Sadly, anosmia is not taught at hospitals even with information in pamphlets. This is a very sad thing, since not only can TBI survivors obtain it. Even those who have obtained mild concussions are at risk. Those with infected sinuses, elderly, or people with oncoming Alzheimer’s Disease or zinc deficiencies have this face their lives. The last group that I have read can receive this condition are those who take prescriptions for colds, etc, like Zicam.
One way to simplify life is to use labels on perishable refrigerated foods to avoid them spoiling. There are foundations for how to store perishable food as well as the amenable length maximum time for various kinds of foods. Becoming acquainted with this knowledge and using it helps save money and frustration. Understanding these facets and investing in labels to help remember the expiration dates of each item will save money and cleaning along with cooking something that should not have been cooked and is not accepted by the family (causing greater frustration and anger).
Having no sense of smell has many points of frustrations, and food is a large issue. So becoming more street smart about food storage is imperative. The truth is many of struggle with wanting to eat. This easily causes oversight in the refrigerator regarding how old produce and leftovers are. The flip-side of this issue relating to food is that or there are others of us who can’t stop. I assume those individuals are like shopaholics.. they keep “shopping” by ingesting foods hoping that they will find satisfaction. I am one who battles with wanting to eat at all.I am not anorexic, but it is difficult many times to find any satisfaction with eating. This is due to 95% of taste being gone along with “stealing” others’ enjoyment and satisfaction. The truth is that when we don’t eat in front of our loved ones, this teaches bad habits to our children as well as causes our family to want to feed us even more.
We ladies often multitask. This is fine, well and good when we have our sense of smell. However, when we are correcting children, boiling water, and on the phone with our attorney, this can cause us to cause all the water to evaporate without us realizing it. Due to this, TIMERS are something we need to help us avoid burning down the house. Also, laundry is another issue with a large family. Sometimes, I may have one of my children start a load of laundry, forget about it, and I will pull out the “clean” load and hang it on the clothesline or throw it in the dryer. THE ISSUE IS that it can be mildewed, and I may not know it. Then, lo and behold, either my husband or another child talks to me about what has occurred. This causes the family stress and the anosmiac a hatred of what he or she can no longer do without help. A TIMER or two for the laundry room is a wise choice to avoid loads of clothes needing to be laundered yet again.
If an anosmiac has a gas stove or gas heat, there is a problem: the inability to tell that the gas is running unnoticed. lace carbon monoxide and fire detectors throughout the house – especially high risk areas of the home more common for fires or carbon monoxide issues (like the kitchen) and in the bedroom in case something happens while sleeping. Another solution is to have a dog that is specially trained to “smell” for you and will warn you when it smells a dangerous smell like something burning or the rotten egg smell of gas. Another idea for help in this setting is making a canary your pet. They are friendly and have their normal sounds. When they are awake and silent, there is a good indication that the air is not as clear as it may feel to us. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, coal miners would bring canaries down to the tunnels with them as an early detection system against life-threatening gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane. The canary, normally a very songful bird, would stop singing and eventually die if not removed from these gases, signaling the miners to exit the mine quickly.
Another issue is public danger. What happens when you can see signs of danger like fire but cannot smell it? For instance, there is a person sitting alone staring at something in your direction way behind you, but that person is not saying anything. Well, both looking behind you as well as inquiring what and where there is a problem can be helpful, especially if there is a fire occurring without the alarm being pulled.
There are many of us anosmiacs who die within five years of the onslaught of this happening. I believe this is partially due to unawareness of how much this affects our lives along with others not understanding this either. We tend to have more problems with depression than those who go blind. Those who are blind have education, support, and a world around them knowing their condition, whereas we blend into society without others knowing. We hardly ever complain about cooks or chefs at restaurants. What is to say when something burnt tastes no different than anything else along with nothing having a repulsive smell, like cabbage.
This section may very well be expanded as I try to compensate for my losses in my life, so that all of us can improve our impairments.