Sometimes, you get clients who intimidate you. They are everything you hoped to be in another life. I recently took on a young man who played pro ball. He’s a beast, 6’ 2” and a lean 225-230. We will call him Tucker Vance because it sounds cool and this man deserved a slick name. Yet, sometimes the image we see and even make of someone on the outside, just isn’t so. This human was struggling.
I have figured out that the majority of the time, if a man randomly comes to me in their mid-twenties they are going through some shit, and usually no one knows. They are waging an unseen war on a private battlefield, and I am always honored to be let inside this inner arena where they aren’t bulletproof and everything isn’t ok.
Just acknowledging this as a man in our current culture is f#cking difficult, let alone talking about it to a relative stranger.
When I lie awake in the early morning that is the courage I think of and I make sure these men know it.
Additionally, these functional medicine principles aren’t always care bears and party balloons. And sometimes things get worse and they don’t work out the way we hoped.
We got Vance’s initial labs back and I had to triple check and call the labs that they were actually his. CRP, an inflammatory markers was 8 to 10 times what it should be and his testosterone was damn near lab low.
We had our initial consult and sleep seemed to be the ultimate limiting factor, but there were many others. He loved stress. All of it. Training. Work. Anything and everything he could get his hands on. He knew it was a problem and he knew he had to break the loop. But, life happens and he got a new job and he hedged some bets that his body couldn’t cover. I kept after him and we went through things step by step, controlling what we could at the time and not worrying about everything we couldn’t. He was so busy, and it took us a little over five months to get in a follow-up.
We saw a lot of positives in how he felt subjectively, but also his hydration and iron status improved drastically and his CRP dropped down well into the normal range. His GI symptoms were vastly better and he had gotten a CPAP to help with his sleep. But, the number he really cared about with his symptomatology, total Testosterone, dropped under 100 ng/dL.
I had to talk him and myself off the ledge, but also not sugar coat the current situation. You can’t responsibly leave a man down there. So we came up with a plan. Forty five days of pure stress reduction and really getting after it. No bullshit. Then we would run all the values that the MDs would need to put him on TRT to fast track that process if it was necessary.
45 days later.
His testosterone is pushing 700 ng/dL and his free testosterone is through the roof at around 125 pg/ml.
And, even more importantly he is honed in and the subjective matches the objective.
To play the Devil’s Advocate, it is entirely possible that this wouldn’t have happened. Secondary or primary hypogonadism could have been in play and if his test wouldn’t have come up, we would have just taken the next step. He would have understood. He would have educated himself and he would have been ready. The process is what’s important. We just have to do the next thing and now our next thing is to watch, monitor, and make sure creeping normalcy doesn’t pick us off.
Never forget the power of rock bottom. I’ve been there. It’s a bitch, but down in the darkness some of us will do everything and anything to crawl your way out and others will just grab the remote.
Here is what Tucker had to say,
“I really appreciate your help throughout this entire process – words can’t express my gratitude and how much I enjoyed it. I’ve been fortunate to train with some of the best when I was a player but this experience tops all and is only comparable to my time working with Pat Davidson. I hold both of you in the highest regards.”
Yes, this man enjoyed the struggle. He enjoyed the process. Fucking Savage.