Boys, Family, Family Issues, Fatherhood, Parenting, Well-being

Tuberous Sclerosis: A Father’s Journey

As the father of a healthy, exuberant 3-year old, Mike Levinstein was looking forward to the birth of his second child. The arrival of Eitan meant a brother for older sibling Jonah, and Mike and his wife Leah settled into the routine of raising their two boys.

All children develop differently, so it wasn’t until Eitan was about a year old that Mike realized something was off. As Eitan started crawling and pulling himself up, the inevitable happened. Eitan fell, just like other kids. But what wasn’t like other kids was the dazed look on his face that seemed to read, How did I get on the floor? Mike also noticed that Eitan would go limp while he was carrying him, almost like a marionette that needed strings to hold him up. And, at times, when Mike and Leah tried to make eye contact with him, Eitan wouldn’t look back for about 10-15 seconds and these symptoms began happening more often.

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chronic fatigue, Well-being

The iPhone 6 Is Your Best Bet for Restful Sleep

A smartphone’s screen is terrible for your natural sleep cycle, but the iPhone 6 might still be the best sleep aid you ever buy.

A study published in the journal for Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes found that not only does a phone’s screen wreck your sleep late at night, but it can also leave you feeling depleted in the morning. That’s enough to put your phone away hours before hitting the sack, but the new iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus could also be your greatest ally in getting a full eight hours rest.tamh - iphone6 helps sleep

There are dozens of apps on Apple’s App Store that help us track, analyze and even fix our sleep patterns. Here are a few to grab if you’re having trouble getting the right amount of shuteye:

FitBit

This solution is part wearable tech and part smartphone app. The beauty of this one is that you can hide the phone away house before sleepy time and still know exactly how well you’re resting. The FitBit (usually $99) is worn on the wrist and tracks your movements while you sleep. If you’re the type to toss and turn, a graph on the iPhone FitBit app will tell you if and when you were restless throughout the night. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The FitBit also tracks your steps during the day to help you keep in shape (which in turn, leads to better sleep).

Sleep Cycle

So you don’t want to spend $99 on a wrist band to track your sleep. How does 99 cents sound? The Sleep Cycle for iPhone costs just a buck and can analyze your sleep patterns and even wake you up when your sleep is at its lightest. It’s not fun to hear that alarm go off when we’re in our deepest sleep. It does take a little maneuvering. First, open the app and place your phone at the corner of your bed, by your pillow, between the mattress fitted sheet. Any movement you make throughout the night will be picked up by the iPhone’s accelerometer and recorded in the morning.

Sunriser

Do you like to wake up when the sun rises? Sunriser knows the exact time of sunrise in your area each day and can be set to wake you up the moment the sun peaks over the horizon for a healthy, natural awakening. But if sunrise isn’t your jive, the time is adjustable to set off the alarm before or after the sun comes up. The Sunriser app is free.

Noisli

Sleep is just as much about sound as it is about sight, and the proper ambient noise can knock you right out. Remember the last time you fell asleep during a rainstorm? You probably slumbered like a baby. Noisli is a beautifully designed app built with several ambient noises like rain, wind, leaves and even a coffee shop (but that’s probably more for work productivity). And since you likely don’t want the sweet rain drops to run all night, you can set the noise to turn off after several hours when you’re already deep in your sleep. Not a bad deal for its price of $1.99.

Education, Family, Fatherhood, Health, Masculinity

March Madness Means Tying Tubes

The case of the month is an actual patient of The Turek Clinic

Traditionally, March Madness referred to the breeding season of the somewhat shy European rabbit. More recently in the U.S., it is a month of lots of college basketball playoffs, in which men are either glued to TVs or frantically attending games. In the last couple of years, it has also become a spirited time to have avasectomy, because, well… why not heal on the couch watching games?

Donning the Badge

The hare, upon which the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland is based (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

The hare, upon which the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland is based (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

“Should I do it or should she?” he asked. As a father of three, he was all done with family building. “I’m through with being a one-shot-wonder.” He was also tired of condoms. So, who gets the privilege of getting their tubes tied?

A Tubular Comparison

A very good question, indeed. Both sexes have “tubes” to tie. They are fallopian in women and vas deferens in men. Women have them inside their bellies and men have them inside their scrotums. You can access women’s tubes through keyhole surgery under anesthesia or from below through the vagina. You can access the vas deferens through small skin incisions, or better yet, through “no scalpel” punctures. Either way, once the tubes are tied, carefree contraception is virtually assured. So which is more popular in America?

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Health, Other Cancers, Prostate, Testicular

Testicular Cancer May Raise Prostate Cancer Risk

According to a new study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, men who have had testicular cancer may have an increased risk for prostate cancer. While there have been previous studies that have shown an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who have previously had testicular cancer, this is the first one to observe the risk of getting intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer.

Dr. Mohummad Minhaj Siddigui, lead study author and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said, “Men with a history of testicular cancer should talk with their doctor about assessing their risk for prostate cancer, given there may be an increased risk.”

The study analyzed SEER data from about 180,000 American men; 32,325 of the men were age 40 and up and previously had testicular cancer and 147,044 men were age 40 and up and had previously had melanoma.

The results showed that 12.6 percent, or 3,205 of the participants who previously had testicular cancer were diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 80. This was in comparison to 2.8 percent of participants who did not have a history of testicular cancer.

Men who previously had testicular cancer were 5.8 percent more likely to get intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer, compared to 1.1 percent of men who did not have testicular cancer. Overall, men with a history of testicular cancer had a 4.7 times higher risk for prostate cancer and a 5.2 times higher risk for intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer.

Researchers looked at risk factors such as race, age, and history of radiation. They found that even when these risk factors were controlled, there was still an increased risk for intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer in men who previously had testicular cancer.

“It is too soon to make any practice recommendations based on this single study, but the findings provide groundwork for further research into the biologic link between the two diseases,” said Dr. Siddiqui.

Depression, Family Issues, Masculinity, Mental Health, Substance Abuse

Coping with Life: Warning Signs You Need to See a Therapist

At some point in life, we all run into trying times. Whether you’re overloaded with stress, suffering a trauma, or just dealing with the complexities of day-to-day existence, life isn’t always a bed of roses. And it’s easy to slip into feelings—and behaviors—that are outside your normal patterns. Sometimes, you can get past those bumps in the road on your own. Other times, those bumps seem more like mountains and you need a professional to help you work through things.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly one out of five Americans suffers from some type of mental illness. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of those actually get the treatment they need.

Therapy is Not Taboo

Believe it or not, a lot of people still feel that getting therapy is taboo, something “normal” people should steer clear of, something that proves they’re crazy or demonstrates that they’re simply not capable of handling life. Others believe therapy is a waste of time and money.

The truth is that therapy is none of the above. It’s actually a beneficial resource that has helped millions of individuals get back on track after dealing with overwhelming life events. Just about anyone who’s done it will tell you that avoiding a problem tends to make things worse. Getting help is the best thing you can do for yourself. You’d see a doctor if you had the flu or a more serious condition such as heart trouble or diabetes, right? Getting help for a mental health issue is just as important.

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