Category Archives: Metformin

So! Metformin!

Anyway, we emailed Dr George, very politely, to ask: ‘What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’ (see previous post). It being the weekend, we are trying not to think about it very much, as there is just right now no point in doing so *glares angrily into the middle distance*.

Meanwhile, Dr George sent me a metformin prescription (fair enough, but the NHS has that bit covered, for rather less money, so hah!) suggesting I take 1000mg a day. My GP has me on 1500mg, and I can tell you, I would much rather take the smaller dose, as I Do Not Like This Pill, Jill I’m Ill.


When I first started taking metformin at the end olf last summer, I managed to move up to the ‘full’ dose of 1500mg without any major or prolonged intestinal unpleasantness (just a bit gassy and thirsty and hungry all the time and there were one or two gutsplosions caused by Unwise Cake). I also, however, ovulated very late that first month, then developed a luteal phase of barely 11 days for several months in a row. And I put on seven pounds or more. Yes, I said put on.

After Christmas, H and I were having The Bad Marital Phase, and I just stopped taking the stupid drug as it all seemed pointless (mind you, everything seemed pointless for a little while there) and I was really quite unwell for several months in a row. However, I lost seven pounds in a few weeks, and then almost certainly got pregnant again off one (one! Unum! ONE) somewhat poorly-timed make-up sex session, (and of course miscarried again within a few days, because that’s how I roll). It’s hard to tell what is what from all that vast swamp of suckage, but my guts seemed more cheerful and excluding fucking bastard shitweasel chemical pregnancies, my luteal phase got longer.

And now I’m back on metformin again and I have a) put on four pounds in four weeks, b) am Queen of Gas and alternating constipation and, err, looseness, c) I feel faint and often ravenous, and d), really unnervingly, the whites of my eyes turned a little yellow at the outer edges (H noticed this, not me). I am seriously concerned that I should not be taking this drug. At all.

Um. I need to email Dr George again, and see my GP. Right? Right.

Fuck’s sake. Will nothing go smoothly? I’m quite sure I didn’t open a fried fish takeaway shop on the site of the ruined temple to Dagon the Squamous.


I was going to write a slightly tedious post all about metformin, and how I’m not sure I care for the stupid drug but will stay on it like a good little (gassy) ox for the duration because Dr George said so, with Reasons and everything.

Meanwhile, we emailed Dr George to confirm the exact date I am to start squirting nun’s urine up my nose (see previous post) (actually, FSH used to be extracted from nun’s urine (nice clean menopausal ladies with nice clean wee, see? (Buserelin is snow-leopard kitten tears, remember?)).

And Dr George dropped a jolly old bomb-by-email back on us this afternoon. To say, actually, ‘we’re’ not going to use Buserelin as on reviewing the notes of our discussion, ‘we’ decided on an antagonist cycle.

Wait now what now what the fuck?

Because, both H and I clearly remember him telling us the advantages of using an agonist to suppress the endometriosis/adenomyosis, and that therefore I might be starting the ‘nasal spray’ a week earlier than usual, and that it might make my period less horrible if I did (hence confusion-that-needed-clearing-up about the meaning of ‘day 21’).

And, also, Dr George himself wrote the fucking prescription for Buserelin with my name on. And we double checked it, remember, because when H went in for his HIV/hepatitis test, it wasn’t ready, and he had to get the nurses to go ask about it and get back to us. And then I picked it up the next day and paid Money In Excess of Lots for it.


You know triggers? Events that are seemingly no big deal, but because of one’s Precious Snowflake Issues, bring on a Hate Spiral of Raging Anxious Doom? Yeah, I have one regarding Doctors That Do Not Listen (you know my mono-ovaried state? It would never have come to that if doctors had listened to me whining on about my terrible random tummy pains and weird swelling in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen, rather than going ‘oh, teenagers and their silly period problems! Have a paracetamol LOLOLOLOLOL’ for years). BUT I’M NOT BITTER. And the miscarriage thing. Yeah, no, let’s not go there)). ANYWAY. I am wondering whether or not to have a migraine. I mean, why the hell not? Bring on ALL the suck!

