So, can a man undergoing TRT live a "normal" life?
- 12-22-2007, 11:44 PM
So, can a man undergoing TRT live a "normal" life?
As many here likely know, I am not exactly the most accepting person around when dealing with hypogonadism, which I've taken to calling "Acquired Eunuch Syndrome". I despise dependence. Actually, "fear" might be a better word. One year into this and I am no more settled than I was. Sorry for the rant, but I remain angry. I post this partly to vent and more so to see how others deal with this and maybe learn something.
More seriously, one of my biggest laments as of late is the perceived loss at life's opportunities. For example, I always intended to travel and take adventures as I got older and had more time and money. I'm in my mid 40s and always thought I'd travel and do more when my kids, now 6 and 9, got older. More rugged hiking/rafting and even safari like activities were always appealing. Now--not so much. The irony of approaching the point when such things could be done just to be unable to actually go is a bit tough at times.
The thought of being utterly dependent on fragile, easily lost/mishandled and not so easily replaced meds, many of which don't travel well, is NOT appealing. I just can't see going to China, for example, if I must carry T, hcg, syringes and more. I also always wanted to raft the Grand Canyon and am now very hesitant. Can't see going to the wilderness with syringes. Not something I can picture and seems so wrong. The word "lame" comes to mind. I want the freedom to just go and do something --without constant worry about how crappy I'd start to feel if meds are lost or run out.
So, how do others here deal with this, or am I alone in these thoughts? Never been much for religion myself, but I find myself angry with whatever creator there may be for inflicting such a pointless affliction on me and others. My wife is tremendously supportive, for which I am grateful. But, I'd like to live without boundaries, or at least no more than everyone else.
- 12-23-2007, 01:43 AM
I think there are medical conditions which really prevent people from doing the things in life -- things like dialysis, loss of limbs, etc.
I just don't see it with hypogonadism. Taking a long trip? Get the 3 week T-Cyp injection. Sure it's not as nice as several smaller shots, but it works. Pellet implants would also work. Gel/Cream would probably be easier to transport than needles. Or just take your T and syringes with you. One padded bag and there you go.
That said, any place with any medical infrastructure is going to be able to give you T. Some countries you can get it OTC.
I know you want to be "normal" as would most of us, but the fact is that our bodies need treatment to get normal levels.
- 12-23-2007, 03:44 AM
@anyman, your consider lucky if you here my story, but im not going to whine here. All I can say is I was undiagnosed for hypogonadism right I hit my puberty. I change my doctor in 13 years and was diagnosed for hypogonadism. I dont want to give anymore detail but try visualize. There are more worst than us so you are normal
12-23-2007, 09:20 AM
I thank God for TRT every day. I live more vibrantly, fully, functionally, and with greater reward than I ever did without it.
Take my advice, don't look for problems, look for challenges for which you can find solutions. Even when you don't feel like it, don't see any obstacles, just see solutions to challenges that you can easily solve. Remember you're not dependant on TRT, you can live without it, but you'll live a hell of alot better with it. It's still your choice.
Now quit *****ing and enjoy life! It's almost a new year and a great time to start living like the independant person you are.
Oh yeah, for what it's worth, I'm on Pellets for TRT and I can go 5 months without re-treatment. Very convenient.
12-23-2007, 11:53 AM
You have the same restictions as e.g.someone who is very nearsighted. If they lost their glass's they would be in trouble if for example they were in China or in the Grand Canyon etc.
You bring this up a lot. Have you considered seeing a therapist to work this through. Large numbers of people deal with these constraints on a daily basis and have worked through them and there is no reason it cant be the same for you IMO.
12-23-2007, 01:11 PM
Well your right man, guess your gonna have to kiss all your dreams goodbye because you're on TRT......
Come on man get real would ya. Life has not passed you by just cus you gotta take a few shots. Looks to me like you hit a midlife crisis or somethin and are making excuses not to do the things you wish you could.
Also it's not like your life depends on the TRT. Worst comes to worst don't take it, or buy some OTC test boosters for the trip if you don't wish to carry your prescibed meds.
Don't let something as miniscule as being on TRT stop you from seeing the world.
12-23-2007, 01:28 PM
I'm not trying to deter Anyman from TRT, but I'm being realistic.
Usually; statements like the above come from those who have been on TRT for about a year or less and have not lived this for a long time.... been there... used to say the same things..
