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Wineka column:Steroid gel and chin hair

It’s been a strange time around our house.
I guess I’ll start with me.
I’ve reached that age in a man’s life when prudence says he should see a doctor, just to look under the hood.
My wife thought this was particularly good advice since I have avoided the doctor’s office as much as possible for decades. I really didn’t have a family physician to call my own ó “my doctor” retired some years back.
I wouldn’t call it nagging that finally got me to visit a new physician. Lindsay simply scheduled an appointment and even went along to hold my hand.
There was significant paperwork involved and the answering of many health-related questions. And suffice it to say I’ve endured a lot of poking, prodding, blood-letting and scoping in various visits to doctor’s offices and the hospital.
I’ve also had some good drugs, the kind in which you say things you don’t remember.
I’m happy to report things look pretty good, although my new doctor called me one afternoon to say results had come back showing I had a rather low level of testosterone. I’m sure I met the news with prolonged silence.
This explains, I thought, why I get weepy whenever I watch “My Name Is Earl.”
Whatever the testosterone number should be, mine was pitifully below it.
“Is there medicine for that?” I finally asked the doctor. Sheepishly, I might add.
He said there was. He prescribed a steroid that would work like hand sanitizer. I could squirt out the recommended pumps and apply it to my shoulder, and it might give me a bit more energy, my doctor explained.
I’ll come back to my AndroGel later.
Let me now speak for a moment about my wife. While I was out of town on a recent weekend, she decided to mow the lawn. She was taking a path next to the side of the house when the John Deere tractor hit a hole where a tree stump had been.
The right front wheel plunged into the hole and immediately stopped the tractor, throwing Lindsay off the seat and down the hill. The mower luckily stayed upright and shut off, but Lindsay was left with a jammed wrist and shoulder, which became progressively worse over the weekend.
The pain would come and go over the next several days. By Monday, it was bad enough that she decided to see her doctor. The conclusion was no broken bones, but an MRI turned up some complications with her bicep and rotator cuff.
Meanwhile, the doctor prescribed a steroid ó prednisone ó to make her feel better. She warned me that her face might blow up and she could be eating all the time, but if I needed to move a piano, call her.
Which brings me back to my AndroGel. I happened to be reading about the possible side effects, when I noticed a warning not to let my partner come in contact with the stuff.
If she started growing facial hair or speaking in a deep voice, the caution said, she should contact her physician immediately.
Lindsay jokes around these days, using a rather husky voice to tell me dinner’s ready or that I should take out the garbage.
OK, that’s funny.
But I’m just happy to report she has yet to show signs of chin hair.

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