I’ve reached the 12 week mark this month when I was hoping to see some recovery. I can’t really speak of a recovery yet but there might be some improvement with my sense of smell.
I still have the non-stop foul odor in my nose but it’s not as strong or unbearable as it was back in April. It’s not like a poisonous exhaust smell any more. It’s more like a rancid snot, sweat, rotten food or trash mixture. I feel it stronger first thing in the morning and at different times of the day. Heat definitely makes it worse. I am not sure if the saline I try to use daily is really helping either.
I am still severely hyposmic; that is I get very distorted smells and tastes. I can detect an odor around me but I can’t tell you what it is. I can sometimes tell that it’s a sweet smell, but that’s only because I get the same smell from most sweet things. That is not to say it’s a normal sweet smell or the same smell normosmic people get from sweets. I’m just learning and getting used to the new smells I get from things. It’s neither horrible nor pleasant.
The worst part is that most food tastes like the foul smell in my nose. My taste is very distorted too since taste is 90% dependent on smell. Everything has a new smell and taste for me. I can taste if something is sweet, sour, bitter or salty, but I don’t get any flavor. I taste the nasty smell as I swallow food. Therefore, eating is still not an enjoyable task. It’s more of an experiment each day to see ‘if things will taste somewhat normal today’..
I was having little muffins with colorful pieces in them the other day. I thought it was some kind of a fruit cake. It turned out they were ‘pepper muffins’. Red and green pieces in them were actually peppers, not fruit. That’s a summary of how my taste is right now. I wouldn’t be able to tell what I am eating if it wasn’t for the texture. I definitely wouldn’t get it right if I were blindfolded.
Fried food still tastes bad but maybe a bit more tolerable? I normally stay away from it except for just trying a few fries every now and then to test my taste. Surprisingly, french fries tasted a bit better last night. Broccoli on the other hand was a disappointment. Most fruit still tastes rotten. I really miss strawberries. Cherries and grapes taste edible, but I still don’t get full flavor. If I can tolerate a food then I consider it good at the moment. Some sweet cereal tastes really foul. Most sweets including chocolate taste very similar, but not at all like the real thing. Some are more bearable than the others.
I had the courage to get back in the kitchen and cook more lately. That’s an improvement I guess but I am still not getting any normal smells. I still get a very distorted and unpleasant smell from onions, garlic, and most spices. I can’t smell most of my favorite spices like mint, cumin or oregano. I get some kind of a smell but not a pleasant one or like the real thing. Even yogurt tastes weird. I try to cook and eat more healthy and kind of rewire my brain and teach it to like the foods I used to enjoy. I quit eating beef altogether (especially after watching ‘Fast Food Nation’)! I don’t enjoy chicken either. I only cook or order fish and veggies. I still eat pizza and pasta too but pizza still smell and taste funny. I usually get it without the tomato sauce which tastes quite unappetizing. I always loved tomatoes and still insist on eating them fresh but they smell/taste really unpleasant when cooked since my head injury.
The only good smells I get are from roses and rose scented candles. I thought I could almost smell them ‘right’ the other day, but then again I am not sure if I’d really be able to tell they were roses if I didn’t see them. I get somewhat of a pleasant smell from Speedstick deodorant although vague. Most alcohol based stuff like cologne, perfumes and sanitizers don’t smell right or pleasant. Soap and shampoo still smell pretty bad too.
I do miss a fresh clean smell very much like freshly cut grass, clean clothes, ocean breeze or baked bread and mostly the smell of my baby…