An Overly Personal Growth.

I’m sorry I’ve not been posting much here recently. Truth be told, I’ve had a lot of other things on my mind. While I have gotten some gaming in, I’ve not really felt much like saying too much about it.

I was hoping that I was going to be able to write a relieved post today about how it turns out I don’t actually have cancer after all. Unfortunately, after my hospital appointment today, we still don’t know, and so I have a whole spectrum of interesting tests coming up in the next few weeks.

Lets lay it out. It’s a rather squeam-inducing and embarrassing topic for a chap to discuss, but I might as well be open about it.

My body has been in a state of decline for a few years, with various organs deciding that they could no longer be bothered to work properly, not least of which was my brain, which has not been feeling particularly sharp of late. Why all this was happening was a bit of a spooky mystery, but we suspected that the toxins that my liver was steadfastly refusing to filter out of my blood were probably not doing the rest of me any good.

Anyhows, that was the state of play until a few months ago, when my good friend, Dave Fuller, suggested to me that maybe I should get my testosterone levels checked. Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone, and low levels can trash your concentration and energy, cause depression, prevent muscle growth no matter how much you exercise, and even, in extreme cases, cause your organs to pack up. Well, this sounded sort of familiar, so the next time I was at my GP I asked him if I could get that tested for along with all my usual blood tests.

The thing is, male hormone-replacement therapy is getting to be a bit trendy, and GPs are somewhat beset by middle aged men trying to persuade them to put them on it. That particular therapy, for folks with normal hormone levels for their age, is not available on the NHS. There was, then, a bit of resistance from my GP. I argued that it might be the root cause of my depression, and that it would save us all a lot of trouble if that turned out to be the case. Largely, I suspect, to humour me, he agreed we’d test it, just to see.

The results were devastating. My testosterone levels are, well, practically non-existent. How long this has been going on is hard to say at this stage, but it seems likely that it has seriously messed up a good portion of my life up until now. I spent a month or more being pretty damn angry and bitter about that. I’m largely through the anger now, and looking forward to the possibility of getting a fully functional body and mind. Should that come to pass, I do, I shall warn you, reserve the right to catch up on some of the youthful adventures that I missed out on.

First though, we needed to find out exactly why my testosterone levels are so low. I’m pretty much hitting the embarrassment wall here. Suffice it to say that parts of my body have been poked, prodded, and scanned. It was during an ultrasound that the operators found something of interest. They were actually just supposed to be checking the blood flow (which turned out to be fine), but there it was; a dark blob, its dense structure absorbing the ultrasound far more than the surrounding tissue, or anything else that ought to be there.

Funny thing is, it probably has absolutely nothing to do with my low testosterone levels. We just happened to be looking in the right place at the right time to catch the very early stages of whatever it is. We still don’t know its exact nature, but it scares me terribly. It perches upon my shoulder during my waking hours, pregnant with dark possibilities. It is difficult to think of much else, and I’m afraid that I have been not been feeling terribly inspired to write about games, even when I feel well enough to play.

But I will. Don’t go deleting me from your RSS just yet. I’ve a whole lot of scans to get through, and likely a fair amount of being needled, stabbed, and sliced, but I’m going to get through this, and with any luck, I might even end up with a properly working brain again, and the strength to use it.

10 comments to An Overly Personal Growth.

  • While it’s awful to find, it’s great that you found it early and hopefully it turns out to be nothing and/or easily removed. I hope thing’s get better for you shortly.

  • Welcome to the old age “bizarro” world of ailments and mysteries.

    About 6 months ago, routine check up, but noted to Doctor similar complaints as yours. He decided to test my Thyroid first, and we end up with a “Graves Disease” diagnosis.

    A rarity in men (affects about 60-70% of women compared to Men with Thyroid problems), issues from mood swings, depression, muscles degenerating, heart palpitations, mass weight loss…and could lead to bizarre problems like “bug eyes” (Marty Feldman style) and “Moobs” (man boobs), it sucked. And who knows how long it has gone on.

    So, for me, focus has been lost, blogging has almost dropped off the map, and I just try to live day by day with swinging energy levels, scratchy throat, sweats out of nowhere…you name it.

    Hopefully your issue is treatable. Mine will always be with me either in too much Thryroid activity or too little….and nothing is a perma fix. Odd how in todays world, more of these “bizarre” types of issues affect people.

    Welcome to our “Golden Years”?

  • JB

    It’s good that they caught it early if it’s what your worried about, and is best that they test it in case it’s not what you are worried about.

    Stay positive and trust the docs.

  • Yarr

    Having gone through months of sickness myself and various tests only to, so far, not find anything wrong with me, I can sympathize with what you’re going through. Hope everything turns out okay for you, Elementalistly and the rest of us aging gamers. I think we should all get a real life respec at various age levels, not to mention health potions that cure anything. ;)

  • *hugs*

    I didn’t know your situation was that unsettling (at least I would be unsettled if all that was going on). Stay strong man. :)

  • Thanks folks. I appreciate your thoughts.

  • stay sane. Hopefully you can get back to the important things and gaming! thanks for your candor

  • Best of vibes to you on this. The old equipment starts to break down after a while, and a bunch of us greybeards are starting to get parts not functioning like they should. Thanksfully we have modern medical science to mostly get us back on the road.

  • Introvist

    Maybe this is a much needed point in life, almost like a break for you before moving back into the hotseat, buckling up and going on better than before!

    • I can only hope, Introvist! At the least, I’m hoping that with the Testosterone injections I’ll be having, it’ll sort out all manner of annoyances and niggles that have plagued me over the years. Testosterone is THAT important! I really may be a new man.

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