Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

It has been a very strange couple of weeks for me. I had a really strange virus that somehow allowed me (thanks to DayQuil) to play a concert, teach a few lessons, and go about my daily business while it lingered. It's not unusual for me not to be able to taste much of anything or smell much of anything when I am sick, but once my nose was no longer stuffy I found that I could not smell anything at all. Nothing.

My friend took me into a soap store in St. Louis, and I could not smell soap. It was the first time I realized that something was really wrong. I could taste salty and sweet foods, but I couldn't smell anything.

I looked online and found that it is possible for a virus to permanently obliterate a person's sense of smell. I tried all the suggested remedies like eating raw ginger (which I couldn't taste), and drinking cider vinegar and honey (which I could taste a little bit). I read somewhere that the brain can shut off the sense of smell and needs to learn to smell again, so I regularly (every hour or so) stuck my nose in a mason jar of ground coffee, ate a piece of raw ginger, and tried to smell the (strongly-scented) almond hand soap we use in the bathroom.

Days passed.

Then Michael suggested taking pseudoephedrine and using saline-solution nasal spray. I took the pseudoephedrine once a day, and sprayed my nose many times every day. I did this for a couple of days.

Yesterday I stuck my nose in the coffee jar, and I smelled something. It was faint, but there was definitely something there. It was kind of like hearing muffled voices through a closed door.

Today I woke up, and I actually smelled the coffee. It made my heart sing.

I'm not at 100%, but I'm definitely on the way to getting my sense of smell back. I'm hoping that when I make banana bread later today, I will be able to smell it.

I vow here, in this humble blogosphere, never to take any of my senses for granted.


Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, how unnerving this must have been. How are you now? (Read at time of publication, forgot to comment....)

Elaine Fine said...

All better! Thank you!