June Ends

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This Thursday morning is the beginning of the end for the month of June. The month has flown by. Or perhaps it only feels that way.

At least the month is ending on a much better note than it began. The weather is fairly mild. The sky is blue. The sun is bright. The mercury will not climb too high hitting around 81 degrees.

Staying up until 2 a.m. last night to catch the next to last episode ever of Royal Pains, I really did not want to get up. Finally I rolled out of bed at 8 a.m.

I will be taking the last Levaquin pill today. I finished the Medrol a few days ago. Compared to where I was, I am in much better shape with my respiratory system than I was.

There are still issues. The humidity keeps the pressure on my airways.

That’s the way it is as June ends.

And how is your Thursday going?

#ThrowBackThursday photo:

From July last year, standing near a car-load of "gold" in Oatman, Arizona on historic Route 66
From July last year, standing near a car-load of “gold” in Oatman, Arizona on historic Route 66

Hump Day, Slump Day

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This hump day I find myself still in a slump mentally.

While my respiratory issues are easing somewhat, my mind is staying in a closet of darkness with the door shut tight. The cluster headaches, though present, are being kind.

A very nice, cool morning as I made my way from bedroom to living room. When I let Chooey out for his constitutional, the air felt so nice especially compared to the oven blast which has been the case most of June.

Showering was fairly easy yesterday. This was a relief after the difficulty the past couple of times I had showered.

Chooey used to love get the shower or bath while we were still in the Desert. That is not the case now. With some difficulty I managed to give him a much needed bath last evening.

Chooey was not happy.

But, after I got him out and toweled off, he turned into what looked like a toddler on a sugar high. Running, jumping, shaking off the water until he wore himself out.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Wednesday going?

Slept In

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

It wasn’t planned.

It was not anything done on a conscious level.

I slept in this morning.

Perhaps it was the cooler weather.

Perhaps it was Chooey not attempting to wake me early.

Perhaps my body needed the sleep.

Any way you think about it, the outcome is the same.

I slept in.

My thoughts are jumbled and scattered this morning. Trying to find coherence in what is going on Inside My Mind is difficult.

Listening to the Republicans releasing the long-awaited report into the attack on Benghazi. An issue which will be in Kernels From the Cornfield later today.

Yet, I am finding it hard to focus.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?

Week Begins Rainy

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Once more the classic Carpenters’ hit, “Rainy Days and Mondays“, is coming to mind.

I woke this morning to discover that some time in the early hours near dawn the electricity had gone out for a few minutes to a half an hour. I slept through the power outage.

A thunderstorm had rolled through the evening hours and others followed. This morning the rain is slowly beginning to cease. This rainy start makes Monday more Monday than ever.

Such is life. This is the last four days of June. July is ready to pounce come Friday.

That means payday.

Not that payday means much when you figure by the end of the day I will be broke until August. 

That’s the way it is this first day of the week in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Monday going?

Sunday Gospel: Just a Little While

For your Lord’s Day listening comes a recording from circa 1988 from The Lighthouse Chapel of Dugger, Indiana Rays of Hope radio broadcast on WNDI Sullivan, Indiana.

The intro is provided by my late step-father, the Reverend Jack L. Hollifield. On the organ you can hear Mom, Sharon Hollifield. The drummer was Jamie Cox. The piano and vocals are by yours truly, Mark Ivy.

The recording is a bit rough as I did a voice recorder on my cell phone to transfer from a cassette to upload and incorporate into today’s video.

Clap your hands and tap your feet to “Just a Little While“.

Sidelined

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

There’s not much better exhilaration than being in the game. There’s not much worse feeling than being sidelined.

Since contracting histoplasmosis in the fall of 2011, which led to the loss of my right lung, loss of ability to articulate and sing along with numerous other issues and hospitalizations, I have been sidelined.

No longer the man I once was, being an A+ type personality, it has been difficult not to be able to do what I once did. It is depressing that the smallest task may be too much.

Now sprinkle in my fourth, yes count them four, marriage leaving me alone to face my golden years. That darkens the picture even more. With my health issues and age and being who I am does not bode well for any chance of ending my solitude.

