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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.





Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn.




Placer County News Headlines

BottleRock Napa Valley 2018 Lineup and Single Day Passes NAPA, CA- Single day general admission and VIP passes for the sixth annual BottleRock Napa Valley music, wine, food and craft brew festival, presented by JaM Cellars on May 25 - 27, 2018

Toyota C-HR, a stylish new subcompact SUV unveiledRoseville, CA- The all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR, a subcompact crossover sport utility vehicle that is similar to a hatchback.

Roseville Gas Prices Up: Where You Can Save MoneyRoseville, CA,- Residents in Roseville and throughout Placer County have watched as gas prices have pushed upward to being the new year.

WJU Warriors Clinch First Conference Win over HopeROCKLIN, Calif. - The Lady Warriors took Horton Court for the second time this week, last taking on No. 1 in the nation,

Roseville Teacher Under Investigation for Sexual Harassment Following ArticleRoseville, CA- An email went out this morning in Roseville addressing concerns over a Roseville teacher who is under investigation relating to allegations of sexual harassment and unprofessional behavior

Placer County Appoints New CEOAuburn, CA,- Following a nationwide search, Placer County has selected Todd Leopold as its new county executive officer.

Rocklin completes purchase of former Sunset Whitney Golf ClubRocklin, CA,- The City of Rocklin has completed the purchase of approximately 184 acres of land that was previously the site of the Rocklin Golf Club

Former Roseville Mayor Rocky Rockholm DiesRoseville, CA,- Former Roseville Mayor and Placer County District I Supervisor F.C. "Rocky" Rockholm passed away yesterday after a short illness at the age of 73.

3,200 False Burglar Alarms in Roseville in One YearThe Roseville Police Department responded to approximately 3,200 false burglar alarms in 2016. That's an average of 8.75 service calls every day of the year for a non-crime purpose

Placer SPCA Searches for the Hero Next DoorRoseville, Calif. - Placer SPCA is seeking nominations for the 2018 Hero Awards, to be presented at the 17th Annual Funny Bones Comedy Show & Awards Night

Placer Community Foundation's 2018 Scholarship Applications Placer Community Foundation invites local high school seniors and current college students to apply for scholarship awards for the 2018-2019 year

BottleRock Napa Valley Sells Out of 3-Day Festival PassesNAPA, CA - January 9, 2018: BottleRock Napa Valley, presented by JaM Cellars, has announced that all 3-day passes for the sixth annual music, wine, food and craft brew festival have sold out.


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