Adversity, Breakthrough and a Hero’s Battle with Death -Jay Campbell Interviews Nelson Vergel

Jay Campbell

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Hey Guys!

Please give this Podcast a listen to hear a different side of Nelson's story.

We went deep discussing his inspiring story!


Jay Campbell: Hey guys, it is Jay Campbell with the definitive testosterone replacement therapy manual and the founder of the TRT Revolution podcast. I am ecstatic, beyond excited today to be joined by my great friend and really, my mentor, Nelson Vergel. I don't need to say what he's done in his life but again, he's the author of Testosterone, A man's Guide, he's the founder of ExcelMale. He's also involved with, he does so many things, he's an amazing entrepreneur and a super high conscious brother. Again, I'm honored to have him today and we're going to do a deep dive about his life. Nelson, what is going on brother, how are you?

Nelson Vergel: Doing good. Thanks a lot for having me man, you're a great supporter of my work and just love the fact that you have such a good reach to all the men out there that need help and need a little bit of guidance and coaching on not only health but also in life, so I'm very happy to be here.

Jay Campbell: Thank you, man. Like I said, honestly, for a lot of the guys that don't know who will be listening to this, Nelson is the real reason and really, only a couple of people know this but Nelson is the real reason that I pushed my book out there and that's another story that we can talk about maybe later in this podcast. I really want to center this podcast around Nelson's life. Nelson is truly a pioneer, he would define himself as an advocate for men's health and a lot of other things. I really want to get into Nelson's story today. Let's just talk a little bit about your personal life, not now but where you started. Why don't just start by telling us how did you become such a leading men's health advocate?

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. Well, thanks. Yeah, it wasn't by chance, sometimes I think things don't happen by chance. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. I'm from Venezuela, and my government was giving scholarships to go overseas to study. The only thing they would give scholarships for is engineering, so no medicine. I think we had enough doctors back then, of course now the stories ... I basically say, “Well, I guess engineering, closest thing I may like to be is a chemical engineer. At least I'll be able to do some works with chemistry and biochemistry.” I went for chemical engineering but I always wanted to work in health. I ended up working in the oil and gas industry after graduating from McGill University, which was good but I started feeling like I didn't want to be part of a polluting industry even though I was an environmental engineer, that was my specialty. I just knew that was not for me, I just knew that my heart wasn't into it ... I wanted to help people with their health. I came to the U.S. in '84 to do a masters, basically running away from stigma because I'm also gay. Obviously down there ... things have gotten better when it comes to stigma with gay people but back then it was not good, I'm talking about the ‘80s.

Jay Campbell: Sure.

Nelson Vergel: When I came to the States, within six months, I had my first partner back then for whom I moved here, within six months, he told me he had contracted HIV. I didn't even know that you had to use condoms back them because we barely knew what was causing this. I found out I was HIV positive in '85, just six months after they found out how to test for the virus, for the antibodies. I was in my 20s and pretty much had just gotten here to the states to make it big, an immigrant engineer, came to Houston basically because I'm an engineer and here is where engineers end up, chemical engineers. It was devastating, I was like, “No, I just didn't immigrate from South America to die in this country.” I was I think 23, I forget, I'm 58 now. It was horrible, it was the worst feeling you can have, to be told in your 20s that you don't have much time left, that somebody is going to take away all your dreams and that there's nothing you can do about it except pray and go home to “take care of things”. That's what I was told in a very small room by a counselor.

“Go home and pray and take care of your business,” that's what he said, meaning, talk to your parents, get your will and whatever it is in order. I was freaked out, I probably cried for three days nonstop. Back then we thought that only happened to certain people, drug users or very promiscuous. I was just coming out and was with my first boyfriend. Anyways, so that's when I said, “Well, this is it, this is my chance to get into health and medicine because either I do it for my own survival or I just die.”

Jay Campbell: We'll talk about that a little bit because obviously, everything you just said is incredible. Anyone that would be 23 or 24 years old and literally be given a death sentence essentially ... I want you to expand on that because you had mentioned that at that time in the whole front and battle against HIV and AIDS and all stuff, there wasn't even awareness, you didn't even know what was going on. The reality is, is that ... Now you're this guy on an island, you've got idiots telling you, “Hey, just go home and bow your head and die. Prepare for what's next, which is death.” You were in shock initially, you cried for three days, I can't even comprehend what I would have done, probably worse, I may have just curled up into a shell. What did you do? After you stopped crying.

Nelson Vergel: When I stopped crying, I just told myself ... maybe I was just in denial, “I am not going to die of this. I refuse to be a victim of this bug...” My boyfriend had a lot of friends and I become friends with a lot of people in Houston and many were already dying. People were already developing Kaposi sarcoma, which are these horrible spots on your face and body caused by another virus that attacks you when your immune system is down.

Jay Campbell: The sores, yeah. You were watching people die.

Nelson Vergel: I remember thinking “Oh my God, I'm going to get these things on my face, I'm going to waste away.” Everybody was wasting away. You see all these muscular guys, gay guys who were working out and they were shrinking ... my boyfriend too, started to shrink no matter how much they ate. You would go to the grocery store and all these real skinny guys, young guys walking around, shopping during the day because that's usually when they would come out. They would not come out in rush hour since they were afraid to be seen in bones and with spots on their faces that outed them as having AIDS. I was just like, “Oh my God, that's not going to be me, I just cannot accept that.” I became obsessed and right away, fortunately, I found out the CDC. The Center for Disease Control was, for the first time, training people, volunteers that wanted to inform themselves and become counselors to help people that were getting their HIV test results.

I was working for Shell during the day, in a refinery, all day and then I would come home, change quickly and go at night to this clinic where people were sitting there waiting for their test results shaking in fear. I could see the whole room, all these scared people, girls and boys and these are mostly young people, just waiting for their number, waiting for their turn for horrible news.

Jay Campbell: Scared shitless, right?

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I was trained for three weeks by the government to be that person, I was a volunteer. Every night I would get up and call somebody's name, even though I already had found out I was HIV so I said, “Well, I'm going to have to get out of my head, maybe start helping people, maybe that will help me too.” I would say out of four people, three would show up positive in the blood test results back then in '86, '87. I would tell them, “Hey, listen man, I'm also HIV positive, I found out just a year ago. Let's not lose hope, I know this is not our death sentence right now” Back then there were no drugs, nothing, there was nothing. It really helped me, I got it right there. I got what it is to help others and to get out of your head, get out of your self-pity, get aware of your power, the power even in the worst situation in your life, not to let that rule you and define you.

That's what I got and got that I could do ... me, myself, alone. My mother always told me that I was born for greatness and to help others. I just don't know why she used to-
Jay Campbell: She was right.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you. As I was raised in Venezuela, we worshiped Simon Bolivar who is our freedom fighter that freed not only our country but four more countries in South America. We were always taught that one person can rule the world, they really can make a difference. I was raised that if Simon Bolivar could get on his horse and go through the entire continent avoiding Spaniards ... he was a skinny guy, 5'5, skinny, on a horse with a bunch of people obviously behind him. I had that picture of me that one day I will be in a horse. Sorry, it sounds kind of-

Jay Campbell: No, I get it.

Nelson Vergel: That I would be in a horse and I would be doing something that would help people. There, I found my horse with HIV.

Jay Campbell: At this point now, so this is maybe a year and a half, two years into this. Obviously how I became exposed to you, as you know is I read your first book. It was probably a little bit later than that.

Nelson Vergel: A lot later, yeah.

Jay Campbell: Yeah, Built to Survive with Michael Mooney. Talk a little bit about, how did you get to that point from now recognizing that you're on your horse and that you're going to become an advocate, you're going to be fighting this disease.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. Remember and I remind all the youngsters out there that we didn't have an internet back then. We have no internet!

