You are going to love this!

I have been dealing with a unruptured cerebral aneurysm and a host of related issues and here’s one more. I went to my PCP with questions about osteoporosis since I have been experiencing fractures of my vertebrae. Yesterday my PCP called with news from a recent blood test that my testosterone level was on the lower end of the scale. I asked what was the fastest way to correct this and the doctor suggested injections vs creams. My only concern is that testosterone increases blood pressure and blood clots. I have to do something as I am crushing vertebrae, and have no energy. I do have a DEXA scan scheduled. I will return to my PCP next week for guidance. Any suggestions?

I’d get tested again if this was your first testosterone test. I found this article Testosterone and the heart - Harvard Health.

This is what the FDA says

If you have osteoporosis it seems there’s a different course of treatment

Osteoporosis - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic.

Also found this research

Here’s also more testing that can be done to find out if you have Hypogonadism

Seems there’s a lot of conflicting information, I stayed away from articles that appeared generated from the big pharmaceutical companies. They found out I have a pituitary adenoma which they suspect is effecting my inability to lose weight. Who doesn’t lose weight when they’re in ICU for 26 days? Uh, that would be me😂. They just look at it every five years. It’s growing but not at a rate that would require surgery.

Let us know what you decide, sorry I can’t be of more help.

Thank you for all the information! I don’t want the cure to kill me!


That would suck, wouldn’t it! My neighbor always said getting older isn’t for the weak spirited, but it beats the alternative. Stay strong!

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Hi Goldmountain
Welcome to my world - at least as far as osteoporosis and compression fractures go. They’ve finally put me on a weekly pill to try to stop the progression. (Alendronate) I’ve seen commercials for something that allegedly stops the progression and helps rebuild bone.
First compression fracture was in 2012 and they did a kyphoplasty (cement into the space at L-4/5) - I picked up my dog. Second one this year while trying to open up a sofa bed at L-2, kyphoplasty #2. Found out I have smaller compression fractures in the thoracic spine over the years I apparently ignored. The good news is once it happens to you, you immediately know what it is when it happens again. lol
Good luck with your DEXA, your fractures and your testosterone levels!

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Good Morning Ladydawg! Thank you so very much for this valuable information. It just seems that everything medically is happening all at once and it is so very overwhelming! Navigating and keeping health care professionals all on the same page is a somewhat daunting task…it’s a full time job and I haven’t even tackled my everyday full time job yet! One more mountain…thanks to you, the day is looking better already! In great appreciation! Goldmountain

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I had so many doctors one time I offered to buy them all lunch if they’d just get together and develop an appropriate plan of care for me.:crazy_face::rofl:

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Thank you so much for this reply! I felt as though I was insane because of the number of physicians I have been seeing! Not to mention much support from family and friends for it! But I feel if I’m not getting the answers I’m needing, or getting the attention that I think I deserve, I just move on to the next Doctor Who from other professional recommendations, hopefully can do a better job for me! I recently saw a physician for 5 minutes, who dismissed me, because I didn’t have the right scan for him! This physician came in unwashed, with long fingernails! I thought to myself what kind of surgeon would present himself in that condition to a new patient? So I guess I’m not insane! It’s going to be a great Tuesday! Thank you again! Stay healthy! Gold Mountain

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I would run out of the door as fast as I could! I suppose this could be reported to the Department of Health in your area.

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I once had a cardiologist who was filling in for mine. His white coat was filthy and torn, he looked like he’d been up all night imbibing something and forgot to take a shower, though he may have been in surgery. Hope not because like yours, his nails were filthy. I think I changed cardiologists right after that :joy:.

I try really hard not to change doctors or “doctor hop”. But I won’t stay with a doctor who can’t attend to personal hygiene. It doesn’t bode well with me. My PCP is wonderful and I have full confidence in her. I go to whatever specialist she refers me to, none of them are in what we call “the good ol’ boy network”. Those are the doctor who think females are overreacting for the most part. When do you get your DEXA scan?

