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.
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 www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesRocklin Burglary Suspect Killed by PoliceRocklin, CA- This morning February 25th, 2017 at 10:01 AM, The Rocklin Police Department responded to a residential burglary in progress on the 4900 block of Bradford Place
Roseville Police Activity Weekly Update (2.23.17)The City of Roseville police activity weekly update for the period covering February 17-23, 2017
Fine Forgiveness at Sacramento Public LibrarySacramento Public Library is waiving all overdue book and material fines through Wednesday, March 15 as part of its new Fine Forgiveness promotion
Public Meeting: Sierra Joint Consortium for Adult Education(AUBURN, CA) The public is invited to attend the Sierra Joint Consortium for Adult Education (SJCAE) public meeting on March 15, 2017,
Seniors First Represents Capital Region in National Campaign(Auburn, CA) - Surprisingly to some, individuals age 60 and older in our area continue to experience an increasing rate of hunger.
20 Year Upgrade Project for Northstar Ski ResortAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a series of actions to guide upgrades and improvements to the Northstar California ski resort
Real Estate Watch: Home Seller's Market Roseville, CA - Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, is asking why more homeowners are not taking advantage the current seller's market being caused by high buyer demand and low inventory of home for sale.
Top 5 Healthy Heart Habits : A Dose of Vitamin Ray with Dr. RayDid you know, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States? In fact, per The American Heart Association
Autism Studies: Placenta Provides Time Capsule(Sacramento, Calif) - In two recent studies, researchers at UC Davis have shown that placental tissue can provide critical information about the epigenetic
Winners of American History Essay Contest honored in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Congratulations to winners of the American History Essay contest sponsored by Roseville's Gold Trail Chapter
Placer SPCA Announces 2017 Board of DirectorsRoseville, CA - The Placer SPCA has announced the election of its 2017 Officers for the Board of Directors.
Hyundai Veloster: Unconventional compact hatchbackRoseville, CA- The first thing one notices about the Hyundai Veloster is the odd door arrangement. It's an ingenious idea, putting two doors on the passenger side of this compact hatchback