Jay Campbell: Believe me, I was that guy, I was in college, I had no computer, I still have word processor.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, I'm like what, 30 years older than you. Yeah, we had-

Jay Campbell: No, you're not. You're 12 years older than me, excuse me.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, I'm 58. Anyways, we had no internet, so I would go to a library, I started reading about immunology. I don't even know how it happened because we didn't have internet, but I started hearing about these guys around the country that were writing newsletters. They were just going crazy, they were creating buyers' clubs, they were going to Mexico importing crazy things with the hope that they would boost their immune system. For some strange reason, to be honest with you, I don't remember how I got hooked up. I subscribed to John James' AIDS Treatment News. John is HIV negative and is still around. I love that man. Every time I see him I tell him, “Man, you saved my life.”

He would send newsletters every week to ... we had to go to our mailbox and pick it up. I would read and I realized, “Oh my God, these guys are importing stuff from Mexico and I need to start doing that.” I created with another friend of mine, a buyers' club back then, the Houston Buyers Club. The Houston Buyers Club was created before the Dallas Buyers Club, the movie, Dallas Buyers Club. We started doing the stuff, we started bringing herbal stuff and I'm going to write a book once about this one day... we probably tried 50 different therapies that by the way, we're looking now looking into them again, some of them still have promise. It's just that obviously back then, we didn't have the medications we have now so nothing really was working.
I tell this, this is freaky, it's one of my funniest stories about HIV. We found out this Chinese cucumber that if you boil it and you had an enema with it, it was supposed to improve your immune system. We had enemas support groups spreading around the country!

Jay Campbell: Wasn't there a part in Dallas Buyers Club about that, where they had mentioned that or something? Yeah.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. There were all kinds of crazy stuff because we were desperate.
Jay Campbell: Of course.

Nelson Vergel: Quickly, I'm going to speak forward. AZT, an old cancer drug, came in and I joined the AZT monotherapy study. It was a placebo controlled study, my boyfriend got in too. My boyfriend started deteriorating fast and I was kind of stable. Then two years later they unblinded the study and they told us if we were in placebo or not. My boyfriend was on AZT high dose, and I was on placebo. I was like, “Shit, I'm placebo.” I was really upset, looking back, I was lucky to be placebo because AZT was killing people faster. That's why my boyfriend eventually died of wasting and all that. Anyways, I was losing weight already and people I worked with at Shell were telling me, “You look a little ... are you okay? Are you feeling OK?” I was in the closet, in fact in the double closet, the gay closet and the HIV closet. I was afraid to be fired if anyone found out.

I was getting promoted, I focused on my work because that was my only salvation back then. I would work all day and then go to the clinic to counsel at night. I'm getting too ahead of myself…

Jay Campbell: No, it's okay. I wanted to ask you about your boyfriend and him and dying and stuff. Did that devastate you, what happened?

Nelson Vergel: It was horrible. I not only had to bury him but I also had two more partners that died. It was like the ****ing black widow, every boyfriend I had was dying. Most of my friends, I think I counted ... I stopped counting at 35. All my friends in the ‘80s. Everybody that I was hanging out with, even ... yeah, I have pictures on my bookcase, even my mom says, “All these people are dead?” I said, “Yes, mom.” There are a few of us left from that time. I live with a lot of gratitude and gratefulness.

Jay Campbell: Well, if you're okay and you're okay with it, I do really want to go deeper with you on that. Do you think that ... because I've been blessed in my life that I have not experienced a lot of death. My younger brother however, has literally been one of those guys who's had literally 11 very close friends and colleagues of his in his life and he's only 37, die. He's only eight years younger than me. He's been around that and it's made him different. I come from a large family, six boys and three girls but he's a lot different. Do you feel like being around death as much as you did has made you the man that you are? Again, I worship to God and-

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I feel ... thank you. I feel different, I think I aged a lot inside. Basically, to be in your 20 and have to bury friends and lovers... I remember, we stopped having parties, we started having memorial services. Every week it was a memorial service.

Jay Campbell: I can't imagine.

Nelson Vergel: I got shut down. I shut down, I stopped crying, my friends used to say, “You get very transactional.” I remember that word because I get into transactions, meaning, “Okay, who's dying, okay, let's find out how we can take care of things”. “Okay, let's find out how we're going to pay for the cremation, how are we going to do the memorial service?” I would get transactional because it was a lot to do because families were rejecting all these boys ...and they were just boys in their 20's. It was horrible and part of me remembers those days and I basically feel ... Hold on, there is something here. I basically feel that that's not me, that wasn't even me. It's almost like the present me has disassociated from the past me.

It really is almost going through a war. Somebody even asked me, “How did it feel to have a deadly disease with no treatment?” Well, you know, I heard from one of my closest lady friends that lived through the second war in London while Nazis were bombing that city. I asked her, “How did you deal with knowing that bombs were coming down, would you just not sleep?” She says, “No, we all went to sleep and we just hoped that a bomb would not fall on us. After a while, we just got numb that we knew eventually a bomb may fall on us and kill us.” I says, “Oh my God, that's exactly how I feel.” It's almost like you're feeling like people are dropping dead, you may be the next one although back then we didn't have the T-cell and viral load test and fortunately, otherwise I would have freaked out.

It was like that for a long time, till '96, we were traumatized. Stigma was all around us but brought the gay community together. I was part of this movement, I became involved and increasingly obsessed with wasting syndrome. I remember my boyfriend's doctor telling me, that since he had HIV, there was nothing we could do about wasting. He was going to die in bones and in front of them. I said, “I'm sorry to use this word, **** no. I am not going to accept that.” That's exactly why I started like, “Okay, I need to read all these bodybuilding magazines”, and that's why I started reading all stuff related to anabolic steroids, nutrition and supplementation.

Jay Campbell: Let me ask you this, about the body building. Who would you attribute ... and you and I have talked about Dr. X from the magazine Muscle Media 2000 but who was the pioneer who figured out that there was salvation for wasting patients in muscle building and performance enhancement?

Nelson Vergel: It happened all at once. I was very lucky that Shell transferred me from ... well actually, they hired me in Los Angeles. I moved from Houston to Los Angeles. I really believe, that's why I love Los Angeles, I love California. Los Angeles saved my life.
Jay Campbell: We'll sell your house and move here!, don't worry.

Nelson Vergel: See if I can afford it!

Jay Campbell: Don't worry, where you're going, you'll be able to afford it.
Nelson Vergel: LA saved my life. I remember I was there and I was going to support groups at night because I said, “****, this is going to kill me eventually.” Especially at the refinery, they were telling me I was looking green because when you're having a little bit of liver issues. I started going to support groups in 1992. These two guys walked in, in one of the support groups and were huge, like a brickhouse and everybody else was tiny. I looked at them, I thought, “Well these guys know something we don't know.” It was at one of MaryAnn Williamson's support groups. We would sit on the floor, she would sit on a chair and she would remind us, tell us every time, “You're not victims, you are not victims. Don't let anybody tell you you're a victim.”

That also brainwashed me to, “Okay, I'm not a victim, I'm going to take charge.” As soon as I saw these guys, I went to them, I said, “Listen, you guys are ... damn, you don't look sick.” They said, “Well, we're doing Deca and testosterone.”

Jay Campbell: You're like, what the hell is that?

Nelson Vergel: They said, “Well you should do it too.” I was a thin guy since I has lost 20 pounds already without trying. I weighed 140 Lbs. I never really was into bodybuilding. And I never had dreams of being a muscle guy, it was not part of my culture.

Jay Campbell: No, that's not true, right.

