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Oooh That Smell

Can't you smell that smell?

By Stephanie DownardPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Smell, It's a sense everyone has, or they used to. The struggle is real, and I'm over it. I never thought I would miss the stench of my kid's farts when they toot next to me, but here I am. Just typing that sentence above seems bizarre to me. Who would miss a fart creeping up their nose? My guess is no sane person, so if you see me waving from the crazy train, mind your business or come aboard. We have plenty of room.

In September of 2021, I had what I thought was a mild sinus infection. According to my doctor, I was covid negative and was sent on my merry way. A week later, I felt a little better, but something was off. I bet you could guess, that's right, my smell. My first indication was when I put on perfume, and the flowery aroma neglected to caress my nostrils. I about rammed that spray nozzle up my nose, trying to get a whiff of it—nothing, not a damn thing, not even a hint. 

Next up was hand sanitizer. I put some on when I came out of the gas station. Once again, my nose failed me. That strong alcohol sent usually hits you like a brick, but not this time. Here I was in my car looking like a crazy lady sniffing an open sanitizer bottle, trying to get a waft up to my nose holes. Oh, the looks I probably received while I was sniffing the bottle along with forcing body sprays to my nose. I swear, people of the world, I was not huffing random things in my car for pleasure.

Even the smell of Vicks vapor rub was non-existent, so at that point, I knew it had to be covid. The anxiety set in, and back to the doctor I went. They did another test, and to my surprise, it was negative. She gave me antibiotics and steroids to kick the nagging sinus infection and clear up my lungs. With the missing smell came the lack of taste. That was irritating because food was bland, and drinks had no flavor. I barely ate the whole week; forcing food into my mouth was terrible.

My energy and spirits were low. The steroids I was on made me feel shaky and panicked. Even though my coffee had no taste, I didn't dare pour myself a cup. The side effects of the medicine double with caffeine. After one day of feeling like I was on a vibrating honeymoon suite bed, I made the executive decision I didn't need caffeine that bad.

By the end of the week, I was getting some taste back. The magic food was peas. Those were the best peas I've ever had. Gradually over the next few months, my taste and smell returned. The only catch was I couldn't smell bad smells. In general, it's not too bad, but some moments suck. Like the time I had dog poo on my shoe. Any normal person would know right away from the smell alone. Not this girl. I don't know how long it was there, but I sure hope it wasn't on my shoe when I was bridesmaid dress shopping. Could you imagine walking around a lovely dress shop stinking up the place? No one in the car said anything, so hopefully, I wasn't the smelly lady. I just keep telling myself it happened after the fact.

There was also that time my dog rolled in something nasty at my mom's house. Here I was, petting and cuddling with him when we got home. Oblivious to the fact that he stunk so bad. My daughter came up and said mom Tigger smells. So, of course, I had to get everyone's opinion. They all lined up and took a sniff. Low and behold, he was dubbed the smelly dog. Good thing I don't live alone. Who knows how long he would have gone on being Sir Smells A Lot.


Now those are just a few examples, but the list goes on. It also seems like anything fruity smells off and not in a good way. I can't even pinpoint what the scent is. Most shampoos smell like wet dogs to me. It took me 20 minutes in the haircare aisle to find one that didn't. Now I know it doesn't really smell like gross wet dogs, but I can't stand going around feeling like I do. So I guess I do sense unpleasant aromas but apparently only if they smell good. Now there is the rare occasion I get a whiff of nasty things. The first time was when I came across an old tupperware container of pudding in my fridge. It had gotten lost in the abyss and fell behind my water pitcher. When I went to dump it out, the smell whacked me in the nose so hard I gagged. I actually got excited and jumped for joy, all while my daughter looked at me like I was the craziest lady for being excited about something that smelled rank.

My taste is still off when it comes to certain things. Like toothpaste, that once refreshing feeling of a clean mouth no longer exists. It's a daunting chore because it tastes like a bag of butts. Anything minty has been ruined like those delicious candies are depressing now.

I can no longer drink my favorite soda pops because they taste like carbonated perfume. I've only found two so far that taste normal. There are too many drinks to count that I can no longer drink. So, for the most part, I just stick with coffee and water. I know it could be worse, and I am thankful I have some smell and taste. Some people have lost it completely, and who knows if it will ever return. So, for now, I'll have to stick with my kid's smelling random socks to tell me if they are clean.

If you're like me, and can't smell bad things let's band together and start a superhero league. We can conquer the world one stinky villain at a time!

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About the Creator

Stephanie Downard

I'm a mom of 3 plus a bonus son. I've discovered I love writing, and in my free time, that's what I do! I may not be the best, but that will not stop me! It can only go up from here! I hope you enjoy the words that trickle out of my head.

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Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (4)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    I loved the way you told the story in a hilarious way!

  • Angela Derscha2 years ago

    Funny story. Hopefully, things get back to normal for you!

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    That was quite humorous. Hopefully things get back to normal for you.

  • I don't know whether to laugh with you or cry for you, but you got another read. Great story and some fun too.

Stephanie DownardWritten by Stephanie Downard

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