Long time lurker, first time poster here. I am not quite in the over 35 set but this is where the experience is so I think I am in the right place.
I will try to keep this as brief as possible, but I have a lot on my mind and need to put all of this out there.
I am a 31 year old male with Hypogonadism. I have been on TRT for 18 months now. Looking back, it seems I have always had relatively low Test, (late onset puberty, fatigue, NO results from lifting etc.) with a few exceptions where things felt right for a couple of months and then went back down to "normal" (read fairly lousy) And even though that was "normal" I knew my true self was different.
Things really started to decline about 2 years ago and I felt like an old man. My joints were hurting, moody, lack of libido and ED, I wasn't getting any restful sleep, I got gout in my big toe even though I am not overweight. (I was 5' 11" 170 lbs) I started to do some reading and asked my doctor to check my testosterone. He was skeptical but willing and I came back with a reading of 203.
My LH was normal. He immediately put me on monthly injections at his office and I started to feel better, started kicking ass at work again (I'm in recruiting/sales) Test went up to almost 800. I started working out and holy hell, I actually understand why people like exercise! I worked my way up to 195 lbs and put on a lot of muscle. My libido was back, gout went away, joints felt great, complete recovery.
More importantly, for the first time I can remember, I felt like the real ME on a consistent basis.
Every month I could feel the test go down and know when I needed a new shot, but I was managing. About 8 months ago my employer switched insurance and I had to find a new doctor. I had my records transferred and the new doctor still insisted on a complete blood panel. I had not had a shot that month and my testosterone was 338. LH and everything was normal.
The new doc freaked out over a high creatinine level due to the creatine I was taking and asked me if I was looking for Testosterone for bodybuilding. I told him no, and pointed out that he could see right on the report that my levels sucked, but that now that working out finally did something for me I was intent on improving my health. He advised me to stop taking creatine and wanted subsequent bloodwork to prove that I was off of it.
I quit for 2 weeks and then picked it back up after my bloodwork. I am not looking for an artificial gain I just want to feel fucking normal so I can get something out of doing the hard work myself!
Part of the new insurance was they don't cover injections. My new doctor also refused anything but Androgel. It worked okay for a few months, subsequent bloodwork put me back in the 700s and I never felt quite as good as with the injections. My insurance sucks so bad that I pay a ton for the Androgel anyway so depending on how much injections cost it might be a wash for me to buy them out of pocket.
However, I have felt a gradual decline back into and now worse than I originally felt. The last month has seen me completely crash. My nipples hurt and itch, I am getting fat, am falling asleep at my desk at 4:00 PM, I have NO motivation at work or in the gym, my joints hurt like hell and my libido is zero. Even worse is the anxiety and depression.
If too much is going on at once, even stupid things like my kids crying and my wife trying to talk to me at the same time I sometimes lose it and lash out. I haven't hit anyone, but I have cussed them out and I did punch a door in my house that I am now having to replace. I feel like a total ass and completely out of control.
I did more reading on this site and others and find that I am probably Aromatizing the testosterone and making estrogen. I called my doctor 2 weeks ago when I just couldn't take it anymore. he took 3 days to call me back and he didn't even listen to me, just wanted to get me off the phone and order tests of testosterone and Prolactin.
I asked about Estradiol and he accused me of reading too much and asked again if I wanted it for bodybuilding. I was pissed. A week went by and his order never got called in. I decided to fire him and picked an endocrinologist out of my providers list. I went to him and got the same runaround and questions. It seems he pulled my records from the other doctor and I am confident there are probably some sort of notes accusing me of seeking steroids, but I can't trust myself not to be paranoid in the state I am in.
He ordered bloodwork for testosterone and prolactin, refused to look at E2. I asked about arimidex and he nearly flipped out. I didn't dare say a word about hCG with Manny Ramirez scandal blaring on the TV in the waiting room. I went and had them done, it took him a week to call me back with my repeated phonecalls. He has his assistant do it.
She said my test was normal but couldn't give me a number and that my prolactin was slightly high but normal. (again no numbers) she is supposed to be sending the results to me in the mail but I have nothing a week later.
I wanted to talk to the doctor because I have 2 new symptoms. Pain that comes and goes in my left testicle and rare but recurring heart palpitations that hurt up the left side of my neck. (My last cholesterol scores were great, I don't think there is a problem there) I told her and she said she would tell the doctor and hung up.
I have lost all my assertiveness it is lower than it was when I first sought treatment. Fighting with doctors is not my idea of a good time.
Endocrinologist wants me off of Androgel for 2-3 months and then retest everything. I can't afford to wait. 2 months of this will see me fired from my job, divorced, and maybe worse. A week of androgel and the extreme mood swings have tempered a bit, but the other symptoms are worse. My joints are killing me, I am so tired, and depressed beyond belief.
Sorry for the long rant and being a drama queen. Please understand that this is a complete 180 from who I am as a person and it is disconcerting to say the least. I swear if I didn't have a wife and kids I would probably eat a bullet.
Thanks for listening. It helps to get it all out on paper. Now I just need to figure out what to do.