Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Battle with Testosterone - Update!

Before I jump into the meat of the post, I want to first thank everyone for your kind, loving words and support after my first post. Sharing such deeply personal parts of our lives with the internet can be a scary thing, and the outpouring from everyone squashed that fear. So, thanks. :)

Also, settle in for another long one. This particular situation doesn't benefit from brevity. 

Yesterday, Ryan went in for his 2 week follow-up and I am so pleased to report that my darling husband is improving every day! I am getting my sweet husband back, and the joy that fills me with is indescribable.

I guess I should explain what went down at the initial appointment.

We brought along all the recent blood work that our general doctor had just run a week prior, and settled in for the consultation. When the specialist came into the room, met us and started looking over Ryan's paperwork, he was making me nervous. He kept looking at the blood work results, shaking his head and looking at Ryan. Finally he put everything down and spoke to Ryan with such care and concern. He said "I have seen men with double the levels of testosterone who can't even get out of bed in the morning. You must have some will." No surprise, I started crying immediately. Partly, I was crying because I was so happy someone else recognized how amazing Ryan is for dragging himself through (recent) life while feeling SO terrible...and partly I was crying because he was justifying that this was serious. We talked over Ryan's blood work, the options available, what he suggested and how it would work. I cried a lot. He was kind and patient. He even joked that "its not a successful visit if no tears are shed" as the nurse passed me a box of tissues. After hearing all the options and the doctor's recommendation, we trusted him and took the plunge. Ryan was prepped and received the first treatment right there, on the spot.

What we decided was best for Ryan is an injection of bio-engineered testosterone pellets, which are inserted into his hip area, just under the skin. A small incision is made and then a large syringe puts several pellets under his skin. These pellets are sustained release and last for months, so Ryan will only have to have that done about twice a year. The hope is that eventually, Ryan's body will start producing the correct amount of testosterone on its own and this won't be a life long thing. He was also given a shot of fast acting bio-engineered testosterone to help jump start his system. Within a few days, I was starting to notice little improvements. Things that would make Ryan mad or upset for DAYS were now rolling off his shoulders in record time. He was smiling more. Being more playful. Laughing more. (The sound of Ryan's laughter is one of my favorite things on the planet and hearing it with much more frequency was so very welcomed.) Overall, he was just...BETTER.

Over the last 2 weeks, that has continued to improve. His mood is better each day, his energy level is getting back to where is used to be and I can just tell that he FEELS better. He didn't experience the "light switch" effect that many have described, but considering how low his levels were to start out, that doesn't surprise me. At the follow up yesterday, his doctor told him that he was at almost 500 now, (a HUGE jump from his starting level of 181) and as the pellets dissolve and go to work, he should reach the optimum level of 1000. As for the root cause - well, that's still in the air. They ran a lot of tests and there are several possibilities, but the doctor doesn't feel comfortable making that determination until he sees how Ryan's body responds to the pellets after a couple of months. So, for now, we are just along for the ride. A ride that is getting increasingly more enjoyable. :)

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