Forty percent capacity  DEC 20 2005

So, it's day five of my cold[1]. Last night, I was down to only two out of my five senses. My sense of taste and smell left the scene sometime on Saturday. On Sunday, I had salad and fruit for lunch because I figured if I can't taste anything, I might as well eat healthy. Trying to smell or taste strongly aromatic substances like wine or scented shower gel produces a sensation not unlike that of tasting or smelling something, except there's no smell or taste. It's the weirdest thing...I don't even know how to properly describe it. It's like there's a ghost of a taste and when I think too hard about trying to really taste it, it's gone. It'll be a relief when I finally decongest and can enjoy food again[2].

And then yesterday while driving, we went from sea level up to around 600 ft of elevation, which caused the pressure to build up in my head enough to affect my hearing. By 4pm, everything was kind muffled and I was asking Meg speak up repeatedly. I could just barely hear the hum of the highway under the car. Last night at dinner, I couldn't taste anything, smell anything, hear anything, and my voice was so gravelly from my cold (and probably way too loud from overcompensating for the hearing loss) that listening to me was probably not very pleasant. My ears finally popped somewhat this morning and I can hear ok again, but smell and taste are still missing. Come back, guys, I miss you!

Update: Here's an article by Jason Feifer from the Washington Post about his investigation into his poor senses of taste and smell. (thx, mim)

[1] After a bit of research this AM, I've determined that what I have is a cold and not the flu.

[2] I remember reading a book or article once that mentioned a person who lost their sense of taste and when it would briefly return, that person would drop whatever they were doing and go eat a great meal. Anyone know where that story is from?

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