He nodded. "I take a lot of things."
"What does it do for you?"
"That doesn't matter. It may do something for me, nothing for you—it's very response-specific." He warned me not to expect too much, too fast. "Nothing will happen very quickly. This is a gradual process."
I didn't listen, of course, or believe. Who would? For the first time in my life I was injecting a foreign substance into my body, and it was simply impossible not to expect swift and dramatic changes. Dr. Jones showed me how to prep my leg with a prepackaged alcohol pad, then load the syringe with 0.1 IU of HGH, painlessly sliding in the ultrathin needle.
"My 81-year-old mother does this, so you can, too," he said when I flinched at the idea. "It's no different from what diabetics do every day."
Yeah, except that it seemed so wrong—and so bizarre.
ON THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 1, after only a few days of treatment, I traveled to Furnace Creek, California, and rode in the Death Valley Double Century. I didn't feel very augmented: The race was a minor disaster, and I limped over the finish line so late that they were timing by calendar, not stopwatch. I felt disappointed not just in my performance but, oddly, in my drug.
I was soothed a bit the next week when I went in for my first follow-up with Dr. Jones. I handed his nurse the stylish silver kit I'd been given to house my HGH bottles and syringes so that she could safely dispose of my used needles.