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My husband is a severe diabetic. He suffers from depression and chronic pain. What can I do to help him?

 

Question: My husband is a very severe diabetic. He takes insulin four times daily. He suffers from severe depression and has chronic pain throughout his body. He sleeps a lot. What can I do to help him?

Dr. Amy: You and your husband are facing a challenging situation. In terms of his physical condition, I encourage you both to speak with your husband's doctor. Pain and depression can usually be managed with the right combination of medication, therapy, diet and exercise. Ask the doctor about all four of these. It's important to get the pain under control, because people who suffer from chronic pain tend to manage their diabetes less well than others. Your doctor may need to refer your husband to a pain specialist. 

Once the depression and pain are being well managed, you can help your husband stay on track in terms of diet and exercise. You can also help by making time to enjoy the activities you used to enjoy as a couple before your husband became ill, as much as possible. Lastly, you can help your husband by taking good care of yourself. If you are rested and healthy, you will be better able to care for him.

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