Of Chickens and Surgery. The Connection.

Okay. Remember way back when I picked May as the month I might have knee surgery? Well, I did. There was a reason for that. One was because it seemed a long time away. I still needed to mentally prepare for this thing. The other, more important reason, is that I have planned for almost two years, to get chickens this spring. I planned to get them the first of March. It might be a little cold then, but that would be enough time to get them raised so they didn’t need constant care.


Let me back up a bit. When J. the Contractor was working on my house, I mentioned how much I liked chickens. Years ago I had chickens for quite a while, but they were housed in a dilapidated shed/outhouse that was on my property, and had a yard that I proudly (and poorly) built myself. After a number of years, the whole thing crumbled, and that was the end of the chickens. So then J. shows me the fancy schmancy chicken house he has built for some people, and that got me dreaming. A year ago I told him to put me on the schedule for a chicken house to be built this February. Knee surgery was the farthest thing from my mind.


After the failed attempt at the gel shots last fall, my knee seemed to be on the fast track to disintegration. I can’t walk normally, and it hurts a lot. To be fair, it doesn’t hurt to stand still, and sitting is not a problem πŸ™‚ So now,Β in my mind, May couldn’t come soon enough.

Then, I decided I’d better order these baby chicks! I carefully chose all the pretty and colorful breeds that I wanted, and called the mail order chicken factory.


The lady was so helpful, and checked, and because of some of the rare breeds that I wanted, MAY 22 would be the soonest they could get these chicks to me!!! Eek.


This is how the mail order baby chicks arrive.


Plan B. I called the orthopedic nurse. Now my plan was to have surgery the first week or so of March, so I would be recovered enough to hobble out and care for my new baby chicks in May. After several calls, she told me that my doctor had agreed I needed the surgery, and we could proceed with scheduling the surgery. The soonest surgery could be scheduled was May. Eek.


Plan C. I am dancing as fast as I can. I am leaving in an hour for the pre-surgical appointment with my PMD (why? since I just had a complete physical in November,) I have signed up for the pre-surgical information class, I have an appointment to visit the rehab hospital where I will have to spend a week after surgery (they won’t let you go home alone,) and at my appointment next week I am planning to beg my doctor to do my surgery sooner than later. Sometimes it is easier to get what you want from a doctor than a nurse…


I imagine most of you are thinking “chickens??? Just forget about it.” But to me it has become something important. A symbol of sorts. I do a lot of things for other people. This was something I was doing just for me.


Stay tuned. A Plan D might be in the works soon….

27 thoughts on “Of Chickens and Surgery. The Connection.

  1. Praying for you : )
    My friend just had knee surgery she was so nervous.
    But now she says it the best think she could have done
    I bet you will feeling the same way.
    Congrats on the chickens…

  2. The chickens are so pretty – I’m excited for you. I totally get wanting something slightly abnormal and making your life work to get it. Hope your begging does the trick and you get that surgery soon…not only because it would be wonderful to hear that you aren’t hurting anymore, but also because CHICKENS!!!

    P.S. Does the Queen and her minions know that they will be usurped, and are you worried about someone *ahem* beheading the chickens?

    • LOL. A previous dachshund (Lainie) did do a little damage to an escaped chick…it still had its head though πŸ™‚ This time the chicken house and yard is going to be on the opposite side of the house from the garden/yard. So hopefully there shouldn’t be too much canine/chicken interaction.

  3. Yes to ALL the self care written about in this post! I know things will work out just the way they should – and I can’t wait to see you new chicks!

    • Well, thanks Helen. I didn’t think of it that way, but I’m so glad you pointed it out (self care.) Something I’ve been thinking about lately.

  4. Good luck on your surgery and YAY CHICKENS!!! We were thinking of getting some chickens but then our neighbors just got some chickens, so we’re going to wait a bit and see how they do with them. But yay free eggs!! πŸ™‚

    • Free eggs from a neighbor is the way to go, unless you have a burning need to OWN the chickens (like I guess I do.) Chicken food is expensive, and growing chicks eat a TON of food.