Nelson Vergel: What happened is that ... they said, “Well, you know, you should try it because you're going to die anyway, so try it. We can get something from Mexico.” I said, “No, it's going to destroy my liver,” you know?

Jay Campbell: Yeah.

Nelson Vergel: They said, “Who cares- that is not true. Wasting will kill you first“

Jay Campbell: Hair is going to fall off, and all side effects …

Nelson Vergel: You're going to die anyway, it's okay. Anyways, I went to their place and they injected me with, I think Sustanon and Deca. Within like three days, I was like ... I started feeling in charge and energy because I was losing energy, appetite, and I put on 35 pounds of muscle in 8 weeks, like crazy. When you're wasting, your body responds even better to anaboics. People at work say, “Man, you look good.” I was starting to hear for the first time in 10 years, “You look good.”

Jay Campbell: That's awesome.

Nelson Vergel: L.A. is a very body conscious place and people that didn't even talk to me before when I went out to ... back then, that's all we could do, go out to the bars, now they were approaching me. People at the restaurants were treating me kindlier. I started feeling like-

Jay Campbell: So true.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, like being muscled means that people will treat you better. That's when it clicked, I was like, “Okay, I may survive so I'm not going to waste but also people are treating me better.” This whole thing just started happening there. I became obsessed so-

Jay Campbell: How old were you now, you were about 30?
Nelson Vergel: Yeah, well maybe 29, I don't know.
Jay Campbell: Okay, but right around 30, right around-
Nelson Vergel: Yeah. The friends who saved my life and now dead, Preston and Stanley, they're my angels, my saviors. Preston died of KS in the lungs and his partner killed himself since he got so depressed after Preston died. Preston told me once that if he died he would be happy if they had to use an extra- large casket. I really believe that without them I would not be even talking to you right now.

Jay Campbell: That's awesome man.

Nelson Vergel: Being muscled prevents wasting and it gives you time but if your T-cells are low, eventually you develop other things. Reversing wasting buys you time. Anyways, one of them, Preston, God, I feel emotional.

Jay Campbell: It's okay.

Nelson Vergel: Preston told me, “Man, I just read this article on Muscle Media 2000. This Dr. X, he's a doctor and he's got HIV and he's actually writing about what we're doing,” …
Jay Campbell: Of course, of course.

Nelson Vergel: It started clicking, everybody started talking about Dr. X. There were two doctors in L.A. that are prescribing hormones to HIV positive people I an underground way. One of them was also HIV+. Preston told me “Don't tell anybody but go there and see him.” The whole thing started happening and I say, “I need to meet this Dr. X.” I was obsessed, this guy became my idol. After Preston found Dr X's number somehow, I called him once and I introduced myself. We talked for two hours and I told him, “Listen, I'm a chemical engineer, I am working all day for Shell but my goal is to get out of engineering and work in health. I want to preach, I want to educate, I want to go around the country and teach doctors about anabolic steroids to prevent and reverse wasting syndrome. I want to help, whatever you need from me ...” “Yeah, I'm writing a book about my experiences and all that,” He said. I offered “I would love to help you, whatever it is.”

I was obsessed with reading about anabolism, I really was. I would stay up until 3:00 in the morning reading. Anyway, so he called me maybe two months later, and said, “Listen, I have something important to talk to you about.” My T-cells have obviously dropped and I was just diagnosed with CMV Retinitis, (meaning it's a virus and when your immune system gets suppressed, it flares up and it eats up your retina and you become blind). I do not want to be blind. I don't care, I just will not accept being blind. I don't want to die blind.” He says, “Therefore,” he said, “I just called all my friends and within two hours, I'm having a party at the house.”

Back then, we were all, believe or not ... this sounds weird, we were reading this book called, “The Final Exit” and now they're on the sixth edition, on how to kill yourself safely.
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Nelson Vergel


Jay Campbell: Sure. Like administering euthanasia, yeah.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, how to kill yourself before things got worse. He says, “I’m going to do the final exit program protocol after we have the party, I want to have a bunch of champagne before then, I’m going to say goodbye to my friends. I’m shipping you over 100 papers that I’ve collected for my book ...” he had a secretary, “a secretary collected from the library.” Back then, that’s all ... “I’m going to ship that and you’re going to finish the book for me because you promised. I need to go real soon because people are coming to my final party so I don’t have much time to talk.”
Jay Campbell: You’re just completely in utter shock.

Nelson Vergel: He hang up and I was crying and I was like, “Oh my God ...” because I knew right there that my life would change. At that moment, besides the HIV diagnosis obviously, at that moment I knew that my life was going to shift. That’s when I got a humongous box with all these papers, back then obviously we didn’t have the internet. He had written like 30% of the book and I had to do most of the work later.

Jay Campbell: Sure.

Nelson Vergel: It was 1994 when I sold my house, decided to go out on disability with Shell and came out of my double closet. My boss was brokenhearted. He sent me home, he says, “ This thing takes the best people! Go home, we’ll take care of you. The insurance will cover you, do your life’s mission.” I told him I was writing a book. Even through all this, I’ve had angels come through my life.

Jay Campbell: For sure.

Nelson Vergel: Talking about another angel, while I was writing, I don’t know ... I tell you, that’s ’94, that’s when the internet started.

Jay Campbell: Yeah, that’s right when internet’s a prodigy in AOL comp servers.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. That opened the complete possibilities of networking. I found out of this guy, Michael Mooney, who was obsessed also. He’s HIV negative but very obsessed with hormones and all that. He called me, he says, “I want to help you write the book.” He was God sent too. He helped me, he did a lot of the work on referencing stuff. Anyways, I decided, “Well, I’m going to preach this.” Back then we had fax machines, so I wrote fax sheets and I would start faxing ... I don’t know how I found all these fax numbers, doctors everywhere, all over the country. The protocol, I called the power program-

Jay Campbell: Yeah, the power protocol, yeah.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, which included nandrolone decanoate (Decadurabolin) plus testosterone and proper nutrition and exercise. It became “the thing.” Doctors started talking about it and they started prescribing anabolics and people started getting better when it comes to wasting. Then I was lucky that I joined a community advisory group with the NIH (National Institute of Health). That is where I advocated for the use of funds to do studies with anabolics for HIV related wasting syndrome. I would go to Washington and we did like 12 studies. They all obviously showed that they worked, they were safe.

Jay Campbell: How was your health now, like right now, you’re so busy, you’ve got all these people [crosstalk 00:28:20].
Nelson Vergel: No, I was healthy because I had obviously reversed my wasting, my viral load was still high. My virus was 50,000 viruses per milliliter.

Jay Campbell: You were literally living on adrenaline, this is your life mission-

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, adrenaline, yeah. I was not tired, I was not showing obvious symptoms. The only symptoms, I had thrush and I had something called hairy leukoplakia, so every time in the morning I will wake up, look up my tongue and to see if it was white. That meant that eventually you’re going to die because that’s a sign of immune suppression... then in ’94, ’95, somebody told me, “You know, Nelson, I’m hearing that there are these Protease inhibitors coming. They may actually save us.”

Jay Campbell: I can’t imagine that. What did you do when you heard that?

Nelson Vergel: What did I do?

Jay Campbell: They might save us dude!

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, “So these things, they haven’t told us but you know ...” he was telling me, He died a few weeks later. All my friends that brought information to me died. I got onto the first study of protease inhibitors, which was an overly aggressive thing for me to do because I developed resistance. It was not the best drug. I developed resistance and my virus mutated, it’s a long story. It’s called functional monotherapy. I set myself to failure and I became eventually multidrug resistant. My virus became super mutated. I lived like that with a super mutated virus for 27 years. Everybody else around me was bringing their viral load to what we call undetectable with drugs, with medications, except me. I was considered a “treatment failure” patient but I looked like a million bucks.

