Anabolic Steroids Have Improved My Quality Of Life During The 15 Years That I Have Lived With HIV And Aids.
"I was about 28 years old and what appeared to be in fairly good health for the most part....I had an AIDS diagnosis but was really suffering from no more than a few side effects and some aches and pains and nausea from the medicine I was on. I have always had an incredible sense of my body and how it feels when "something" is askew.... I grew up a chubby child and young adult and had struggled with weight and food issues all my life.
Well, I was taking the antiretroviral drug AZT at the time which had highly altered my ablitity to tolerate or have absolutely any desire for good clean, whole foods whatsoever. I was lucky if I had an appetite at all, but if I had a desire for food it was generally for HIGH fat or HIGH sugar! This was EXTREMELY difficult for me with my education in diet and excercise! I finally resigned to the fact that if I ate at all it was a GOOD thing and that if it was fat I craved it was fat I ate!
The only problem here was that for ONCE in my life I was eating anything I wanted and still boasting a washboard stomach!? Well for most people this would be a dream come true, including me! However, I knew my body much to well to know this to be an appealing reality for me....
Around this same time, I was experiencing the onset of what I learned to be Fibromyalgia Syndrome. My muscles would ache like I had severely over excercised. My calves felt as if I had done one calf workout after another, and the fact was I never trained them directly at all, due to the obvious pain I was in. I was explaining my symptoms and concerns to my Doctor. Our relationship was to the point that if I told him of symptoms I was having, he would investigate at the very least. On that particular meeting we discussed and agreed that it could be indicated that a small dose of Steroids or Testosterone Cypionate or Megace may help. Unknown to me, I was in the early stages of what I now endearingly refer to as "Man-O-Pause."
Mind you I never had any experience or real knowledge of steroids or hormones, other than what I learned in school. School just spoke of athletes and healthy populations who use them and the risks involved which were potentially many. I however had never heard of Megace, which he proceeded to explain to me was a female hormone used to increase appetite and used to fight breast cancer in women.
Silly, stupid me.....I chose the Megace as I had my "concerns" over the steroids and was told that if I was normal on testosterone it would not help me anyways. So I took the megace prescription and went forward. Well in a seven day period I gained 11 pounds of FAT and WATER. I was so bloated and miserable I wanted to die. I was in the grasps of PMS Hell.......My wife would laugh hysterically as I made trip after stomach splitting trip to the fridge. I would eat so much it made me literally sick and I would eat more!!!
My now swollen love handles ached as did any other fatty deposit on my body!! I'm thinkin my Doc got a laugh too!! I asked him to please STOP the Megace and test my testosterone levels for "plan B." I get a call from the nurse the next week and only as Tom could do, I asked him what the results were and he blurted out, "your dick is sick and you need to come in". I believe I had a testosterone count of 40 which is probably FAR lower than most women have let alone almost non existent! This was a great relief for me, as FINALLY there was something to treat for. If I heard "I don't know" ONE more time I was gonna go Postal!!
Little did I know then the "journey" and "hormonal hell" I was about to go thru. The nurse gave me the option of coming in weekly or that it would be easier if I learned to inject myself or have my Wife stick me in the ass!!! I chose to "stick myself" thank you very much! I recall at that time the most I was to due is 1ml every 3-4 weeks.
Well within HOURS of my first injection which was given by the nurse, I was sitting at one of our Harley hangouts as my unit suddenly took over all of my brain capacity. EVERY woman was starting to look good. In fact just about anything on two legs at the time seemed sexy. I knew something was working!! I told the guys I HAD to go!! Home to my Wife I went and wouldn't ya know it life seemed ALOT nicer to live again! My workouts became better, my appetite increased, energy was great and my never dwindling sex drive was thru the roof!!!
Within months I noticed a steady decline in my "functions". It just wasn't working anymore!? I believe we increased it to 1ml every two weeks or so!? The Fibro returned with a vengeance as did the funky appetite. I resigned there was no more I could do at that time. I don't believe the thought of doing more testosterone let alone adding a steroid was appealing to my Doc or myself.
We moved to Oregon shortly after that. I was sitting in my new AIDS Doc's office in Portland explaining to her about the decline in my well being I was going thru and the return of the FMS. I told her that my Doc in LA was unsure of the Fibro at the time and that they were both DEFINITE problems I was facing. For a change she was VERY familiar with both situations. Her exact words regarding the testosterone were, "oh....Vitamin T, we have patients lined up at the door for their WEEKLY shots! She also explained I had classic Fibro symptoms, which was another VICTORY in understanding my diseases! However, she never gave me any more advice than, that I have it!
We increased the dosage of testosterone to 1ml weekly. Suddenly I was in severe puberty again as acne covered most of my upper body. Mind you I have ALWAYS had acne in my young adult life but at 30 years old now this was a bit MUCH for me to take emotionally. The other benefits it offered over rided my desire to stop due to the zits!!
