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Clay Walker (Page 2 of 3)

Band Against MS plans to provide educational information and research grants to institutions searching for a cure or treatment for MS, and fund programs that help those living with the disease.

CLAY AND CAREGIVERS

Oh, look, there you go again
Puttin' on that smile again
Even though I know you've had a bad day
Doin' this and doin' that
Always puttin' yourself last
A whole lotta give and not enough take
But you can only be strong so long before you break

Fall

Clay told me that he was extremely interested in talking with us to reach family caregivers with the message that he soon took to heart upon his own diagnosis.  That message is to make sure that those diagnosed with MS are fully invested in their own care. In Clay’s words, “I think that we're defined by the way we handle MS, not defined by that we have MS.” Clay also believes that hiding from a diagnosis is not helpful to anyone. “Don't wait a year or two before you go do something about it. That's because that's the time period when the disease really does its worst. You need to know what is available and what you can do because the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.” Clay is adamant that under their doctor’s care, people living with MS do as much to stay fit as possible.  Clay takes his own words to heart; not only playing hundreds of concerts a year, but he has learned to enjoy yoga, bikes, plays golf and is a champion cutting horse rider.

Clay’s point is well taken that caregiving at its best is a partnership between caregiver and those for whom we are caring, and that each partner has their responsibilities to the relationship.  In Clay’s case, it is learning what he can about MS, becoming an activist, and helping to care for his own health and well-being. Unfortunately, in many caregiving situations, this call for self-care is not possible, such as with advanced Alzheimer’s caregiving. But when all parties are able to pull together, the outcomes are usually so much better.

 

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