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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

05.20.15 - a Candid Interview between Stu and Clay Walker

 05.20.15 - morning
Interview between Stuart Schlossman (Stu's Views and MS News / MS Views and News) and CLAY WALKER, noted Country Music Star  - 


Stuart Schlossman: What do you recall were your earliest symptoms of MS?

Clay Walker: Five years before I was diagnosed I was working in construction and a box had fallen on my head, I was knocked unconscious for about 10 seconds. When I came to it felt as if I had a pinched nerve going down my right arm and right leg. Five years later I had my first acute attack of MS develop with the exact same symptoms as when I received the head injury, plus double vision. I thought that it was a re-occurrence of the injury from the accident, but unfortunately it was MS.

Stuart Schlossman: What was the process that led to you being diagnosed? What were your symptoms?

Clay Walker: It was pretty immediate. I wanted to find out what was wrong. There was tingling down my arm and leg like an electric buzzer on me. I went in to see the doctor immediately. I also had 8 weeks of facial spasm on the right side of my face. I was concerned I had a tumor. Once we figured out it was MS they put me on steroids to try to reduce swelling.

Stuart Schlossman: I do not know if you are aware, but I am also an MS patient, and have experienced buzzing and actually woke up today with buzzing all over my body! I was diagnosed many years ago as well, but struggled for many years even as a child with MS symptoms, but was not diagnosed until I was 39.

Clay Walker: You know, I have never been interviewed by someone who has MS, the one message that I would like to get out, I have to say when I was diagnosed the prognosis the doctor gave me was very grim. He said I would be in a wheelchair in 4 years and dead in 8 (years). Obviously I have a different doctor now, (laughs) and about three years ago I asked him about that original diagnosis. He said, “the truth was if I was the one who viewed your MRI, I probably would not have given a much different prognosis. But that we started you on the right meds- and that you were a super responder to Copaxone.

Stuart Schlossman: When doing live performances and not feeling well, or having a bad day with symptoms, how do you get through it?

Clay Walker: That’s the beauty of it Stuart. I don’t feel like I have symptoms when I preform. My doctor said it is because of all the endorphins and adrenaline. When I am preforming I don’t feel like I have MS.

Stuart Schlossman: I have the same experience when I am doing my events. In addition to Copaxone, are there any complimentary are alternative therapies techniques that you use?

Clay Walker: I went to see a neuro-physical therapist. Trying to see I f you could reverse damage, she started a protocol to improve things, like stretches for spasticity and it does really work! I also have a history of cancer in my family and there is a drink, a smoothie that I drink 3-4x a week, it was created by someone named Donnie Yance, out of Ashland, Oregon. It is for cancer prevention, but I know that it has anti-inflammatory agents in it.
I have been on Copaxone for 17 years, completely relapse free for 17 years, which is incredible!

Stuart Schlossman: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about?

Clay Walker: Well, I have a new record- a brand new album coming out, so keep with

Stuart Schlossman: I want to spread the word that people can still be active with MS, that there is still life after a diagnosis and that you do not have to become a couch potato.

Clay Walker: No we cannot do that! I am going to go work horses after this, that is what I do… “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”  That’s  a quote from Winston S. Churchill.

Stuart Schlossman: Thank you Clay! This has truly been a pleasure. Keep up all that you do for the MS community. 
I hope that we can do more work like this today and reach many more, living with MS together......

Clay Walker: That really sounds great, looking forward to it, thanks Stuart.

Disclaimer: This interview was held, not to endorse a product, but rather to provide MS Awareness

interview written by Jennifer F.

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