Veteran sportscaster Dan Patrick gets paid to talk, but a frightening disease has made even that difficult, as he revealed Thursday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”
Patrick opened up the program with the revelation that he’s been battling polymyalgia rheumatica, a condition that causes joint and muscular pain all over the body.
“There’s something I wanted to bring up, and it’s had to do with my health over the last seven years,” he said. “There are moments on this show when I have had memory loss, and I’ll tell you what it’s due to. There are times when I feel like my mind and my mouth are not working together. I think you’ve come to expect me to perform at a high level. I was just going to pull the curtain back because I don’t know where I’m headed over the next five months.
“I’ve been going through treatments here for what I have is called polymyalgia rheumatica. I’ve had it for seven years. It’s intense joint pain. If anybody’s ever had this, then you’ll understand. It’s like having the flu and you’re not nauseous.”
Patrick went into detail about just how much pain he was in. “I couldn’t tie my shoes,” he said. “I couldn’t walk. It was joint pain, both hands, both shoulders, both hips, both knees. Even a tooth I had replaced I could feel pain — every single morning.”
To help alleviate the symptoms, Patrick turned to the drug prednisone, which was effective but brought its own set of complications. He described it as a “horrible drug” that left him with depression, irrational crying and even suicidal thoughts.
“I kept thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ and there were times when I debated whether I was going to continue to do this show,” he said.
Patrick eventually was entered into a trial at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, where he was offered light chemo IVs once a month. Those have helped with both the pain and the side effects of taking prednisone, he said.
But the IVs also have led to other complications, including memory loss, and that may affect his work more than the physical pain or mental health problems.
“There are these moments that there is a mental pause that’s hit, a button,” he said, getting choked up.
One of those moments came last week when Patrick couldn’t remember Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols’ name, and he needed his staff to jump in on the air to help fill him in.
“I had a dinner with my wife and my daughter last month,” he said. “And I texted her the next day because I didn’t remember dinner.”
Patrick said he hopes listeners can bear with his “brain fog” as he plans on continuing the IV treatments through September. He also thanked his staff for helping him out during shows to the extent that his problems weren’t even noticeable with their assistance.
The 62-year-old Patrick received support and words of encouragement from many of his peers in the sports industry.
All the best to a great friend and icon in the industry. Sending up a prayer for you DP.
— Rece Davis (@ESPN_ReceDavis) May 2, 2019
Thank you @DanPatrick – for your courage and your generosity – sharing this will help many who struggle with all sorts of things – best wishes to you as you work to surmount the challenges before you – and thank you again – and (of course), hi Dan.
— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) May 2, 2019
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) May 2, 2019
god bless Dan and good luck. blink twice if @PaulPabst made you refer to him as being the Bill Belchick of the show
— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) May 2, 2019
“The Dan Patrick Show” is in its 20th year. The show got its start on ESPN and was picked up by DirecTV’s Audience Network in 2009 and NBC Sports in 2012.
Earlier this year, the show started streaming on Bleacher Report’s video streaming service, B/R Live.
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