12-23-2007, 01:33 PM
I'm not a professional and believe me, I'm not bashing anybody, but this borders on an anxiety disorder. I know this because I have a mild case myself. "What if"... can be overwhelming.
Being on the TRT even helps that, by the way. I am still working upwards (second real week), but when I feel "on", it's like yeah, I'm doing the right thing.
12-23-2007, 01:41 PM
That said... Anyman.. I don't think you should give up on living your life to its fullest. If TRT is your only option, so be it. Just do it. It could be a lot worse you know. If you're scared of the issues, why don't you give yourself a year trial basis and see what happens.. Just make sure, you keep that HCG as your best friend and make sure it's good and not defective. This will be your ticket to successful restart in case you decided to.
I did TRT for a year and a half and was pleased with it... It was my option to leave it as the idea to be on life long meds had become very unappealing to me.
12-23-2007, 02:13 PM
I had something of this (anxiety) to the extend,
I did not realized (luckily) that I could go see a shrink.
My problem was mostly depression, rage, bad thoughts.
In a hind side, after about 6 -9 months on Androgel I realized that I am different.
It took some searching, and then I realized that the "normal" mill stone is gone from my chest and shoulders.
My ED was probably 5-10% on importance scale.
12-23-2007, 02:46 PM
You could always take a vacation to Mexico. I am sure you will have no problem getting meds there, LOL. In all seriousness being on TRT isn't that bad, at least you will live longer and have higher test than most men your age.
12-23-2007, 03:47 PM
I don't know. I usually agree with all the posts you make, but I have to disagree here. The 7 years before I went on TRT were a mess. Depression, anxiety, insomnia (I'm talking Machinist insomnia) and to top it all off I was even working on a perky little case of GYNO! Oh Joy!
I don't care if I had to take my TRT via suppository daily, I'm NEVER going back to that shell of an existence.
12-23-2007, 04:00 PM
Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you take hCG while on TRT, and you maintain your own production, isn't the worst case that if you had to stop you'd really be no worse off than you were pre-trt?!?
And if pre-treatment was 340 and you felt crappy, what did you do but gain years where you didn't feel crappy.
I think these doubts are really more for guys who are mid-normal levels who really don't have the physiological symptoms necessitating TRT, but that really isn't appropriate TRT in the first place.
If you have little energy, are apathetic, have low libido and have ruled out other treatments/causes, isn't not doing TRT foolish? Especially with what we're seeing about low endogenous levels and a myriad of diseases.
12-23-2007, 05:50 PM
Thanks, but "therapy" isn't for me. Haven't meant one yet that does much.
I like to ready for anything and don't want to be held back by a stupid medical condition. I keep extra food, money, fuel and much more available "just in case". Since TRT seems inevitable I am also starting to amass a good 6 month minimum supply of all meds.
This may be totally non-PC of me to say, but I am concerned that we as a species are through our actions and inactions deliberately weakening our gene pool. Not a good long term strategy IMHO. Of course, recognizing this is easy. What to do is another matter entirely. Haven't been able to find an acceptable solution that balances humanity and moral concerns with the harsh realities of nature. Who knows, fate may make the choices for us when some disaster or another comes along and reimposes that most basic rule of nature: survival of the fittest.
The above notwithstanding, I appreciate the comments here as I learn from other points of view.
12-23-2007, 05:54 PM
TT levels are of secondary importance.
Important is the resultant BioAvailable testosterone.
If for example someone had TT=750 all the time until today,
and until year ago his SHBG was stable making him happy, then his SHBG went up 50%,
he will be in just as bad shape as somebody whos SHBG did not changed but his testis slowed their production.
12-23-2007, 05:58 PM
*** Bingo *** This is exactly my concern
This said, I appear to be in need of TRT and have little choice. The cold reality is that is bad things happen I am screwed. Not how I envisioned living in only my mid 40s...... I can only hope this isn't a genetic issue and I didn't similarly burden/weaken my kids.
12-23-2007, 06:10 PM
I dunno-- Never thought being prepared was an "anxiety disorder".
I have always preferred to be prepared and never viewed such as a bad thing. Then again, I am also not much for psychological matters. Always thought the whole field was, well, not for me. I can step back and look at myself from a third person and admit "Yup, you're defective and screwed if/when this dependency comes back to bite you". I just want to live life like a normal person and not need to run for a shot every other day. What a drag......... Might be easier were I older than mid 40s. Too bad I feel so crappy and crippled by unrelenting fatigue without treatment.
