Ticked off at my friend's doctors

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by gryeyes, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My best friend has Scleroderma, and as part of the whole syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis. She was diagnosed several years ago, and there is no cure; all they can do is make her as comfortable as possible as her internal organs harden from the inside out. She has recently developed adult onset diabetes, as well. Now, having an uncurable disease is certainly something to be depressed about, and she is, and has been, depressed for quite some time. She's lost interest in so many things. Because she has to wear oxygen whenever she exerts herself (but her doctor's think she wears it 24/7), she feels she can't do much.

    As a result, she sits on her butt all the time. She has a 10 year old German shepherd mix which is a HOUSE dog; Maggie only goes outside to do her business and maybe bask in the sun occasionally. No exercise. My friend sits and sleeps in her recliner (no biggie, I do that too, but not 24/7) and watches TV or old, recorded movies.

    She is a homeowner (she's paying the bank for it) and has a HUGE, well fenced, back yard, with an UN-USED 6x10 dog run.

    I finally talked her into the prospect of getting just a few chickens. I would secure her dog run, get and set up a coop for her, supply her with everything she needs PLUS 3 pullets from my flock. After overcoming her objections (mostly based on her desire to continue sitting on her butt forever), she decided she wanted FOUR LF and two bantam pullets. This would max out her run. I gave her the link to Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart to do some research. She is fond of my Buffy the Vampire Slaying Orpington, and equally as fond of the bantam Cochin roos, plus my LF Cochin hen. So Cochins are on her list of possible breeds.

    I'll set her up with the Deep Litter Method and will assist her - if not handle it myself - when the coop needs its biannual clean-out and bedding replacement. I also suggested she wear a dust filter mask when the time comes to gather eggs.

    I absolutely, totally know the chickens will be therapeutic for her. On several fronts.

    Today, in her excitement about the upcoming project, she told her specialists about the chickens. They immediately put the kibosh on it. No, no way you can keep chickens - the dust, the dander, the mites. You cannot take up chicken keeping. She explained about "Linda will set up a coop cleaning system for me, so that won't be a problem." Nope, no chickens.

    I am so sure her doctors have NO clue about chicken keeping. They said her visiting me a couple of times a year for a week and enjoying my flock is not the same thing as actually having a few of her own, and she "cannot afford" the possible damage to her compromised lungs.

    I am SO upset about this.

    Maaaaan, she was suddenly interested in something. She went from yes, she would have 3 hens to wanting FOUR because "three is an odd number and they each need a buddy" and then to "Can I have 4 regular hens and 2 bantam hens?" and considering NAMES for possible chickens!

    Then it was "My doctors say I can't have chickens. I'm only telling you what they said. I don't know what to do, now."

    She's 56 years old. I'm 57. I didn't ask her to start smoking, for gawd's sake. Her doctors must be the "typical" people who haven't a clue about keeping chickens.

    I just had to rant. Stupid physicians. Goodness, if she IS gonna die in a few years from all this, why can't she have a few chickens in the very back of her yard, wear a dust mask when she collects eggs and fills feeders and waterers - they even objected to THAT, saying "Oh, but then you'll have something ELSE on your face!" (thinking she wears her O2 all the time) - and enjoy something finally!
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Scleroderma is a horrible disease. If she is going to die anyway, she might as well have fun in the mean time. Get the chickens an forget the doctors opinion.
  3. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    I understand completely. A wonderful doctor once told my very outgoing grandmother that she should stay indoors due to a lung disease. She immediately shut herself in her house and refused to leave it. She sat and slept on her sofa everyday and everynight for the rest of her life (almost 25 years). [​IMG]
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I am so sure her doctors have NO clue about chicken keeping. They said her visiting me a couple of times a year for a week and enjoying my flock is not the same thing as actually having a few of her own, and she "cannot afford" the possible damage to her compromised lungs.

    I am SO upset about this.

    They may not know about chickens , but they know about lungs.

    Chickens ARE dusty, and it can be tough on someone who already has breathing difficulties.

    Have you stopped to think she sits around because she doesn't FEEL like doing anything?

