped to the couch, as he had for the last nine years that I allowed them to sleep with us. "It's chutzpah. I can't live withoutsleep," Dan mumbled. Dan's parents had never let him bunk with them, except once during a blackout. He could never understand the emotional comfort of a family bed or the intuition of a selfless Jewish mother. The next morning he left for work frazzled, without saying goodbye, again. Although I didn't grow up religious, since I became Orthodox and married Dan at age 25--donning a long blond wig and wearing mod- est clothes--I vowed to be the perfect Jewish mother, doing everything for my chil- dren. Ten years and four kids later, my life felt like a race I could never win. Rushing the kids to school, prepar- ing supper and cleaning up left little time to sh~ower, Artistico/Shutterstock let alone find intimate time pick up the baby the minute with Dan. he cries," he said one Shabbat After my mother divorced afternoon. "Let him learn to my father when I was 2, she soothe himself." gave me the only bedroom in "How can I ignore my chil- the apartment. When I had dren's suffering?' I defended, nightmares, she'd let me lie and went to pick up the baby nexttoher, andI'dmeasuremy before our neighbors arrived breathing to mimic hers. But for lunch. The more Dan when she remarried six years criticized, the less I listened. later, I was no longer allowed I searched for faults in Dan to climb in. to even the balance sheet Turning away the kids at of domestic transgressions. night, I feared, could make There were few. Dan had made them feel abandoned like I brunch every Sunday of our had as a little girl. I worried 10-year marriage. if I made them "cry it out," I "Can't you put the ketchup would damage them--with away when you're done with all the neighbors watching, it?" I glared as he slid the All the other mothers in my offending bottle back in the Orthodox Brooklyn enclave, fridge. with far more children than "The garbage," I said, point- my four, had no problemswith ing at the stainless steel bin these issues, overflowing with half-eaten Yet Dan persisted. "Don't hot dogs. I wanted the problem to I couldn't believe a religious poundedourdoorsohardthey be him. But when I recently motherwouldagreetoarigid, brokethelockandloosenedthe saw a picture of myself, I saw cold routine, handle. I was afraid the neigh- it was me: I didn't recognize "Children don't belong bors with whom we shared a the chubby blond figure in the in their parents' room," she wall would wake up from the photo. Aweak smile exposed a confirmed in a balanced, firm midnight wailing as my kids double chin, a cream-colored tone. I decided that I wanted shrieked in unison, "Let me poncho blurring the image to be like her rather than a in," for two weeks in a row. into a snowy mass. I hadn't washed-up sacrifice on the Yet we stuck to our plan. beensleepingandmybodystill altar of motherhood. When I heard whines in the looked pregnant nearly two "What about Scrabble?" hall, I schlepped the kids back years later. The candid photo she asked, to their room, promising to caught the dark circles under "Scrabble?" I repeated. For check on them later. Tempted myeyesandavacantstarethat what? I hated board games, to give in, I texted Dr. C for makeup couldn't hide. "I recommend the Travelmoralsupport, receivingcom- I didn't want to be a fat, Edition," she said. "Play it on pliments from Dan. cranky housewife who didn't date night." DanandIglanced As the kids settled into their take care of herself, eating her sideways at each other,own quarters over the next few children's leftovers and whit- Aweek later the box arrived weeks, they woke up rested, tling down her husband's ego. with the first toy we'd bought calmer. It was unattractive and sad. for ourselves. Our 6-year-old "Will you tuck me in?" my My best friend watched me ripped it open and her sister oldest daughter asked, bravely pick up my baby at the littlest went to put the game on the reading herself to sleep after whimper and walk out of my shelf. When I said it was for our five-minute special time. house covered in spit-up. She Mommy and Daddy, she corn- Dan went into comfort our suggestedImightbenefitfrom plained, "Why do you need a sweet son in the middle of parenting advice, game?" the night to help the little guy Dan and I arrived in Dr. Lying in bed with the small give up nursing. I felt more C's nearby Brooklyn base- zippered pouch full of letters, energeticalldayaftersleeping ment office ready to learn wemadeupourownrules:only a fulleighthours. child-rearing tricks. She was words to express love, words to When my husband saw Orthodoxlikeusanddressedin describe each other and our that our room was private, acrisp, black skirt and flowing fantasies. Halfway through his attitude changed. "You teal cardigan. But as soon as the game, we zipped up the wanna get the game?" he said we admitted our