Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events

Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding and Communication Important

The National Institutes of Health defines multiple sclerosis (MS) as "an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. It can range from relatively benign to somewhat disability to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted." Most people with MS have muscle weakness in their extremities, and balance and coordination difficulties. Half of all people affected ultimately have cognitive impairments.

In 2011, Jeff Gallatin, began the process of grieving after the passing of his 72-year-old mother Carol, who had chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. Carol had been a choir director, a hospice "clown" for children, a storytelling guild president, a Northwestern University marketing graduate, and the community affairs director for a division of Rockwell International in Cleveland.

"It's still an emotional subject for me," said Gallatin, an Ohio newspaper associate editor, of discussing his mother's death. "My mom had polio as a kid, but had always been able to overcome (her physical difficulties). In the mid- to late- '90s, little physical challenges began cropping up with her. She went from using a cane to a walker to a manual wheelchair. In 2001, I moved in with her."

Doctors apparently had trouble diagnosing her, maybe because MS usually first affects people between the ages of 20-40. One day about two months after Jeff moved in, Carol couldn't get out of her rocking chair, which moved a friend to suggest more tests that finally yielded a diagnosis.

"Then they said my mother would never get out of the nursing home (because of MS)," said Gallatin. "But they didn't know my mother." After 18 months there, Carol moved back in with Jeff until her passing in 2011. At the end, she had paralyzed legs.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of being his mother's caregiver ten years was in having to watch her use a wheelchair. She had been such a proud, professional woman, who had raised two children on her own as a divorcee.

As for advice to other caregivers of parents, he said, "Be sure to talk and communicate with (the parent). For example, our Saturday morning was sacred to us. We'd talk and catch up. She was a wonderful sounding board."

Gallatin said he wasn't a perfect caregiver. What helped him a lot was having good bosses, who allowed him to occasionally leave work to help out his mother.

Follow on Facebook

Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at

Placer County News Headlines

Downtown Roseville Oktoberfest this WeekendRoseville, CA- Get ready for Oktoberfest this Saturday October 22 at Downtown Roseville's Vernon Street Town Square.

Jack Reacher Opens at IMAX in SacramentoSacramento, Calif. - Set four years since the first film events, Jack Reacher is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit, but reveals that he is now

Genetic Testing Could Prevent DisabilityRecently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar service

Remodeling Your Kitchen - Think WhiteRoseville, CA- Sacramento Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the basics of remodeling kitchens to get the most out of your investment when selling a home.

Desert Trip: You Just Might Find, You Get What Ya NeedIndio, CA- "Any more fun and we'd be in trouble". Perhaps it was the heat of the desert sun speaking, but

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road provides good versatilityRoseville, CA- Toyota enjoys huge sales numbers in the U.S., where reportedly half the midsize trucks sold are Tacoma models

Placer Gives: Local Resident Leaves Lasting Gift for Disadvantaged YouthRoseville, CA - For Irmgard ("Else") Schichtel a childhood in Nazi Germany set in motion a circuitous path towards a permanent fund at Placer Community Foundation that

Salmon Advocate at Next Rooster Tails BreakfastThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge on October 21.

Ridge Tahoe's Dan Garrison Retiring after 34 YearsDan Garrison, the Ridge Tahoe's senior vice president/general manager, will retire in December following a storied 34 years at the resort.

Citrus Tree Quarantine Now at 118 Square MilesAfter the discovery in September of an insect that can carry a disease fatal to citrus trees, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has placed trees in a 118-square-mile area near Lincoln

Mountain Mandarin Festival Seeks VolunteersAs the Mountain Mandarin Festival, slated for November 18-20, has grown from several hundred visitors to 30,000 visitors, the need for volunteers has multiplied.

Sierra College Press Release: King SequoiaRocklin, CA - Sierra College Press has published "King Sequoia" by author and retired national park ranger, William C. Tweed.

NEWS: In Case You Missed It