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Story Time: The least of it

Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 10:39 am

By Lorry Myers

My taste and smell were the least of my loss back in December of last year. After leaving my husband behind in an emergency room, I came home alone and opened a jar of Vick’s Vapor Rub and inhaled. I tasted taco sauce and hot sauce and there was nothing there. So, I knew before I received the call that my test was positive for Covid-19. Just like that, I lost my taste and my smell and my husband.

Lorry Myers

Lorry Myers

So far, none of them have come back.

When you lose your taste, you constantly ask yourself, “Why bother eating at all?” Food textures, for me, became critical in a mouthful that tastes all the same. Broccoli and cauliflower have no recognizable taste but inside my mouth they feel like chunks of gravel. Potato chips are sharp, soup feels like sludge, and you don’t want to hear what I think about coconut. Since December, I’ve learned to put granola in my yogurt for the smooth and the crunch, nuts in my chicken to add some punch. I find delight in eating pie with big meringue, dough-nuts with thick filling and cake with extra icing. I am certain those treats are delicious.

If only I could taste them.

What I can’t taste, I can’t smell either and that means what I burn, I won’t know until I see the smoke. Bonfires and barnyards and the blooms in my yard just aren’t what they used to be. I miss the smell of the grill and leaves burning and my husband’s familiar cologne.

“Give it time, it will come back.”

“It takes time, it should come back.”

“Time will tell, it may or may not come back.”

In the meantime, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Since I can’t smell anything, I quickly upgraded my fire alarms and made sure each one worked and I could hear it. I bought house, closet, car, kitchen and bathroom spray, and I use them all. What if my house stinks and I don’t know it or I stink and I can’t smell it? I came home with a perfume sampler and sprayed every single one hoping I might rattle something loose inside my nose that would open the floodgate to other smells.

So far, no good.

At the store, I bought one of every apple they had, then put them in the same bag and wreaked havoc in the checkout line. I chose sauces full of spices and a gravy mix full of pepper. I cooked with garlic and paprika and sampled food I wouldn’t regularly eat. Trying spicy things and new things, is my determined attempt to jump start my stalled taste buds back to life.

Nothing yet.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.