Finally, after 4 years of symptoms and and 3 Dr.'s, my husband is getting the treatment he needs. He is going to start testosterone replacement therapy. If any of you have husbands or sons, you need to read this post.
Let me go back 4 years. My DH was 45. His sex drive started diminishing. He felt tired all the time. But, we thought stress from work, etc..... We'd only been married a year. At his next checkup, the Dr. ran blood work and tested his testosterone level along with everything else. He was towards the low end of the normal range. Another year later and he had fallen into a deep depression. He still wasn't sleeping well and he'd gained 20 pounds. But, his job was very stressful. He made a Dr. appt. and more blood work was ordered. His cholesterol was up. He blood pressure was up. The testosterone was about the same. The Dr. put him on antidepressants. He ended up going through 3 different kinds before he felt any relief.
Two years ago he was still on antidepressants, had gained 20 more pounds, never slept through the night, was moody and had no sex drive whatsoever. We blamed the antidepressants and the weight gain. Our relationship became strained. Last year the Dr. put him on high blood pressure medication, his cholesterol was higher and his blood sugar was up. His testosterone had dropped. We decided to start marriage counseling.
Five months ago he had another check up. His blood sugar was higher. His blood pressure was worse, as was his cholesterol. He could no longer get an erection, even if he tried. He was miserable. Again, his testosterone was about the same. Our Dr. sent him to an Endocrinologist. We waited 2 months for that appointment. She looked over all his blood work and examined him. She ordered much more specific blood work, including all the sex hormones. We waited almost a month for those results. They called him and told him that he was insulin resistant and needed to start medication for diabetes and totally change his diet. When David asked about the rest of the blood work he was told it was all perfectly normal.
Now, I guess I don't take anyone's word for anything like that, so we requested a copy of his blood work. I KNEW this was something wrong! From what we could see his testosterone levels were very abnormal, with a drop of over 200 points from the year before. When he called to ask about it, he was told to "stop obsessing" and watch his diet.
I asked my poor husband to go to one more Dr. and made an appointment with a Urologist. He had that appointment today. This Dr. told him that he did have perfectly normal testosterone levels.....for an 85 year old man!!!!!! He told him that low testosterone can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis and can cause high blood sugar. It causes fatigue, depression and weight gain. It obviously causes sexual issues.
Five million men in the US have low testosterone and don't know it. They're blaming all their symptoms on other issues, or that they're just getting older. It's not a test that most Dr.'s do on men, and when they do order it (like our family Dr. did), they don't order a test on Free Testosterone, just Total Testosterone. It's the Free Testosterone that tells you how much is being utilized by the body.
The Urologist said that he promises that my DH is going to feel like he's found a miracle. He should feel much better after just a week of treatment. He feels that he'll be able to stop all the medication he's on once his testosterone levels are normalized.
I'm sorry this is so long. I just can't believe we've finally found out what's causing all his problems and that it took 4 years. It's so sad to me that so many men are suffering from symptoms they don't have to! My poor DH is on 4 different prescriptions and he probably didn't need any of them! I wanted you all to benefit from our experience, so maybe someone you love won't have to go through all of this.
I applaud you on your untiring advocacy on behalf of your husband!
Unfortunately, too many doctors become conditioned to labelling their patients, and can't envision anything outside of their first impressions...
Getting a referral to a specialist can be daunting if you have an HMO, no matter how much worse your symptoms may become.
Sorry, didn't mean to digress.
But after watching mystery diagnosis on the learning channel; the number of misdiagnosed patients is staggering. So much so, that many patients just give up, wrongly believing they're hypochondriacs and living out their lives in misery.
Again, good for you and your hubby!!!!
(And thanks for sharing, I just love happy endings.)
Oh, Jodi....I am so happy for you and your husband. I have followed your posts about the changes in him. Good for you for pushing to get an answer. Great medical info you passed on for all of us. Thank you.
I can hardly wait to hear about the results of treatment. (well maybe not all the details lol). Praying for the best results for your husband, and you.
thank you so much for sharing you and your dh's story.
I am so happy for him that he finally found a doctor that knows what hes doing.
If it was me I would almost go back to the other doctors and smack them on the head- idiots
So sorry to hear all that ya'll have been through for the last 4 years. It's great to see that you finally know what's wrong & it can be treated! Awesome!!
I don't want to steal this thread BUT I do want to add something. My 46 yr old DH was diagnosed with prostrate cancer a month ago. He was having some of the problems your DH was having. His PSA level was that of a 75 yr old man. Needless to say he haD a prostectomy, robotic surgery last week & his prostate was removed. The cancer was so far advanced that the doc's said he would have been dead in a few years. He did good with the surgery thank God. Now he has no bladder control at 46. A new battle to fight but he'll win!