Perhaps if my sons and grandchildren lived down the street, it would be different. Not that I would be making a pest of myself, but at least it would lighten the room every now and then. The worst is in the evening hours. Watching television alone is not exactly the most thrilling thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

Before anyone says get up and go out, remember that is not a real option with my breathing issues. It is more difficult this time of the year when the humidity is crushing.

Yes, I have Chooey to keep me company. He is a good little buddy for Daddy. But it is not the human touch.

Yes, today I am venting.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Saturday going?

Coming to Week’s End

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Friday.

Another week is coming to an end.

The month of June is winding down. One week from today, July begins.

A cloudless sky met my eye as I let Chooey out for his morning constitutional. A rather mild start with mercury sitting at 68.

Sunshine will be in abundant supply today as the heat intensifies. Advisory that the heat indices may rise into triple digits.

The new meds are continuing to buoy my system. Though there is some relief, it is not a fait accompli. This will be the daily grind until fall.

Short of a miracle there will be struggle to remain in Mark’s Den and not rushed to an extended stay at Regional.

Such is life.

With my difficulty in standing and cooking right now, I was gifted with frozen entrees by Susie and Dad yesterday.

A big “thank you” to them.

That’s the way it is this TGIF in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?

What the Doctor Ordered

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

So far, so good.

Second day of a round of Levaquin and Medrol and at this moment, it appears this is exactly what the doctor ordered. The breathing issues have abated.

There are still those moments when I have to reach for my oxygen. There are still those moments when my strength is zapped. But compared to two days ago, I am in a much better state of health.

I will have to contend with another day of hot, humid weather.

This summer is going to be long one as I can tell already it will be a constant battle dealing with the humidity.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Thursday going?

#ThrowBackThursday photo:

August, 2015 in Oatman, Arizona on historic Route 66.
August, 2015 in Oatman, Arizona on historic Route 66. Photo by Matt Colver

New Round of Meds

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

I waited and was no better. I broke down and called the doctor. Attempting to stay out of another extended stay at Regional Hospital. The doc prescribe another antibiotic and a stronger steroid.

With difficulty, I managed to drive the 20 miles to the pharmacy in Terre Haute. Fortunately when I arrived, one of the cart gatherers was riding back one of the shopping scooters. I promptly availed myself of it to ride into the store and back to pick up my prescriptions.

While a couple of weeks ago I was put on Cipro and doubled up on Prednisone, this time it is Levaquin and Medrol. When I have to go to the hospital these are the same two meds I am given intravenously. This time around I am doing the pill route.

After beginning the regimen, I am feeling some better this morning. I am far from out of the woods, but functioning better than I was yesterday.

Waking up to a thunderstorm is not helping. The humid weather of the Cornfield is having quite a toll on my system.

That’s the way it is this midweek day in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Hump Day going?

Meds Interaction?

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Summertime is not good for me in the Cornfield.

The humid weather causes major problems with my respiratory system and affects my heart rate. It is not so much the heat, but the heaviness of the air which is a concern.

A week ago this past Friday, I called the doctor and received a script for an antibiotic. I finished the dosage on Friday, but with little to no relief. I am still fighting.

Blame part of it on how humid it has been and continues to be. But that is not the whole story. I am beginning to wonder if the interaction of some of medications could be compounding the situation.

The same day I started the antibiotic, I also received a pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar 13. I am wondering if the vaccine could have not agreed with either some of my meds, the antibiotic or with my system.

In March of 2012 when I had my lung surgery, I was also vaccinated with a different pneumonia vaccine which is good for five years or until next year. That one did not seem to cause any adverse reaction.

My nose is stuffy and running at times. I have been sneezing. Any activity, no matter how minor, has my heart racing, me panting and gasping, my strength expended.

So far this morning, I do seem to be better today. I will give it a few hours and see how it goes.

If this afternoon I am once more having issues like yesterday when I had to keep the oxygen on most of the day, I will be calling the doctor.

Check out my review of the new CBS show, BrainDead.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?