Solipsistic Fun For The Whole Family!

Thankful salutations to those who have commented in honor of de-lurking week–I simply adore getting comments. Perhaps it will get old, eventually, and I will merely dismiss them with a languid wave of my manicured hand before rising from my desk to ring a tiny bell alerting my kitchen staff that I am in the mood for more fondue, please, and make it snappy.

Yes, it seems unlikely to me, too.

One of our cats has lost his mind. It is my favorite cat, the one I got at the pound two days after my miscarriage last year (I stumbled into the Humane Society wearing pajama bottoms and more or less demanded a kitten, eventually paying for him partially in quarters. Another story for another day, perhaps). His name is Lennie—we named him shortly after the death of Jerry Orbach, you see—and here is a picture:
We have a very close relationship, he and I, and if I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night he drags himself out of bed and follows me, sitting by the toilet with his eyes half-open until I am finished and he can go back to sleep.
Lennie has always been an exceptionally talkative cat. But for the last few days he has taken to bleating at nothing. He seems convinced that there is some especially delicious insect on the ceiling, and has adopted a watchful “eyes on the skies” pose since Tuesday, moving about the upper surfaces of the apartment, occasionally rising up on his haunches and saying “MERAAAo?”
There is nothing there, people.
Yesterday morning the Nearly suggested that he has “Cat Scratch Fever” which seems as likely an explanation as any. When the Nearly stops writhing with mirth at his own cleverness, remind me to punish him for insuring that I spent my entire Friday at work with a Ted Nugent song (or, rather, the one line of it I know) lodged firmly in my head.
Boss: “Have you had a chance to write your reviews?”
Self, In Mind: “Cat Scratch FE-VER!”
Self, Aloud: “I’m working on it.”

At the moment, I am feeling ill from the Metformin. Not quite as bad as I had expected—I am taking the extended release version, and I took the pill with some soy milk and a vitamin B capsule. If this is the worst of it, I think I can manage. If the side effects increase markedly with my dose…I won’t think about that right now.
I am keeping track of how I feel for the Metfomin page I am making. Hopefully it will be an uplifting account that ends with me feeling better and having ovulatory cycles, rather than with my dehydrated corpse found smeared with vomit and excrement on the floor of my bathroom.

Taking my first pill, last night, marked the beginning of fertility treatment for me. Metformin is my first non-diagnostic step towards getting pregnant. It will take me almost a month to ramp up to my prescribed dosage, and after that we have to wait two more months for the lessened miscarriage risk and elevated egg quality to attach, and sometime around then I will have another monitored cycle to see if the Metformin is working. Dr. Doctor doesn’t think I will ovulate on the meds alone, but you never can tell, with my ovaries.
When I started this blog, I thought getting pregnant would be the least of my problems. I was worried about endometriosis. I was worried about having another miscarriage. I was worried about dealing with the two I had already had. What I was not worried about was that I had never managed to detect ovulation through temperature charting—I believed the OB Gyn who told me that charting was unreliable, and that the fact I had a cycle (almost) every 35 days meant I was ovulating.
Imagine my surprise.
Still, I have a fairly good track record of getting knocked-up, once something prompts my slothful ovaries to release an egg. If Metformin regulates me enough to make that happen, it is possible that I could have a baby without any further medical help.
I feel very odd. I didn’t start this blog to talk only about infertility—I started it to lend a veneer of productivity to the time I spend not working on my writing. That is a need that will persist even if I get pregnant and stay that way long enough to end up with a child.
That is a need that will persist until I am laid, cold and dead, in my grave.
But I also started Flotsam to have a place to talk about things that don’t lend themselves to conversation with the people in my real life. Thus far, those things have centered largely around the region of my nethers. Most of my readers and blog friends are infertile, and I am afraid they will vanish if I am lucky enough to escape injections and catheters and whatnot. I wonder–am I still an infertile if I get pregnant with only Metformin? I know I am getting far, far ahead of myself, but the bewitching Manuela had a post that made me come over all thoughtful.
I think what it boils down to—pregnant bloggers feeling guilty for being pregnant, non-IVFers feeling guilty for escaping IVF, others feeling guilty for going straight to IVF—is that we are all so massively relieved to have found this community that we are terrified of losing it—even if, every single month, we are bleeding money and emotion to do just that.

Ugh. I have been eating the same peanut butter sandwich for an hour. Nothing sounds less appealing to me right now than food, but I know an empty stomach will only exacerbate the situation. Perhaps I will at least lose a pound or, er, twenty. Perhaps Metformin is the new Wormtini.

My mouth tastes like a crypt, so I am off to try to brush my teeth without disturbing my fitful gag reflex…
Oh, and speaking of which–whomever found my site a few days ago by searching for “First Time Fellatio Blog,” Relax, you’ll be fine!
Remember to breathe, and whatever you do, don’t bite down.


  1. MsPrufrock says:

    R.I.P. Jerry Orbach. I loved Lennie.

    I had my own well-documented problems with Metformin and have now ditched the stuff, and it has left me with a hatred for carbs. I can’t imagine eating bread or a baked potato willingly.

    I hope you are one of “those” people that gets pregnant after starting Metformin. As long as you keep writing so I can read more sentences about dehydrating corpses being found smeared in their own vomit and excrement, it’s all good.

