Do you know what anosmia is? Could you even take a guess?
My bet is you can’t. I didn't know what it was until it happened to me. I didn't know what anosmia was until I woke up one morning with no sense of smell.
I began noticing in the early months of 2014 that my sense of smell was deteriorating. At first I thought it was simply my imagination. It wasn't until my mother was cooking spaghetti one night that it dawned on me. I couldn't smell anything she was preparing. It took me awhile to finally admit it. I opened up to my mom and she immediately made an appointment with the town’s neurosurgeon.
They gave me two MRI’s and performed all types of tests on me. They put peppermint, coffee grounds, mint gum, even hot sauce under my nose. And I smelt nothing.
And it remained a mystery for quite sometime. It wasn't until doctors took a closer look at my scans to notice my olfactory nerves were completely severed. Just gone.
No one really notices their sense of smell. It’s just… normal. It’s normal to smell freshly mowed grass, a slowly burning bonfire, and grandma’s special chocolate cookies. It’s something no on really realizes until it's gone.
I cannot go to the department store to pick out my own perfume.
I don’t know if there’s a gas leak in my home.
I could not tell you if my milk was spoiled.
I have to stand over the stove to make sure my food isn't burning.
I could give you a list with 1,000 items I cannot smell. Things the normal person smells on a daily basis.
One percent of the world’s population suffers from a loss of smell. All just like me. But no one talks about it.
When I lost my key sense, I became saddened. I mean it's not normal. I was missing out on so many great things I had once never given a second thought about.
I used to crawl into my mother’s bed and bury my face in her pillow, immediately comforted.
I used to go into Bath & Body Works, picking up each and every bottle of lotion of vanilla, cherry blossom, and sweet lavender.
I used to run outside and sit on the porch every time I saw smoke in the air because I was infatuated with the smell of burning wood.
I know I will never be able to smell by own baby’s skin.
I know I will never be able to smell my burning dinner I had worked tirelessly all day for my family.
I know I will never be able to evoke forgotten memories from a small whiff of a fresh brewed coffee.
I know I will never be able to detect the smell of the person I love.
I know I will never be able to walk through another garden and smell the brilliant flowers surrounding me.
I will never smell again.
You may see me crack jokes, even laugh smugly at the moments even I forget I cannot smell.
But it hurts.
Anosmia is a disability.
One with no treatment or cure.
One I will have to live the rest of my life with.
And I am beginning to accept that.