Rationally, I know this is not necessarily any kind of deal-breakerage. We will email Dr George asking for clarification – oh, hey, he may have my AMH result infront of him and have had an ‘oh!’ moment and therefore it is the correct decision (I do not know what my AMH result is. We will ask that too) – and if he really does mean doing this the Antagonist way, we will ask for a refund on the kitten-tears. No, wait, we won’t ask for a refund. We will get a fucking refund. And an apology. We have a week or two to clarify. And I can always explain, carefully, just how very, very little I appreciate doctors screwing me about, with hand-gestures, if the apology is not forthcoming.

ARGH, though. Just, ARGH.

And then

After the In-Law Mellow Interval With Roast Dinner, H and I came home again (did I say that already? I did say that already). We spent a day washing things and going to the cinema (The Hobbit – not bad, fight scenes amazing, interspersed with episodes of Mystic Cheese, would try the patience of anyone not a die-hard Tolkien/Jackson/LOTR fan, Richard Armitage can come and sulk at me anyday, as can Adrian Turner. Oh, and Martin Freeman. He can come too. *Fans self*). We had friends over for dinner and stayed up until 3:30 am, talking crap and getting very drunk. Well, they did. I didn’t, because Metformin, but I don’t need Strong Drink Taken in order to talk crap for hours.

And May saw every thing that she had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Now, we gird loins and go to my Mother’s for New Year, so H can have a go at putting up with his In-Laws. It’s just as well he can drink, because his require a great deal more putting-up-with than mine.

Meanwhile, in matters reproductive, just before Christmas Week of Chaos, H wrote an email to yet another Grand High PoohBah of Reproductive Medicine, requesting a, what is this, fourth? Yes, fourth opinion. Because Dr Expensive is making us both feel uneasy. And because I stamped my feet and shrieked that we needed to DO SOMETHING in 2013, and H needed to actually take a great big stakehold in DOING SOMETHING, because I had the bleeding and vomiting and suffering and weird medications that don’t seem to do much bit to do and that was quite enough, thank you. We’ll see what January brings.

If being at Mama’s precludes blogging, I shall be content in the knowledge that I took this opportunity right here to wish all my Gentle Readers, Pocket People, Dear Friends and Loyal Lurkers a very, very happy 2013, full of joy and wonder and laughter and hugs and heart-warming moments and shit like that.


We’re home! I am unseemly-excited about this, which makes me sound like an ungrateful twatweasel, because the In-Laws were darlings and we had a lovely peaceful Christmas, bendy stale rice-cakes and accidental wine-poisoning notwithstanding (basically, red wine, even in small quantities, even very cooked in soups and sauces etc., will, after several doses, make my sodding tongue swell up and my oesophagus burn. Not as alarming and extravagant as my reaction to white wine, but still).

However, now, home-version, at 3pm on a weekday afternoon, H and I are in pyjamas still, and playing computer games, listening to pod-casts, making soup, eating chocolate, and swearing out loud with impunity. And blogging! Hi!

So! I brought you all here today to talk to you about Metformin (good link, hey?). I’ve been on it for a few months now, you see. I think I have gathered data. Are you interested? Tough, I am: –