      • So you’re saying maybe I should wait to get chickens until my three perpetually-hungry teenagers move out of the house? Because teenagers eat A LOT. πŸ™‚

  5. Debby, I had knee replacement surgery at 74, one knee in February and the other six months later. My 3 chickens fared well during that time with the help of a neighbor who fed and watered them, and locked them up safely at night. I was in the hospital for an overnight stay, and came home the next day, where I live alone with a feral cat and those chickens. I was walking the evening after my surgery both times. Pain, which was minimal, I controlled with opioids, which I quit taking as soon as I could. So, what I’m saying is: Don’t put your plans on hold. And don’t be afraid of the surgery. It is the best and smartest thing I’ve done since I retired from teaching! Good luck!

    • Karen, thank you so much for leaving such an encouraging comment. All these positive experiences are gold nuggets that I can take with me into the surgical experience. I am curious–you live alone, but did you have somebody to come stay with you after the surgery? They won’t allow me to come home by myself, which is what I would prefer to do.

      And I do have a good neighbor who will help me with the chickens. I just don’t want to miss any of the fun of watching the chicks grow up!

      • Debby, my friends helped me into the house and my bed, made sure I had a water bottle and food in the refrigerator. Then they left, and I rested. When I got hungry, I got up, made it to the kitchen with my walker, and fixed food, No one stayed with me except The Cat Who Adopted Me. And, of course, the chickens. Don’t know who your doctor is, but mine recognized that independence is one of my primary necessities!

  6. I bet your doctor can get you in earlier, especially if you are flexible if they have a cancellation and can be ready to go!

    Are you going to get eggs out of those chickens? My in-laws have chickens. I’m pretty sure they buy them from the farmers/livestock market. Nothing too special, but they get eggs.

    • I plan to be EXTREMELY flexible πŸ™‚

      Oh yes, I am going to have many many eggs. I hope that I will start to eat a few more eggs myself. And I do have some friends and neighbors who are interested in buying eggs from me. But WHAT the chickens look like is almost more important to me than how many eggs they produce πŸ™‚

  7. Good luck on your surgery. Put yourself first, always. That way you can be of more service, after you’ve done what you needed to do for you. Life changing for sure. And, it’s not easy, but boundaries are key for a balanced life and being able to share your gifts. Enjoy your chickens. For eggs and meat or just eggs?

    • Karen P, I cannot imagine eating my chickens! The critters that have attacked them in the past are my mortal enemies. I name my chickens and they are family members. Just sayin’ …

      • LOL. While in theory I have no problem with eating chicken (like the kind you get in the grocery store,) yes, I cannot imagine eating any animal I owned. I really am getting the chickens for the sheer enjoyment of it. I think they are amusing and really pretty. And I will enjoy their eggs.

  8. I had knee surgery last year, well a year ago last November. I came home after two nights in the hospital (I also live alone) and had a visiting nurse and PT visit once a week. I did fine. If there’s anything you want to talk about with me, now or later, I’ll send you my phone number. If you have good insurance and don’t mind being away from home that long, great. My brother lives close by and they sent me home with a walker which I used for 1 day. I also have small dogs, though only two, and I was able to care for them just fine. Make sure you get a “reacher” arm thing for when you drop something on the floor. The hardest thing for me was socks. Eventually, the best thing for me was going to a therapy pool. Nice hot water and much less pain. Good luck and shout if you need me.
    Barb in No CA

  9. Just read your Blog and can so relate to the knee surgery thing, not the chickens. I put my surgery off forever because I was so afraid but the arthritis was affecting other parts of the body so May, 2013 I had my first one done and October, 2014 the second one. Not a pleasant experience and glad we only have 2 knees but it is worth it. While you are recuperating, I would suggest a book read, Locally Laid. It is about a young couple who started a free range farm raising young chickens, absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. It will keep you entertained. Good Luck.

  10. I loved this post and am happy you are getting chickens for YOU! And you’ll be glad you did the knee surgery – my husband waited for the longest time, but once he got one knee done, the pain after surgery was less than before! He got one done in March and the second one in July – he was kicking a football with his son that fall! Can’t wait to see how this unfolds πŸ˜€

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