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Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding and Communication Important


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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.






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LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

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 www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Roseville Financial Advisor Sentenced for Ripping Off ClientsMichelle Lee Kern, 36, who worked as a licensed financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Roseville has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Roseville, Rocklin among California's Best Cities for Home OwnershipIn a recent Nerd Wallet report, Rocklin, Folsom, and Roseville, rank 11th through 13th (respectively) among California's Best Cities for Homeownership.

Hidden Falls Regional Park Receives GrantPlacer County's "gem of the foothills," Hidden Falls Regional Park, is the recipient of a grant that will fund innovative projects protecting long-term ecological values and economic viability

Roseville Developer Begins Senior Community in Elk GroveUSA Properties Fund will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Arbor Creek Senior Apartments at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 4, at the project site located at Elk Grove-Florin and Calvine roads

Rep. Tom McClintock Announces August Town Hall MeetingsRoseville, CA -- U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04) has announced a series of town hall meetings in August.

Lincoln Man Serving Aboard the Navy's USS SomersetPetty Officer 1st Class Brian West, an aviation boatswain's mate from Lincoln, Calif. and 2003 graduate of Lincoln High School, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Somerset

California Would Create More Jobs Without Prop 30In his recent piece for The Sacramento Bee, "State's job growth defies predictions after tax increases," David Cay Johnston argues that California's recent job creation numbers prove

Sacramento County Opposes Bay Delta Conservation PlanThis week the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors formally submitted comments challenging the findings of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) state environmental

Roseville to Host Senior Softball Western National ChampionshipsRoseville will play host this August to the Senior Softball Western National Championships

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (7.29.14)Roseville, CA - The Roseville Police Department weekly crime report digest update for July 29, 2014.

Different Standards From Mortgage LendersJulie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, reports on a recent Fannie Mae survey which indicates there may be a growing difference in credit standards between small and large lenders. Which do you think has the tighter credit standards? Check out Julie's article and find out.

PCWA Comments on Bay Delta Conservation PlanDrought Watch: PCWA expresses concern about future water supply reliability for Placer County and claims EIR fails to consider key issues.




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