T Nation

RR's Once a Week to Twice a Week Cyp Log

Restate new protocol and injection method ( new and old)

Hi Charlie…

Old: 100mg Cypionate once weekly IM
New: 50mg Cypionate twice weekly IM

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Hi again! Sort of at the point where a three-day “daily” update no longer feels very informative. There is thankfully not enough changing day-to-day at this point, so I’m gonna just split this in two parts and see if it makes sense that way. I always have plenty to say:

Fri 7/26 - Sun 7/28/2019 - End of Week 9. Still feeling very on top of things. My anxiety was still up for this several days, for no real apparent reason. It’s not that I feel out of control with it, but it’s there and it’s kind of a bother. Wake-up has been easy and on both Saturday and Sunday I was in the garden very quickly upon waking, helping out with some donkey work.

If you’ve followed me at all, you’ll know that it used to take me at least 2 hours to get my bearings with the world upon waking. This was typical for my entire life prior to TRT. Not only am I not a morning person, I was barely functional until about 10:00am on any given day. This was sort of a running joke I had with people at work (“don’t ask me that until after 10:00”) but it was true. Now? Most mornings I’m just on it quickly. No fog. Total mental clarity within about 10 minutes of waking. What the fuck is that?

The gardening was a perfect example. No full breakfast, just a quick snack and I was at it. Did about two hours. It was hot but it didn’t feel like work. Easy and breezy for the most part. On top of that, mood is excellent. I even hit +4 on my “mood/depression” chart, which started way in the negatives. Prior to switching to twice a week, I only topped 0 a few times, and those days I just rated as 1’s. I would have sworn that was the best I could feel mentally. Now I’m up to +4 some days? That is just seriously happy with no obvious reason to be.

Mon 7/29 - Tues 7/30/2019 - Beginning of Week 10. The protocol switch has been a huge hit. What can I say? Mood is still excellent, energy is very good, motivation is almost off the charts. On the “negatives”, libido comes into orbit and then goes away and I still get sleepy most evenings. Not tired really as the night wears on, though. Also the anxiety seems to have subsided with my Week 10 Injection #1. I’m still left feeling quite excellent.

The cyst on my leg is still tiny - I mention it because it seems to be some kind of hormonal marker. It responded last year to my initial T treatment, then gradually got bigger again (size of a dime at least) as the positive effects of T waned a little, and now it has seriously responded and shrunk with my change to twice a week.

The new protocol has been great. A little bit of a pain to inject twice as often but I look forward to it and I work very clean. If you are having trouble and you’ve been on once a week for a while, I highly HIGHLY recommend trying to switch to twice and staying on it. It has had a night and day effect on me and I honestly didn’t expect it to. Quality of life has skyrocketed. I am just gliding effortlessly through my days, even difficult ones. All I really wanted was to put a stop to the misery of the last 2.5 days wearoff while waiting for my once a week shot. Instead I’ve gotten a crazy boost in almost all areas.

Of all things, the libido part is frustrating, but honestly it had already started to disappear for several months before the switch. Everything else is way, way on the positive side. I can’t say it totally negates libido (hell, no one wants to be without that) but it’s had a five star effect on everything else. I’m thinking there’s a good chance the rest, including libido, will follow in time.

Welcome to Nearly Week 11 of my protocol switch from 100mg once a week to 50mg twice a week.

Been a bit of a roller coaster so far, moreso at the beginning. Also been full of little surprises, which continue until this very minute.

Wed 7/31 - Fri 8/2 - As I head to the end of Week 10, the great mood continues. Most things are pretty much the same as I last left it. Libido was cranking on Wednesday but quickly dissipated toward end of week for no obvious reason. Wifey was in for semi-serious medical test on Friday, so it’s fairly likely the worry from that put paid to any chance of libido hanging around. But I have noticed it does make these brief appearances and then goes away almost completely. On once-a-week it was far more consistent than this, in terms of both hanging around and disappearing. Still early though.

I am definitely more even in terms of everything else, even a little “high” from it all. Mood, energy and motivation all very much kicking. I do not regret the switch but some crazy acne has started again (on my back, my chest, and my face, ugh). The acne preceded a bunch of fatigue last time around. I’m wondering if I should maybe lower the dose slightly as I had initially planned? As of right now I am shooting the exact same amount each week as I did on my previous protocol. But I really don’t want to fuck with the amount right now as I just leveled off.

Sat 8/3 - Sun 8/4 - Waiting for medical results is no fun. Especially not over a weekend. I’m not extremely worried about it, but it’s there in the background, nipping at my heels and eating away at my general well being. I still feel a nice buzz although mood has dropped somewhat. Libido is still gone. Once again I am in little doubt that these particular fluctuations probably have absolutely nothing to do with T and everything to do with life circumstances. Still, I feel that I should mention them.

That said, all my other physical indicators of healthy hormone levels - super stinky sweat, the tiny little cyst on my leg that has remained shrunken away, and the fact that I am breathing serious “mountain air” (a fresh feeling in my lungs that I get on good shot weeks) - tell me that my body is slurping these shots up and using them.

Mentally I’m doing okay, and I do think I’m handling stress and worry way better than ever before. That includes my full year on once-a-week T shots. This last few weeks, my anxiety has increased, especially as I get close to each next shot. I think that continues as I feel a little edge as I’m sitting here typing this, and my shot is due tomorrow afternoon. It’s not unbearable, but it’s present.

So I am definitely going to monitor this acne, and maybe go with a sliver less in the 3ml syringes this week. Wish me luck.

Back so soon? Oh yes. Because I actually have something tangible to report!

For those interested in numbers I finally have something for you. It’s bloodwork, but of course not a hormone panel because I can’t get one of those.

So I mentioned somewhere above that I have an “autoimmune” condition. That autoimmune condition is Crohn’s disease. If you’re not familiar with it (and not too squeamish, spoiler alert for the rest of the paragraph), it is a disease that can affect that length of your GI tract from mouth all the way to the very end, but mostly occurs in the (very long) small bowel. The disease is characterized by inflammation, ulcers and yet more nastiness which cause utterly demonic pain and suffering. Many normal “ulcerations” affect the surface being ulcerated, but Crohn’s ulcerations are different. They start inside the lining of the bowel and then eventually come to the surface, literally eating you from the inside out.

I have already had more than 12 inches of badly diseased small bowel removed, but thankfully that was 11 years ago, and I have been disease free since. Stress and the wrong food does seem to put me into “mini-flares”, but thank God I have had no real flares since then, and two totally clear colonoscopies to prove it.

Incidentally, I partially credit my work on my head (anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc) shortly after my surgery, with keeping me disease-free, as that shit tends to release some badass chemicals through your bloodstream, but I am also on some strong medication (more shots, yay) which has been a literal life-saver.

All that said, you are never “cured” of Crohn’s. It is with you for life. You can go into remission and that is where I am.

So every year with my routine bloodwork, I have my GI doctor check my SED rate, which is a marker for inflammation throughout the body. A normal SED rate is considered between 8 and 15. When I was badly flared I believe my SED was over 50, which is obviously very high, and since my op, I have hovered between 19 and my previous April 2018 measurement of 26.

26 is pretty darn high, especially without active disease, as I had confirmed by my scope in July '18. SED rate isn’t a perfect 100% marker for active Crohn’s - you can have active disease and a low SED - and of course you can have a high SED without active Crohn’s. Many other things can inflame in the body, but it’s still a number that I like to know.

That SED rate of 26, measured in April of 2018, coincided with a different blood draw where my T was checked. My T was at a very low 170 then, and this was right before I started my initial injections.

I’m sure many people here know that T helps deal with inflammation in the body. The high SED and low T I would guess is therefore a not totally uncommon combo. It’s just a guess.

And that brings me to my point, which I probably could have made in a sentence or two, but decided to be my usual detailed self:

I had my usual GI blood draw last Friday (first one since April '18) and the SED rate came back…

8.

Yep. 8. I’ve never even been in the normal range before. Now I’m sitting at the happy end of it. Thank you Test Cyp?

Awesome progress. Enjoyed reading through your logs. Gives me hope that I will make it through any struggles as I begin TRT. First treatment was yesterday and obviously have high hopes for some QOL improvements. Realizing though that some people take a while to dial this in is a comforting factor should that arise with me too. Thanks again.