What I really wanted to say is PLEASE get your MEN to take a PSA test even if you are no where near 50 yrs old. IT COULD SAVE THEIR LIFE!!
DH is cancer free & doing fine!
My husband went through the same thing. It is amazing how doctors will only see what they want to see. The testostrone is truely a "magic pill". I wish it were so easy for me to loose weight
JodieF. I'm so glad the somebody finally find out what is wrong with your DH.
tcturtleshell, I'm glad to hear your DH is cancer free!
Thank you for your comments. It's just SO frustrating to realize this could have been taken care of years ago. But, the medical community is just coming to realize the very damaging effects of low testosterone in men.
I guess we'll have to wait awhile to see if this is truly the miracle the Dr. think it's going to be! I'm a whole lot more optimistic than I've been for a long time though.
I also do want to emphasize that all men need to have their PSA's checked. My dad had prostrate cancer at 58, and it was detected because of that bloodwork.
If your husband is having symptoms, do reading about low testosterone and insist they get that bloodwork! Shoot, have it checked anyway! You can't know if it's gone down if you don't know where they started from to begin with!
Jodi, hang in there! It is going to get better! After all you guys have been through it's nothing but up from here!
PSA tests are soooooooo important! My DH went in for a normal physical. Civil Service doesn't give a complete physical so he asked our family doc to do tons of tests because he wasn't feeling normal. He was tired & that's not like him. We didn't even know what a PSA was before this. When you have a high PSA the first thing the doc's do is watch & wait. They monitor & do PSA's for a few months. Well DH's got higher after 2 tests. Next step Urologist. So if any of the men in your life are having problems OR are in their 40's go to the Urologist BYPASS all other doctors. Don't wait! The cancer my DH has is fast moving. It started spreading out of the prostate. Thank God they got it all~
Sorry Jodi... didn't mean to steal this thread. I just really can't stress how important this is. Men just won't go find out what's wrong with them. I'm so happy that your DH listened to you & kept looking for answers! I hope this drug they have him on will work miracles. Take Care!
I have the exact same problem as your husband, only the opposite because I'm female. My estrogen levels are very low. I, too, have insulin resistance, high blood pressure/cholesterol, very low energy, weight gain. etc. It took 5 years for me to get a serious diagnosis. Once I started taking estrogen and metformin, my life truly changed. Give it a couple of months to settle in, and you'll feel like you have a new husband.
I can sure give it a few months, because now we have HOPE!
I had been seriously wondering if our marriage could last. I love him so much, but this has just been so hard! That is a huge load to get off my back. There IS a reason he's been the way he has been.....whew!
Thanks for sharing your story with us. It is very informative, and I truly appreciate it. I do hope that your husband will start to feel better real soon. He is very lucky that you persisted he keep checking!!
God bless, and here's to your whole families health!!!
Oh Jodi I'm so happy to read this post. I have read your past posts and knew what was going on emotionally wise.
I'm going to email it to my DH to read. I seriously wonder if this is what's wrong with my brother since he has a lot of the same issues. Thank you for posting this.
By the way how is your son doing? I'll never forget the music that he wrote that was played. Simply beautiful.
Wow.....how lovely that you remember my son's music! Thanks for asking about him. He's doing great...finishing up his Junior year. His junior recital is in 2 weeks. Our High School band is playing Adam's "Ghosts" in concert on May 1st and Adam is going to conduct it. He was very flattered that his alma mater is playing his piece. My younger son is currently in the Band so will be playing his brother's music. I still have it posted on my website and listen to it all the time.
As to medical things, I have gotten to believe with all my heart that you have to listen to that little voice more than some Dr.'s! I am very grateful that there is so much information available on the internet! I know some of it is total garbage, but it was my reading that made me sure what David was suffering from. I just hope that our experience can help others find their "fix" much faster! Be sure when you ask for the blood work that they not only test the Total Testosterone, but also the Free Testosterone.
Okay, I have one big problem, my dh won't go to any doctor, especially if he isn't really sick with a virus. I have tried talking to him about how important it is and no luck. He nods his head and says he knows, but does nothing. I have even told him that he might not get to enjoy the grandkids that we someday might have, if he doesn't get his checkups. He still won't go. He sees me go to every kind of doctor for my health, but he tells me he doesn't have time. My son tells me to just make an appointment for him, but he will just tell me he doesn't have time to wait in a Dr's office. I think deep down he doesn't want to find out he is unhealthy. I just don't know how to get him to go to get a checkup. Any suggestions that will help would be gladly accepted.
