It can take months before you really notice the effects of TRT. Some, usually young guys, notice a powerful difference right away. But usually in middle-aged and beyond guys it takes awhile. I suspect it's cuzz we have more to rebuild. But it's very individual.
But let me go back to something:
If I understood right, you got a blood draw after you started the Androgel and your testosterone is still very low. If I am misunderstanding, let me know. Again, I doubt a small increase in pumps will help, since it doesn't look like the Androgel is absorbing in your case anyway. In other words, 33% more of nothing is still nothing. You have to work that out with your doc of course.
Also, what did you mean by the TRT will "help the herniated disks". If your testosterone is low like your is, you can end up with osteoporosis, but that is really a separate issue unless I'm missing something here.
Or does he mean that the herniated disks - I'm assuming they're in the lower back? - are leading to erectile dysfunction? If so, the TRT might help somewhat just because it can boost nitric oxide through eNOS activation, etc.
Anyway, not sure what your doctor meant there - you'll have to let us know.
Also, I have to ask another question:
Are you on any pain meds or muscle relaxants for the back injury?