I was lecturing about health and everybody in the room had undetectable viral load but me because I had done overly aggressive things like joining studies where I was taking risks…it’s a long story, I really don’t want people to ... I don’t want to get bored.

Jay Campbell: Well, let me just ask you one question. In your deepest beliefs and theories as to why you’ve survived, what is the reason?

Nelson Vergel: I survived because I don’t think I ever bought into the fact or the message that I was going to die. I survived because I dealt with my depression fast. I’m super aggressive, I’m a type A, alpha male, super ... I’m the oldest of six, I’m always curious about things that I do not know that I do not know. I think depression was killing people faster, so I tried to remain active and hopeful. Though I even got on Zoloft, testosterone obviously reversed my depression. The emotional aspect of me helping people got me completely out of my self-pity. I never had self-pity only for the first few days that I cried but I never had self-pity. I knew for some reason that I would also get on the latest treatment. I could manage by jumping from one drug to another, which was eventually creating my multidrug resistance. It was a combination of factors. I don’t know, my mom jokes it’s because I was breastfed for five years. Creepy…

Jay Campbell: This is a personal question but I can only imagine because we all ... you and I are very now definitely spiritually evolved and we’ll talk about that later in this. Did you ever have days where you just literally felt like you were going to die? Not mentally but just physically you were so exhausted that you were just like, “How can I do this?”
Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I remember clearly, I was in the backyard trying to work because I like gardening, that’s the only thing that was my escape. I’m not a guy that does hobbies or anything, I’m kind of boring, I work out, I eat, I write but I never have hobbies or distractions because-

Jay Campbell: And you are building amazing relationships.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you, because I never been into self-defeating self-pity, so the only thing I had was planting plants and I remember, I was crying basically in the backyard. I didn’t know why. We are now finding out more and more that we have built that trauma in this disease and in many other diseases where many of us don’t express it because we’re saviors, we’re warriors. We’re strong because we must show the way, we must help people. I was transactional, so I never-

Jay Campbell: Right, you were transactional, right.

Nelson Vergel: I stopped crying, I think I buried a lot of my friends, I never really cried. There was a point where that built up and the point that everybody else was ... I was being called a failure patient because everybody else was a success meaning their viral load was undetectable and mine wasn’t. That really got to me because I said, “Why me? I’m the one that knows everything. I’m really a know it all, I have that problem, I’ve been criticized for that, I own it. I think I’m a know it all, I try not to be such an ******* about it but I felt like, “Why me? I’ve been helping so many people.” That’s why I even started questioning the existence of God. I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in any of that magical stuff and I don’t want to get into that right now.

Yeah, fortunately for Zoloft, fortunately for testosterone, fortunately for the gym, fortunately for having a family that while I kept it from them for 12 years but they eventually found out and they were very supportive. Fortunately for my lecturing, I started lecturing weekly around the country with my own money and that really got me ... I don’t know, I don’t think it’s genetics because my immune system dropped. I’ve never could really recover, I only have basically 40% or 30% of a normal immune system. I probably will remain that until there’s a cure, which will happen within 10 to 20 years. I’ve developed a lot of coping skills. The main one is to be grateful at every moment, even when I’m tired in bed or I’m not feeling too well, I know that I have it good compared to many people, I have it good compared to my friends that are six feet under, I have it good compared to people in other countries that have no access.

I have a good insurance, I have good doctor, an amazing partner, an amazing family and amazing friends like you. I have developed the skill of knowing good people and keeping them in my life. I believe that life is too short so I really enjoy everything. I’ve read, I’ve taken mindfulness classes where they teach you to enjoy taking a shower, mindfulness, to enjoy washing your hands mindfully, to enjoy even looking at a flower. Just at that moment, just do the little things in life. If we have at least five of those moments, even if they’re one second long daily, most of us are going to do better just because we’re aware of those little things. Somebody may look at a baby, their own kids and that mindfulness is what ... I don’t want to get too spiritual because I’m actually a tough guy that doesn’t like to talk too much about that but in mindfulness…

Jay Campbell: Well, I’m going to continue to make you talk about spirituality.

Nelson Vergel: Because I don’t like-

Jay Campbell: Sorry tough guy.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, well that’s always that part of me, something that I don’t share so-

Jay Campbell: Well, one of the things ... let me just jump in quick because that’s all awesome. That was amazing that you just shared all that and thank you. The one thing that I’ve really learned from you and obviously I tell Monica this all the time, is that you are just so genuine.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you.

Jay Campbell: I found in my life that the most successful people and again, everybody can still find success whenever the **** they want. I don’t define success from a monetary standpoint, I define success based on how many people do you help daily without thinking about it. What I mean by that is you’re one of those guys ... our story is I reached out to you, I sent you a copy of my book two years, I didn’t hear back from you because you were out of the country. I sent it to a lot of people like you and you were one of only two people that wrote me back. The other guy that wrote me back got me all concerned, we know who that is, “You need a legal review.” The reality is that just my first meeting of you and I had been exposed to you in the past because of your books and because of my writing and I had reached out to you and you had always written back to me but I was just another guy.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah.

Jay Campbell: You just are so genuine and I find that in life and my experience and the people that treat everyone as an equal, regardless of how big you are or how small the other person is, that’s the key to life. It’s like the CEO who talks to the janitor who’s cleaning his office like the person that he reports to from the chairman of the board standpoint. In life, it really is how you treat people. I don’t care about any of the other things and I can say very, very, very consistently that you treat everyone equally no matter what.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you. I appreciate kindness and generosity, and when I detect that in somebody, I basically want to mentor them. That’s what I detected in you-

Jay Campbell: Thank you.

Nelson Vergel: I detected it in Jason from Defy and Shaun from Empower. There are people like you guys, are working in health and helping other people because you are just generous, you want to help people. You genuinely and the word genuine also applies to you. It’s rare, I only meet this type of people maybe one out of a hundred. For me, I’m hyper aware when I come across one of those people. I basically want to develop a relationship with you. I even told you, “You better write that book,” even though your book was also about ... after my book. I knew that I was eventually going to lose sales to you but I didn’t care because my book came much before and you were giving another perspective, a much fresher perspective. I said, “You need to publish that book.” Don’t listen to people telling you need legal advise.

Jay Campbell: Thank you, Nelson for that. I’ve told millions of people, everyone who knows me closely, you are my mentor. I can say that on this podcast and you are truly and amazing man. When Monica and I met you in person a year ago, honestly, we both drove home and we were like, “That guy is literally the living embodiment of who I want to be as a man moving forward and continuing my mission.” The one thing I’ve learned and we can jump into the spiritual stuff but I do want you to talk about ExcelMale and I do want you to talk about your book. We’ll get to that in a second but the one thing that I’m learning in life is that too many people focus on, “What is my purpose? I’m lost because I don’t know what my purpose is.”

In my opinion, and again, we’ll talk about Eckhart Tolle in a minute. The reality is, is that our purpose continually changes. A focus of like you only have one purpose in your life is really going to lead you astray and so the one thing that I now know in meeting you are that to be a spiritually highly evolved, conscious loving present person, you must just roll with the punches. Every single day is going to be different than yesterday and tomorrow is going to be different than yesterday. If you focus on those things and again, I don’t want to just give Tolle all the credit but the reality is you just must roll with the punches and be present, right?

