Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times |
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events Calendar
    (Independent and Locally Owned)

Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding and Communication Important

Print      

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

Immigration Executive Action: Republicans and DemocratsAnother stark contrast of opposing sides on Obama's Executive Action on Immigration, highlighted by two Republican Congressman Tom McClintock's remarks and the California Democratic Party

PCWA Moves Forward on Watershed RemediationIn the aftermath of the massive King Fire, the Placer County Water Agency is taking emergency steps to prevent and manage the runoff of fire debris and erosion into the

Holiday Flu Could Be Grinch This YearWith Thanksgiving nearing and the holiday season upon us, many people will be hitting the malls for shopping, the airways for travel, and interacting with large groups of people

Placer County Honors Citizens with Commemorative CoinsThe Placer County Board of Supervisors honored Dr. Bryce Jessup of William Jessup University and volunteer extraordinaire Fuzzy Jarnagin of Loomis Tuesday, presenting them with

Rain or Shine: Mountain Mandarin Festival Is OnFree admission offered for Festival goers with orange umbrellas! Mountain Mandarin Festival Is On.

92% of Americans Traveling for ThanksgivingSurvey Says: 92% of Americans Traveling for Thanksgiving Plan to Drive; 71% Expect to Spend Less This Year

Thanksgiving Travel Advisory: Sacramento International AirportPassenger traffic is expected to rise this year for travelers going through Sacramento International Airport. A few tips to improve your travel experience

Rocklin Crime Report Update (11-20-14)Rocklin, CA - Rocklin California Crime Report Update for November 20, 2014.

65,000 Injuries a Year to U.S. FirefightersThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the latest edition of its U.S. Firefighter Injury Report which highlights data on injuries sustained by firefighters on duty.

Grant Targets Impaired DriversThe California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently announced receiving a federal "Reducing Impaired Driving" grant, which will fund 150 sobriety checkpoints

KidsFirst Denim & Diamonds Appreciation EventCelebrating two weeks before the rest of the United States, KidsFirst, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County, spent Thursday, November 13th in Thanksgiving mode

Placer County's Most Wanted: Johnnie Castro44 year old, Johnnie Castro, last known address of Roseville, CA, is currently being sought by authorities for Failure to register residence


more news