I posted a crowd research poll about clumsiness some months back, thinking that perhaps aphantasia might explain my lack of coordination. There didn't seem to be a link, so I just accepted that I was just different and left it at that.
It turned out to be wrong to do so. I read an article at the beginning of October that explored Klinefelter syndrome - a genetic disorder caused by having two X chromosomes in addition to one Y. As I read the article, I found that I could put a checkmark by nearly every symptom:
- Poor motor coordination.
- Low strength, and inability to build muscle even with diligent exercise.
- Low endurance - both short-term (how long I could keep an object lifted) and how long I could work in a day before being exhausted.
- Need for more sleep than average - less than nine hours a night would leave me wiped out.
- Difficulty articulating thoughts, and difficulty picking up nuances of some conversations.
- Lack of drive and ability to follow through on plans.
- Difficulty concentrating, including but not limited to difficulty completing simple math problems in one's head.
These are actually symptoms of low testosterone. While my wife was skeptical (I do have a beard and a deep voice), she supported me going to the doctor the next day for blood tests. The doctor, being thorough, performed about a month worth of analysis and confirmed my suspicions: My total testosterone was 256 nG/dL.
For comparison's sake, the average for my age is about 660. The average for a 90-year-old man is about 400. There's a lot of disagreement on what the numbers mean - most of the old research about testosterone was only really based on sexual dysfunction - but it's been shown that men with levels below 350 suffer so little muscle growth that their walking speed is measurably slower, and they can't climb stairs very well.
I also probably don't have Klinefelter syndrome. I checked for testosterone deficiency instead, as there's more than one cause for that. My particular likely culprit is a varicocele - one of my testicles has significantly more veins on it than it should, making it much larger than normal. This means that its internal temperature is too high for it to perform testosterone synthesis. Not everyone with a varicocele has low testosterone, but really, I think raising awareness is probably in order.
So now I perform a testosterone injection on myself every two weeks. I'm up for assessment at the end of the month; I'm pretty sure I'm not close to the levels that I'd like to reach yet, but starting at the lowest possible dose and working upward is not a bad idea. I need less sleep now, and I'm slightly quicker with my hands, but I've got a long way to go.
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