Pics of some progress and now loss
So here it is 2013 and in a worse boat than previous.
I started Finasteride/propecia in that post and now almost a year later had to stop.
For about 8 months I took the drug fine. In fact better than fine. My hair was great, in fact better than I ever remembered, recently. I suffered very minimal sides, pretty much just the clear smaller ejaculation, which for me is fine since kids are not on my bucket list.
I had a slight loss of libido but honestly plenty to spare so meh.
Then it hit me.
For those who dont know the untold list of sides that come from this drug, beware. Look up atrophy, groin pain, NO LIBIDO, horrid ED, etc. It felt like I had a prostate infection wrapped in a UTI then being suplexed by Chlamydia.
My tests all came back fine and my blood work was "normal" but man was I hurting. I saw my primary with no answers except some anti biotics because he thought I had a bad UTI even though the tests were normal.
Then saw a Urologist but he basically quaintly diverted around the fact that these sides are possible but would not admit to them openly since he prescribes finasteride to so many people. His advice? "Wait it out".
Now before you go and say "you psyched yourself out" or "all mind over matter", let me cough and say, nope. I was on the stuff 8 months with zero issues, so my thinking about possible side effects dissipated about 7 months and 2 weeks prior. I honestly thought I was free and clear.
When I first noticed the sides I pretty much stopped. I stopped taking my lexapro, stopped all my vitamins and went on a full on cleanse. Things went back to normal for me. I decided "maybe it was a fluke, I should try again and see if it was REALLY the drug". Popped one pill and was back to the sides in ONE DAY, no exageration.
I let myself then clean out for about 2 months or so. I thought "maybe the first time I just didn't give myself enough time to clean out". I took two dose spread out over 4 days to minimize the intake.
BAM, hit like a ton of bricks. This time pushed it and now my recovery is just coming off. Pretty much the main side I was stuck with was this cold water effect on my balls. They became very pulled up and tight. It felt like they were being squeezed all the time. The burning stopped and the ab pain subsided, but honestly I was way to scared to go back on and destroyed the left over pills.
Today I'm pretty much fine except the hair I gained is pretty much gone plus some of their friends.
I have been going on consults for a hair transplant and here are the 3 I have done with some reviews.
1) Dr Destephano in Rocky Hill CT.
Spoke with Dave (I believe). Nice guy, but upon further investigation I found he was merely a salesman. In previous calls he made it sound like he was a doctor, but never outright said it, so maybe my bad. He was a bit high pressure with the whole "we can get you into a special trial were running to save you money but act now!", and after some thinking time kind of put me off. I also found out that the doctor does not even do most of the work but his technicians harvest and sort the grafts, so that as well has turned me away a bit.
3) Dr Boden in Whethersfield, CT.
Nice Guy. Very Professional and VERY honest with everything. He did the magnification so I could see my hairs and how they would be take and moved and went through a bunch of before and after pics, which I was not super impressed with. Honestly B/A pics are kind of a sham because unless they show you their fuck ups, how can you really be sure.
My only real complaint was his boasting of himself and his work, which of course you want the best, and being sure you pick a IAHRS registered surgeon. While this is a great thing to think about logic would say its really just a club. There is no real government mandating or regulation on hair surgeries so any organization for it is purely built on and around the people who want to run it. Either way I guess its a nice piece of mind.
All in all he came up quite expensive as well for what he wanted to do.
I will say Boden himself had a HT that was to me very noticeable. It was a good job but to my liking the spacing made it very obvious.
He also seemed very salesy in a way. He first offered to drop me in a cancellation spot for a "good deal" in a very I'm joking but serious way. Then he quoted me about 11K but openly said there was room for negotiation which seemed odd.
All in all he has a good rep in the business though.
You'll notice 2 is missing. Well here's why, it was my favorite so far. Best for last 'n' all
2) Center for New England Hair Restoration - Dr. Tan
The place is run by a Dr. Welker who is actually on this IAHRS but I spoke with Dr. Tan who works with him.
