Monday, June 6, 2011


We bought our chickens on March 17th from Tractor Supply. I believe the chicks were about one week old when we purchased them. The store had a policy that required you to purchase a minimum of six chickens, so we bought seven. We are rebels like that.

There was no way of knowing if the chicks were definitely of the "sugar and spice and everything nice" variety, so we hoped for the best. Within a few weeks, we discovered that two in the batch were made of "frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails."

Since the chickens are getting older, they're just about three months old now, I am wondering WHEN WILL THE EGGS START COMING? WHEN?????

Just so everyone knows, I go outside daily to search for a rogue egg. I look in the coop for an egg tucked in the hay. I search the garden for an egg hidden beneath a tomato plant. I look in between the sweet basil and rosemary. I scan the yard. I'm on official egg-look-out duty.

However, when the moment comes that I do find an egg, I believe that I will be hysterical with happiness and that I will break into a solitary celebration, there on the egg discovery spot. I might be in my backyard, all by myself, but when I find that egg, I'll be jumping up and down, running in circles and shouting as if I've won the Texas lottery.

Have I mentioned that I have always been easy to please? It's kind of a joke in our house...that it takes so little to make me thrilled. Oh well. That's how it goes in my world.

Me and my oldest, such beauties!
The hitch for this egg-finding-day is...I happen to have a very rare disease. I do not have adrenal glands, therefore, I do not produce ANY adrenaline. That "fight or flight" scenario for me is only "flight" since my body cannot get the miracle mixture  to help it get through the big and small moments in life that require adrenaline to get through. Does this cause trouble? Absolutely. I've been given so many second chances that I quit counting long ago.

I do have synthetic replacement, but it's imperfect, especially since adrenaline replacement is something that fluctuates so wildly, depending on your circumstance at the moment. Treatment means that I take medication several times per day to prevent my body from going into cardio-pulmonary shock, and I also have an injection on hand for times I might suffer an injury, a cut, or for when I have a good or bad stressful moment that would normally send a surge of adrenaline through my body.

We all know that feeling of having either a small or a large adrenaline dump. When I am having one of those moments, I have to race to get extra medicine in me right away to prevent my blood pressure from plummeting to non-existent levels as my heart rate soars. If I don't take charge, then the end is not good. I had a Code Blue for the first time at age 33.

I know how serious this disease is, but I don't let it rule my world. I don't hide from life. Instead, I live it up as carefully as possible and every moment is sacred and savored. Going through a serious illness or catastrophic event in your life will teach you these things - it's as if life is magnified and you are given a new set of eyes after the trauma.

Now you know part of my daily hurdle (we all have them). I happen to live with this rare disease as an uninvited guest in my body, but I'm still ME! This weird disease is so hard to life is odd, yet amazing, even without adrenaline. Poo-Poo on you Adrenaline!

So, now that you have a brief summary about part of my weird body without adrenaline, you can imagine how I must feel about finding that first egg. Since I have a good bit of humor about me, I can picture finding that egg, becoming so excited that I have a huge surge of adrenaline that drains me of my synthetic allotment and I end up crawling for the back door with the egg in hand and that's how I depart - Egg Drama.

Can you picture this soap opera..."These are the Days of our Eggs!" Needless to say, no one is hiding around corners in our house and jumping out to say, "BOO!" Not good for mama's health! This one took quite a while to adapt to...our family was too accustomed to torturing each other, until I got Addison's. Oh well. We found new ways to torture each other, so all is well within the odd household.

Actually, it would take a lot more than finding an egg in the backyard to take me out, but a bit of egg drama might make me stumble and have a little blackout, until I get more meds. I think only chicken lovers can understand this kind of heart-pumping response at the thought of getting your very first egg from your first laying chickens. The others are saying, "Go buy the dang eggs!"

For me to go into an "Addisonian Crisis" is kind of like a diabetic that immediately needs their insulin, but not quite the same. My condition can cause shock, brain damage, coma and death. I've been in a coma-state multiple times, have been in shock more times than I can count and close to death more than I want. With Addison's disease, there's no way to monitor our levels, so you hopefully pay VERY close attention to your body. This way, it is more unlikely that you'll go downhill before you can take that extra dose.

The hard part is...most medical professionals don't even know what this disease is, other than a quick text-book/internet update briefing and most don't want to admit that they aren't familiar with this disease - which is usually bad for my health.

I respect the medical professional who is honest about never seeing a patient with this disease. At least they are AWARE and admit that it is impossible to know everything. I just don't like the Doc who is full of arrogant baloney. So, honesty is a good thing. There's just not enough people with this disease for it to be readily understood, so being pro-active is imperative. This is why I think about the day that I will find that egg. It will definitely be a day of adrenaline dumps and happy dancing.

My solution is to be prepared...if I find an egg, I'll need to rush back inside to take an extra "stress" dose of my medication because I will not be living a "normal" kind of day once I find a fresh egg in my little corner of the world. An egg!

While rushing inside for stress meds, I better not trip and break that egg. I am NOT graceful.

In just a little while, I will make another search around the yard. I cannot wait to find an egg! I'm not sure when these chickens will be laying eggs, but I thought it was supposed to take about 16 weeks. We're almost there!

Yes, we are getting super duper close to having eggcitement!!!!! And I am ready.


LindaG said...

According to Backyard Chickens, 4-6 months of age is when most hens start laying.

I had no idea no adrenaline was possible. *hugs*
You sound like me. I tend to trip over things (like my feet!) too.

Love the picture of you and your oldest. :)

I am still looking forward to the day we have - well, I have - the first farm fresh egg. Hubby's grandmother took care of the chickens on their farm when he was growing up.

I expect to see you post about getting your first egg, Lana. :)

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

That first egg will be in their nesting box, do they have one with a little straw in it, they want to be "private" when it happens. Consider your hens as young teenages atm ... another few weeks yet

Charade said...

Plan Ahead
Walk Carefully
Don't Break The Egg...
I can't wait until we can move to our "farm" full time so we can have chickens.

We should figure out how to form a co-op. Part of my adrenals never shut down. But we shall persevere, because that's what women (and chickens) do!

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Linda --- Keep looking forward to the day when you get to have chickens. I guess I have a few weeks to go before the eggs arrive. Sometimes, I get so tired of waiting to get out of the city, but we can't just leave since retirement is less than two years away. Deputy Dave can make the drive from the acreage to downtown Houston for about one year, but not longer, so that means we've got one year left here. The closer it gets, the more eager I am! And, I never heard of adrenal gland issues either, until I got this disease --- which is often found upon autopsy. I was blessed.

Rina --- you crack me up, but I will remember this! I've been places where I've seen eggs just laid everywhere, but after I read your comment I realized that those places really didn't have dedicated nesting boxes or they had too many chickens in a small space, so they laid in areas that were similar to a nesting box, such as in the corner of the garden. Our chickens will likely enjoy their privacy.

Charade --- I know that feeling of great anticipation...we can't move soon enough, but life has us tied down right now for the next year. However, we still enjoy going to our acreage and preparing. I'd love to have a co-op! And we SHALL persevere!

Anonymous said...

I think it is really cool that you can do something to take care of your issues. Isn't medical technology just plum amazin'? B.