    Random note to self…don’t bite down…

  2. Lindy says:

    I’d say you’re in. I only care about those “heh, she only had to take clomid… as if that’s infertility” things on discussion boards where I don’t really know people and where I tend to dislike a lot of those whom I do know.

    I think it’s safe to say that we all like you and we’ll like you no matter how or when you get pregnant.

    We like you, Alexa, we really really like you.

  3. Molly says:

    Oh, sweet, sweet Lennie. He is such a love.

    Our cats also meow randomly at the ceiling. There was actually a spider there ONCE, and now they’re sure there will be one every time they look up. They’re always sadly disappointed.

  4. Avonlea says:

    The secret to taking Metformin is to take it in the middle of a meal – I guarantee it will be better and it will get better and you will feel better. (I hope).

  5. roo says:

    A peanut butter sandwich has rarely sounded less appetizing. I’m sorry the Metformin is making you feel ill, but I hope it works.

    I don’t read your blog because you’re having fertility troubles; I read because your writing is excellent, and the more of it I read, the more I like you.

  6. Lut C. says:

    All this guilt is a mess, IF is worse than being catholic! ;-)

    To Lindy, I must be interpreting your comment wrong. Clomid disqualifies a person from being an IF??? I don’t buy that.

    I do agree that some have to deal with more than others. That’s why I put Tertia’s Pain olympics and LAF’s Pain Points in my ‘to keep’ folder. It isn’t because I have a rediculously low score on pain points that I’m any less IF.
    Alexa, I advise you not to make a tally of your ‘pain points’, because even though you’re ‘just on Metformin’ now, you have already accumulated a respectable score. The pain points are just a metaphor, all I want to say is that you have nothing to feel guilty about.

    I whole-heartedly wish that this treatment works for you. And I’m sure the rest of your readers do too, especially the more seasoned IF’ers.

  7. wessel says:

    My assvice is: try putting sliced bananas on your peanut butter sandwich, and it will dramatically change the flavor sensation. Are you allowed bananas on your diet?

    As for being “IF worthy,” my dear, you are anovulatory. That is a significant infertility problem. Even if you get pregnant after a couple of months of Metformin, your story will help someone, somewhere, who has the same problem. Aside from that, you will keep readers because your writing is funny and engaging. Don’t worry about that.

    I’m a comment addict too, and it has taken me well over a year to get the loyal readers that I have. I’d love to have a steady dose of 40-50 comments per entry, rather than my average of about 12 per entry. But honestly, I could not handle getting 200 or 300 comments as some of the more popular bloggers get. No thanks! That would make me so tired and I probably wouldn’t read them all anyway.

    Saving the best for last: your cat Lennie. I love this story! I love this cat! Especially the part about him accompanying you to the bathroom. He just loves you so much, you know. Poor guy sounds like he is hallucinating a bit. Well, you know, maybe he is just bored and is really very smart rather than crazy, demonstrating that he knows how to entertain himself with his imaginary bugs.

  8. Lexie Ann says:

    When you do get pregnant on Metformin alone that does not make you a bad person ( yes I am way to upbeat this morning)

    I agree with Wessel I don’t read you because you are if I read you because you are funny.

  9. Boy what an appropriate post for me to find on my first visit to your blog. I did do the requiste reading of all of your previous posts, and concur with several of the ladies – I will continue to read because your style is refreshing, not because you are also an infertile.

    Back to my point. I have recently begun with an RE, after making the useless and frustrating tour with a “special” GYN. There is a suspicion of endometriosis with a lap forthcoming and I am fervently enjoying Clomid now. Knowing that endometriosis will return after a lap, I am kicking around the idea of skipping the IUI ride myself; yet I, too, feel guilty. Rationally I know that feeling guilty as I gvie myself injections is dissonant, but nonetheless, the feeling remains.

  10. Ornery says:

    Ah yes, the weird mouth taste from Metformin. I remember it well. If I had to guess, I’d say that my mouth tasted like a rusty lead pipe soaked in formaldehyde…YUMMY!

    I truly hope Metformin works for you with few side effects that quickly vanish. And now that I have found your blog, I will continue to read it religiously even after babies start shooting out of your nethers.

  11. Rebecca says:

    If taking the Metformin with your meal still leaves you feeling sick, another thing you might consider is taking it half an hour after you eat. My (regular) endocrinologist suggested that – he said it helps to already have some food digesting in your stomach when you take it. I’ve noticed if I take it following a balanced meal I don’t usually have side effects, but taking it after a high-carb meal is another story…

    I hope the side effects go away quickly for you.

  12. Thalia says:

    Oh alexa we’ll have you in our club any time. Bitchy and funny? What’s not to like?

    I’d say two miscarriages and not ovulating pretty much qualifies you. Of course I’m going to hate you if you get pregnant, but if you got pregnant with IVF I’d hate you too, so that’s nothing to worry about.

  13. Manuela says:

    Firstly… Lennie! Love him… what to eat him… or… at least carry him around in my handbag all day long… that belly is just too scrumptuous. One of my kitties, Fred, is also very attached to me… follows me on my midnight bathroom trips… hangs out while I’m in the shower… watches me put on my make-up. Just wonderful.

    Secondly… bewitching?? That is the single most fabulous adjective ever used to describe me! I will now love you forever… I will be sure to use this in the future… “Attila… will you please rub my feet… aren’t I bewitching?”.

    Thirdly, “…we are all so massively relieved to have found this community that we are terrified of losing it…” Yes!!! That’s it! A fear of loss!

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