Monthly Archives: February 2015

I am thankful for my annoying alarm clock

man sleeping past the snooze button

Hopefully you don’t begin your day like the poor fellow in the picture above. The snooze button does have its downside:)

I have an annoying alarm clock. At 7:00 a.m. I do not awake to greet the day with the gentle playing of classical music from composers such as Bach or Mozart. I tried that. It doesn’t work for me. I fall back asleep again. My morning starts with my alarm clock going BEEP, BEEP BEEP. If I ignore my alarm and try to go back to sleep it starts out softly and gets louder until I relent and turn it off. It is like the alarm clock takes on its own irksome personality. When I do finally give in I find myself saying, “Enough already. I’m up. I’m up. Go away!”

You may be asking yourself this question. Why is it so important for me to get up at exactly 7:00 a.m.? This is when I have to take my ketotifen fumerate, a mast (immune & systemic) cell stabilizer to help treat an extremely rare auto immune condition I have called systemic mastocytosis. I tell people I am a member of the 300 club because according to the Mastocytosis Society of Canada I am among 300 Canadians who have this condition. If you don’t know what this disease is you are in good company with most doctors. Without getting too scientific it is a condition that occurs in those who have too many mast cells. I take mast cell stabilizers to keep the condition under control.

If I don’t take the ketotifen I can die. What happens is the mast cells would keep increasing until I go into anaphylactic shock, coma and possibly death if emergency measures to save my life fail. Those four pills remind me that my life is a gift that is in God’s hands.

My irritating alarm clock is also a gift. It signals to me that it is my time again to choose life or death. There have been times as I have advocated for 13 years along with my wife, Karen, to get the government to cover the cost of medications that specialists say I need to stay alive, that the choice to stay alive has been difficult. I know that without the loving support of my wife, family and friends I would have given up many years ago. Many of them have provided for the cost of my alliopathic and naturopathic medications and treatments that are several thousand dollars each year.

Many think that this choice to live or die should go without thinking. We should always choose life. For those with chronic and rare conditions where they have excruciating pain throughout their bodies every day the choice to live or die is not so easy. Let us not forget that as we encounter those who suffer illnesses that are visible or not so apparent as is the case with mental illness.

If we are honest about it many of us hate alarm clocks. We would prefer to have that extra 20 minutes sleep. I am thankful though for my noisy alarm clock. It is a reminder to me as I take my ketotifen fumerate that although I have struggles with my systemic mastocytosis, life really is a beautiful gift to be cherished. I also believe the gift of our love within us is meant to be shared. Shine the light of your love to show others how they can be a gift of life to others.

As I look out our living room window I see the clear blue sky and the sun shining through the window by our organ. These sights make me feel deep within how wonderful a gift life is. These things are also their own alarm clock to my soul. The beauty of God’s creation and the music that comes from our organ awaken me to how my life should be a daily song of love for my Lord and those He puts in my path.

I hope that the sharing of these thoughts will have you see your alarm clock from a more positive perspective. It’s okay if you still think your alarm clock is an irritation. I still do. Yet, I thank God for the blessing of my alarm clock that is my call to rejoice in the life I have been given and the choice to live it loving my Lord and others.

Kevin Osborne, B.Th. with honours, D.D., D. Sc., Diplomate in Creative Ministry, is training to be a Christian psychotherapist through St. James the Elder Theological Seminary. He will be a Master of Divinity student at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. He will soon be opening a Christian counselling practice called You Can Hope Again with his wife, Karen, who is an M. Div. student at Trinity College. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada. We are available to go where God sends us to do His will preaching, doing motivational speaking, teaching, singing, giving marriage enrichment seminars or however needed. You can reach me at my email address

May the Lord pour His richest blessings into every area of your life!