Sports

Sports broadcaster Dan Patrick reveals serious health issues

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Dan Patrick hosts his sports talk show in Milford, Conn., in 2011.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Sports radio and TV host Dan Patrick decided to “pull the curtain back” during his Thursday broadcast and revealed that he’s been suffering from polymyalgia rheumatica — which he described as “intense joint pain” and “like having the flu and you’re not nauseous” — for seven years.

Patrick, 62, said he felt pain in both hands, shoulders, elbow, hips and knees every day. One morning, he said, it was so bad he couldn’t walk or tie his shoes.

“I hated getting out of bed,” said Patrick, who also said he once took a Vicodin just to play a round of golf.

“I would medicate myself at night drinking,” the longtime sports commentator said. “Not proud.”

He said he was prescribed the steroid Prednisone, which made the joint pain go away but actually made his life even worse.

“Prednisone is a horrible drug,” Patrick said. “With Prednisone, I was depressed, I had suicidal thoughts, I was emotional, I’d cry for no reason [over] the smallest things. And I kept thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’”

So he stopped. Patrick said he now gets light chemotherapy using the drug Actemra through an IV once a month, which is “taking away all of the inflammation.”

But there are side effects with that treatment too, including headaches and memory loss.

“There were times when I would brain freeze, I couldn’t think of something and you’re live on the air for three hours,” said Patrick, who mentioned a time last week when he could not come up with Angels slugger Albert Pujols’ name.

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But, he added, “we move forward, and five more months of this, hopefully, and they said I’ll be done with these treatments. And, boy, I’ll be a joy to be around then, won’t I?”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii