Passing the Test, Part 3

TAGS: heart, health, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell

For those who haven’t read parts 1 or 2, I’m 51-years-old and recently tested very low in almost every indicator for testosterone levels. This series is about my journey to and through supplementation.

February 12, 2008

Blue Man Group was awesome. They were really entertaining. It’s hard to explain what went on, but suffice it to say it was a multimedia event with music, videos, humor, and lots of percussion. I believe the name of this particular show was, “How to Be a Megastar 2.1.” Lisa, my wife, who is very A.D.D. was entertained for the entire show, which was somewhere around two hours. She NEVER pays attention to anything that long.

Ok, supplementation…the one pump is ok. It’s not great, but it’s ok. It’s still hard to evaluate how it helps in the gym because last week was the first full training week that I’ve had in about three months. I do notice that a nagging, impingement type pain in my left anterior delt isn’t nearly as pronounced as it once was. It seems to recover after bench and military work much faster than before. Mobility in that joint seems to be better as well. I will get another blood draw this week and have my levels checked again. I’m guessing that there might be an adjustment up to two pumps though time will tell.

February 22, 2008

It’s been a couple of weeks on one pump (1.25 grams) now. I’m not feeling as sharp as when I was doing the four pumps. The old shoulder pain is gone and work in the gym is still better. I went and had another blood draw today and immediately afterwards made an executive decision to up my dose to two pumps (2.50 grams). Sometimes, I like being captain of my own ship.

The two pumps seem to be much better. Work in the gym is going very well. I hit a 20-lb PR on triples in overhead lockouts. My ME bench work in my first open back DD is going better and gains are coming faster than my head is ready for. Physically I can handle more weight. The shirt certainly can handle a lot more. There are nuances to handling more weight that you don’t think about until you are there.

The big change for me is that after I take the lift off, I bring the bar out and low by tucking my elbows and moving the bar with my lats. I’m strong enough to do it, but I have to concentrate a lot more with the heavier weight to keep everything in line. If I don’t pay attention, I could put my repaired right hand and wrist in a dangerous position. My right elbow seems to want to kick out from under my wrist. I need to practice staying tight and in line with the lighter weights and not take any weight for granted. Being disciplined with the lighter weights will pay off when I get to bigger weights.

March 3, 2008

I received my most recent test results today. Lisa called me and said the doctor’s office had left a message on the house phone, but it didn’t make much sense. I picked up the message and the nurse didn’t give me any numbers. However, the doctor now wants me to go to six pumps a day (7.5 grams). Six pumps?

Four pumps had me at double the accepted normal high for total testosterone and quadruple the accepted normal high for free testosterone. Six pumps?

I called the office and got a young lady on the line who sounded like she was 16-years-old and should be babysitting my grandkids instead of discussing my testosterone levels with me. She confirmed that the doctor wanted me to up the dose to six pumps. She also told me that my new results had me at 379 for total testosterone and 87.9 for the free testosterone. These numbers are down from the four pump highs of over 2500 for the total and 645 for the free. I was pleased that the doctor wanted me to maximize my efforts in becoming a manly man, but I couldn’t help but wonder about the math.

I cleared my throat and reminded Barbie, Jr. that I was on one pump and that leapfrogging my formerly unacceptable four pumps by 50 percent didn’t make a ton of sense to me. She put me on hold and checked with a doctor. She came back, giggled, and said that he hadn’t remembered taking me down to one pump and was just upping me based on the four he thought I was still on. She said that based on my true dosage and the current results I should go to two pumps. I’m way ahead of you on this one, Barbie.

March 5, 2008

Today, I received a phone call from Connie in my doctor’s office. She seemed more mature and much more professional than Barbie and was also very, very cheerful. (I’m thinking they may be adding nitrous to their air conditioning in the office there.) Connie told me that the doctor was very pleased with my results, and though they are lower in the normal range, he would like me to stick with the one pump. One pump?

I told Connie about my conversations with Barbie and discovered that Barbie is 19-years-old, and she spoke with an associate doctor before, not my doctor. She also put zero detail in her notes, only that she gave me my results. I told Connie that I was doing well on the two pumps and that I would like to stay there. I also asked that MY doctor be consulted on this. Connie said that both doctors were just outside the door and she would see what they think.

She said that though they had a mild “professional” disagreement, they agreed that if a two pump dose was working, I should stay with two pumps for now or at least until the next blood draw. Whew. I’m not certain what the big trauma was. All I care about is that I’m within the normal range and that I feel and perform better. Will I test clean as is? Can I go to the gym now? It seems like simple stuff to me. I will keep up with the 2.5 g dose for a couple of more weeks and get another draw. I think the next draw will show that this is the right dosage and we can all get down the road.

My wife says that my snoring has picked up, and she believes my apnea is back. My body weight is still around 265. I will cut back 10–15 lbs slowly and see if that helps. I know others have done well on the CPAP. My only experience with a CPAP did not go well. I woke up finding myself throwing it across the room. If I have to go back on one, I’m hoping that something has changed for the better.

After my interactions with Barbie (ok not her real name and she is probably as nice as a freshman JC cheerleader…), I was discouraged to realize that someday she may be in a real position of authority in the local medical community and our paths may cross again. That makes me cringe and causes me to beg a favor from anybody out there. If someday down the road I need medical assistance and I’m going under the care of Nurse Barbie Ratchet, please take my coat and shove me out on the lake. I hear I will only be cold for a little while.

Ok, two pumps it is. Blood test number three will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Gel slatheringly yours until next time…

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