Nelson Vergel: Yes, and see that things just happen because they just happen. It is what it is, there have no meaning, there’s no meaning…it’s the meaning we give them. Life is not trying to teach you a lesson or people are not trying to be evil to you. It’s a lot about perception and yes, there are evil and we’ve seen evil. Just this weekend, we saw evil that killed 49 people in a gay bar in Orlando, but in general, most people are good, most people are preoccupied about their own needs because most are busy. Most people are genuinely good people, especially if you bring that out of them by being genuine. Now, something else that motivates me, so I get up in the morning and I get online and I get emails thanking me or ... it’s a great feeling to know that even in your worst, in my shittiest days, somebody has benefited from my writings. Man, when I read those ... my day is completely lifted. It’s about getting out of your head. Every time I give, I get a lot more back and you have more back.

Jay Campbell: It’s so true Nelson. I really wish ... we’re all on our own revolution, we’re all on our own life journey and our process, hopefully we evolve as we go but it’s so true about that. The more and more I read, I’m so into spiritual enlightenment now. By the way, I’m reading ... I told you about this, this life and teaching of the masters.
Nelson Vergel: Yeah, I need to read that one.

Jay Campbell: Absolutely mesmerizing stuff. Beyond the spiritual enlightenment, the reality is once you align yourself with being generous, paying it forward, always ... just like you said, just always being of a mindset to help other people, it’s amazing what comes in your life. When you’re closed off and like you were saying, you had a good point, you said, when you’re living for your needs, your personal needs. You’re not aligning the generosity of the universe, the abundance of the universe to truly flow into you and flow out. When you are aligned and not worried about yourself all the time, it’s so true what you said. I really wish that I would have figure that out a long time ago but again, it’s like Monica, she’s my spirit animal, right?

Nelson Vergel: That is right.

Jay Campbell: The reality is that it comes when it comes. Some people, it comes to them as Tolle says, when they’re on their death bed, five minutes away from death. Others, it comes like you, it came at 23 when somebody said to you, “Hey man, you’ve got six months, you’re going done.” All of this, it comes in different points in our lives and it really does come based on natural experiences but it’s really, it’s recognizing when it comes and then what you do with it after it comes.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, and not act out of fear. Anything out of fear, it doesn’t lead to anything. The good this about this work and let me tell you ... okay, what have been the benefits to me of doing this? Let’s now talk about what people are giving me. Through my non-profit, I’ve met other people that run non-profits. Amazing, these are all angels, these are people that selfishly just giving their souls to people. Through my books, the first and the second, it’s, Built to Survive and Testosterone. I met you, I my best friends right now, all of you guys, which ... something else. I never thought I was going to be good friends with straight men.

Jay Campbell: That’s right, so many straight men.

Nelson Vergel: My best three, four friends now are straight men that I met through my work and I’m just enjoying the ... it’s a very unexpected thing. 10 years ago, I would have told you you’re crazy because what happens with HIV and in the gay world is that we isolate ourselves in a bubble because we don’t want to be discriminated against. We tend to protect ourselves and sometimes ... the world is changing and I’m one of those optimists, I’m a futurist. My life has improved dramatically in the past three years, not only my health because I did eventually achieve undetectable viral load. I’m getting-

Jay Campbell: That’s awesome, congratulations.
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Nelson Vergel


Nelson Vergel: Thank you. I'm on a research drug that is a monoclonal antibody. It's that super-duper drug administered by IV called ibalizumab that I was lucky to get when I joined a study 5 years ago. Finally, after 27 years now I finally have no detectable HIV in my blood and it has given me more time to help others. Unfortunately, as my immune system was getting better, I got diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014 but eventually I also kicked that one in the ass. Anyways, I was going to get to a point here. It's very important to not let circumstances take you away from that. We have days where we must pay our bills, the kids are sick or things are just piling up. There is no time for you to think about other people, I get it. I even tell people, just try once. Try going to volunteer to any ... I tell people, people say, “Well, I don't know what to get involved with.” I tell people, “Get involved with things that piss you off. Whatever you're angry about, things that are wrong- “

Jay Campbell: That's great advice.

Nelson Vergel: They were, “I hate the fact that this is happening.” Well, get involved with whatever cause or whatever non-profit is working on that issue because every issue has obviously ... if there is not, create your own damn group.

Jay Campbell: Right, which obviously you and I have done. That's great advice, I'm like you. The one thing I will say that I really, consciously put into place, obviously talking to you and you pushed me to read the Tolle books more than probably anybody. It's like you said, the fear. When you go to bed at night, you shouldn't be worried about something that's coming tomorrow. As you know, we could die in our sleep, okay? Tomorrow is not a guarantee, yesterday is gone.
Focusing on yesterday and memories of things that you worry about or tomorrow or a future that may not come. I always think back to myself, I think about ... when I was just like you, the oldest of nine kids, type A, analytical maniac. Just running around, everything has got to be organized, it's got to be done like this, this, this, this. It's like I think about how much time of my life I've wasted because all those things that you focused on, how many of them even materialized? Maybe 1%. It's incredible how people live in the ego mind. We're just literally living in things that we have no earthly idea are even going to happen to us.

Nelson Vergel: 90% of the things that we worry about don't ever happen.

Jay Campbell: Literally don't happen. It's like once I started, and this is all really for me, I will be the first to admit it, it's all been in the last six months. I have met my spiritual enlightenment or my increase in consciousness has truly ... I've been reading this stuff for a long time, it just didn't resonate and it finally resonated. It's amazing what's happening to me in my life and that's not the topic of this podcast but the really is that it's when you stop living in fear like you said. You stop the pain body, you get rid of that stuff and you don't let it preoccupy your soul realistically or your existence, everything changes.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, and I tell people and people always say, “Well, that's new agey stuff.” I tend to be very analytical, if you read my writings and even my lectures, people say, “Well, Nelson, you never really talk about the mind-body connection. You're so conscious about data and blah, blah, blah, you never- “

Jay Campbell: Right, you're an engineer.

Nelson Vergel: “Why are you avoiding that topic even though we know that you have a lot of mind body techniques?” You know, I grew up, there's this part of me that maybe I'm afraid to be labeled as wishy-washy, new agey, blah, blah, blah, and I don't talk about it but like you are the one, you have been the one that says, “Nelson, you need to get over that, you need to speak about that part because not enough people are talking about it.” I'm not trying to sell a book on spirituality, so it's not like-

Jay Campbell: Well, let me just stop you because I personally believe from my readings and again, you're 12 years older than me and more well-read than me, you are my mentor, I admit that. Dude, you are who you are and have survived because you have amazing presence, awareness and spiritual energy. Now, I know you're not religious and we're not talking about any of that but all of that is your channeling of your presence. Again, you can define it anyway you want so you are this man, this powerful charismatic figure because you have been able to channel all that. When you were at your deathbed, physically exhausted, your viral load was where it was, you had no real medications to do anything for you, dude, you got through it because of who you are as a human being.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you.

Jay Campbell: I have no doubt about that and again, I'm not some guru in the Himalayas. I want to be one of those guys someday but realistically like that's truly what has gotten you to your point and you should not be ashamed because you are a brilliant data intellectual, chemical engineer dork. I know you are that guy deep down but you do have massive spiritual power that you ... again, I'm not religious like you but the reality is that does drive you and that energy is everyone. You walk into a room ... I remember Monica sitting down with you and when we just left you entering your car, Monica just looked over at me and she was like, “Jay, that guy is amazing.”

Nelson Vergel: Thank you. You guys are so sweet. Love her!

Jay Campbell: She just had energy in her body and Monica is already very intuitive, you know that.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, she's highly evolved.

Jay Campbell: You touched her, your energy touched her energy and she was just like, “That is an amazing man who's overcome so much in life. You have got to build the most amazing relationship with him.” That's obviously what I've tried to do and I believe it's happening. I don't give a shit, I know people ... you are a little older than me and your generation is like, “That new age bullshit,” but dude, there's so much to this man.
Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I need to get out of the closet on that one.

