Patient: My husband has multiple health issues: teeth falling out as a result of the radiation given from two bouts of hodgkins, a failed back surgery (at least 5 different vertebrae involved in the surgery), pills for pain management…. Thyroid disease, blood pressure problems recently, and the latest a cast on his leg due to an Achilles tendon rupture apparently due to his taking meds for pneumonia. He is drinking a lot and has major GI issues. He can’t eat well and is very depressed. I don’t know how to help him. He looks terrible and seems to be getting more and more depressed. He is loosing weight and is angry and has no energy. I am very worried about him. What can I do? Should I try to talk to his primary care physician or go to the Ava’s and try to tak to them ( he’s a disabled vet) he had gone back to work after his back operation and seemed to be ok, but they (even knowing of his 100% disabled status) kept giving him jobs he was told by his drs. Not to do, until they finally fired him for non- completion of same jobs. This is a mess I’m afraid he’s giving up. He gets suck when he eats. He’s only 53…. Please tell me your thoughts. Thank you
Doctor: Hello. Welcome to Ask The Doctor.I understand your concern.This is really a critical situation. But I suppose his dr inking problem is complicating the things.I suppose you should seek a Psychiatrist and a Pain therapist help.In fact I would use SSRI Group of Anti depressant like Duloxetine for the purpose as it helps in pain relief also.In such scenario our efforts should be focused only and only on getting him Pain free and mobile. Once he gets mobile he can be engaged in various house hold activities.My major concern is his drinking problem and depression.I suppose you should see a Psychiatrist for both the problems.Once these issues are resolved one by one we can focus on his primary issues.Support him and love him.I hope it helps.Stay Healthy.