Thursday, July 20, 2006

Measuring Masculinity

In various previous posts including I Have What It Takes & Hello God, Is That You?, I wrote about my journey toward a real life of masculinity, including being awakened by God in the middle of the night and reading and journaling and stuff. Things culminated for me in late April, and in my post Who I Really Am I chronicled my passage into manhood.

The process continued. The getting up in the middle of the night has lessened quite a bit, at least for now (the last time, I think, was in early May when I wrote about being Sleepless on the Road to Oz. I journaled about the rite of passage being in my past, but how there is still work to be done -- how I was a "13 year-old man" with "27 years of catching up to do" -- a measure of maturation to do in order to bring me up to being a 40-yr old man on the inside.

At this point in the story, it would be good to give you a little background. In March of 2000 my doctor did some blood tests and I was diagnosed with a condition called hypogonadism. This meant that while I went through puberty like everyone else and am otherwise normal, my body did not make enough testosterone. My doctor prescribed some patches, but they fell off all the time. Since I am an RN, my doctor prescribed injectable testosterone.

So, since early to mid 2000, I have, every four weeks like clockwork, given myself a shot of testosterone. For the queasy of stomach, feel free to skip right to the next paragraph. The needles I have been using are around 1" long, and the injection goes deep into the muscle in my thigh. One month I do the right thigh, and the next month I do the left thigh. The testosterone is thick, like syrup -- so that it is absorbed slowly over the 4 weeks in between injections. That makes it difficult and sometimes a bit painful to inject. But my body needs the hormone, so I have become accustomed to it.

In late April, when I feel God took me through a rite-of-passage, I had just given myself my monthly testosterone injection. In late May I was out of town and had forgotten my injection supplies. Realizing this I decided to just give myself the injection when I got home. But then, when I got home, I changed my mind. Instead, I got a blood test (it had been awhile since my last testosterone level check anyway).

My results came back completely normal.

I eMailed my MD and she said she has not heard of any cases of hypogondism resolving spontaneously. I told her my theory that God had taken me through a rite-of-passage and that perhaps this would explain my normalized testosterone levels. She said this was as plausible a theory as any she could come up with. We planned to wait another two months before checking my blood again.

Monday 17th July was three full months with no testosterone supplementation. I had my blood test Monday morning.

Today my results came back: still completely normal.

No more needles. No more thick syrup-like injections into my thighs. No more wondering why my body doesn't make enough testosterone on its own. No more wondering if that makes me less of a man.

God has made me a man and as proof He has normalized my testosterone levels.

My heart is still in process, and I know I have a lot to grow into. But my heart is working. And I am a man. And I agree with God when He says this is very good.

~ cob


Chris Monroe said...

A W E S O M E ! ! !

Here's one more who's giving God the praise for what He's done for you!

Jon Reid said...