12-23-2007, 06:15 PM
You're going way too far with this. Plenty of us are on TRT and we're living happy healthy lives, I bodybuild, race Intermediate class motocross, snowboard, and the week after x-mas I'm going paragliding in Torrey Pines along the way I managed to have 2 healthy kids too.
If there's anything holding you back it's not going to be TRT it's your mental attitude.
I know this because 7 years ago I had a near fatal motorcycle accident. My left leg was a near amputation at the knee. All four ligaments torn in two, popletiel aretery severed, kneecap crushed, tibial plateau broken in two.
The doctors wanted to amputate my leg right there. But my family moved me to a different hospital where a great man, Dr. Socia of John C. Lincoln hospital agreed to re-attach my leg, but even he said that my chances of ever walking normally were nil. It was a hard, hard road but today, I have nearly normal function of my injured leg. I can even squat over 400 pounds.
I credit this to getting my mind right. I willed myself through this and made up my mind right then and there that nothing would hold me back.
Nothing can hold you back either, OR anything can hold you back if you let it. You're choice.
Last edited by azr101; 12-23-2007 at 06:42 PM. Reason: added content
12-23-2007, 06:32 PM
One of my hobbies is the informal study of history
I know full well some think my comments extreme. But, that's why I throw them out there--to see what others think and see if I am alone in my thoughts. As I sit here catching up on work and posting I see the timer, set to go off in an hour, and realize that it's almost shot time. Again. That's not how I want to live.
Nonetheless, I thank you for your comments and thoughts. I was hoping for more than the usual "what dose should I be on" discussions.
12-23-2007, 07:04 PM
I always liked the concept is that of life deals the cards and you decide how to play them.
My brother (now deceased) fought cancer for over 27 years he gradually became paralyzed going from cane to canes to walker and finally a wheelchair. He loved black power shoots and mountain man gatherings as well as civil war reinactments. He started firing volleys with the rest of the guys, next to propping himself up next to a tree and playing sniper. Finally when he couldnt walk he played a battlefield casualty. He never stopped laughing or enjoying life.He never went on disability and only stopped working during those times he was hospitalized. He and his wife went on cruises every year knowing the clock was ticking. He died happier at 47 than most people who have lived twice as long.
Its all a matter of whether you look at the glass of life as half empty or half full.
12-23-2007, 07:09 PM
If you study history, I'll bet you could find more than a few great men who overcame greater obstacles (physical or otherwise) than TRT! Who knows maybe well read in the history books about you one day:
"Anyman, overcame great physical dissability when his nards no longer produced boner juice. Despite this obstacle he became the first man in history to make a transatlanic flight by inflating his withered scrotum with helium."
Allright, just trying to lighten you up a bit, good luck with your shot.
12-23-2007, 07:13 PM
Well said. I only wish I were more of a "half full" kind of person.
I admire your brother, just as I have come to the conclusion that if the proverbial $hit hits the fan my dependency may seal my fate. The best I could then hope for would be to look after my wife and kids. I wish I were a "glass half full" person, but I'd be lying if I said I was. Perhaps that is something to aspire to, even though I view such traits as likely hard wired.
12-23-2007, 07:24 PM
LOL! Thanks, man. I needed that!!
Good one! My kids just asked me what I was laughing at.
I appreciate the comments and insight. That's what I was hoping for. I've always been a perpetual Eagle Scout kind of guy: Always prepared. Which is why I so dislike having to deal with something I cannot control. Hearing from guys who have overcome obstacles and prevailed is a good thing. I don't like anything that interferes with my plan. Irrational? Yup.
Quite the story on your M/C accident. Amazing. It's also why I can't bring myself to ride on much beyond local roads. I've seen too much and heard from guys like yourself. Im even more impressed w/ the 400lb squat. I can't do that now and I didn't almost lose a leg.
Thanks for the comments. It's why I come here: to share, ask and learn. I am an educated person (no false modesty for the moment), but readily admit this whole issue is puzzling me and then some. I can discern facts, treatments and hard medicine easily enough. Dealing with the human side is another matter entirely. Good to have made your acquaintance.
12-23-2007, 08:45 PM
I think proper HRT is not just about surviving but actually one of thriving.
10 weeks ago I suffered a very severe injury to my rt ankle during a freak accident during brazilian jiu jitsu practice. The foot was torn completely outside of the joint and foot was rotated so that the toes faced the back and the heel faced the front. The blood supply to the foot was disrupted due to the extreme dislocation.
