Hey guys, I've been reading the forums on TNation for a couple of months now. I hope I'm posting this in the right area, if not sorry for the mistake. This is a long read.
I will try to make this as brief as possible, but my story starts back in 2001!
My stats at the time were: 30 years old, 6' tall, 208lbs. Never used any type of gear. At that time I only took creatine, Pro-complex protein drinks, and vitamins. Prior to this I worked out 3-4 times a week, rode a mountain bike, and fished and camped. No kids at that time. Never had any depressive symptoms in my life.
In Feb. of 2001, I was at work just talking to some of my co-workers, when all of a sudden i got a feeling like I was starting to get sick. I began to feel lethargic, mood started to drop off, and I had never felt anything like it before. I made it through the day, but on the next I was off work, and I was eating some lunch when the feeling hit me again. My wife came home that evening and found me sitting in the bedroom in the dark. She asked me what was wrong, and i told her I didn't know. I told her I didn't feel like myself at all, and I was way over emotional! I went to the Dr. that week, and I described my symptoms as, emotional, no appetite,(my appetite dropped off big time!) and just a general feeling of not feeling like myself. I started having severe depressive symptoms. I was treated like absolute shit by my family doctor! I was literally told by my doc, "that a person can go 3 weeks without eating before they die!"
He gave me some stuff for stomach acid, and referred me to a gastroenterologist for an upper GI scope. After the scope, I was told I had a hiatal hernia, and that I should avoid working out. I was given a Rx for Prilosec, and a whole bunch of literature about acid reflux! I never had symptoms of a hiatal hernia, I didn't even have acid reflux!
I followed the stupid advice of the doc for about 3 weeks. In the meantime I continued to feel worse. I was over emotional, I felt nervous, anxious, my sleep pattern was off, and I would come home everyday to my wife and breakdown. I was asked by co-workers everyday, "are you ok, you don't seem like the same person."
I finally went to a counselor, and she told me I was dealing with severe depression. She told me about some relaxation tapes, and some books I should read. So I tried her way for about a month, and just continued to feel like absolute dog shit 24/7!
I decided to get a new family doc, and see if I could get a second opinion on the hernia. I switched docs, and was given a referral for another test for the hiatal hernia. This new test revealed I didn't have a hernia at all. My new doc put me on the anti-depressant Paxil. I took it for about 3-4 months without a change. He then tried prozac, celexa, and about 3 others without relief from depression.
Through all of this, my wife and I had a baby boy in May of 2002, and another boy in April 2004.
This went on for about 3 years. In 2004, with the help of the internet, I told him I wanted my testosterone levels checked. I was now 33 y/o, and my level came back at 111. He put me on Androgel, 2.5 mg packets in September 04. I don't remember feeling a whole lot better, but my level went to 856 by October, and by November it crashed again to the low 200's without changing the dose. I do remember feeling like absolute shit in November. He had also put me on Effexor in early November. My level went up to the 300's by Dec. 2004. I continued to take the Androgel, and by February 2005 I had a full on crash/breakdown. I ended up going to see a Psychiatrist, and he put me on 400mg Wellbutrin, and 20mg Lexapro. I also continued the Androgel.
I had a decrease of depressive symptoms, but continued to have low energy, lower libido, and a drugged up kind of feeling. I never felt great on Androgel, and I dis-continued using it in Dec. 2006. I continued to have little crashes/breakdowns every few months, but it was better than before, so I took what relief i could get.
In October of 2010, I was feeling way down again, and for the first time in a few years I had my Testosterone level checked. It came back at 409, and my Doc said that was good, so I believed him and I went along my way.
Fast forward to Feb 2012, I was tired of not feeling like me anymore, and I pushed myself back into the gym. I went 4 days a week in spite of low energy. I started taking creatine, Jacked 3D, Size On, and my Pro-Complex protein drinks. It was a slow process, but i started to put some size on again, and my bench press was slowly getting better. I decided to try some over the counter Test booster, and I went with Beast. I tried 2 bottles for 8 weeks. You'll see the results of Beast below in my new Test level.
In May of 2012, my brother in law switched doctors, and he was seen by a PA(physicians assistant) in the new office. My bro-in-law was feeling all the symptoms of low T, and sure enough his levels came back low. He called me up, and told me he was given his first T cyp shot of 200mg, and he told me about all the things he was just told by this PA.
I decided I should have my levels checked again by my doc. My TT came back in the low 200's, and I had been feeling like shit too. Despite pushing/dragging myself to the gym, I was still low on energy, and the TT level was telling me why.