    I understand you wanting to "cheer up" your friend, but I'm not so sure pushing chickens on her is the way to go about it.​
  5. Squishy

    Squishy Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Aren't those Air purifier adds always going on & on about how the air inside a home is so many times more polluted than the air outside? With the dust, dander, mites, air exchange.. in even a very clean home?
    This sounds like a wonderful idea you've come up with for her... see if you can convince her to go ahead without their approval. Really, its her life, if she wanted to spend the rest of it in a mud-hut in the mountains, she should. I always believe, in that situation, I would choose quality over quantity... and I can't imagine how terrible it is to have other people trying to put those limits on you.

    Just a train of thought... I know sometimes the people doing rehabilitation using service animals, run into objections.. maybe there is something in your area.. and they might be willing to speak with her, and add a positive opinion to reassure your friend? Or even the doctor...
    I know they dont really use chickens... I just mean that they are usually used to speaking with and handling doctors objections over horseback riding.. grooming, ect. Plus perhaps some kind of poultry expert, the effectiveness of masks... hit them with some science! If it's in your favor that is.... otherwise we'll just argue without it! [​IMG]

  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    Yeah, my doctors generally freak when I talk about the chickens. My gesture of peace to them is to wear a really good respirator when I clean out the coops. They do get really dusty and the DE gets really stirred up during that process.
    The rest of the time I just enjoy my chickens. I'm sure the doctors would prefer that I not do it. Sadly for them, I prefer to have the chickens. They are a HUGE stress reliever and a general comfort all the way around. I figure it is my life and I should get to live it how I want.

    If your friend really wants chickens, it is her choice. The doctors can make suggestions, but your friend's life is hers to live. You have offered to help her out with the worst of the cleaning. You friend is old enough to understand the possible ramifications and to make a decision about it. This is a decision that she has to make, not the doctors and not anyone else. The making of that decision might even help her out of her depression. Chronic illness robs you of the ability to make decisions about yourself. It seems that doctors and others are in control. Getting to make this decision might be good for her.

    A respirator is an easy compromise for when she is stirring up dust. The rest of the time she should be able to just sit and enjoy. [​IMG]
  7. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    Medical Doctors are experts in a small field of their chosen specialty.General practitioners have a broader base of knowledge with less specifics. Bottom line is that a lot of doctors are flat IDIOTS about many things outside of their scope of training. I know because I work with them daily in my position as a physical therapist. Just because they say "No chickens" does not mean that they know anything about it. With their blinders on they say it is bad for your lungs despite the fact that you will get more activity, companionship, food, socialization, motivation, etc. It is an excuse to cover their butts in case anything negative may occur. In short, it is their limited opinion only and you are under no obligation to follow it. It is not the MD's life to live and I say live YOUR life as you wish. Quality of life trumps quantity anyday!!

    Please accept my congratulations on your friend's plan to get some chickens!
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Could you build the coop with a couple of service doors? Then she could just reach in to collect eggs or tend to food and water. It would keep her from having to go into the coop for those daily chores at all.

    Does she have a comfy chair to sit in outside? If the chickens don't end up working for her, a small Rubbermaid stock tank can be a nice little pond, with a couple of fish and some plants. Going out to feed them each day is a good time to sit in the chair and watch them. The dog would be outside more and she would get more fresh air, as well as sunshine.

    Sometimes it's nice to watch birds at a feeder, too. Even if you don't have a garden, a pot of flowers or a tomato plant can be nice. It gives you an excuse to go outside and give it a squirt of water. If you have the right flowers, you might even see hummingbirds or butterflies. I always like that. I like flowers that smell good, too. Lots of herbs smell wonderful, if you lightly brush them with your fingers. Do you think any of these other things might interest her at all?
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    First of all. my cousin was diagnised with schleraderma and given about 6 months to live. This was around 25 years ago, and while she does have some pretty serious health issues, she does not let them dominate or rule her life.

    Chickens kept outdoors in a pen will have far less impact on her lungs due to dust issues than ones kept in a closed coop, even with the best air filtration system.

    Without a complete medical history, I think ignoring the doctors' concerns is about as clueless as you feel the doctors are about chickens. They have very real concerns that would need to be addressed. As for your friend's condition, has she sought 2nd & 3rd opinions or treatments? Is she seeing a doctor for her depression?
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If your friend is supposed to be on oxygen 24/7, and is not, THAT is very likely a large part of why she is tired and has little energy. There are all sorts of systems that can be used to make living on oxygen easier: large tanks with long air hosed; smaller, portable tanks that fit into a backpack or tote, or are rolled on a stand; oxygene concentrators that do not need a tank, etc.

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