  • Traditional side effects – Um. When I first geared up from two pills a day to three, and then also ate several pieces of cake, I did in fact have the Officially Endorsed Buttsplosion, and it was grotesque, and if that happens to you often, oh I am so very, very sorry, because eurgh. Otherwise, my side-effects are as follows, even when eating cake and chocolate (feel free to hate me. You’re welcome): Nada. Zip. Sorry. OK, so if I forget to take the pill straight after a meal and whang it down any old how with a slug of milk (goat’s milk, natch. I am a snowflake after all), I feel very faintly sick for a few minutes, and if I eat a mahoossive quantity of sugary food I get wind, but other than that? Gastrointestinal distress, nil; May, happy.
  • Odder side effects – Absolutely to my astonishment, sugar cravings. OK, so I always had a sweet tooth (and, incidentally, having a sweet tooth is not a moral weakness, and all of you thinking of being smug in the comments because you don’t have a sweet tooth, really, do be quiet. It’s no more to your credit than being a natural brunette or having small feet is (Can you tell my family get on my tits? Can you? Can you?)). And when I’d eat sweets I’d get a bit of a head-rush followed by a bit of a sugar-crash (yes, we know my insulin leveller is not clever). On Metformin, I do not get the rush or the crash, but now my body is under the impression I haven’t eaten any sugar at all and keeps shrieking for more. ‘But I had a gluten-free brownie just 30 minutes ago!’ ‘No you did not I want sugar gimme sugar.’ And so on. So, I was clearly addicted to the rush-crash thing. Which is worrying. And so, now I am on Metformin, I have to spend even longer talking myself down off the Gimme Chocolate Gimme Now Ledge. And my sweetie consumption did in fact go up for a while. Which brings me to…
  • Weight loss – not a fucking ounce. In fact, I promptly put about five pounds on when I first started taking the bloody drug, and have only just lost them again. I think. I’m sick of weighing myself and haven’t for ages. I’m going by waist-measurement and how my trousers fit. As a corollary to this, why is it always when you go ‘oh, fuck it,’ and buy jeans one size up for comfort, that you then lose the ‘oh fuck it’ weight and your brand new jeans are far too large?
  • Hair, facial. The first couple of months my PCOS moustache and whiskers did in fact thin noticeably. And then grew back. So fuck that.
  • Cycle – not only has my menstrual cycle not shortened at all (still ovulating on day 21 at the earliest), but my luteal phase has got shorter. Yes, you read that right, shorter. From 12/13 days, to 11 days. Every single month since I started taking Metformin. THIS IS NOT WHAT IT SAID ON THE TIN.
  • On the other hand, I had three periods in a row that were noticeably less painful, with no vomiting, and I had a lot less pain in the week or two leading up to ovulation. Hurrah! Until last month, in which I vomited with vigour and then, in my exhausted drugged-up doze, bled so much I soaked the sanitary towel, knickers, pyjama bottoms, sheet, mattress protector and all in less than an hour. And I’ve been in pain every day since. Which is infuriating and a total bastard and I am now giving Metformin the stink-eye.
  • The packets the Metformin comes in are stupid. Most people take three tablets a day, right? So why do the foil strips have twenty tablets? And a stupid useless dimple smack in the middle? Which could easily have taken another pill, giving seven days’ supply per strip? Why? Why? And why are the boxes so small? Two strips, 40 pills, 13 and 1/3 days’ supply, per box. It’s really really stupid and annoying. Not even a full two weeks supply. And why not a month’s supply per box? It’s not as if we only take the pills for ten days, like antibiotics. Bloody pharmaceutical companies.
  • I do find it hard to remember to take a pill with every meal. There have been skipped pills, forgotten altogether pills, and pills taken at weirder times of day. I am blaming the stupid packaging, because that is psychologically easier than admitting I am a vague and useless snowflake with the attention-span of a fruit-fly on Mary-Jane.

And there we have it. Is Metformin doing me any good at all? Debatable. I don’t know what to do. *Flails hands about*

Matters not exactly contiguous

Item – Shall I tell you what was fun? The Hairy Farmer’s Not-So-Hairy Wife came to my demesne, and H and I dragged her over two museums and through the streets in the rain, just to wear her out good-and-proper, then, like the social burrs we are, trailed after her to the concert she’d actually come to town for. And she didn’t mind. Or at least, said she didn’t, because she has beautiful manners. The internet is a weird and wonderful thing, Gentle Readers. It lets you make friends with people because you genuinely like them, rather than just becuase they happen to live nearby and don’t actively terrify and repel you (remember school? Well, I went to boarding-school. There’s a reason we teenage bosom-buddies all lost touch. We were really mostly putting up with each other. And now? On the internets? REAL FRIENDS, thank you).

Item – In matters reproductive, H and I are still waiting for the endometrial biopsy results. Surely they should be arriving any day now? Gah. Frettlement.

Item – Also, Satsuma, being a cow of an ovary, is refusing to be definite about whether she has or has not ovulated, and I have not helped by spending the week on holiday and therefore getting up at all hours of the morning and thereby making basal body temperature unreliable at best. It may have been yesterday. It may not have been. H and I have been, eh, connubial, you know, practice for the well-timed medicated-cycle sex. This may be a two week wait. It may not be. Who knows?

Item – Having another attempt at the Occupational Health interview tomorrow. Will report back.

Item – Oh, and Metformin! Yes! I must tell you! I’m now taking 1500mg a day, in three doses. Side-effects: I am slightly more thirsty than usual. Possible side-effects: one day I ate some meat-balls containing gluten, and then had a few stomach cramps, and the next day I ate a cake and a chocolate mousse and another cake and then my bowels pressed the eject button and there was a very very unpleasant 10 minutes in a public lavatory praying no-one would come in and I thought, is this metformin-plus-cake-overdose? Or is it gluten? Or unholy combination of both? In any case, no more wildly festive cake-partakeathon, no matter how tempting the gluten-free selection acutally is for once.