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It’s nearly a week since I did an update on my TRT experience. I do have some things to talk about so let’s get right to it.

Mon 8/5 - Thurs 8/8/2019 - Not content to leave well enough alone, I have decided to go with a little less in the syringe starting with Week 11 Shot #1. It’s very hard to measure in the 3ml syringes but at least I can do it consistently. Just hard to gauge exactly what amount it is I am doing each week.

Up to the last 1ml bottle, which supposedly has about 1.1 mls (220mg Test), I was squeezing nearly each drop out by the fourth dose. With what’s left in the little well each shot and the bottle, etc, I’m thinking I was previously doing about 105mg a week.

I estimate I have now reduced my dose to about 90mg a week. I am not going for a huge reduction here but that is a pretty significant drop. As expected, not much changed in the first few days of Week 11 - energy is still very high, motivation is excellent, still sleepy in the evenings. By Thursday, however, libido had circled around pretty strong.

My memory seems to be fucking around a little though this week. It’s disconcerting. Somewhat like the confusion I alluded to way up in Week 3 or so. Just stupid instances of having no memory of things. Like at all. Pretty sure it will pass.

Fri 8/9 - Mon 8/12/2019 - So libido has definitely stuck around this week! Could be a coincidence with the length of time I have been on my twice a week protocol, but then again it may not be.

Motivation was so-so on Saturday. I didn’t feel like doing nothing but I also didn’t feel like doing very much. There is a difference between those things. Pre-TRT I often felt like doing nothing. And I just rolled with it. Sunday was similar but I was up early and out in the garden helping out with donkey work for a few hours. Energy was extremely high and while I was out there my motivation was good. Mentally, with the exception of this memory shit, I feel very stable. Concentration is very good.

As of today, Week 12 Shot #1, my bright mood has returned, libido seems to be really hanging around. I am noticing it a fair amount throughout the day. It has not been like this for quite a while.

The other interesting thing is my motivation to do creative stuff seems to have returned! Oddly enough, I was extremely creative (drawing and painting) for the 2 years I was low T… depressed and anxious as shit, but quite creative. I guess those go hand in hand although I did enjoy the creativity. It was relaxing. And it’s not like I was painting skulls and disembowelings.

On TRT for the last 13 months though, I would say the creativity has waned, along with the motivation for it. So while I speak of high motivation throughout this log I mean motivation for life. Different I think than creative motivation. It’s hard for me to believe it’s a coincidence it has returned so strongly as the week ended.

I have said all along I am extremely sensitive to the shots. I feel them within hours. I feel them peak and I feel them trough (less so on twice a week). So for the moment I am sticking with this lower dose theory. Everything else is stable, but libido and creativity are up? So far, so good. I’m lucky in that I have felt mostly good on TRT, but dialing this shit in is kind of a misery mix of guessing games and patience.

I expect a few bumps in the immediate road ahead as the new dose represents another change, but it’s a relatively minor one so we’ll see. For the moment this is extremely promising.

Almost the end of another week. It’s now Week 12 of my original protocol change but nearly 2 weeks since I reduced my dose from about 105mg to 90mg a week.

Tues 8/13 - Thurs 8/15 - Wow. I just don’t even know what to say. My creativity and now my mental sharpness have both made a huge comeback. I thought I was feeling good before, this is just another level of awesome.

My days are still very easy, physical and mental energy are now through the roof. I thought I’d lost my mental sharpness forever on the downward spiral of Low T. For most of my life I had a very smart mouth (good and bad) and razor wit. Then since 2015 or so, I just got duller and duller. And duller. It’s a really terrible feeling going from someone who always had something smart or funny to say to not even being able to respond to the most basic of questions. And that’s where I was. T has seen me come back somewhat, but since this switch to twice a week and now the reduction in my dose, I seem to be sharp again. I can’t explain or prove it.

Now on TRT I had also lost my creative edge - an edge which oddly enough had been pretty prominent while I was low T. I drew and painted more for those three years than all my adult life. But I just took it as a tradeoff and was ready to roll without that desire to be creative. It sucked but there wasn’t much I could do about it. Who wouldn’t trade that for things like energy, mood and libido? Being able to be functional at work?

Now? I’m two weeks into lowering my dose and OMG even my creativity is back with a bang. Other than the usual evening sleepiness, I also seem to have this fairly boundless energy. This has been a crazy week. Feels very much like the honeymoon period from way back.

But I’m no fool. I expect a bit of a crash since I’ve modified my dose and this feels like a high. But I’m not complaining either way.

Fri 8/16 - Sat 8-17 - I feel kind of shitty writing about how great I’m feeling right now when a lot of people are here precisely because they feel like such shit. Please don’t forget that I was once where you are. Low T one year ago was miserable, depressing, anxiety-driven, zero libido, no motivation, and my mind was virtual jelly. I was a useless waste of fucking space. And before this protocol change 12 weeks ago I wasn’t so bad, but I was in quite a fucking rut.

So take heart and hopefully some inspiration that this good feeling may be attainable. We’re all different. I’m very fortunate to be a good TRT responder, but it has taken time and patience to get dialed in. And clearly I’m still doing that. This time it was a dose reduction (along with my injection increase that this thread is about) that has propelled me to feel like this.

Last two days have been more of the same. Crazy energy, great mood, libido is back around, concentration and sharpness have increased dramatically from only a week or so ago. Oddly enough the cyst on my leg has started blowing up again. It’s about 4 times as large as it was last week (it was down to the tip of a ball point pen) but still only about a quarter of the size it was when I increased my shot frequency. It seems to be some kind of hormonal marker for me, so I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Again thanks for reading and I wish you luck with your own journey. If you feel like T isn’t working for you, sometimes all that’s needed is patience. At the same time if you have been waiting or are in a rut, an increase in shot frequency and/or a dose change (even a reduction!) can work wonders. This is not just my testimony but it has definitely been my experience.

Sometimes you feel that burst in energy , libido etc when you change the dose like you did. Your body attains stability and things even out. I tried altering my dose slightly every couple of weeks to get the feeling back…but I decided to keep myself stable and keep dose the same

Keep us posted.

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Always feels like your body’s homeostasis is just out to F you.

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Wow, has it really been a week since my last update?

Sun 8/18/2019 - Mon 8/26/2019 - Well here I am at the beginning of Week 14. I am starting to lose track here a little bit, sorry.

Bit of news to catch up on for the week. First off I have stabilized so much I haven’t even looked at or updated my own personal chart that I’ve kept diligently since June 2018. Every day is kind of magical at this point. Very much like my honeymoon period and this has been going on for several weeks.

One thing I learned last Friday was that my “dose reduction” that I instituted a few weeks back hasn’t been much of a reduction at all. I initially estimated that I reduced my dose by 15%. Well I got to the last shot in the bottle and it turned out I’ve lowered it by about 5% if that. Those 3ml syringes are really imprecise and I have since found some 1ml ones that I am FAR happier with. Much better dose control and sharper needles. So NOW I am doing about 95mg of test per week, down from 105. But perhaps since I’m feeling so good I shouldn’t screw around with my dose at all.

There has definitely been a small reduction in something, as the acne that was starting to flare up badly has since calmed. My last acne flare last Fall was pervasive and spread to my face. The cyst on my leg (my little imagined hormonal marker that was down to the tip of a ball point pen a few weeks ago) has grown over the last two weeks and is about 50% of its initial size again. It seems to have stopped there, about the size and shape of a literal pea now. My “mountain air” feeling which strangely disappeared last week for almost two days, has now hung all the way around right through today’s shot.

In terms of energy I have more of it than any time since around 2011 when I had major Crohn’s surgery and ended up on medication which combined at the time seemed to give me a total new lease on life. I had been tired and ill for my first 35 years and suddenly for about five years I felt really energetic and alive. That came to a halt in 2015 when (I suspect) my T levels really started to dip. I gradually got more and more tired again. Not extremely so, but noticeable and a far cry from where I was those first few years after my surgery. At that time, I found I needed way more sleep again and even that wasn’t doing it for me.

As of today, my creativity is through the roof, my general life motivation is excellent, my mental sharpness is great, I wake up quickly in the morning (up from being a ridiculously slow waker-upper my whole life), and libido while not anything special, is at least hanging around a bit.

I feel really dialed in now. Going to twice a week has made all the difference. And for those that say exogenous T will only make you feel “normal”, I totally disagree. If this is what normal was, the world would be a much better place and men would be way happier. I don’t want to jinx it, but as of right now I am basically slightly high every single fucking day. It’s a miracle.

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Hi!

10 days since my last update. Headed toward the end of Week 15 of my protocol switch. At the moment, although I did try, I have NOT reduced my dose. So… still on about 105mg a week.

I may dial it back a bit sometime although at this point I’m not sure why I’d even try. Libido doesn’t feel right but honestly that’s the only thing wrong right now. With the exception of a couple days here or there, I have essentially been revisiting my honeymoon period for the last 3.5 weeks. I daresay that other than a lack of “euphoria”, it’s better than the honeymoon period. What I am referring to was the 5 day fest I had when I first started TRT in June of 2018 and felt so amazingly good. Then there was an almighty crash.

I am very fortunate right now to basically be waking up with more energy than I’ve had in about 8 years, feeling motivated and on top of the world. And very mentally sharp. I feel 20 years younger and at the same time way better than I did 20 years ago. All with the exception of the somewhat elusive libido. But everything else is ticking along very nicely. Anxiety has mostly been in check… no depression to speak of… I get up in the morning ready to tackle the world.

So at the risk of being extremely repetitive… this is a far cry from where I was when I started TRT. And the year I was on once-a-week shots seriously pales in comparison to how I am feeling now. If you’ve followed this log, you will know it took 11 or 12 weeks to get where I am right now. Patience is key. I cannot stress this enough. Read the log if you don’t believe me. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

Since switching, I never once doubted that twice a week was better than once a week, but I could not have gotten where I am without sticking with it for three months and not changing shit up. What’s funny is I actually tried to change shit up by lowering the dose a month ago - and only through the grace of God - and probably a little of my own stupidity - I never actually changed anything and my dose remained exactly the same. I only get to know this as I get to the end of each bottle every two weeks. It’s always nearly empty.

My point being… I changed my protocol and then stuck with it, and have ended up here. It’s no fun but you have to do it. The hardest part is obviously if you get your protocol wrong and you stick with it and then you’re staring down the barrel of another two or three months of a guessing game. But I was on the wrong protocol for over a year. Too much patience and too much fear of changing things up. But once I did, my patience was rewarded and it has now gotten me here. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to ever feel this good on a consistent basis. It’s been a long time since my average day felt difficult to get through. I’d love to fix the libido but I don’t think I want to change how I’m feeling right now. It almost feels unfair. Like I’m doing something wrong.

I wish you luck on your own journey and I hope this log has helped you or someone else. I will keep checking in and reporting every week or so but at the moment where I am right now is where I was the last few updates. It’s a good place.

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Hello again. About one week since my last update. Gonna try this bullet style this time:

  • First off, still doing well overall. Will give you more about that in a minute. For those of you who followed my thread here, you may possibly remember I was accused of some real heavy bullshit at work several months back and had to endure a month+ of hell and a quite stressful 4 hour Q&A about it. I’m happy to report that I found out yesterday that I was (correctly) cleared of all charges by the body that decides such things. Nothing will go in my file. Unfortunately no penalty for the accuser, who told some real whoppers, but I think that’s the way it usually goes. I was also informed that the accuser “likely” regrets making this report about me and would definitely still like to be my friend. Yeah. As I said previously, you can’t make this shit up.

  • As for my T, I have now very slightly reduced the dose and am doing about 95 of cyp per week. Since my protocol change, I have developed some cystic acne which is not awful but at the same time they are mountainous things and quite annoying. Also they are invading my face. So I am trying to very slightly reduce.

  • I have been flying absolutely high for over a month, but am now expecting some weirdness with the slight reduction - but who knows. Shot is due tomorrow and I have been panicky anxious at times tonight which may very well be related. Since making the switch to twice a week and being patient, I no longer get any trough-induced anxiety leading up to a shot, which was a very common occurrence before. I am in fact very rarely anxious at all these days, so tonight has been noticeable.

  • After a full year of giving up anti-perspirant and only using deodorant I have begun to get sweat rashes under my arms and so have unfortunately started anti-perspirant again. I’d rather not do it but the sweat rashes are quite painful. The anti-perspirant is doing its job and the rashes have stopped.

  • My euphoric mood hasn’t really been around the last week but I had been aware of my “verdict” coming down and I think that put a dent in my stride. My mood has brightened considerably since finding out there will be no consequences of any kind.

  • Maybe repetitive but I’d like to advise people again to try and shoot more often if they find their protocol not working and also to pick a dose and frequency and then stick with it for at least eight weeks. Everyone is different but I think it took 10 weeks before I really started to get the benefits of this (twice a week) protocol. And the benefits were serious. Like a total life transformation.

  • And the first few weeks for sure were pretty fucked up, and chock full of stupid experiences that made me wonder at times if I had made the right decision. You have to stay with this and not fuck around, or you will only encounter frustration which will lead to stress which will just make it that much harder to ever feel good. Just my opinion.

So as reported previously I had slightly modified my dose… and moreover my injection amounts have been fluctuating over the last 2 or 3 weeks.

Well it’s starting to take its toll as not only is my panic and anxiety up but yesterday I was having weird sudden sweatups and today I am tired as shit. Tired like I haven’t felt in ages.

I switched to 1ml syringes and it’s been a little challenge keeping my amount the same as what I’d been doing. In truth that should be easy. Just measure and inject. But nothing with me is apparently ever easy so here I am.

I don’t feel terrible but after five straight weeks of being absolutely on top of the world in nearly every way, this last five days I alone have experienced the following at different times:

  • Sweating up
  • Sudden panic attacks
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue

Shit it’s almost like a low T laundry list. I’m not saying I’m low T but I know for sure it’s the varying doses that have put me here. Last shot I did 25ml and today will be 25ml again. In fact every shot I ever fucking do ever again of anything will be 25ml, I don’t care what it is. Tired of this shit!!!

I went down to 95mg from what again?

I went down between 10 and 15 percent. So probably like 105mg to a little over 90. But I have been fluctuating. I know that’s not supposed to matter but I am feeling it bigtime.

Just tell yourself that when you change anything you are gong to feel worse before you feel better. That’s how it is for me at least. Even going from the same weekly dose doing daily to EOD I felt worse for a month. Then when I decided to go back to daily I felt worse for about a month before I felt better. Then In another month I felt great.

I appreciate it. Hoping I can get back on track quicker than that because it wasn’t a huge diversion. But I’ll tell you it feels like hell.

I know it. Hang in there

Wrote yesterday’s update on my phone during the daytime, that’s how bad I was feeling. So to be clear I meant “.25ml” not “25 ml”. Not that anyone remembers or cares, but just for the record I am aiming for a quarter of a mil per shot. Not 25 mil. Pretty sure that would kill a horse.

So today was a little better. Still very tired, still a little malaised, not as anxious, but the day has been difficult to get through. I’m still mentally sharp and still have an ease of talking and interacting with people, so I haven’t lost everything. The feeling of not really giving a fuck what someone thinks is very freeing. It’s not that I don’t care about them as human beings, I just don’t give a fuck what they think. Yet if someone has a good point, I can still take it on board. This is foreign territory for me. I like it.

But only a couple weeks ago I was gliding through every day, feeling pretty much as good as ever. I have got some really large acne popping up… acne like I’ve never really known… and so genius that I am, I decided to fuck with my dose a little.

Anyway I am back on a pretty hard and fast .25ml and I don’t want to mess around. It’s incredible to me how quickly this feeling slipped away. I had a warning sign or two a few days early last week. The sweat rashes I was getting under my arms appeared rather suddenly, and I think the sweating was a hormonal reaction. I mean it’s fucking September.

I appreciate what dexter has said about expecting this kind of thing if you make a change. At the same time I think it snuck up on me, and the problem is it sneaks up on you and weakens you at the same time, so you have kind of a double whammy because suddenly you are weak and not able to deal with the adversity that is being presented to you.

Very frustrating.

But today was better than yesterday and I’m hoping I can glide through a day soon because honestly I must have sailed through a month straight and it was a really amazing way to live. Other than probably when I fell in love, I’ve rarely felt anything like it. Need to get back there and not stress about the potential side effects. Speaking of which, this isn’t the place to read if you don’t want to stress about potential side effects.