I am in no way affiliated with these guys nor getting any kind of credit from them. Im simply telling my story but this consult was AMAZING.
The place was a friggin drive for me all the way in MA but it was a nice trip. The business was super nice and clean. He was good enough to meet me on a saturday which I thought was amazing. My Girl who went for the ride even thought it was great.
This guy went into every little detail. Now I have done my homework and even tried to cut him off here and there, JUST to let him know I knew what he was talking about so I wouldn't keep him on a saturday afternoon but man he barreled right through me and talked about every little tool, every little procedure, EVERY little step and product they use. He was awesome.
He warned me I would need to stay the night in the area for safety because they have every patient come back the next morning just to make sure all the hairs set right and then to shampoo it for you to show how to care for the healing.
I have since emailed him 3 times with questions and even though he is out of the country on conventions (which is true because Boden is also out) he answers back ASAP.
This place made me feel comfortable, and like the money I was spending was worth it.
He also has 2 charging systems which to me was weird at first but made sense after. He said for a first time surgery where the work is really involved they have a base price of 7K, which was right in the ball park of Destephano's price, so at least I knew it wasn't bullshit. He said they do what they need to do that is possible in the first visit, and as much as humanly possible. You are going to get maximum grafts possible and he said that charging by grafts when you get that high can be a bit sketchy. He explains it much better.
Comparing this to Boden, there were parts of this that he agreed with but really denounced ANYONE would do that many grafts for 7K.
The second charge option was a per graft charge. He said they do this simply because you WILL need touch ups down the line but never the same as the first so they would never want to charge someone 7K again.
This guy really just seemed like he liked making people feel good about themselves more than the money. Funny because BOTH FUCKING Dr's have perfect heads of narutal flowing hair. Look at Welker, he has the head of hair like a 1980's John Cusack movie antagonist.
Man I love "One Crazy Summer"
I'm looking for another one or two to go on before I want this done in like November but man was I enamored with this visit.
Funny side story was my visit here turned into a physical. When I spoke about my fin sides to Tan he swore he never heard of any of this. I don't blame him the other guys said the same, so really I'm in the 2% who's body does not like the drug, but I'm debating on trying again with a very small dose.
He ended up checking me for testicular torsion and a hernia because he swore the other docs missed something. I tried to tell him I was pretty much back to normal but he swore up and down. I'm no stranger to pulling out my junk so I just went with the flow lol.
Perhaps the best part of the entire consult was the entire drive up my GF was mentioning jokingly how she hopes there is a nail salon nearby so she can go get a pedicure and wouldn't you know right next door lol.
In an ending here I learned one more piece of advice to watch out for..... FORUMS.
I was led by some info given to me that many hair loss forums actually charge doctors to be listed with them and post. If you do not pay they will basically smirch your name and erase any positive knowledge of you on their site.
I tested this with "thebaldtruth.com" and its true. It was named by the docs as one of them that does it.
I posted a post about my experiences with my consults and one of the names of the doctors was removed with no notice. They wont even let you post the state if the doctor doesn't pony up. This is one of the reasons Im posting this article. I asked if anyone had any knowledge of one of my Dr's I went to a consult for and the entire post was removed.
I am also on moderation with the forum for some kind of unknown reason and they won't say why. I was told by another that if you have too many posts against propecia (who they deal with) they will ban or moderate you.
Now my feeling on propecia is give it a try. If it works then use it but monitor sides closely and beware they can strike at any time due to the way it goes through your body. It has a long half life as its said. It works for many guys fine and I'll be the first to say it grows hair but if you can't take it then just stop, it's not worth permanent damage.
Sucks though because It seems like for me there is no end. Being bald is like losing a limb except you can't suffer phantom hair. You just slowly watch yourself degenerate.Yet luckily in my case I have a brother who has a full thick head of hair, wait that's not lucky that's just rubbing salt in the wound.