Moltroub, Good Morning! DEXA scan is scheduled for tomorrow followed by a MR of my lower spine on Saturday! I should have gone to my PCP in the first place! My sister works for an associate and gave me the recommendation. Lesson learned! My PCP is excellent as well! He is very popular but always has immediate appointments available! I was even able to speak with him on the phone Friday after 5PM. When you call the office after hours he even has his home phone number listed “for emergencies only”! I will not continue to see a doctor who is not professional and does not treat me with dignity. I am in charge. You may be the doctor but I am the patient! Hope you have a cool day! Goldmountain

That’s today! I call my PCP “The Gatekeeper”, they really do have to know what everyone is doing to us. Insist yours gets a copy of anything you have done. I even have my Rheum send results of my blood work every two months to her. My Neurosurgeon has all my results sent to her. She reads them all.

I get my ultrasounds on both lower legs today. My Neurologist ruled out nerve damage from my Cauda Equina and Spondylolisthesis, PCP is going to have a look at my arteries and veins, which should be good, I haven’t any stenosis around my heart or brain😂. If they’re good, her next step is referral to an orthopedist and a DEXA scan. I’m opposite of PAD, when I stop moving is when they start to hurt like the dickens and I’m a bit weary of it.

Here’s hoping we both get results that put us one step closer to an answer!

Strange you mention stop moving. I was moving to stave off back pain but the further I walked the more it aggravated an existing problem. The DEXA scan I had today should explain some if not all what is going on! I have lower MR of the spine done next saturday! I am so over all of this!
I just sat down from a short slow walk! It might not be as far as I would like but it felt so good to be out in the sun!

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Exercising is generally good for us, I’ve never read where it’s a bad thing. Although when my Dad’s heart was failing, he wasn’t allowed to walk more than 20’ the last day of his life, the PTA walked him 65’ ignoring the cardiologist’s note he went back with. When I had my lower lumbar surgery the year before I ruptured, Ms. Betty taught me to tighten my core when doing anything. She explained all those muscles help support our lower spine. Interestingly, it also helped my balance a bit after I ruptured. She also was the one who told me and Mr. Lou did the same - PT should not be painful, it may be uncomfortable but if it’s painful, I’ve done too much. I have an abnormally high pain tolerance. I also like to watch Bob and Brad on YouTube for stretching exercises I forget how to do and I’ve learned some I didn’t know that have helped various areas. I’m one of those people who’d rather find a stretch than take medication if it can help. I also know that if I’m stressed it goes straight to my spine so relaxation breathing helps tremendously and keeps my BP where it should be.

Isn’t it amazing our doctors are a bit like Sherlock Holmes…

Good Morning! It’s funny how the world calls it the Practice of Medicine! I just wish the doctors would stop practicing on me and play the world series! I am still trying to get an answer on the effects of testosterone therapy for someone with my issues! All I am receiving so far is that there is risk but it is low. What does that even mean? So off Igo to ask yet another doctor the same question. I believe I have to weigh the pros and cons! Oh, BTW, DEXA came back with osteopenia! PT was painful yesterday! With tears running down my face told my PT it wasn’t supposed to hurt! We both laughed! I understand the mechanics. I just wish nerve pain was not so “shocking”! lol Depending on my mood I too like Bob and Brad. Just wish they didn’t fool around as much as they do! A great wealth of information! Interesting you write of breathing exercises. My PT started with me breathing and my yoga instructor took it from there! Always trying to find the Happy Place! Have a great day! MR scheduled for tomorrow!

I had a great Primary care but had to change because of distance. My new guy is squeaky clean and brand new. He never mentions a test I have taken, not even ones he ordered, and is just too hands off for me. My problem is I take 2 controlled substance medications and no doctor wants patients who take controlled substance. So I am kind of stuck. I am just now coming to terms with my PAD. I guess I thought if I didn’t talk about it then it would go away. It didn’t. My last visit my vascular surgeon told my right femoral artery is 100% blocked. He won’t start an angioplasty unless he thinks he has a 20% chance of getting through the blockage. He said he knows he doesn’t have any chance. The other option is a Fem-Pop. I talked to another doctor and told her I am sure he is not going to find an artery anywhere in my lower leg to use for the artery bypass. My arteries and veins are gone. She said sometimes your gut feeling is the best way to go. She knows I am right.

