Ever imagined how Apple tastes while chewing it? You probably wouldn’t, cuz generally, you taste it with each bite. I’ve had to imagine how foods used to taste as I chew them. National delicacies like Eru, Bean stew, kwacoco tasted like nothing.
I remember two days into this ordeal, my lil niece suffering a bout of malaria threw up. I generally might cringe at the idea of cleaning it up… maybe the stench though. But helas…. was this a blessing… nothing, no smell. Just the slime of the spewed content was nazzzzz. The rest… nothing.
Sometime last month, I somehow lost the sense of taste or smell. It felt/feels bad. You can’t differentiate whatever you consume by either its taste or smell. For the first few days, I literally starved the big worms in my tummy. They were eager to consume, but the mouth or throat was weary swallowing tasteless items.
Once I got into the kitchen and my senior sister came running in. She smelled gas leaking. I hadn’t. That was dangerous… I thought. As I stepped out that day, it was drizzling. I remembered enjoying the chalk-like smell that the earth gives out when rain drops kiss the dust. Now I couldn’t. I sniffed around like Tom might do Jerry’s armpits. Lol. Nothing. This made me sad.
At the office that day and others, I’d sip hot tea, chew ginger slices, take teas and anything with a harsh smell with the hope to get anything out of it….Nothing.
I even became a self-proclaimed medic. I conjured up a remedy. If honey be good for the body, and bittercola be good as well, why not mix the two and watch wonders happen. Still…. nothing.
“Maybe you should take vitamins, it helps boost your system and would definitely help you”, my sister would say.
I abhor medicines, more specific, tablets – in any form. Well, I tried it. Took some effervescent vitamin tablets. The once abhorrent nausea feel it generally leaves in my mouth and throat was absent. There was nothing.
Would you doubt I prayed? Ahhh don’t. I did. I still do….. you know what… there’s more. Some things popped to mind in those times, which I’d serve now.
- We are often unconscious of the little things we have until we lose them. I am a Christian and would often be grateful to God for His goodness towards me. I’d thank Him for life, health, eyes, family, etc. It’s often off to thank Him for the ability to taste or perceive a smell. That would in the the spur not pop up in my mind. This I have learnt. Life felt somehow sour and colourless without taste and smell. Some detail so small at that moment meant so much that probably, were I from elsewhere, I might have fallen into a depression.
How many times would we thank God for the fact that our upper teeth can actually clench with the lower teeth, enabling us to chew?
Have you ever imagined eyes without eyelids? Medics will tell you how dangerous that would be. How many of us ever thank our creator for the eyelids of our eyes?
Those few hairs inside your nostrils…. remember them. That black spot in your iris, remember it. That fingernail of your smallest toe, remember it. That cartilage that enables your elbow to bend whenever you want to sneeze ‘new-style’ because of covid-19, remember it.
This is my submission… take nothing for granted. The most insignificant at this time could be the very branch the rest of your life perches on. Take time to appreciate God for it all.
- You can actually do what you need to do without you ‘feeling’ like it. I didn’t feel like eating, but I had to eat. So I did. Once at work, I served myself bread and eggs in the morning, put it in a tray and left it on the table until 4p.m. when I was about leaving for the day. That’s when I remembered I wasn’t fasting. I had not eaten the entire day. I didn’t feel like it. My sister soon realised I was growing pale. I soon realised I needed to eat. Eat, not because I felt like, but because I had to. Eat not because I liked to, but because my body needed it to function well. And me being healthy would ultimately contribute to my sense of taste and smell being restored.
How many times have we foregone what we had to do in life because we didn’t feel like it, because it wasn’t so convenient us doing it, or so tasty to us? That doesn’t or should matter. We all know that thing that we must do. We know that early watch we must keep, that expense we must cut, that attitude we must work on, that acquaintance we must sever… let’s do it, not because we like it or feel like it, but because we need to do it. We need it to move forward, to grow.
- This is the trick…worrying didn’t help me one bit. The more I worried about it, the more I didn’t perceive smell or have taste. The more I beat heads for it to return ASAP, the less it did. In fact, it didn’t. Did I even tell you I checked online to see whether it was a symptom of Covid-19? Yeah, I did. Read articles, testimonies, possible home remedies and the like. I’m not saying don’t try to fix it. I’m saying, don’t worry too much about it because worry never has solved a thing. I soon somehow resigned. I told myself I could live without smell and taste. I told myself life could go on, and it did. Of course it wasn’t same, but it wasn’t the end. Ther were times I would still pray and wish to have the taste of the Eru I was supposed to be relishing, but I would wield my thoughts to rather be grateful for what I was eating, the mouth I was using rather than focus on that lack of taste. I could still manage to enjoy those foods, buy them, consume them, even cook them. I chose to see colour, actually taste, perceive smell when I actually didn’t.
I’m also not making an apology for pain and resignation as defeat. Depends on how you choose to see it… me, half full. In fact, very full. Just depends on what fills the other part. Hope. Gratitude.
By week 2’s ending, that was how I lived. From time to time, the reality would linger around. But, it didn’t control my every thought. I controlled it. I wielded when I wanted it to occupy my thoughts and when it shouldn’t. It didn’t barge in and overtake every other thing. I literally defeated the fear of whatever I didn’t know. And soon enough… it started finding it’s way back to normalcy. I don’t know if the phrase that says ‘when you ignore something, it starts working to please you’ really works. Well maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.. God knows best.
I’d leave us with this line from Patience Strong – “Nine times out of ten, if you let things rest, they’ll turn out for the best”.
I’ve heard many complain about loss of taste and smell these days. I’m neither medic nor prophet, but I’ll say this….While the ordeal lasts, sail through it with your head high. Make the most of it, learn a thing or two and get to the other side of it better in spirit than you got into it.