co-sleeping black vinyl cover and turned as we trudged upstairs hold- arrangements, she wanted to the lights down to cuddle. It ing hands. know why we did it. was a start. Dan and I learned to spend "The kids are scared at Thenextday, wehadafamily entire nights beside each night, so I let them into our meeting, other. Bottles of red wine and room. Everyone does," I said. "Fromnowon, youwon'tbe vanilla candles replaced scat- My cheeks felt hot. allowed in our room without teredlaundryandpilesofpaper "I get no rest," Dan told the knocking first," Dan said. I on the nightstand. therapist, nodded. It was drastic, but Eventually we didn't even "Your bedroom needs to be therewasnoway tochangethis need Scrabble tosay I loveyou. private," she said. gradually. The oldest doodled Amy Bromberg, ajournal- I was shocked. That's what a picture but did not protest, ist living in New York City, is Danhadbeensayingforyears. But after bedtime, theyworking on a memoir r TEL AVIV--Widely avail- memory impairment. Now a ders, including Parkinson's from manufacturing healthy ableinpharmaciesandhealth team headed by prof. Gil Ast disease and Familial Dysau- IKAP proteins--which likely stores, phosphatidylserine is and Dr. Ron Bochner of Tel tonomia (FD). have a hand in cell migration a natural food supplement Aviv University's Department In FD, a rare genetic disor- and aiding connections be- produced from beef, oysters, of HumanMolecularGenetics der that impacts the nervous tween nerves--leadingtothe and soy. Proven to improve has discovered that the same system and appears almost earlydegenerationofneurons. cognition and slow memory supplement improves theexclusively in the Ashkenazi When the supplement was loss, it's a popular treatment functioning ofgenes involved Jewish population, a genetic applied to cells taken from FD for older people experiencing in degenerative brain disor- mutation prevents the brain patients, the gene function of Mid-Florida Jeffrey Beattie, D.M.D. Bob Garfinkel, D.M.D. Charles McNamara, D.M.D. Louis Payor, D.D.S. Wisdom Teeth Sedation Dental Implants Pathology Cometic & Reconstructive Jaw Surgery Winter Park (407) 644-0224 Longwood (407) 774-3399 Orlando (407) 843-1670 improved and an elevation in humans. in the level of IKAP protein The mice received the was observed, reports Ast. supplement orally, every two These results were replicated days for a period of three inasecondexperimentwhich months. Researchers then involved administering the conducted extensive genetic supplement orally to mouse testing to assess the results populations with FD. of the treatment. "We found The findings, which have a significant increase of the been published in the journal protein in all the tissues of the Human Molecular Genetics, body," reports Ast, including are very encouraging, says an eight-fold increase in the Ast. "That we see such an ef- liver and 1.5-fold increase in fect on the brain--the most the brain. "While the food importantorganinrelationto supplement does not manu- this disease--shows that the facture new nerve cells, it supplement canpassthrough probably delays the death of the blood-brain barrier even existing ones," he adds. when administered orally, Thatthesupplementisable and accumulate in sufficient to improve conditions in the amounts in the brain." brain, evenwhen given orally, Slowing the death of nerve is a significant finding, notes cells Ast. Most medications enter Already approved for use the body through the blood as a supplement by the FDA, stream, but are incapable of phosphatidylserine contains breaking through the bar- a molecule essential for rier between the blood and transmitting signals between the brain. nerve cells in the brain. Ast In addition, the researchers and his fellow researchers say the supplement's positive decided to test whether the effects extend beyond the same chemical, which is natu- production of IKAP. Not only rally synthesized in the body didphosphatidylserineimpact and known to boost memory the gene associated with FD, capability, could impact the but it also altered the level of genetic mutation that leads a total of 2400 other genes-- to FD. hundreds of which have been Researchers applied a sup- connected to Parkinson's plement derived from oys- disease in previous studies. ters, provided by the Israeli The researchers believe company Enzymotec, to cells thatthesupplementmayhave collected from FD patients, a beneficial impact on a num- Noticingarobusteffectonthe ber of degenerative diseases gene, including a jump in the of the brain, concludes Ast, production of healthy IKAP including a major potential proteins, they then tested the for the development of new same supplement on mouse medications that would help models of FD, engineered tens of millions of people with the same genetic muta- worldwide suffering from tion that causes the disease these devastating diseases.