Jay Campbell: Yeah, you absolutely do. Listen man, every single, successful person that I have met in my life, like I was telling you, Josh Smith who's an animal, his people literally meditate for 60 minutes a day.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, that's a-

Jay Campbell: It's not a coincidence. There is a spiritual part of all of us, however we define it, that ... you define it how you want to define it. It's going deep within as Tolle says, and being present.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I give people practical advice in that, my friends, I'm very good coach. I can say I've saved a few relationships, most of them straight. Most of them in which a woman has cheated on a man and I've taught people how to forgive. That's really a lot of us make mistakes, we pay the price by being our worst critics. I've made mistakes, I've had that problem, I'm a man of the world. To remember that when somebody hurts because they made a mistake, they are the worst critics and they don't need any more of that on their life. I also remind people that you can have an ego voice every second of your life-

Jay Campbell: You can't escape it.

Nelson Vergel: That voice is always trying to tell you that you're not worthy, that you don't deserve the love of your wife or your girlfriend or boyfriend, that you really are not good looking, you are not smart enough, people are smarter than you or whatever. You may be delusional in which you think the opposite, the complete opposite, you're better than everybody, that's opposite way. Agreeing with that voice leads nowhere.

Jay Campbell: You're not enough, you're not enough.

Nelson Vergel: I tell people, “You do not get cured from that.” The only thing that you get cured of, if you really develop the skills, you say, “No, that's not me. No, you're not going to get me... No. I know what you're trying to do.” It's almost like you see it a separate entity that is not you, that is not you and wants to destroy your present.

Jay Campbell: It's the ego, it's like you said, it's the ego.

Nelson Vergel: As soon as you are aware, that's all you must ... I tell people, “You don't have to do much more that being aware that voice is not you.

Jay Campbell: Right.

Nelson Vergel: You don't even have to read that much stuff. If you just keep awake, every time that voice comes up, says, “I know who you are. I know that you're trying to bring me down. You are not me “

Jay Campbell: There's an amazing quote in this book Nelson about the stillness of the mind. That's exactly what you're saying. When you are aware of something else talking-
Nelson Vergel: You dismantle that ego-voice that wants you to be unconscious.

Jay Campbell: It's gone.

Nelson Vergel: You dismantle it, you become aware... that's what happens. Most of us embrace that voice and it's the voice that takes over. People, say, “Well, you shouldn't be hearing two voices, you're not a schizophrenic,” and I say “No, I'm not schizophrenic. We all have two voices, we have the voice that is trying to keep us down- “

Jay Campbell: 100%

Nelson Vergel: And the voice that is trying to give us hope. The one that is trying to bring us down, as soon as you're aware, not like, “Okay, I'm going to shut you up.” You're not going to shut that voice up ever but you're going to dismantle that voice by saying, “You are not going to rule me, no. Tomorrow is going to be better. Yes, I'm having a shitty day but this is going to be over, this too will pass.” That's the only difference right now between me and 10 years ago, that I can tell myself, “Okay, you ...” I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago while I was getting better with my viral load and that was, “Oh my God, why me once again? No.”
Jay Campbell: You and I were talking about, it's like the two statements I take from Tolle, which I'll remember forever, is the two statements, no matter what it is, good or bad in your life; is that so, and this too shall pass, right?
Nelson Vergel: This too shall pass. Maybe I'll learn something around this, that's what I say. Maybe I'll be able to write a book about this, like with cancer was, “Maybe I'll just need to learn about cancer, you know.” It wasn't that bad, I had chemo in a bag. I walked around, I went to the grocery store, I went to the gym with my chemo bag. Yeah, I lost my hair and I have a big head so that was kind of freaky but I was always testosterone too, moderate doses, to prevent cancer related wasting. For me, I'm not afraid of cancer anymore, it's almost like I will deal with it if it happens again. “Be optimistic, be realistic, be hopeful but get ready for the worst and accept the worst.” Accept that, just accept it and say, “Okay, what if and what happens? I'm still me, I'm still going to be able to ...” I accept the worst every time something and I also have expect the best. I said, “No, I'm going to fight cancer, I'm going to get over cancer like I did with HIV…May be I will learn something new about acceptance”.

Jay Campbell: Yes, absolutely, it's all perspective.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, and the fact that a voice is going to tell me, “Well, this cancer is going to kill you. Okay, you survived a lot but this is going to kill you.”

Jay Campbell: The key is what you said there before, you said it never goes away.

Nelson Vergel: Never goes away.

Jay Campbell: That's what you must be accepting of, Monica always says acceptance. It really is the idea that you can never defeat the enemy, the enemy is always there but can you ... Like you said, disempower the enemy by not listening to it.

Nelson Vergel: Dismantling it, yeah, by just saying, “I know what you're trying to do and I know that- “

Jay Campbell: Right. We've got 10 minutes here and I want to talk because we haven't talked ... this has been an amazing podcast.

Nelson Vergel: You got into this, this is your-

Jay Campbell: No, I would go way deeper with you but I do want to talk about you, I do want to talk about ExcelMale, I want to talk about your book. I know you're getting into the fatigue role in some, I want to talk about just the last tidbits about you. Tell me a little bit about ExcelMale, tell me why you wrote your amazing book on testosterone and what are your thoughts like big picture thoughts on the whole testosterone replacement therapy industry, where it's going.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, good question. While I worked as an HIV activist and lectured around the country, I wrote a book called, Built to Survive.

Jay Campbell: Amazing book by the way, it's still in my shelf behind me.

Nelson Vergel: Thank you. Yeah, I must thank Michael Mooney for that too as he was a co-author. That book taught me that a lay person ... I'm an engineer but I'm really a lay person, can write a book that is clinical and patient friendly.

Jay Campbell: You have not had pushback from a doctor, Nelson?

Nelson Vergel: No. I've never heard that. Even doctors don't give me a hard time and say, you know that I'm highly referenced, I reference everything I say. Anyway, once I could say, okay, well I was able to get anabolics used for HIV wasting and, by the way, anabolic steroids are used not as frequently now because people are not wasting due to effective HIV treatments. I say, you know ... obviously things in HIV were getting better and getting better in this country obviously. I said, I think it's time for me, like you say, we have a goal, we have a mission and then we evolve, that mission evolves into something else. I started getting emails, get this, I don't think I've ever told you this, from HIV negative guy saying, “Do I have to have HIV for you to help me or do I have to get HIV to get access ?”

I felt, “Oh my God, I feel so bad for them. No, you don't have to do that, please don't.” That's where I started getting… there's a world out there that I haven't really helped. Obviously, the HIV world was, I already had done 20 years of work. This is another story, I had two back surgeries, back to back and I was going to be laid down for a while. I said, “Well, I'm going to lose my mind if I don't do something,” so I started, I said, “I'm going to write a book on the basics of testosterone.” I couldn't obviously write a book on anabolics because they're not legal for HIV negatives or even people with no wasting disease. Anyways, so I said, “I'm going to just lie in bed and start typing stuff.”
That's how I wrote my “Testosterone: A Man's Guide” book from bed and on a laptop. When I published it, I got all this love. I was telling my friends in the gay world, says, “You know, I've gotten a lot more love from the straight world that needed help than even from my HIV folks.” I really feel and maybe I'm in a bubble but I feel all this acceptance, love, people have shown. Then I created a Facebook group, a testosterone replacement therapy discussion Facebook group and people are coming to the group and building up to over 10,0000 members. I met Gene Devine on the Facebook group and he says, “Nelson, you need to create your own website, your own forum. All this information is going to get lost in Facebook”

Yeah, that's when I created and it's been great, over 13,000 members, we have over 45,000 posts, that's in the past three years. It's become the place, I'm very proud of it.

