Back in early January, I got a bad cold and lost my sense of smell, as you tend to do when you get all stuffed up. The cold lingered and kept recurring for months, until it turned into full-blown bronchitis in April. I finally got a doctor at Urgent Care to give me antibiotics, and got healthy again. But my sense of smell didn’t return. The day I went to visit my uncle in the hospital in Houston, my mom handed me an essential oil diffuser she kept in her car and asked if it was too strong. I couldn’t smell even a hint of anything.
That changed on June 1st, when suddenly my sense of smell was back, but everything smelled like plaster dust. At first, I thought this was due to the construction in my house, but it persisted long past when there was plaster dust in the house. I didn’t realize immediately that my sense of taste would be changed as well. I threw out a jar of peanut butter because it was near the bottom and I thought it had gone rancid. That was the first thing I noticed. Normally, my sense of taste doesn’t change even when I’m sick and stuffed up. It doesn’t even get muted like for many people. But suddenly high-fat content foods like peanut butter tasted rancid, and milk products ranged from mildly fermented to extremely metallic. Everything else had a small, identical change in flavor that coated every food no matter what I ate.
Things didn’t get better. In July, the plaster smell very suddenly changed to a yeasty undercooked bread smell (which is nauseating to me). Then after my cruise, everything smelled of sewage. Then I got a cold in October that stuffed me up for awhile – couldn’t smell anything – and since my sense of smell returned, everything smells like rotten onions. Throughout all these changes, food has stayed exactly the same awful twisted tastes – except that one glorious stuffed up week in October, when suddenly I could eat peanut butter and cheese again because they tasted normal!
The trouble is that there are so few foods I can eat right now. Anything with a strong scent (like brussels sprouts, which I usually love) turns my stomach because it smells like rotten onions. Anything with a high fat content tastes rancid, making it practically inedible. This goes for anything cooked in olive oil, anything fried or sautéed, any food with higher fat like nuts. And now, meat protein sources are starting to turn my stomach as well, regardless of fat content. This leaves me with mostly high carb low fat/protein choices, which make me sick due to insulin-resistance. And that leaves me in a place where I have to either make my body sick or eat food that makes me gag. Or eat with my nose plugged so I can’t smell anything and my sense of taste returns to normal.
I don’t know what to do about any of this. My doctor’s office was supposed to put in a preauth request for a brain MRI about a month ago, but I’ve heard absolutely nothing. Since I had a substitute doctor that day, I’m starting to wonder if any request was put through at all. I’m making a follow up appointment with my actual doctor to check in and get things taken care of if possible. This whole thing has gotten way out of hand and I’d like to know if I have a brain tumor or a severe sinus infection or something else. I’d like to know what the hell is causing these bizarre, so-far-inexplicable symptoms. And I’d like to be able to eat again without feeling sick!!