Posted in Anosmia

Never Give Up

Before my Anosmia took hold, I used to be a singer….but then I stopped, my enthusiasm left me. This got me thinking, what have you given up because of this life changing condition…..

It wasn’t just that one thing though…

  • My health
  • My hope
  • My joy
  • My job
  • My world.

For a long while I gave up on all of it.

So, lets break these things down for a moment.

My Health:

Yes of course that suffered, when you cant taste, or everything tastes horrible why would you want to eat. Don’t eat = lose weight=lose energy=become physically frail, and psychologically frail also. This has a knock on effect of course. Low blood sugar was one for me so I was very weak and had a habit of collapsing quite a bit. Also the lack of essential nutrients, calcium, vitamins, fats….yes even fats, can be so dangerous. A risk of brittle bones, was one I was warned about, due to calcium deficiency. There’s always the obvious risk too, of not being able to smell dangerous substances, like smoke, gas or carbon monoxide, and not knowing when food has gone off. Yep Anosmia is such fun!

My Hope:

Well my wonderfully helpful doctor, note the sarcasm here, now ex doctor. Had a fair bit to do with that one. Did I want to hear the words, “sorry there’s nothing we can do“, or, “there’s no cure”? I don’t think so. But I believed him….well you would wouldn’t you. So that’s hope down the drain then.

My Joy:

That well and truly went, I was lethargic, had no enthusiasm….depressed. I never wanted to go out or socialise. I’m amazed sometimes that I still have any friends left. Crying… I made a habit of that, something I did on a daily basis as well as, yelling, getting angry, blaming it all on God, that stupid wall I hit my head on, my stupid phone I picked up, my treacherous body that chose that moment to crumple beneath me and pass out! I could go on and on but I think you get the picture!

My Job:

I loved my job…do you know what I did? Maybe I told you in a different post…possibly but I’m going to repeat it anyway. I was the area manager of a wildlife habitat. Yes I wandered around all day in beautiful countryside, maintaining fields and woodland, checking on the welfare of wildlife, nest box checks every year. I loved it. Ok there was the paperwork bit, there always is but I usually managed to organise it so I did this part when the weather was crap, oops sorry horrible. Then when it was sunny I was outside….so therapeutic too. However when I couldn’t eat, my energy went, how could I walk around maintaining a wildlife habitat, doing energetic jobs like strimming fields etc, when I could hardly stand up for more than 20 minutes. No I didn’t get fired…they were lovely in fact, but I got made redundant. Was that coincidence, could I have fought against it, who knows? However at that time I was so ill that I didn’t really care anyway, so bye bye job.

My World:

A bit melodramatic?  Nope…I gave up on life. I detached myself from it, I lost the happiness in living. I existed….my world was the house, (that’s not a world). Not outdoors, not my friends not seeing or socialising with my family, just the four walls I stayed in most of the time. Even my wonderful husband didn’t get the love and care he so deserved, and with all he had to cope with…i.e. ME, he should have got a medal!! When I shrank, my world shrank with me.

2009-various-new-house-etc-075

That was how it was then. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, or the garden in this picture. I’m starting to glimpse it now. My life that shifted to horribly seems to be on the move again and in the right direction this time.

So lets have a look at this list from a new perspective.

My Health:

I’ve started trying different combinations of food to see what works for me. New recipes, smoothies, protein shakes things to build me back up again. Vitamin supplements things that will work for me. Milk, cheese I can manage and they are a good source of calcium. Anything sweet is fine too, a good excuse to eat cake! The smelling harmful substances thing is a bit of a different story however, but we have smoke alarms for the house, and if I’m not sure if food is still ok to eat, I simply don’t eat it until someone has checked for me. Normally my husband….poor guy!

My Hope:

I now have a new very supportive doctor, who has read up on the subject of Anosmia and Parosmia and comes up with ideas and suggestions. Ive also done my own research and found out you can get better from this, not guaranteed but a lot of people do regain some if not all of their sense of smell and taste back. I have also been having some lessons in smell training with a wonderful lady called Chrissi Kelly who specialises in this new method. If you want to find out more the link is smelltraining. She has now become a good friend also, and is very active in my LivingwellAnosmia facebook group.

My Joy:

Would you believe that its coming back! Ok I get my bad days, but I get more good days than bad now. My writing has had a big impact on my state of mind….my blog….my articles have all helped me get it back together. Also my wonderful husband, family and friends who have stuck it out and are now cheering me on. Yes life is starting to feel good again.

My Job:

Ok I’ll never get my lovely wildlife job back and I get sad when we drive by the area. But I have a part time job that helps pay the bills and my work colleagues are very supportive. Also if all goes to plan I intend to expand my writing and generate some income from it one day. I love writing so it would make up for the loss of the other job that I loved. Also  da, da! Ive written a childrens book, about the animals in a wildlife habitat…mmm wonder where I got that idea from! Not published yet as it still needs illustrating but it will be ready soon, and when it is watch out world! I also have ideas about writing a book about my life with Anosmia one day, but that’s another story….literally!

My World:

I’m getting out so much more now. We’ve had a good summer so I’ve been in the garden a lot and on day trips, we even went to the beautiful island of Kefalonia. We used to go there all the time but I wasn’t interested last year due to my depression. But this year we went and it was lovely. We met up with all of our old friends and had a great time. The eating thing was a bit scary at first but we focussed on other enjoyable pursuits instead such as swimming, walking and sitting in the lovely warm sunshine enjoying great company and great scenery.kefalonia-4-18-sept-05-068

 See what I mean!

So my dear friends, the moral of this story is don’t give up on your life….fight this with every bone in your body be strong and claim your life back. Its too short and too precious.

So tell me in the comments, what have you given up…..hang on I’ve not finished yet…then tell me how you are going to get it back again. Re claim your happiness! You’ve got the whole of the rest of your life ahead of you.

 

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13 thoughts on “Never Give Up

  1. The first time I heard about anosmia was when the adult daugher of one of my friends got it. (Showing my age, aren’t I? *Yikes!*) Luckily it was only temporary for her, but being slender to begin with – these months really took a toll on her muscle mass and energy level. I am really hoping that you will get all better from this!

    When it comes to gas leaks etc – there are alarms you can buy that will go off – even for the odorless gases as well. So that part of it can be resolved. For food gone off, keep letting others smell it for you and shop less (i.e don’t buy more than your household eats in a couple days) but more frequent, giving you more control of what is in your fridge and pantry – and how old it is.

    Well, I am sure you know all this already, but my advise is well meant. I raise my mug of coffee to you in respect of you being able to pull yourself out of this rut. Here is to your speedy and full recovery, and welcome back to life! Cheers!

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      1. Thank you for writing such an informative and honest post about a serious condition, and thank you for making it such an empowering post. There is something to be learned from your post for everybody- wether they can smell the roses or not 🙂

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  2. Hi Debbie, I have anosmia too and sympathize with all you’ve said, particularly about never giving up hope that one day your sense of smell will return.
    i find that smell training is of some benefit but I am also on a course of Theophylline and I think that this is helping as well – at least i’m trying and hoping which is so important !

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    1. Hi Nigel, thank you for your kind comments. I do smell training also I’m terrible at sticking to it however which I know is the whole point but I’ll keep at it. All the best.

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  3. It’s so good to hear your positivity Debbie; I knew you would get there as you don’t give up easily. It would be lovely to see you soon xx

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