Jay Campbell: Let me just say, you know this but just for the listening audience and stuff like that, Nelson's book is amazing, it's a treasure trove and it's highly relevant even right now.

Nelson Vergel: Right, seven years old.

Jay Campbell: I used Nelson's book to format my book. He-

Nelson Vergel: Yours is a lot nicer.

Jay Campbell: Well, I know for a fact that if you would write your book now, today, that you would reorganize a little bit because when you were writing it, there was nothing for you to base anything on. I'm not going to just slam the book.

Nelson Vergel: It was Dr. Shippen's book was the one that I ... yeah and then you know-

Jay Campbell: Yeah. Then there was Morgentaler's book

Nelson Vergel: I would write a different book today, of course.

Jay Campbell: It's still an amazing book though. You can see, I have so many pages highlighted and colored in and it's just incredible but it's an amazing book. You founded ExcelMale.con, you've obviously got the Facebook group called Testosterone Replacement Therapy Discussion that you and I are a member of. You've got thousands and thousands of men around the world that literally love you and you've been an amazing advocate/pioneer. Again, we've had this conversation before and correct me if I'm wrong but you're not as focused really on TRT anymore, you're writing a book on HCG, I want you to talk about that, but you're also more into the whole fatigue and fatigue management route.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. I'm evolving. It's evolving again, it's like, “Okay, I've done this work, and still, fatigue is big issue” I also have found that my work has been very male oriented and women need help too.

Jay Campbell: Absolutely.

Nelson Vergel: Fatigue affects us all, men, women, especially women. They're busier than we are sometimes. I suffer from fatigue, I must be extremely hyper-aware of what I'm doing to my body because I have depleted immune system. That's my focus. Also, more education on the use of hCG.

Jay Campbell: I'll probably end using it and between you and-

Nelson Vergel: You're young, you know-

Jay Campbell: No but I probably will, there probably does come a time where it's value. Obviously, I've experimented but I've used it on and off. I just felt like it gave me water retention.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah. Most people don't need it, I needed it because I think after so [crosstalk 01:03:36].

Jay Campbell: Well, according to some doctors, it's important that we always take it.
Nelson Vergel: Yeah. Well, the pathways, the [inaudible 01:03:43] ... Yeah, I'll write a whole chapter on that too because I do believe that too, so I do believe that too. Anyway, so they HCG coming up and eventually, I want to move more into general fatigue and management of fatigue, chronic fatigue. I feel I'm in every form, reading a lot of work on that because as I know, the diagnosis that is fully understood. Yeah, things evolve, we all evolve. I think every creative mind, every a few years, we reinvent ourselves, I'm ready for that now. ExcelMale is running great, Facebook group is crazy, is a lot of people and [crosstalk 01:04:18].

Jay Campbell: Yeah. It's hard to manage that man.

Nelson Vergel: And to manage. I do, before I die, I want to have a few books out. I think you either leave in this world, you leave two things, you leave your kids, you raise them well and you ... I don't have kids, obviously, or you leave books, art, creations that can be forever survive you for years and years, where people can say, “Wow, we're still using this reference.” Part of me is ... be immortal. Obviously, we cannot be immortal but a lot of people and we're reading books from people that wrote them hundreds of years ago. There is another level of immortality and that level is where you put your soul into a product, a book, a piece of art, whatever, it can be anything.

Jay Campbell: It lives on forever, [crosstalk 01:05:12].

Nelson Vergel: It lives on forever, especially now with the internet. Come on, anybody can create a blog or something that hopefully ... unless the internet shuts down, which is another one of my fears, that we'll have hackers destroy all the work.

Jay Campbell: Somebody in the dark web will archive everything, don't worry.

Nelson Vergel: Right. I do believe that. Yeah, I'm starting to evolve into other ... fatigue is huge, everybody I know is either run down because we have so many competing things in our lives. We're highly productive, the social media and the cell phones are draining us. We're going to bed later and later, we're exposing ourselves to more and more light at night. Parents are more involved with their kids' education, so they're running around, taking their kids to all these different activities. I see everybody, it's becoming adrenal fatigue, thyroid ... distortion issue is one part of it, I don't [crosstalk 01:06:09].

Jay Campbell: Absolutely.

Nelson Vergel: ... 20 or 30 different factors so I feel like I've covered that enough. Now it's time to move on to [crosstalk 01:06:16].

Jay Campbell: It's awesome.

Nelson Vergel: I like a challenge, so this is a new challenge.

Jay Campbell: It's exactly what we said, it's that whole purpose, your purpose is evolving. Final question and then we'll shut it down. You have always had a good relationship with your doctors. What's your advice for guys out there because this is a question that you and I get literally infinitum. How can a regular guy develop a good relationship with their doctor?

Nelson Vergel: That's a great question. The first thing is to find a good doctor, it's almost like a dating game, right? Like you're single, you're trying to find the right partner or whatever and you go through dating for 100 people to come up with one. It's like a dating game, finding a good partner is hard, that's the first step. How do you do that? You get online, you get on forums and start asking people, “Hey, I live here, where is a good doctor,” before you even commit yourself. Sometimes guys want to use their insurance and obviously that ... we have a certain list of doctors that insurance will only work with. Sometimes you're lucky to have a doctor that your insurance will accept and that's like, “Whoa, jackpot.” I have a doctor that it's one of them, he is amazing.
Let's say that you find eventually a doctor through forums, it may be an insurance doctor or a cash basis doctor, which is a luxury that we still have in this country [crosstalk 01:07:45]-

Jay Campbell: Yes, we do.

Nelson Vergel: ... I get emails from Canada, from the UK, from Germany from men who are very frustrated due to lack of access to proper preventative care. I get emails from all over, I used to coach clients everywhere. I used to be of proponent of socialized medicine but now I know there has to also be a separate system where people can have access to more progressive medicine. But a lot of countries that have socialized medicine have very few options to get to see a doctor who may take cash payments for more flexibility in prescribing without having a government entity telling them what and how to prescribe.

Jay Campbell: Well, there's not perfect form, there's just no perfect form anywhere, there just isn't.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah but they don't have the choices that we have because they cannot even ... even if they had cash, they don't have a system.

Jay Campbell: It's incredible, I know.

Nelson Vergel: We at least we have that luxury in the U.S. Yeah, and you know, sometimes it may be expensive but Defy Medical and other clinics are out there to decrease frustration in diagnosis and treatment of hormone deficiencies...
Anyways, once you find, you're lucky and find a good doctor and a good doctor means they're progressive, they're open to suggestions, when you bring up issues, they don't feel threatened by your knowing your stuff and they give a damn, they look interested in what you have to say.

Jay Campbell: Right, they pay attention to you.

Nelson Vergel: They're not typing while you're talking. They're human beings and I know their limitations. Once you find that, the first thing I tell people is that you must be friendly, not only with the doctor but with the front desk people.

Jay Campbell: Absolutely, the gatekeepers.

Nelson Vergel: The gatekeepers, they are not paid well, they're the gatekeepers, they're the ones that will let you in if you really need to see a doctor fast if the doctor is booked. You need to take care of the people. Treat them with respect, bring them cookies, bring them flowers, find out what their birthdays are, become ... sometimes people say, “Well, that's a lot of work and some of them are just not very nice.” Everybody that is in the front desk is there not only because they are getting paid, they actually give a damn.” Some of may have ... they have a bad attitude because of being so tired of being stepped on. Anyways, make friends with those people, be loving with those people, bring them whatever it is that, cookies or flowers or ... make sure you say good morning and you mean it.

