Yesterday and today, I have pondered anosmia in comparison to loss of hearing and becoming blind. Blindness causes separation from things; whereas, loss of hearing separates one from people. Being anosmia is the loss of all smell and in turn 95% of taste, this disorder causes separation from several things: the understanding of danger and the pleasure of food for starters. When one is not pleasured by food, enjoying the taste, appearance, etc, it can have an effect on social settings. For me, I have wanted to steer away from eating in front of hardly anyone. Before this disorder and even when I did not understand how vast it was with the sense of taste, I always enjoyed eating at the dining room table with my family. Now, it is quite an undertaking to find a way to enjoy eating. The goal of this is not purely for my own satisfaction of eating but what joins eating: communication and socialization with those I love ALONG WITH not displaying an unhealthy habit to my children. Eating with others is a situation in which I have formed and grown bonds in the past. However, I have not yet adjusted to either deflecting away from how others’ foods taste or stating that I am a poor person to ask about the taste of foods… thus feeling as though my comments are ungratifying, lowering the cook’s spirits. It becomes easier when I realized my limitations, but I am one who does not want others wringing hands over me and feeling sorry for me. It’s like at a social event and you are expected to eat, there is an expectation of me eating, which is uncomfortable. Sure, we can lie, but that automatically reinforces how we are everyday people without our own difficulties… very unwise, which is a road I choose not to travel.
I am still traveling the Road to Acceptance and am on the final two steps.
- Recognition of having a problem but not of needing help
- Acknowledgement of needing help but unwillingness to seek it
- Lack of readiness to accept help
- Acknowledgement of the problem and full acceptance of one’s need for help
I am a little different from this set of steps, as I have not found support for anosmics; and I believe based on the statistics that we need a voice along with help and acknowledgement from the medical field and society. Sure, we might not be a high percentile of society; however, seeing that we often die within five years, there needs to be more recognition, education, and support. As stated above, we often separate from food and situations involving eating socially is something we have difficult executing in a lighthearted manner.
The key to this goes back to the posts I am creating outlining foods regarding tastes (salty, sour, sweet, bitter), textures (chunky, creamy, crunchy…) and sensations (heat, cool, and burning). Redefining foods and finding combinations of textures, occasional sensations along with taste is the way to help reconnect with both people, socializing, and food itself.