I have anosmia. What? You’ve never heard of it? Read about it here. On second thought, don’t do that. If you’re like me, you’ll get so distracted by Wikipedia that you never come back to my blog. So I’ll just tell you: anosmia is the loss of the sense of smell. I don’t have temporary anosmia like some people get with a cold or sinus infection. No, my anosmia is permanent. My sense of smell is completely gone forever; it left me shortly after Colin was born and is never coming back.
Mostly having anosmia stinks. (Ha. See what I did there?) I can’t smell any flowers or freshly bathed skin or bacon frying in the pan. And it’s compromised my sense of taste. It’s been muted. I can taste sweet, sour, and salty, but I can’t taste subtleties. My best example of this is when Dan and I were out to eat at an Italian place. It was the dessert course, and Dan ordered lavender gelato:
Dan: “Wow. This is amazing. It’s creamy, sweet, and tastes like the garden.”
Me: “Huh. Tastes like McDonalds soft serve flavor to me.”
Fortunately for me, there are many flavors I can still taste: red wine, chocolate, salted caramel, anything spicy, BACON. So, the basic food groups.
There are definitely things I don’t miss about having a sense of smell:
- The irresistible urge to take out a whole line of customers and make out with an entire box of Cinnabon.
- The smell of vomit. I mean, I have kids. And a dog. Vomit comes around at least once a month. It’s a lot easier to clean when you can’t smell it.
- The smell of dog shit. Again, I have a dog. And he farts a lot. I don’t smell any of it. At all.
- The smell of rotten produce in the vegetable graveyard in my fridge.
And then there are things about anosmia that I kinda, sorta love:
- “Huh? No, I didn’t fart. Why, does it smell like one? Must have been Colin.”
- Grossing people out with stories of disgusting tasks I’ve done completely unaffected by horrid smells.
- “Dan, smell this (shoving a questionable food item in his face). Is this bad?”
So how did I lose it? Well, it wasn’t a broken nose, or a nose job, or anything exciting like that. Nearest the ENT can tell, I lost it due to nerve damage from a really bad sinus infection. While this may sound boring, they also ruled out (via cat scans and MRIs with and without contrast): a brain tumor, early onset of Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. So honestly, I think I’ll take it.
If you think about it, it’s like I have a super power. I am… Anosmia Woman.
Now I just have to figure out how to turn this into something amazing—besides being oblivious to my own armpit stink. I’m thinking back to the (really old) Adventures of Superman TV series. I could totally have my own television show. Except I’d have to redo the opening (which you know I did):
“The Adventures of Anosmia Woman”
Announcer: Faster than a fresh dog fart! More powerful than the stench of rotten eggs! Able to clean vomit in a single swipe!
Bystanders: “Look there in the bathroom! It’s a robot! It’s a zombie! It’s Anosmia Woman!”
Announcer: “Yes, it’s Anosmia Woman, strange mom from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal women. Anosmia Woman, who can withstand the smell of freshly baked goodies, clean putrid messes with her bare hands; and who, disguised as Kelly Fox, ill-mannered writer for a great metropolitan blog, fights a never ending battle for clean toilets, fresh air, and the American way.”
Announcer: “And now, another episode in the exciting Adventures of Anosmia Woman.”
I totally need my own superhero cape.