Through the sharing of our struggles may you feel hope surging through you.
This letter comes with tears upon Karen’s and my heart. Yet, through our darkest times there is light, love and laughter.
My extremely rare autoimmune disease of negative serum tryptase mastocytosis is worsening. Essentially, this means more mast (immune and systemic) cell attacks are occurring at low levels building to moderate to severe ones over a period of several days to weeks.
Last October I had to be intubated. Karen and I were enjoying a long-delayed date day because of my ill health. A man passing through our town came into the restaurant we were having lunch at. He had cologne on him. I had to be intubated. This was my tenth intubation. Marks were put on my neck to do a tracheotomy, which thankfully wasn’t necessary. The doctors could barely get the breathing tube down me because there was so much swelling in my throat.
I’m recovering from my fifth bout with pneumonia.
I’m requiring stronger antihistamines whenever I go out to minimize the risk of anaphylactic and asthma attacks. I’m having to stay inside much more because of triggers such as scented products causing hyper-reactivity. I’ve had to go to the ER several times with anaphylactic and asthma attacks.
Thankfully, we can still have our counselling practice because clients either come to our attached office of our home where we have a no scent policy, or speak to us by phone. Many people prefer speaking to us via phone because they have anonymity.
We would be so thankful if you made others aware of our counselling practice. Having more clients would help pay for the medications and treatments the government doesn’t provide, and cover the costs of further professional education such as tuition, books and school fees. Here is the link for our counselling practice you can share.with your family, friends, colleagues and on social media.
My mastocytosis specialist doesn’t do video appointments. I have to get another one who does. The pollution in downtown Toronto where my specialist is, has triggered anaphylactic attacks.
We believe there is realistic hope my disease can be controlled and improved. Yours and my circumstances of today don’t have to be those of our tomorrow. We pray for all who have this terrible disease to have better health, improved quality of life, and that one day there is a cure found without risk of death. If we stopped believing in a brighter tomorrow we would give up, to say God is asking too much of us. There are times Karen and I feel that way, but we don’t stay there.
We don’t know what trial you are going through, but God knows. As we pray for you we know many prayers are being lifted up for us.
Live each day bringing hope into the lives of others. When you see anyone in need be there for them. Remember you are a gift to others. Even if you are poor caring costs nothing. It’s the present we give that has a lasting value.
We can have a more beautiful world by shining Christ’s light of hope in us.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love“ (Romans 5:5, New Living Translation).
Carry that hope in your hearts now and always.
Kevin and Karen
Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a chaplain and professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.
Co-author on Mind’s Seat, a Christian inspirational blog