I heard from an old friend of mine and her friend had one done last month. He had a sore on his foot that wouldn’t heal. They wound up cutting half his foot off. Then they did the Fem-Pop. It took 86 staples. My surgeon told me he didn’t see any signs that I am in danger of any amputations and we can just keep riding this horse home. If I get to a place I can’t stand the pain or the walking limitations let him know and we can do the surgery but he will watch it carefully and I am going to just ride that horse. And if it comes to having to have that done I seriously don’t know what I will do.

@Goldmountain they do say Practice and I’ve heard many call it an Art, I guess it’s the Art of Practicing Medicine. Is this the same PT you had when you did something awful to one of your bones? Sorry, I can’t remember what happened exactly, it’s a brain thing.:crazy_face:. My two cents is you’re pushing yourself too far if you’ve got that much pain and think you should dial it down a notch and stay at that level for a few days. Are you doing all your stretches at home like you’re supposed to?

The one and only time I had tears running down my face was either the first or second week of PT for my lumbar repair and Ms. Betty gave me a very stern lecture about PT should never bring that much pain. Her assistant, Patrick, taught me the “million dollar stretch” where you lay flat, bend your knees to the height you can tolerate and move your legs together as far as you can tolerate side to side. It’s one stretch I have never forgotten, I love it! I was a frequent flyer to PT for various things. When I was working with John some years earlier, his new assistant put the tens unit on my plantar and walked away. I didn’t know they are supposed to have someone stay with you. I couldn’t reach the controls to turn it down, couldn’t get his attention away from the other young assistant he was flirting with so I ripped the wires out of the electrodes. Just as I got the one disconnected over the knot in my arch, John came around the corner. He wasn’t a happy camper and gave us both a lecture, it seems I could have damaged the whole unit. The one I had to buy certainly wasn’t what one would call inexpensive, even with insurance paying for some of it.

Did you have your second blood work up to verify your testosterone is staying in the very low range? Do you have to take Vit D and calcium for your osteopenia? I have to take an OTC Vit D for the dermatomyositis every day, she started me on the once a week prescription until it got into normal range.

@Mary, my gosh girlfriend, tell that horse to stop putting you through so much! It needs to go over the hurdles and not plow through them. Dad had PAD, I’m so sorry you have to experience this type of pain. He wouldn’t wear compression socks, so his legs and feet looked like big sausages especially if he did too much walking or sitting. I didn’t know legs could get that big without ripping the skin. Compression socks help me in every season but Summer, then the swelling just stays at my knees.

It sounds as if you need to help train your PCP to have a little better bedside manner. I think the new generation doesn’t know how to verbally communicate with others and having eye contact may be a thing of the past. The Opioid crisis sure put those who need controlled substances in a pickle. I think it put the medical community in a “Now, what are we supposed to prescribe?” I had a colleague that ate tramadol like they were M&M’s. Mom and I only ever took three a day, she was way above that, more like a dozen or so. I’m not sure what her prescription actually was, she went to a doctor who was well known for overmedicating. I asked her if she knew they were in the list of opioids and she might want to start weaning herself off them, she insisted they were not. She also believed that the crisis wouldn’t affect those who needed controlled substances. When she went to get her refills, she couldn’t get them anymore and the doctor told her to take Tylenol. It was extremely difficult for her. I don’t know what people can do when they are in chronic pain anymore. I know there were way too many prescription medication substance abusers, I worked with them almost everyday. I know that some of the elderly were selling them instead of taking them so they could pay their bills and eat. But there had to be a better way than what happened in our country. Even my old neighbor couldn’t get his stronger medication from the VA at all. I don’t understand why the medical community couldn’t wean patients off the stronger stuff rather than stop them cold turkey, but they did.

My vascular surgeon mentioned compression socks but he said he knows they’re horrible to try to get on and not comfortable and he wouldn’t blame me if I don’t wear them. I really like him … he shoots straight. But this time he shot me right between the eyes. I’ve known for a while about the PAD but I didn’t know the degree. When he said 100% of the artery is 100% blocked I knew this isn’t going to be good. I didn’t expect this bad. My friend who had the Fem-Pop done and likes telling me he’s taller than me so I wouldn’t take 86 staples for me. He’s not that much taller than me and I am a whole lot wider. I found out today that the man who used to work on my riding mower committed suicide about a year ago. He had PAD. One day his legs started turning black. They told him he was going to have to have both legs amputated. I don’t know what I will do about this but I can’t handle the Fem-Pop surgery or recovery time. I can hardly think about it.

