Sunny Side

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

As a young boy, I always found it delightful when standing on the sidewalk outside the house and see the rain falling on the other side of the street. I would rush to the center and stand half in and half out. I enjoyed the feel of the rain on one side of me and the warmth of sunshine on the other.

These days, especially since May, I have done my best to live on the sunny side of the street. A task which has not always been easy considering I am afflicted with major depression.

The past few days the clouds of despair and dismay have blotted out the sun. The rays have failed to penetrate through the hazed and the gloom. The mental instability in turn has impacted my physical well-being.

I am not treated as if I am a man who is dying, but one who is simply old and feeble, virtually on my own the majority of each day and night.

Not that Mom and Bill, Dad and Susie are not checking in on me. Not that they are not taking care of some chores and business which I cannot. But they are older than I am, which is not easy on them to do.

I have no friends to come around or younger family who check in on me or contact to see how I am doing. My only companionship is Chooey.

Now, Kev, my youngest son in Texas, does texts me or calls me to make sure I am doing well. But he’s the only one, other than my parents.

My only friends are virtual, online – not real time, real life comrades. My former CNN iReport family are gracious with their comments, messages and emails as well as other support.

Such is life.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?

My Step-Father, the late Reverend Jack L. Hollifield preaching at The LightHouse Chapel, which he founded in Dugger, IN. Can’t wait to see him again on the other side.

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I am Mark Ivy, a born and bred Hoosier.
I am father to two wonderful sons, Dave and Kev, of whom I am very proud;
two terrific daughters-in-law, Anna and Hailey; three beautiful granddaughters, Dylan, Alaina and Amelia.

On May 9, 2017, my lung specialist hit me with the news I had maybe six months to live if the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the damage caused by the histoplasmosis described below, ran its normal course. I am now on hospice at home. Content and ready to cross over the river to the other side.

On September 2, 2014, I was diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, a fungal infection, discovered by a biopsy of my larynx.
The infection is fatal if left untreated. For 2 1/2 years I lived under a death sentence being misdiagnosed
with a non-specific bacterial infection which left my right lung a “dried up sponge” and non-functioning.
I was aggressively treated for the infection with antifungals.
The treatment ended October of 2015 and fortunately did not take two years.

I suffer from chronic Horton’s Syndrome. The effects vary widely causing various problems.
Statistically, Horton’s affects only 0.1% of the population. Major depression also attacks me regularly.