Thursday, August 29, 2013

Testosteroney - The REAL San Francisco Treat.

Do you remember that from Friends?  Phoebe says to the guys, "Why are you being all...testosteroney?"  And Chandler says, "Testosteroney - that's the real San Fransisco Treat."

I remember seeing a commercial a couple of years ago, showing men going about their daily lives, but in a sluggish manner.   A poor dog kept bringing his owner his frisbee to play, and the owner would sadly shake his head and then lean his chin into the cup of his hand, sighing.  A woman would hug her husband and wiggle her eyebrows suggestively, and he would sadly shake his head, detach her arms, and walk away, slumping.  One could almost hear the "Christmas time is here" music playing in the background. [If you haven't watched Arrested Development, you won't get that reference.]  His friend would come over in his jogging clothes, punch him in the arm excitedly, and make wild gesticulations to indicate that it was time for their workout!  The man, again, would sadly shake his head and shut the door on his friend.

At the end of this commercial, it would say, "Do you have low sex drive?  Are you lethargic?  Is your get-up-and-go gone?"

I would sit up straight in my chair and murmur, "Yes, yes, yes!" after each of those questions, wondering if someone had an answer for me.

"If so," the voice on the commercial would continue, "you should talk to your doctor about the possibility that you have low testosterone."

"Oh," I would say, and slump back into the couch.  "Never mind."

I have thyroid disease, which is controlled with medicine, and though the symptoms of low thyroid I was experiencing (you can't ever get warm, no matter how hard you try, you're tired all the time, you inexplicably gain weight, and your hair starts to fall out) did abate, a small amount of the tiredness, coldness, and struggles with weight have continued.  I just figured that's the way I was.  This was the new me.  I figured it had something to do with aging.

You see, when I saw these commercials, I had forgotten that women have a little bit of testosterone, too. I think I remember learning that in high school, and then quickly shoving it out of my mind.  I think it disturbed me a little, probably.

Anywho, I finally went to a new gynie this week, one whose specialty is hormones.  She gave me a two-column list of symptoms.  The columns weren't titled.  She told me to check-mark the symptoms that were giving me problems.  I probably checked four or five symptoms in each column.  She sent me to the lab to get a blood draw and said that I'd be called with the results in a few days and that she and I would meet together in a couple of weeks to discuss options, if a hormone imbalance is what I've been dealing with.

I got my results back yesterday.  And - guess what - I have low testosterone.  "Low T," as the menfolk (and my sister Beads, apparently) call it.  The lady said it was so low that it didn't even register at the bottom of the chart.  I told my friend Casady, and she said, "Cool, maybe you can take supplements and grow a sweet moustache."  I giggled at the thought and then threw up a little in my mouth.  It's just that the reason I shoved the thought of women having testosterone out of my mind is that testosterone, to me, as always been equated with visions of men fighting with each other over stupid things.  Bodybuilding.  Hair on the chest.  Junk.  (Male junk.)  Hair on the chest.  Hair on the face.

Am I going to grow hair on my face? I thought.

I decided to calm myself with a little bit of web research, which I am positive will be followed up with plenty of consultation with my gynie.  I found this interesting:

"Testosterone is known as the personality hormone. It gives us motivation, assertiveness, a sense of power, feeling of well being and enhanced sex drive. When we have an adequate level of testosterone we are able to take risks and live our lives with zest. Without testosterone we exist as if in black and white. It is testosterone that brings us into full living color.

Testosterone conveys powerful anti-aging effects. It turns fat into muscle, keeps skin supple, increases bone mineral density, gives us positive mood, and boosts our ability to handle stress. It supports cognitive functioning, and keeps the liver and blood vessels clean. Low testosterone levels have been associated with heart attack, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and depression. If you are freezing cold all the time and your thyroid levels are adequate, you are probably low on testosterone. For women, a little bit of testosterone can go a long way in improving looks, figure, energy level, outlook on life, enjoyment of living, sex appeal and sexual fulfillment."

(Found at

This actually made look at hormone replacement supplements.  Motivation?  Yes, please.  Turning fat into muscle?  Bring that on.  Help with depression? AOK.  And that whole last sentence about improving looks, figure, energy level, outlook on life, enjoyment of living, sex appeal, etc. Mother MAY I?

I get to see my new gynie in a week and a half.  I'm so glad I changed gynies.  My former gynie kept brushing me aside when I asked him if my crazy moods could be a hormone imbalance.  Thanks to the nudgings of my friend, Mary, I found my new gynie and am now on the path to finding another puzzle piece to fit into the puzzle of Why Karlenn Has Been Psycho Since Her Hysterectomy.

(Oh, and P.S., I went to a psychiatrist, a bona fide psychiatrist, for the first time in my life last week, and after a two-hour consultation, he put me on a medication that so far has made me feel just about a billion times better.  Puzzle piece number two is in place.) 


Kathleen said...

I'm so glad you are figuring it all out! Yay you!!

Mindy H. said...

First of all, I LOVE the title of this post. Seriously. LOVE.

And second, nice work on hunting out the answers and changes that you need. It is so nice when doctors listen. I'm so glad you are seeing good results, with more to come!

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