I trained one of the new doctors in town before. I was his first patient. But that was when I was young and full of energy. He turned into a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde type fellow and I never knew which I was going to see. I moved on. Now I’m back and I have another newbie. I really don’t have the patience to do this again.

My controlled substances are Diazepam for anxiety and stress. What stress??? The other is Ambien to help me sleep. Now that I am attached to an oxygen concentrator and BiPap machine when I sleep it’s possible I could get to sleep without it but what if I can’t? Will they increase my Diazepam? Doubt it. They decreased it a few months ago. I have nothing for pain except Tylenol. I mentioned my bad liver and taking more Tylenol and he said it would be fine. Like it was fine the last time? We have to go to a pain institute around here to get anything for pain. I haven’t and I wouldn’t contact them for something for a headache. Just makes no sense. Maybe I should just go to the ER every time my head hurts and ask them for something. At some point surely they would call my primary care doctor and ask him if there isn’t something he can do with me. And he knows there isn’t.

To put the icing on the cake, I had to have cataract surgery in March. From my 2006 troubles I wound up blind in my left eye… wet macular degeneration. I had adjusted to it or at least my right eye adjusted. I just had a plain piece of glass in that side. Then when they did the cataract surgery they did my bad eye and they added a lens with 1.25 strength to it. When they gave me my reading glasses, the left side has 2.75 power. In August I go in to have surgery to clean the lens. They know something is wrong, they just don’t know what. Like I do!! I wish I could just give them my eyeballs so they can feel and see what I do it in this case don’t. They swell, they water, they itch. One feels like the eyelid is bruised. They just look at me like I haven’t got a clue what I need to say.

I don’t have a train of thought I have seven trains on 4 tracks that narrowly avoid each other when the paths cross and all the conductors are screaming.

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The light compression socks are the easiest to put on should you ever want to try them. It’s sad when people commit suicide, I wish they would make a different choice, most I’ve known saw no other way. Perhaps it’s a lack of support or in his case, just not wanting to move on without legs.

I didn’t know diazepam (aka Valium) was used for stress. I learn something new every day. Here, our PCPs can deal with acute pain but chronic pain, they often send folks to a pain clinic. Went to one once that included PT. They decided to shoot up my lumbar area. It’s a wonder I didn’t break the RNs hands when he was trying to get the needle in. He said there wasn’t room for the needle. Received my lumbar repair a couple weeks later.

Do you have any prescribed eye drops? I don’t know if it will help your eyes, but Restasis helps mine. Sometimes the drop burns a bit but not often.

I like your analogy of all your health issues and trains, it allows us to know exactly what you’re dealing with. I’m really glad the trains aren’t jumping off the tracks. Hang in there!

I am just waiting and hoping I don’t have to face any decisions about the PAD. That one is my biggie.

My trip with Diazepam/Valium has been a long hard fight. I think they have given it to me for everything. I am super sensitive to medications and attempts to switch me off Diazepam to something else have been horrible experiences. It works for my anxiety and I can take it, stay leveled out, function and stay upright so they leave it alone. But now I am stuck with a doctor not worth a plug nickel. I am sure he feels the same about me.

We have such a major drug problem around here I swear doctors break out in a cold sweat at the mention of pain medication. If Tylenol doesn’t do it then they try to send you to a pain institute. The ones around here are a bunch of crooks. No physical therapy, just Tramadol. They also sell CBD oil. I am sure that since we just legalized marijuana, they will become dealers. There may be some that may be in it for the good of the patient but the ones around here are snake oil salesmen.

My optometrist gave me some eye drops then took them away. Right now I am using Refresh and Bio True, neither does much of anything. I just have a couple of weeks to wait and see what Plan C is. My eyes are just getting worse with each passing day. The optometrist sent me to a satellite office after my surgery. After my second visit with them with no more than an eye exam and glasses I got hold of the optometrist and told him something was wrong with my eyes and I needed to see him again. He was a bit surprised when he saw me. He said it’s apparent that something was going on and prescribing glasses wasn’t the answer.

Oh well, it will all work out.