An emergency surgery was done to get the foot back into alignment and restore the blood supply. 10 days later after the swelling had reduced enough a second procedure was done to pin the shattered fibula and provide fixation for where the syndesmosis between tibula and fibula was torn.
7 weeks ago went from a cast to a walking boot and PT started. One week ago I was walking with nothing but ankle support. Several days ago I was easily doing 3 sets of 10 of 330 lbs on a leg press machine.
Granted I picked a great doc and physical therapist and was in good shape prior. But all of us agree that the testosterone replacement I had already been on also played a significant role in recovery.
Testosterone therapy has been proven usefull for example in the treatment of severe burns. Its also usefully in the speeding the recovery of athletes recovering from various sports medicine related injuries such as my own.
I am 52 and looking forward to grappling with guys that are half my age in next 4-6 weeks..
Better to wear out than rust out!
12-23-2007, 09:01 PM
Ouch. That's GOTTA hurt......
My issue remains the dependence. I'll give an example, albeit hopefully not a prophetic one... About an hour ago the power suddenly went out. Didn't last long--only about 50 minutes. But, I got out the LED lantern, wind up radio and flashlights. I was was ready, if need be, to get the generator and fuel so we'd have heat and keep the fridge cold. I live in one of Godforsaken areas that get snow (why anyone would want to live in an area that costs huge $$ in property taxes and requires big $$ on heat to avoid freezing to death remains a mystery, but I digress) and thus have to worry about heat.
That's how I like to be prepared. I've got food, fuel and ammo enough to last. But--I cannot control my @*^ing hormonal balance, which could take me out and prevent me from looking after my family. An unlikely event? Yes. Extreme? To some. But, that's how I think. Suppose the power were out for days or weeks, as happened with Hurricane Katrina?
Curious- what type of medicine do you practice? And, how did you end up here? Any thoughts or ideas as to how you came to need TRT?
12-23-2007, 09:20 PM
I suggest that you contact werewolf or firefighter2032
and read this thread
HGH & Torn Tendon
12-23-2007, 09:47 PM
Just curious... I've been hearing stories about guys who have overcome various harsh life's obstacles from car accidents to cancer etc and came out smelling like roses... Why didn't you guys try to place the same courage in overcoming your hypogonadism without medications??? How did hypogonadism become the kryptonite for you Supermen?? I am not trying to belittle your great achievements. Actually I congratulate you on what you've done.. But, why did you soccumb to your hypogonadism if you have such great will of overcoming the impossible??
Again; with all my respect... I'm just curious as to why people choose the easier path of TRT when many could probably get their bodies humming back naturally with the same determination and courage talked about above.
Again... Respectfully curious!!!
12-23-2007, 10:00 PM
A good question. I found the fatigue/depression to be significant
I really want to fight the effects, but cannot ignore the fact that they are real. By analogy--any perhaps a poor one-- could one ignore the effects of being force fed a whole bottle of whiskey? Not likely. You'd be just as drunk if you drank it voluntarily or had it poured down your throat.
12-24-2007, 07:37 AM
12-24-2007, 08:39 AM
I agree, BigAk, which is why I so persistently look for the cause and a cure.
I've racked my brain to find a cause. The leading candidates are the Finistaride I took about 10 yrs ago, albeit for only a month or so, and the paxil/welbutrin prescribed 2-3 years ago by a well meaning primary care Dr who I now believe confused the early symptoms of low T with depression. I've never been a depressed person and paradoxically was one of the first to think "Oh, just snap out of it already". The irony is not lost on me. There was no snapping out of the bizarre bouts of depression that hit me out of nowhere when I first started hcg alone. That has gotten better.
I agree with you 100% that many start TRT way too easily. The drug companies enable this as do may doctors. I know a few drug company reps- you'd be amazed at what they do to push their products. Look at Androgel, for example. It's 20X more pricey than compounded, but it's market share and volume are skyrocketing. Why help people fix the root cause when you can sell hugely overpriced gel packets?
I'm not going to give up. There has to be a cure. If not today, then maybe tomorrow.
12-24-2007, 08:54 AM
I can tie into a number of these concepts.
I was so depressed and tired - actually tired doesn't begin to describe it - that I needed to do something.
Antidepressants didn't really help. To the degree they did, they left me still tired. Then I try adding adderall. OK, another temporary patch, but now I feel wierd after a few days.
