A chick at work got this "horrible" disease over the summer, wherein she felt anxious and on edge constantly because her thyroid was overproducing hormones. She had trouble sleeping, felt constantly jittery, and her muscles were all tense because she was unable to relax. Also? She lost 14 pounds. I'll spell that out for you: f-o-u-r-t-e-e-n. So. The doctors finally figured out the problem and she is back to normal. And she is sooo grateful she had this disease.
My mind, of course, says that this is silly. Her body was malfunctioning. This is not cause for joyousness. But really and truly, I would be lying if I said I wasn't just a little jealous too. I have never, ever had an ailment which caused me to lose my appetite. I figure, if I have to be uncomfortable, achy, and sickly in general, at the very least I could stand to lose a few pounds. However, in most cases, I gain weight while sick. I picture myself, long in the future, on my deathbed with cancer or some other terminal disease, eating a cheese steak with hot peppers.
This week, I got my annual raging cold. It started on Tuesday with an obnoxiously sore throat. Like, my eyes began watering just a tad with every swallow. Naturally, the best relief for such a thing would be hot beverages, right? So, in addition to my nice hot butternut soup, I drank a few Dunkin' Donuts coffees. You probably think this is no big deal. Au contrair. When I do coffee, I like the mocha spice latte, heavy on the mocha (but with skim milk, please! ...as this will make it healthy.) "Whipped cream?" the guy asks. I decided I deserved a treat for dealing with such pain and agony, so I told him to pile it on (lite version of course). Looks like the whipped cream isn't even included on the official nutrition sheet, and its still a good 450 calories with 12 grams of yummy yummy fat. So, a few of those babies can add up pretty quick.
After the awful, ear splitting sore throat, the cold took a day to settle into my sinuses, and there it has stayed. I lost my ability to smell, and therefore, my ability to taste. This happens every time I get a cold. It just plain sucks. I am not sure you are aware, but I love to eat. But food isn't quite as good when you cannot taste it. Actually, this is not quite accurate - I can still taste. But all I can distinguish are the basic properties you may remember learning in grade school: bitter, salty, sweet, savory, or sour. All I can say is that people would probably eat fewer frozen pizzas if limited to these sensations. Frozen pizzas are extremely salty. Does this stop me from eating another slice? I think my Constant Readers know me well enough to know the answer to that question is a vehement "no".
In fact, I would venture to say that I eat more when I cannot taste. Yesterday, I downed an embarrassing number of chips with salsa, a chocolate square, some apple cider, and a granola bar in record time. I keep thinking that this meal or snack will be The One, the one I will taste. It is a viscous cycle. This morning, I got into the shower and realized I could smell my shampoo a little bit. My brain then has to work hard to convince the rest of me that I should not get too excited. As whatever is clogged becomes unclogged, the ability to smell comes and goes, sometimes within a breath. There have been times when I get a few hours, and push the bad memories away. And when I realize that my sniffer is once again MIA, I get very very depressed. I am still stuffed to the brim with ickiness (I'll spare the details), so I know that brief hint of Head and Shoulders is a fluke.
I was lucky enough to get a few eggs and some toast cooked and eaten before returning to my un-smelly life. (It does have advantages.) I also got a chance to try a little of the stew I made yesterday. I ate it yesterday too, but I wasn't able to tell if I liked it or not. It was pretty good.
I'll put up with the sore throat (which is back for round 2, though significantly less painful). I can deal with a dry, red nose, painful to the touch from constant blowing. I can even tolerate the tender lymph nodes that ache constantly, the pounding head, and the virtigo. But I hate losing my sense of smell.
Perhaps I'll be able to taste one of those cookies in the pantry...