Item – Related to the metformin, H thinks I have lost weight. I got on the scales, and the scales said ‘hahahahaha no you haven’t. Quite the opposite! Well done!’. Bugger. So I put my trousers on and my belt said ‘no, actually, you are thinner.’ So there’s a side-effect for you. Metformin is turning my bones to lead.

Seriously, there is too much

Item – I managed to go to several Paralympic events, despite Shark Week. I remember very little of two of them, because I was completely off my feckin’ face on tramadol, and I spent another running to the loo every twenty minutes because even super plus extra tampons were Just Not Helping (thank fuckitty for aisle seats). (Incidentally, the Olympic Park Venue is now added to the alas lengthening list of Public Places I Have Bled On The Lavatory Floor Of – I’m not proud). I am very pleased, grateful (to Fate, and to H, for looking after me) and, for the moment at least, delighted to be British (this won’t last. I’m far too cynical a human being to do Patriotism for more than a fortnight at a time).

Item – Worst, most vile, throwing-up-painful day of Shark Week was of course the day I was supposed to be having my occupational health interview. I had to phone and cancel. I couldn’t stand up. There was a pitiful bit where I tried to get dressed and get the paper-work together while not daring to put my bucket down in case I Needed It With Urgency (‘where’s mah bukkit‘), and then Bitter McTwisted finally managed to get The Positive Thinking Fairy in a head-lock long enough for common sense to reassert itself – ‘will you crawl to the bus like this? How about the train? Would you like to throw up on a train? What if there are no seats? Will you STAND and throw up on the train? No? Go the fuck back to bed, moron.’ So now the whole thing is going to have to be rescheduled. Arse.

Item – Incidentally, HR liaison sent me email along the lines of ‘Why did you miss your appointment?’. Given that I’d spent most of the previous week discussing with them the very real possibility I’d be too bloody ill to go to it, I thought this so ridiculous I had to sit on the fifth draft of my reply all afternoon before I could make myself delete most of it and send the sixth, very brief and polite, version. I mean, really.

Item – Metformin. I have been taking it for two weeks now (barring puke-day of Shark Week, for obvious reasons). I have gone from one pill a day to two pills a day. Soon, three pills a day. I – oh Lord, do I dare say this out loud? – I haven’t had any kind of diarrhoea or upset stomach. Yet. Quick, get me some wood to touch (H, stop sniggering. And you. You can stop sniggering too).

Item – H and I have discussed (mostly, because I fell into A Rage), things about Dr Expensive’s proposed treatment regime that are giving me the yips. I am finding the idea of doing multiple au naturel cycles with LIT, Intralipids, clexane, steroids and progesterone FUCKING BATSHIT CRAZY, thank you very much. H and I are going to write Dr Expensive an email asking for moar better explanations.

Item – To be fair, Dr Expensive’s reasoning seems to be that in the past year-and-a-half, in which I have not had a single positive pregnancy test, I have actually almost certainly been containing a fertilised embryo on several occasions, but my very-much-primed-by-repeat-exposure uterus/immune system is now extremely good at killing them stone-dead as soon as they implant, and therefore before they can chuck out noticeable amounts of HCG. Evidence for this? Those cycles in which my luteal phase was a day or even two longer than usual, and my temperature didn’t drop until the day I started bleeding (rather than two days before), and I felt extra sicky and weird and aware of my nipples. As this reasoning raises my lost-embryos-I-could-have-loved count to double figures, the very idea gives me the screaming meemies. However, Dr Expensive therefore seems to think that I could get pregnant again very quickly, and if I am stuffed full of immune-suppressants and anti-inflammatories and anti-coagulants, the putative embryo WILL have a bat’s chance in hell.

Item – This next cycle, now on day 9, is not going to be the one we do medicated, because the United States are still cherishing the divot Dr Expensive hoiked out of Cute Ute. H and I are going to practice having lots and lots of regular sex, anyway, especially as we have a weeks’ holiday to entertain ourselves in.

Item – My blogging mojo has vanished. I’ve made a temporary replacement out of toothpicks and gaffer-tape, but I’d rather have the real good old mojo back.