Then obviously when you talk to your doctor, prepare yourself like you're preparing for a final exam in school. Write down all your symptoms, whatever you had, questions and when he or she comes into the room and sometimes they're stressed out, they have three other people waiting and they want you not to ask too many questions because they not only have to take care of you but they also ... if they're taking insurance, they must type now with the ICD-10, which requiring the doctors type everything and they code everything. I feel so bad for them.

Jay Campbell: It's horrible.

Nelson Vergel: They even tell me, “Nelson, I can't practice medicine…I have become a data entry person- “

Jay Campbell: I know, I know.

Nelson Vergel: You only have five minutes or 10 minutes max pitch to give a doctor the information he needs in the least amount of time so that your needs are met. How do you do that? My doctor knows me so I don't have to do that anymore but I used to, where I'd write everything down, when I come in, he walks in, I say, “Here, read this first before we talk.” Talking, they're thinking about other things or, “Oh my God, there's somebody next door waiting for me for two hours.” That note focuses the doctor's attention on your issues and saves time in questioning.

Jay Campbell: That's hilarious.

Nelson Vergel: I tell you, it's a stupid, little, thing, say, “Yeah, right.” It's a stupid, little thing that works because it gives him focus-

Jay Campbell: Yes, absolutely.

Nelson Vergel: And then they look at you and say, “Okay, I get it.” Sometimes you don't even have to discuss much.

Jay Campbell: That's brilliant.

Nelson Vergel: “Okay, plus I'll prescribe to you this, okay. Okay, I'll check for you. Well, I don't agree with this, did you read that online? Everything online is bullshit.” You must know your stuff because if you say, “I read it online, the internet-” may turn him or her off.

Jay Campbell: Honestly, that's great actionable advice. I've never heard anybody say that before. I'm like you, very smart and go in there and already can ... like them, I speak their language so yeah, that's good because ... and that also sets them at ease because you're not combative, you're going to be confrontational if they say something to you. You're right, they're going to see 25 patients in that day, maybe more, depending on their practice and what they're doing. If you give them your information with bullet points and say, “Hey man, this is really what I want you to focus on related to me.” That sets mind at ease too and all sudden, you're having a conversation rather than you guys rebutting each other.

Nelson Vergel: Even the most difficult doctors respond better, because I've tested this, I have a lot of coaching, I coach a lot of people. You should respect their time and not dwell in long stories.

Jay Campbell: I'm sure.

Nelson Vergel: Another thing is say thank you to your doctor all the time. Don't take it for granted, they're human beings, they want to go home and feel good about themselves. When you think they made a mistake, and most doctors make mistakes.

Jay Campbell: Of course, we all make mistakes.

Nelson Vergel: Most doctors ... yeah, they do. Just accept it, it's part of the ... medicine is not an exact science, it's an art, they're human beings. Don't be bitchy about it.
Jay Campbell: Yeah. One of my good doctor friends the other day was saying, the white coat God complex is dead.

Nelson Vergel: Yes, it should be, I hope so because they're finding out more and more that, “Hey, internet is really empowering a lot of patients.” If you don't get on it, they're going to walk away. Another thing I tell people, and this is important, listen to this. If you're happy with your doctor, refer patients to him or her. They will appreciate it.
Jay Campbell: Absolutely.

Nelson Vergel: When you refer because you're happy with them, you tell your friend that is going there, “Tell him that I sent you. Say hi to him for me. ” I do that a lot so my doctor says, “Wow.” They know, if you're referring, you're happy, you're helping with their business. It's a business, they need to make money in a high overhead business setting.

Jay Campbell: Absolutely, great advice.

Nelson Vergel: ... don't keep it to yourself ... A lot of guys have a good doctor and they keep it to themselves. This almost thing that, “I don't want him to get too busy because if he gets too busy with more people ...” No, you're not going to lose anything, you're going to gain by letting him or her know that you're so happy with his or her services, that you want your friends to be going there. That's it, it's not really rocket science. If a doctor ... really, you feel like a doctor is not helping you the way you think, treat it like a date and move on.

Jay Campbell: Go get another one.

Nelson Vergel: Yeah, because I see a lot of guys just suffering over the break-up. It's almost like a break-up. You just don't tell him but ... yes, as I said, some guys with very limited insurance and they don't have the financial means, they must take a little more abuse because they don't have as many options. Even in those HMO settings, there's still some hope. A few clinic networks have become very competitive in pricing, so that is good.

Jay Campbell: There is hope.

Nelson Vergel: HMOs are worse, I must say. If you have the money, pay for a PPO insurance program because you have more choices but expenses may be a lot more.
Jay Campbell: Well, man, this has been amazing, I am so thankful, I have such gratitude. You constantly bring joy and abundance into my life. Just final statement for you is, for somebody who's watching this and obviously, I don't need to say to people how they find you on the internet but what would be your final message. If somebody wanted to get a hold of you, wanted to work with you as a coach or whatever, how would they reach out to you?

Nelson Vergel: There's a coaching tab there, you can google Nelson Vergel, V-E-R-G-E-L and-

Jay Campbell: Nelson will respond to your email if you email him.

Nelson Vergel: Well, it's just for some reason, my email is all over the place. I've been writing since '94 online. At, we didn't talk about but I also created a company to provide the cheapest and the most affordable blood tests without you needing to go see a doctor.

Jay Campbell: Yeah, but Nelson's company will be all over ... it's already all over my sites now, so for guys who are watching this, they're going to be exposed to Discounted Labs but yeah, it's the cheapest place online to just go and lab done. I'll have you back on, we'll talk about this kind of labs again because that's a whole another conversation podcast itself. Dude, again, thanks for coming on man, this is the longest podcast I've ever did. The content has been phenomenal, I got you to talk about spirituality so I'm excited, man.

Nelson Vergel: I know, you got me out of that closet, you're the one that pushes ... I say, “I don't want to talk about my spirituality.

Jay Campbell: Well, you know me, I still think that you need to do an autobiography dude. Your life story is so unbelievable and there are [inaudible 01:16:50] many people that read, I know you don't want to do that.

Nelson Vergel: There are some things that I've done to survive that I don't want to disclose.

Jay Campbell: When you die, we'll publish a post mortem.

Nelson Vergel: There you go, there you go, that's good.

Jay Campbell: All right. Well, thank you so much for coming on brother.

Nelson Vergel: Thanks a lot for having me, I really appreciate it.
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@Nelson Vergel Full disclosure I never knew of you or heard of you, but when you turn to the page in the dictionary that has the word “Hero” your name needs to follow it immediately. What an incredible life story. I cannot even fathom being 20 years old in the 80’s and told I had HIV (or any “deadly” virus for that matter). Soul crushing at that age I must imagine.

Thank you for bringing us ExcelMale. I just found this site not very long ago and it is by far the most informative and helpful hormone/AAS forum I have ever come across. You have people posting that are desperate for help, some going through the darkest periods of their lives needing help. The knowledgeable “hoard” of members swoop in and really work to help these people and it is quite the reading experience. This site has remarkable members and some of the brightest minds I have ever witnessed. Thank you for creating this forum and a great big thank you to all those brilliant members out there helping people who are in need. ExcelMale is a special place. While I can’t compete with the type of knowledge here, I lurk constantly. I’m here to learn and learn I have done. Thanks again.

Nelson Vergel

@bumpy thank you so much for your kind words. I am very proud of what the moderators and members of ExcelMale have been able to accomplish in the past 10+ years. It is still a safe and moderated place where any person can come and find evidence based information as well as asking questions that will hopefully lead them to solutions.
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