After seeing bloodwork at 340 (which by my labs reference range for a 36 y/o is low), I decided to do something about it.
i researched the options and figured since there's really no cure, per se, T therapy with hCG to maintain seemed like a reasonable option until something better comes along.
A number of studies have been popping up that seem to inform me that lower endogenous T correlates to some bad long term health issues, which made my decision a little more palatable. I know I'm "not doing steroids". I decided to do a "theraputic trial". If it did nothing, I knew it wasn't for me.
Do I still have doubts? Yes. But they get less and less the better I feel. And again, by using hCG, I should at least be preserving my base state anyways.
In a catastrophe where meds were unavailable, I would do what a bodybuilder would consider post cycle therapy and hopefully be where I was to begin with.
But in the meantime, I just know I can't feel the way I did a year ago. Even my PCP looked at me and was like "ok, we've got to fix this." Great, caring guy.
My 2c, anyways...
12-24-2007, 09:20 AM
If I dont have TRT around I will just have to deal with it. Just like if my car is broken down I will just have to walk or arrange to get a ride. Worrying about some hypothetical end of the world scenario as regards TRT replacement to me frankly is like waiting for the sky to fall.
My decision to do TRT was taken after I had order the appropriate tests to look into other common causes of the fatigue. After they were ruled out then I looked into TRT and others possibles in the differential diagnosis. I then proceeded with a therapeutic trial with an eye to watching out for placebo effects.
12-24-2007, 09:23 AM
12-24-2007, 09:24 AM
Well said. And, unfortunately, all too familiar. I still search for a root cause (m)
You story sounds familiar. I am most curious on your "what a body builder would do" comment. Allow me to follow up if I could.
I can't believe you are dealing with this at only 36. At least I was in my early 40s. Any ideas/thoughts as to what happened and why?
I can't help but think that we are somehow doing this to ourselves.....
12-24-2007, 09:48 AM
I see your point, but remember that you are the exception
As a medical provider you are educated and much more able to make an educated choice not based on the drug pushing reps that infest most offices. Allow me to comment and ask a few questions, if I could.
I do have one big question for you, however: "Why?"
By this I ask why do you think hypogonadism is exploding? Increased awareness alone hardly explains it.
12-24-2007, 09:49 AM
They go from being totally suppressed (I could be wrong, but I don't think alot of bodybuilders are using hCG "during" a cycle and are thus completely suppressed) to normal function within a matter of months.
Put most simply (and there are myriad variations) once T is stopped, you start with hCG/nolvadex/arimidex, then wean off one at a time. there are many more knowledgeable than I, this is just an "outline". Go to the bodybuilding forums and look at "post cycle therapy".
Please also note I am not advocating steroid cycles, I am just saying that we who do TRT under the care of a physician for a legitimate medical condition can be informed by the knowledge learned by those who do.
To address your other question "are we doing this to ourselves", I can tell you that, as asociety, the average T is way down from 20 years ago. Certainly our diets have gotten worse, exercise is down, etc... But there's only so much you can control.
There was just a study by the U of Rochester talking about the many estrogen mimics in our ecosystem and the havoc it can wreak on the endocrine system of males.
Interestingly, though, I felt fine when I was in my 20's. Looking back, I would define myself as high-testosterone. So I know it was working (and why I know something was wrong now).
But I think a combination of factors contributed to what only could be corrected by TRT.
Isn't that fatigue awful?? I could have stayed in bed in my jeans and a hoodie and been fine. No way to live. I was waking up and going through the motions as if life was a "learned behavior" that I could fake. F that.
12-24-2007, 10:04 AM
Thanks, Rick. That's what I thought.
The fatigue was the worst. Crushing and all consuming, no matter what. Life was a struggle. Not fair to my kids or my wife. Death was almost preferable. And, no, I am not nor was I suicidal- I merely state an opinion based on quality of life, which I am big on. Length of life is less important to me than getting the most out of what I have.
12-24-2007, 10:36 AM
12-24-2007, 11:13 AM
I also agree that most people don't try hard to figure out the cause of their ailment. They don't do their homework, but rather select to blindly trust their health care providers who often follow the "text book" therapy of "today." And; then you got the pharmaceutical companies on the other hand who will push Androgel like candy. They don't give a rat's ass about Joe Shmo's well-being. Actually the contrary; let's hook the nation up on AndroGel and capitalize on their future dependencies.. Sort of like selling cigarettes.
With all my respect to you Diancecht... I am not including you in this bunch as I don't know you.
12-24-2007, 11:16 AM
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