Wow, I'm not sure there would be anything you can do to get him to go. I'm afraid anything you would say or do would just make him dig in his heels even more. I'm sorry, but sometimes men can be SO dumb!
Of course, I got my ex hubby to get a vasectomy when I told him that he'd have to "do without" until he did.... Maybe that tactic would work with yours????
Still waiting for the prescription to be called in.....the Dr. did one blood test and said it would be a day or two to get the results and then they'd call in the prescription. He needed the result to judge what amount to prescribe. It's been a week. We left messages Friday and today....
We are going crazy trying to be patient. Here we finally have an answer and no prescription!
*beating my head on the wall*
Maybe offer to go and pick up the prescription to get the office to get a move on. Usually it is a nurse that can write the script for you. Somebody probably has not informed the doctor that you have been calling. I would call every day and tell them you will call every day until you get the script.
okay....now we're up to 10 days after his appointment and still no script. But, I did talk to an actual person this morning and she promised it would be called in today. So, we'll see.
It's awful though... I haven't slept well for days and I'm overwhelmed with fear that this isn't going to help him! It's probably unreasonable, but I can't help it! I just have this sinking feeling this is all a tease and he's just going to keep getting worse. *sigh*
Oh Jodie..... I'm sorry you are feeling this way and that it's taking sooooo long for this script. Here's a ((((((((((hug))))))))) for you.
Awww...thanks for the hug. I really appreciate it.
I know it's just stress and worry that's making me feel like this. Well, that and the worst PMS I've had for ages!
After not hearing from the Dr.'s all day David called the Office at 4. They said the Dr. had been in surgery all day. He wants to talk to David about what form of treatment he'd prefer, either gel or injections. They apologized and promised he would hear from the Dr. tomorrow.
Lordy...I'm gonna need meds by the time this is all taken care of!
FYI DH doctor prefers the gel to injections. He says the gel is more consistent. Sometimes towards the end of the month the injections run short in your systom.
Thanks Shooterstrigger....is there anything else we need to know about the treatment?
The Dr. finally called in the prescription yesterday, only after my DH called and said it was getting a little ridiculous. But, that's okay. At least we have it now.
Now we just have to wait and hope it helps!
Please have the men in your life ask for baseline testosterone bloodwork the next time they get a physical. How do you know if your levels have dropped and are causing your symptoms if you don't know where they started from???
Hi, I was just wondering how your DH treatment was going. Have you seen any changes yet?
Sorry..I didn't get notified that a reply had been posted.
There hasn't been that "miracle" yet, but there have been a few noticeable improvements. He's weaned himself off the antidepressants with no issues. Also, and sorry to be personal, but, it's difficult not to be with this topic, so I'll share that he has had a few "semi wake up's" in the morning, if you know what I mean. He hadn't had that happen for over a year. As to desire, still absolutely none. He's really been watching his diet and has lost over 20 pounds, so that's great.
He has a follow up appointment on the 27th to do more blood work and discuss a dose increase. He is on the minimal dose, so it's easy to see that it might take an increase to bring his levels to normal.
Thanks for asking!
Just thinking about you Jodie. how are things going?
Shooterstrigger....thanks for asking! He is MUCH much better! No more antidepressants and he's feeling normal! It's nice to hear him laugh again! He has no more issues in the bedroom either. Now, his desire level isn't really high, but at least he's capable. His last bloodwork showed his testosterone levels have only gone up about 70 points after all these months of treatment, so he's going to ask about that. We wonder if he needs a higher dosage to really get back to what he should be.
I know this was the cause of most of his problems! It still amazes me that it took SO long to get him treated and it makes me so sad to think of all the men out there who have no idea that a simple gel applied to their arms once a day could make them feel like themselves again!
I am glad everything is working out for him. It is amazing how 1 simple thing can affect so many aspects of your life.
Of course, the DH laughs....says his future career as a professional baseball player is out of the question now......steroid user!
... When he called to ask about it, he was told to "stop obsessing" and watch his diet...
Jodie. I'm so glad you finally have the right diagnosis and your poor husband can regain his health at long last.
That dirty little attitude on the part of the medical staff just galls me. Sometimes you ask them a straight up question and they blather for an answer, blablabla and you go, but what about your answer to my question and they say something like what you got, or "you just can't let go can you." Agh no not when my loved one's health/life is your hands. Now about that answer.
I'm so glad you both stayed at it--bunch of obfuscating over-educated dummies some of them.
I'm very happy your persistence has paid off.