Let me say this....I feel if I did not speak up to these Doctors that most of the time they would never monitor let alone think of changing my medicines. As with other aspects of my health care I was determined to be as informed as ever about how this Testosterone works and how to make it work BEST for Me! The 1ml a week was working as far as energy and appetite, however the pimples HAD to go if I had a say in this!
I was asking one of my GOOD friends at the gym about his use of steroids and if he could please help lend some insight to my ups and downs and this ACNE! Mind you noone ever gave me any info...I had to search out knowledge myself. The Doctors ASSUMED if I was taking the medicine then by God it SHOULD be working! Once again I know my body best and something had to be changed. My buddy enlightened me surprisingly so, that there are THREE types of testosterone and that all three are synthetic versions of what the body naturally produces. I knew only of Cypionate and told him of my acne concerns etc....His comment to me was, "Cypionate is NOTORIOUS for causing acne! Don't you know that!? Also your muscles receptor cells get "resistant" to the same form taken over and over again and that they should be cycled for optimum benefit!!"
Wow, all this KNOWLEDGE and compassion coming from my "measley" friend. He should go to work for some of these Doctors in Oregon!! He could save alot of lives with HIS knowledge! I RAN to my Doctors office and discussed my new found knowledge of Testosterone Enanthate. She agreed that his information was good and that I could certainly try it! I started to notice IMMEDIATE differences changing my hormones from one synthetic to another. The Enanthate was the answer to my prayers, or was it??! My acne got instantly better which I am FOREVER greatful to my friend for as NO ONE can understand the emotional scars of a life filled with acne can cause unless you have lived it! Thank you my friend! My energy got better and again was able to excercise again!! I was up to 185 pounds and holding with a MESSED up appetite however!
Ok, I fixed a few things, energy, weight and acne. Again all I heard is you "look good"....therefore I must be feeling good!? I was NOT happy or content with the fact that my appetite was NILL....I could walk thru an ENTIRE grocery store and NOT find ONE thing to eat or that even looked appealing. I felt again like a 90 year old man inside. Tired, achey incredible lethargy etc....Food was a must on my list!! I LIVED on tuna casserole and Ensure for over a year! That was ALL that sounded good.
I was explaining to my LOVING Mother in Law that I kept throwing up what food or Ensure I did get down and how eating again was the last thing I wanted to do! She said, "I don't care if you throw up 10 Ensures, you drink 10 MORE! Your weight will help save your life." I took her words literally and set a goal of lifting four times a week at the gym no matter how much I HURT. No matter how bad the Neuropathy(nerve damage due to AIDS medicines) killed my arms and legs, and to drink as many Ensures or eat as many Tuna Casseroles as possible to try and reach 200 pounds as a goal and shift some of this fat to muscle and even if I had a bit more fat..."oh well." With the help of Marinol and the Testosterone and the encouragement of my family, and my loving Dad who put up with the SMELL of Tuna weekly I SLIGHTLY over shot that goal at a record weight of about 225 pounds. NOT all muscle mind you! My waist went from a 32 to a 38 if that tells you anything!! I over did it a bit on the casseroles!
I knew that whole foods throughout the day was the BEST answer but nothing including the Testosterone would help change that. I had developed SEVERE nausea to the point that I was dry heaving 20 to 30 times a day. Some were not all DRY! The Marinol did help the most in being able to at least KEEP the food IN!!! My persistence and dilligence at the gym and the Testosterone did help to convert the energy into muscle.
My energy declined as these Doctors continued to put me on HEAVY Narcotics, including Morphine, Methadone and Fentanyl for my FibroMyalgia pain. As all my symptoms worsened and life became something LESS than desirable to live, all I heard was "you look good". End of story! After 2 more horrifying years under the care of these so called Oregon Doctors I was seeing, none of them had answers to my ills other than that it was the Narcotics or the Testosterone causing my nausea!
By the request of my Doctor, in LA no less I GLADLY stopped the narcotics but continued on my 1ml a week of Testosterone. My energy came racing back and again had some feeling of well being. I have another DEAR friend who I met on the internet who I was discussing my concerns and ideas about the idea of starting some dosage of anabolic steroids as newer research had shown great promise with AIDS symptoms. She told me about a steroid called Oxandrin. I was so happy that I had an alternative plan now!
I explained to my Oregon Doc that the 1ml was just NOT giving me energy or any kind of appetite to say the least. Well, once again this supposed Doctor showed his true IGNORANCE as he told me to STOP my Testosterone altogether and replace it with 10mg of Oxandrin ONLY!
As I now weighed 230 pounds due to sheer WILL and DRIVE not to wanting to give into this fatigue and appetite loss, I knew the Doctors already assumed I was using to much or that is was the MAIN cause of my nausea.....I left His office agreeing to take my 10mg of Oxandrin all by itself.!!??? Something in my soul told me this prescription was GRAVELY wrong for me but I was DESPERATE to have energy and lose some of that 230 pounds which probably 100 of it was around my waist!! But what do these Doctors in Oregon know from fit or fat!? Again, "I looked good". Must have been the double extra large gorilla sized shirts I was wearing to cover my embarrassing PONCH!