My Doc put me on 200mg Test cyp a week, and re tested me in 3 weeks. My level went over 1500. This freaked my doctor out, and while I'm sitting in his office with my wife, he looked at her and asked, " does he seem really aggressive right now?" My wife looked at me and smiled, and said "no!" I looked at the doc, and told him I could go home and take a nap right now. I told him I came home tired everyday from work.
He told me to stop the injections for 3 weeks, and then do another one, and re check the levels.
After 3 weeks, I decided to go see the PA that my Brother in law was seeing. He told me to continue 200mg a week, and that he would really like to see me get off the psych meds I had been on since 2005. (Thats right, I took 400mg of wellbutrin, and 20mg of lexapro a day for almost 8 years!)
I weaned myself off of the Lexapro by Oct 2012, and continued to 200mg of test cyp a week, along with the wellbutrin. I crashed so hard in October, that I thought I was going to die. I felt so horrible, I came home from work, and broke down in tears in front of my wife again!! I blamed it on going off the Lexapro. I continued like this for months without real relief. I was referred to an Endo doc, who had me go off the Test for 5 weeks, so he could see if I really needed it. I also showed him the horrible acne on my back, and he said that was due to too much testosterone.
I stopped the Test injections, and at the beginning of the 4th week, I crashed even harder! I did my blood work for the endo, I went back to the PA and explained what happened. He told me to go home and inject 600mg of test, and 400 a week after, and then back to the 200mg after that. I did the 600 mg on a Wed, and by the following Wed, I finally felt a little relief from the crash. I literally felt my mood lift a little.
About 3 weeks later, I was in the dumps again. In May I went back to the PA, and told him I had been reading about high E2 levels and that I wanted mine checked. Again I was breaking down in a doctors office, and feeling like crap again. He did a total Estrogen panel, not an E2! My total level came back at 325!
He put me on Letrozole with out a true dosing schedule. He said take the 2.5mg a day and then go every other day after a week.
I started reading as much as possible about E2, HCG, AI's, and anything else I could find on the internet.
I took the Letro for 5 days, and then I started to split the pills with a razor blade so I could lower the dose after reading about crashing the E2 levels. It helped a little, but I'm still nowhere near a 100% yet.
2 weeks ago I switched docs again. A friend of mine told me about his doc(an anti-aging doc), and how his doc has him on copounded Troche's(pronounced tro-ki.)His Troche is componded with hcg and testosterone. He said he feels great on them.
The new doc does saliva hormone testing. I'm still waiting for the results. In the mean time he did put me on HCG injections, and lowered my test cyp to 80mg per week. He also likes to use "natural" estrogen blockers. I ended up with some stuff called estro-DIM, Gyne-andro-plex, I3C, and Resveragen(resveratrol).
He had me stop the Letro, but after feeling some of the high E2 symptoms this past week, I took 1.25 mg on Wed.
I don't think the "natural" estro blockers are going to cut it for me.
I'm sorry if you think this post is too long, but let me tell you, 12 years of stupid doctors, and not a one of them checked hormones until I asked them too has been pure hell!! I believe this all started due to a really bad hormone crash, and it was easy for docs to put the label of depression on it.
I am slowly starting to feel a little better after being off of the Wellbutrin and Lexapro. Now I have to get off the Celexa I was put on when the Doc came up with the bright idea of a 600mg shot of test cyp!
I do believe I have had horrible depression, but it has been due to a hormonal imbalance. I don't know how long it will take for me to finally feel like myself again, but I have never given up once. I have fought off suicidal feelings through this, and have somehow continued to raise my boys through some of the worst feelings a person can have! I don't quit, and I'll be damned if I ever give up!
I believe I have had high E2 with low test, and that every attempt by the docs has made it worse. I think the Androgel raised my E2, and made me feel worse, and that any of the good effects the shots started to have were lost due to the T to E conversion. Not one F'ing doc ever did an E2 check! The doc I am seeing now did order an E2 through the saliva test. I am going to ask him to do another one using blood this time. I take 3-4 weeks to get saliva testing results back.
After reading a lot on here about shitty doctors, I believe there needs to be national protocol standards for trt, and hrt!
As a side note, I was told by 2 psych docs in the office I was going to for years, that low testosterone does not have a connection to depression! I mentioned it more than once to them, and I was shot down every time. I understand emergency situations for mental health intervention, but I believe everyone should have a full hormone panel done before being treated with psych meds. It is irresponsible not to! Of course, that's money out of their pocket if you don't need to see them every 6 to 8 weeks!