Over a month since I had covid- My husband asked me how’s the soup? Mmmm The temperature is hot, to me it’s hot water and pieces of chicken and vegetables that are chunks in the hot water. No taste. Just textures. He wants me to season the soup and tell him what is missing. I can’t.
Grilled Cheese- Cardboard with sticky stuff. Tuna melt? Cardboard, sticky stuff and mushy stuff. My daughter told me not to worry, her taste and smell came back within a month. I made bread- no smell. Couldn’t tell if the bread was close to ready. Can’t tell if the milk has gone sour or if deli meat has gone bad- I rely on my husband to smell things for me. I’ve had to learn to use timers when I cook or bake.
AND Phantom Smells- For two days, I kept thinking that I was smelling dog urine. I thought maybe the dog messed near my chair in the family room. I kept cleaning areas and never found it. When I smelled that same smell in the office, I knew it was my first phantom smell. I’ve also thought that I smelled gas in the kitchen. I have a friend that smells cigarette smoke in her home. Making lemonade out of lemons, I can now clean out the kitty litter box and not be offended by the smell. Interesting side effect.
Not too long ago, we ordered Indian food. We were with a friend who likes it hot- so we ordered the spicy levels between 7 and 10. What was interesting is that I was sweating and my eyes were watering like it was spicy hot, but I couldn’t taste it. What I could taste, was a little bit of spice when the food hit the back of my tongue. Two days later, I could taste the spice in the leftovers.
It was suggested that I try smell therapy. The long covid clinic suggested reading up on it and purchasing the essential oils. After a few weeks of attempting to smell four different essential oils, (rose, eucalyptus, clove, lemon), I could differentiate between eucalyptus and clove- but the scents are so faint to me, I miss them. I’m concerned that when I’m planting I won’t smell dirt. When gardening, I enjoy the smell of dirt and the feel of the sun on my skin. Being outside and working in the garden is one of my very favorite ways of grounding myself.
This past week, I worked in a newly built and furnished office. As we walked through a few people mentioned the “new car” smell. But I didn’t smell it. After a few hours, though, I did feel it and had to leave the building with a headache. If I could smell it, I would not have worked there or limited my time until that scent went away. Our senses have evolved to protect us. We smell gas or smoke and know to look for a leak or fire. We smell mold or rancid smells and know not to eat what has gone bad. I now eat for the texture instead of the taste. I’m going to work in the herb garden this year and hope that I can taste the differences this summer when the fresh herbs are ready. I’ll update when or if things change.