When country crooner Clay Walker got a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, his doctor said he wouldn’t survive. Now, 18 years later, he’s managing with treatment, lifestyle choices and his wife’s support. Find out his secrets to staying healthy with symptoms of multiple sclerosis…
In country music star Clay Walker’s household, managing his symptoms of multiple sclerosis is a family affair.
Walker, an award-winning singer with hits like “Rumor Has It” and “Fall,” was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996. But with encouragement – and even a little nagging – from his wife and caregiver, Jessica, he manages to stay on top of the debilitating neurological condition.
“Having a person beside you is very valuable psychologically,” says Walker, 45. “I don’t feel that I would be doing as well, had I not had the love, care, support and patience from someone like Jess.”
Jessica keeps him motivated to manage his symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Walker tells Lifescript.
“I can see when her first thought is, ‘Have you exercised today?’” he says. “I see this relief come over her, just knowing that I did that much.”
Caregivers play an important role in helping patients manage multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that damages the fatty myelin sheaths surrounding the axons – or fibers – of brain and spinal cord cells.
Once these cells are injured, they can’t communicate properly, explains Nancy Sicotte, M.D., director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program and the Neurology Residency Training Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. That triggers neurological symptoms, such as numbness and blurry vision, as well as physical and cognitive disabilities such as improper balance and speech.
Walker has an unpredictable form of the disease, called relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis. It causes erratic relapses, followed by periods where the disease shows no signs of getting worse, Dr. Sicotte says.
Read More: LifeScript.com
Band Against MS, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3), or not-for-profit, public charity committed to providing educational information for those living with Multiple Sclerosis, funding programs researching a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, and funding programs helping those living with the disease. Nationally acclaimed recording artist Clay Walker established BAMS in February 2003 because he wanted to help others living with the same disease he has battled since 1996.
– See more at: Band Against MS ‘Our Mission‘
Country singer and his wife, Jessica, tell CBS News’ Lauren Moraski about staying healthy on the road and the importance of a caregiver. ClayWalker.com