Saturday, 26 June 2010


Just a quick point about this post. When I first found out that I had low testosterone, I wanted to know what testosterone gel would be like as a treatment. How would it change things for me - magic elixir or snake oil claptrap?

The first thing I found out was that searching for good information about testosterone on the web is a nightmare. The association with sexual potency and body building masculinity means that for every good page of worthy information you stumble upon - you will find 99 sites of worm ridden filth and / or sites trying to sell you something. The inability to filter out sites that would sell you your own fart for a dollar is really kiling 'search' for me these days.

So I vowed to share my experiences purely to help someone else in my situation. At this stage, prolactinoma wasn't factored in to the equation. It's a funny journey but it's come full circle now. You will see from the last blog, a small amount of pleading about my fatigue inspired my consultant to prescribe testosterone gel. This is blog post is about how I've been getting on with it.

Well- it ain't straight forward.

Running on low testosterone for so long is paramount to being bled to death over a long long long long time. The process happened so slowly to me that I didn't notice something was wrong until I found that i could barely lift my arse out of my seat. From that lowly position, application of testosterone gel was only ever going to produce a predictable surge.

The gel itself is quite similar to the evaporating alcohol hand rub that seems to be ubiquitous these day. In fact, it was mighty tempting to substitute the contents of a can of Testosterone gel with the hand gel at my mother in laws house. Naturally I would confess to my meanness over time .. probably just after her voice had broken perhaps. The conformist in me forbade such irresponsibility and I slapped it on myself instead.

This was my new daily routine. After showering and getting dry, I would need to alternate daily between rubbing the gel in to my stomach or my inner thighs. I was expressly warned by my consultant not to apply it to my nuts. Then I would wait three minutes for the stuff to dry off - after which time it would be safe to put some clothes on.

So how quickly did I get a hit from the hormone and how did it feel? Well, after three days I was feeling certain about the positive effects and after a week everything was in full swing (yes everything). The changes were quite stunning. Better mood - happier, more optimistic. Energy levels returned and I found that I wanted to do things rather than sit on the couch. Playing with the kids was no longer the effort it had previously seemed. On the negative side, I now had to spend the first five minutes of every day sitting in bed thinking about the war in Afghanistan before I could stand up. Welcome back to the wonderful world of men.

After a month, i was more active than I had been in the previous 5 years. I took up cycling - did floor exercise - got stamina and muscle tone back. Mental acuity returned and I felt sharp and able to make clear decisions once more

It really did appear to be a panacea - for as long as it lasted.

Around two months in, it all went pear shaped again. About three days after the briefest of chats with my consultant telling him how wonderful I felt I suddenly crashed. I was tired once more. not as tired as before but still not right. My mind began to grind in a slower gear again and the grouchy nature revisited my puny life to recommence spewing its negative diatribe over anything that passed within a 10m radius.

How the hell could this happen? I was rubbing in the magic gel wasn't I? Could it be that I needed more gel? Had my nuts failed entirely now that testosterone was pouring in through the epidermis at around 7am every day?

Surprisingly, after a routine blood test, I received a letter from Dr A. It advised that a) Although the prolactin levels had reduced further (6000 odd), I was still way over the acceptable level. It was then requested that I up the Cabergoline frequency to 'three times a week'. OK, perhaps it's not been as effective as they hoped but it's a small issue to take one more pill a week.

b) The second point that was made in the letter was regarding testosterone levels. Surprisingly they came back showing that I had twenty times more testosterone in my blood stream than I should have.

Could this be why I feel so unstable and out of whack?

The letter made a further point that perhaps the blood was accidentally contaminated directly with my testosterone gel. My guess is that it wasn't but I had to accept the possibility. A further blood test was requested to clarify the matter.

On the 2nd of September I had more blood carefully taken. I made sure that the arm used had not been exposed to the gel. If the results of the second blood test are the same then the doctor will likely withdraw my t gel on the assumption that my body has had the mother of all rebounds.

The other possibility is that my body is not removing testosterone accumulated in the body at a fast enough rate and that over time, I've poisoned myself as a result. Liver issues perhaps? I guess I'll wait to see the results from the consultant.

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