testosterone again. In retrospect, so many things make sense now. The low energy, the drained feeling when I climb stairs, the susceptibility to illness and infection. I don't have a lot in the tank when I need an extra burst. I know how to get from Point A to Point B—and I can do my job—but when I am down, I am D.O.W.N. As I type this I am covered head to toe with an electric blanket, shivering to the bone.
Since the shocking test results a week ago, I have been scouring the Internet for information. It turns out adding testosterone artificially (when your body produces none of it anymore) is not necessarily as easy as slathering on AndroGel every day. It worked for a while, but now it isn't and I will have to consider other options if my number is still low in December.
One thing I discovered: Testosterone replacement therapy is a hot topic on Internet message boards. Consider this post by "sexymom" (edited for length):
"AndroGel not working. :-( My husband saw a urologist today about his (very) low T. The dr. said testosterone gels are not absorbed well (especially if the men are fairly hairy). The dr. said he wants my husband's levels to go up to 900-1100 using shots twice a week. The dr. said my husband should start feeling an increase in his energy levels. If your husband is struggling with low desire, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get it checked out. I have spent way too many nights in tears feeling like I am unattractive, unwanted, etc - when the problem is likely medical."
... And this reply by "hubbyforher":
"Sounds like you've got a GREAT doctor. Having a level of 900-1100 is wonderful and puts your husband in the sweet spot, IMO. Don't be impatient with the injections. 2X/week is exactly the right way to go, but it could take 4-6 weeks for hormone levels to stabilize in the bloodstream. Let me know how long he's been doing the injections. I suspect he's gonna be chasing you around the house pretty darn soon!"
... And sexymom replies:
"Have noticed a HUGE increase in my husband's drive. I'm the one being pursued now. It's nice. And different! While we're not tearing apart the bed(!), things are definitely much, much better and we've noticed a great change in his desire (as well as general mood, less fatigue, more mental clarity, etc..)."
hubbyforher: "You inject into the abs? Is this an IM injection or a sub-Q injection? Most people I know who do injections inject into the glutes with an IM injection. (e.g., 25g needle 1.5" long)."
sexymom: "It is a pretty big needle - not sure of the exact numbers . . . he injects into his belly fat area. Under the first layer of skin, but not into the ab muscles."
If I don't want to deal with injections twice a week, there is an alternative topical application called Testim. Read about it here, from "Volumnus":
"My doctor said if I didn't object he could start me on replacement therapy himself or refer me to an endocrinologist. I didn't want to wait so I said give me a prescription TODAY!
"He started me on one tube of Testim per day. It worked great, the best I'd felt in years, for about two weeks, but then things got worse. A month later, when he checked my levels again, I was at 214, lower than before. He jacked me up to two tubes per day.
"Now a year later my levels are consistently around 800. I feel great. I have improved in the gym and I'm far more cut. I'm about 5'10, 190. I can bench 225 13 times without a spotter. I think I could get at least one more.
"I'm not married, so accidentally exposing others to the gel isn't an issue for me. I also find that women love the way it smells. They always comment on my cologne. I sware [sic] to God there are girls who come down to my office each day to smell me. Personally, I can't smell anything but a slight alcohol scent, but women are attracted to it.
"Here is a weird side effect, though. I mainly apply the gel to my upper arms and shoulders as directed. When I get mad, the area that I lather with Testim gets hot and turns bright red. It has happened three or four times in the last few months.
"If I ever enter into a serious relationship (I'm having too much fun for now!), I'll almost certainly switch to injections. But I'm very satisfied with Testim!"
Ehh, I feel like I need to spend the rest of this blog apologizing for my gender, but thankfully the people reading this probably know me. The only thing I want is a normal level of all my hormones. Just normal for a 43-year-old male. I want to go to work and not be tired by the walk from my car to the stage. I want to stay up all night composing. I want energy. I have a little, enough to get around and look normal, but it's not enough and my numbers show that. Being covered in my electric blanket now, typing this and staving off the cold flashes, reminds me of nights when I would read comic books under the covers with a flashlight. It felt safe in there, but I was dreaming of what I would do when I would get out, dreaming of the adventures I would have as a scuba diver, an Australian football star, a race car driver, or a pirate.