By Nicole Garneau, PhD
I felt it coming on yesterday, the headache the itchy throat,
the inability to focus.... I knew what was coming, I was at the
cusp of coming down with something. Sure enough, I woke up this
morning in a daze of achiness, swollen glands and complete
congestion- YUCK! Plus the smell of freshly ground and brewed
coffee that normally helps guide me out from under the sheets of
slumber was no where to be found.
I forced myself out of bed and headed for the kitchen. There was
coffee (phew! I knew I'd need it), and I was in fact hungry- so I
popped a cinnamon raisin English muffin into the toaster. Now
normally this makes the kitchen smell like a bakery, the enticing
smell of warm cinnamon which makes my stomach growl and my mouth
salivate. Not today. What was going on?
It turns out that I couldn't really experience the joy of eating
my breakfast because of my congestion- plain and simple, I couldn't
smell. I still could taste though! As I ate my English muffin with
honey, I could still perceive sweetness, and when I drank my
coffee I could still perceive it was slightly bitter (and I could
feel the creamy texture of the half and half I added via the
trigeminal nerve), but it was not as pleasant as it usually is
because I did not have the entire experience of flavor perception,
I was missing smell.
In the end, there was so little pleasure in eating that I didn't
finish the English muffin or my coffee. I opted for some echinacea
tea, cleaned up and made my way to work. For all you with cold,
congestion or allergies, I feel for you!
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