I spoke to my "friend" at the gym again and told him of my new steroid and excitement of being able to try 10mg of Oxandrin! Well, He about laughed me out of the gym! He was dumb founded how any Doctor could prescribe 10mg of Oxandrin and take AWAY the testosterone no less when I am complaining of fatigue etc....
I brought in pages of internet facts on steroids and had to BEG to get put back on 1ml of Test and up the Oxandrin to 20mg! I felt great for about 2 weeks and same ol' shit again!!!!???? I just could not figure out why my lady friend was sick and taking 50mg and weighed 150pounds and I am sick and 230 pounds taking 20 mg!!??
Well I had ENOUGH of the accusations that my nausea and problems I was facing in my life, which were MANY were due to my Testosterone use that they continued to prescribe to me, so I just did as they wished and stayed on that dose for a few more months. As my health and well being DECLINED and my Wife and I discussed the options or possibility of ending my life, I was diagnosed with yet another illness called Shingles and another Bacteria in the stomach called H-Pylori. Wow do you think the H-Pylori may cause this severe nausea, I asked my Oregon Doctors. NO, was there reply as they once again preached and screamed LOUD and CLEAR that my "problems' were due to my 1ml of Testosterone a week and my 20mg of Oxandrin.
I can only deal with so much STUPIDITY before I want to KILL! I immediately terminated their position as Doctors in my life and called my Doctor and friend in LA and was on a plane that next day to have the biggest AWAKENING I have EVER had in my Adult life. My how times had changed. The same Doc who had started my 1ml of Testosterone a month was now prescribing 1ml of Testosterone with 1ml of Deca Durobalin a week then to 2ml's of each a week and repeat the cycle every 4 weeks...My God, cycling, combination therapy, this stuff was MODERN medicine!! Medicine that for once made sense and brought an incredible LIFE SAVING feeling of energy and well being!!! I am ALIVE again! I went from 230 pounds and about 18 percent bodyfat of all which was in my GUT, to 230 pounds and 10percent bodyfat within 2months! For the first three weeks on my new "cycle" I felt better than I can ever recall. I had NO Fibro pain. I had MORE energy than ever. My bench press went from 95 pounds to 315 pounds. (Seriously!!) My sex drive was thru the roof!! My depression was GONE! My body felt ALIVE and magnificently healthy for the first time in 15 years!!!
That was over a month and a half ago. Since then my "functions" have either maintained in some areas or have drastically fallen off. Put it this way....my sex life with my wife has NEVER been better and I did 150 pound leg extensions this morning and also did 500 pounds on the leg press for 2 sets of 12 repetions. This, coming from a guy who was bound to a wheelchair to go out in public two months ago! However the fatigue has returned. My fibromyalgia pain is returning slowly. My days are cloudy mentally and my depression is apparent again as well.
Oh lucky Me....I am NOT in Oregon under Providence's IGNORANT care any longer. I am in Los Angeles with a brilliant, intelligent, compassionate Doctor who is well aware that I am correct in saying that so much of this battle for me, is hormonal balance and effectiveness. Mind you the health conditions I am describing are almost identical to those I had in Oregon. This Doctor tells me it is time to change, or "cycle" your hormones! He sees that my body still has a LOT of recovery to do, to try and obtain a semblence of health I had prior to the Oregon Doc's having there way with me! He does not judge me by my looks!! He has the courage to change with the times and prescribe PROPER medicine in the PROPER dosages! The Doctor's in Oregon would have had me stop all hormones ENTIRELY if they had it their way. Fortunately they will never have the opportunity to have it "their way".
My Doc here in LA has LITERALLY saved my life by getting me off all the JUNK medicines due to side affects of improper medicating on their behalf and putting me on a new AIDS cocktail, and a new hormonal cocktail that has given me a vigour and a renewed zest for life like never before! I truely believe if it were not for my background in health and fitness, my keen sense of self and a Doctor who knows his medicine, and Steroids I would not be here to write this physically let alone emotionally.
I am WELL aware of the potential risks of Steroids and so is my Doc. However, I go back to the saying I have literally lived one day at a time for 15 years now with AIDS and HIV, "it's not the quantity for me as it is the QUALITY" Today I have QUALITY, 3 months ago I was planning my exit from this WORLD and HORMONAL HELL!!
I also believe that by proper medical supervision and PROPER dosages that I have a better chance of surviving side effects from the Steroids than surviving the similiar "slow death" that the AIDS drugs bring. Funny how both can give you LIFE and both can take your LIFE. I think the key is to trust myself and the advice of my Doctor and the rest is up to you know Who!!!"
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