New Nose

NEW NOSE…my patient ID sticker read: NEW NOSE. 

I was thrilled.

I realize it meant I was a ‘new’ patient with a ‘nose’ issue, but God is known for restoration and if I’m going to have an ID that reads: NEW NOSE, I’m going to accept it.

I explained to Dr. T what my smell/taste world was like:

  • Chocolate tastes like the evil twin of chocolate 
  • Perfumes smell like chemicals 
  • Coffee and urine are in the same scent genre 
  • Peanuts taste and smell like mold 
  • A refreshing rain smells like weird garbage 
  • Dijon mustard and bananas taste like fingernail polish 
  • Vegetables taste like the lettuce ‘soup’ that’s forgotten in the back of the fridge 
  • Diesel, gasoline and popcorn are in the same scent genre 
  • Can’t smell: bleach, alcohol, feces, chlorine, sewer gas, human gas, bacon, etc. 

Dr. T was thorough, explanatory, kind, and impressed that I was doing my own scent therapy program.  He let me know he’d be conferring with his mentor who is the top taste/smell specialist in the United States. Then, he ordered a baseline sniff test.

I’ve always enjoyed ‘scratch and sniff’ tests, but I had no idea what I was in for: 40 multiple choice scratch and sniff questions for each nostril. For the results to be valid, I HAD to mark an answer. 

If I were able to actually identify some of the scents, the whole experience would have been a lot less frustrating. No matter how much I scratched the square or how many times I sniffed it–each time bringing it even closer to my nostril–I couldn’t really differentiate between: [lilac, chili, coconut, whiskey], [skunk, mint, fruit punch, cola], [gasoline, pizza, peanuts, lilac], or the hundreds of other options. I wondered if this was how my students with learning disabilities felt when I had them do baseline testing. 
For now, twice a day, I hang my head upside down; put three steroid drops in each nostril, and maneuver my head so the drops go to the damaged area. I’ll return in a few weeks and do the sniff test again. 

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