Smell

Sometimes you don’t realize how important things are until you lose them.

On Tuesday I completely lost the ability to smell after trying to clear my sinuses with some hot steam.  Apparently it might have been too hot.  I first noticed it when I tried to eat a danish later that day and I couldn’t tell if it was grape or blueberry filling. Then I noted to Heather that some new roasted red pepper chips tasted like plain chips. Curious I picked up a tub of Vic’s Vapo Rub and took a good deep whiff of it – nothing, no reaction, not even the hint of a scent was registering.

Also on Tuesday I was home sick and Heather baked some bread. Bread made from fresh milled flour we drove across the city to buy specifically because I wanted to know if it tasted better.  I’m sure the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread was wafting through our house all afternoon, I couldn’t tell.  The fresh bread tasted like nothing to me.

The next morning I got up curious if I had regained anything.  I opened a half full bottle of wine for a smell test. Nothing. Will I ever enjoy a good wine again?

Now I was worried. What if it never comes back?

The sense of smell is such an important part of enjoying food, which is an important part of enjoying life. Chocolate. Blueberry pie.  Steak? What if I never taste them again.  I may as well just eat steamed spinach and liver for all my meals.

Then my head starts going through the other things I use my nose for. I might never experience the smells of Christmas again, the cloves, oranges, trees, and ginger bread cookies. I won’t smell things burning in the oven, mold on bread, sour milk, gas leaks, or diesel fumes.  I won’t be able to smell test my clothes, or tell if I forgot to put on deodorant.  Do I have bad breath?

Today is Friday. Three days later. This morning I got a hint of menthol when I smelled the tub of Vics. Like a distant barely recognizable ship on the horizon.  A bit of hope that my sense of smell will return.  I certainly hope it does.