bravestredhead

One in a Million…

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Once again I’ve been told by  Doctor that I’m “one in a million”… and that STINKS, or in MY case it DOESN’T stink. In fact, nothing has smelled or tasted to me since I had a cold in December. The cold knocked out my sense of smell: the way a cold sometimes does. I thought it was going to last a few days, but though the cold is long gone, it’s been two months since I tasted a damned thing.  I can suck a lemon, I can eat jerk chicken or anchovies.  I can’t smell or taste a damned thing. Meals appeal to me on a strictly visual, textural, or in my case memoral way.

The ear nose throat Doctor today voiced his un-hopeful opinion that the nerves have been damaged, by the virus. “I’m afraid it’s not good.” he said, and added that he’s not holding his breath that I will ever smell.  He says of the millions of people who catch a cold, he only sees about five a year with my complaint. Which makes me — you guessed it– one in a million.

WHY IS IT ALWAYS ME?  (I can hear strains of Frank Sinatra’s classic “everything happens to me…” as I write this.)

While some of you may say, “what have you got to complain about, you got lungs!”  I have to say this:

Smell and taste is an essential human sense.  We were in an antique store on the weekend and Tom had to tell me, “it’s a good thing we left: it smelled musty in there and I was worried you shouldn’t breath in that air.”  Then there was the time I was burning some food (& nearly the house down), and had NO IDEA until the smoke alarm went off.  Then there is when we eat out & I can’t tell how sweet something is and I improperly dose myself with insulin (remember, transplant has turned me Diabetic)…. these are serious things that the sense of smell/taste are there to help with. Without them,  I am more vulnerable: I could melt all my spatulas on the stove top and never know! Moreover I can damage my kidneys (already under stress from anti rejection medications) by letting my blood sugars get too high.

It’s no joke.

Sure, I won’t be smelling skunks, or Henry’s farts, or puke ever again…. but take a moment and think of all the wonderful things I won’t be smelling: fresh cut grass, spring, baking bread.  I really have to wipe a tear away about the food smells and tastes though. My whole adult life eating was a chore, because of my failing lungs, eating thousands of calories a day was the norm, and I hated it: it was like force feeding.  Since transplant I have miraculously had an appetite again (I’m active enough to warrant one again). It’s fair to say I began to LOVE food.  I had taken up cooking, was well on the road to becoming a “foodie”….

Now, for my sense of smell and taste, “the rest is silence….”  Snuffed out. That’s it. Sorry.  But at least you can breath.

Yeah, I know. I KNOW.  But it just goes to show: I am always that ONE in a million patient who gets the weird side effect, the crazy infections, needs a lung transplant because of a rare genetic disease. Catches a run of the mill virus and can never taste anything forever more. Ever.  (I wonder if the transplant medication is to blame? As you know, it has weakened my bodies ability to fight illness…)

I asked, deseperatly, “isn’t there any medication we could try?” The Doc informed me that I’m already on it — prednisone– for transplant.  There is nothing left to treat this with. (Indeed, if anyone has any experiences with a similar phenomenon, please let me know, even annecdotal stories of recovery would help.)

I think I am slightly in a) denial, b) mourning.

Basically this Doctor just told me he doesn’t hold out much hope of me ever tasting anything ever again. What? No Christmas pudding? No  sweet berries? No juicy roast? No… nothing?

That stinks.

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