Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and 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.


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

Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (7-6-15)Rocklin, CA - Weekly crime report summary and digest update in Rocklin, CA.

Roseville Gas Prices: Find the Best DealsRoseville, CA - Finding the best deals on gas in Roseville is always one click away.

Free Spay and Neuter for all Placer County CatsRoseville, CA -With the arrival of hot summer weather, an increasing number of homeless kittens are arriving at area animal shelters

2016 Acura MDX retains luxury appeal2016 Acura MDX: Now in its seventh year of production by Honda's luxury division, the Acura MDX is one of many midsize luxury crossover sport utility vehicles

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Estimated Prophet / Terrapin StationTonight in Chicago, the final show of Fare Thee Well, a celebration of 50 years of Grateful Dead's music takes place at Soldier Field

Smart Choice: Don't Drink and Drive Californians love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks. All too often these celebrations and festivities turn tragic when someone decides

Quick Tips on Beating the HeatPlacer County public health officials are urging residents to take common-sense precautions so they and their families stay safe during this week's ongoing heat wave

Pet Safety Tips for 4th of JulyRoseville, CA - Fourth of July celebrations may be fun for you, but the pop, crackle and boom of fireworks can be terrifying for your pets.

West Nile Virus Concerns Heading into the 4th of JulyThe Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District reported today that five mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus this week

Folsom Opens Water Play in ParksThe City of Folsom announced that it will open water play features at three Folsom parks in time for the upcoming hot holiday weekend.

Free Hazardous Waste Drop-Off July 11thPlacer County, CA - Looking for a free and convenient way to dispose of hazardous wastes that are collecting around your house?

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Throwing StonesThe Grateful Dead roll through a 10-minute version of Throwing Stones from Hampton, VA in October of 1989.


more news