May 25, 2021

Covid-19 Stole My Sense Of Smell & I Like It

My Wife Gave Me Covid-19

I managed to work in health care for all of 2020 without getting Covid-19. It was a great accomplishment. And I was just days away from 2021, which would be a new beginning for all of us, according to the news. My wife and I took the week off between Christmas and New Years’ to have some good family time together. We did not travel or really do much at all as the world was still largely closed. We had a nice week with our boys and felt great the entire time.

Then it came time to return to work. As the weekend hit and we had a few days left, my wife woke with a mild sore throat. In any other year, we would have dismissed it, but not in 2020. Because she also works in healthcare, she decided to get tested on Sunday before we both went back to work. Neither of us felt there was much to worry about, so we went about our business. There was really no reason to assume a positive. We were cautious, didn’t travel, and had minimal contact with people without taking necessary precautions. Sunday came and went with no results, so I headed off to work the next day.

I actually forgot about it completely as Monday went on, patient after patient. Then, a little after lunchtime, my wife texted me. It was a simple one-word text, POSITIVE. WTF!!! I had just spent all day with co-workers and patients. I immediately left and went to get a rapid test, which of course, was also positive. Let the 2-week quarantine begin!

Our Two Week Covid-19 Vacation

Luckily, my wife and I had very minimal symptoms. We were both tired, low energy, mild headaches, and a few other mild symptoms. However, we were able to exercise most days and go about normal day-to-day activities. We tried to make the most of it by doing some DIY around the house, lots of cooking and baking, board games, reading, and more. In fact, this blog/website and The Fat & Broke Podcast were started during our Covid-19 vacation.

The Fat and Broke Podcast

Most days, I actually felt a little guilty. I knew people were suffering worldwide with the same virus, yet we were actually enjoying a little extra time off. It was a strange dichotomy that I was acutely aware of and thankful for. Our kids were still doing home school, so some extra time at home was beneficial, and we all enjoyed it. But, as the days went on, despite our mild symptoms, something did change. One morning, I woke up to discover that I lost my sense of smell.

Covid-19 Stole My Sense of Smell

We were told that this could happen, but of course, it would not happen to us! That morning, I woke up and started my normal early routine. Part of that routine involved making coffee. And one of the best parts of making coffee is smelling the grounds when you open the bag, which is closely followed by the smell of the freshly brewed coffee itself. As I went about my routine, I noticed something was missing.

I knew I started the coffee, but I could not smell anything brewing! So I went over to the pot to make sure that I didn’t forget to press the brew button. To my surprise, it was lit up, and the coffee was brewing. So I then checked to make sure I put the grounds in. Sadly enough, I have brewed just water before. So I checked, and the grounds were in there. It was then that I realized that I had lost my sense of smell. So I immediately went around finding everything I could with a strong sense of smell to test myself: coffee grounds, garlic, spices, and more. I could not smell any of it. It was so strange and scary.

My mind started to race, and I started to panic just a little. Unfortunately, Jessica, my wife, was not yet awake, so I could not test her. So I did what anyone would do at a time like this. I went onto Google to see how long this would last. Unfortunately, there was no good answer. It basically said a few hours to a lifetime, which I guess could be expected since we have never seen this virus before. Nonetheless, it was still scary to think I would never smell again. I was now wishing I spent the day before smelling everything I could, knowing it may be the last time. Damn it! LOL.

When Jess awoke, I immediately tested her. Nothing. Well, at least I wasn’t alone. In fact, I would still taste things, and she could not, so I was winning.

The Good & Bad of Not Being Able to Smell

Since that time, Jessica has recovered all of her senses and is doing great. I never lost my taste, but my smell is largely still gone. If I get really close to something with a strong odor, I can smell it. But I really have to be close, focus on it, and it has to be strong. Other than that, I got nothing. For instance, If I walk into a room where toast is burning, pizza is cooking, or cookies baking, I can not smell it to tell you those things are happening. It’s a state of blissful odor ignorance.

It is not all bad though, and part of me really enjoys it. One of the biggest perks is that I can not smell poop. I know it’s gross, but it is true. When my co-workers destroy the bathroom, I can not smell a thing. This is true for trash, bad-smelling food, and much more. I do not miss smelling bad things.

Of course, the downside is that I can not smell great things, like the pizza and baked goods I mentioned above. Additionally, there are safety concerns because I do not smell burning things, and I can not give food a smell test to see if it has gone bad.

Oddly, I Kinda Like It

When I factor it all together, I don’t really miss being able to smell. I know that probably sounds crazy, but I truly believe it. Right now, the pros are outweighing the cons. What really helps is that I can taste. I feel like I can smell it when I taste it, so I do not really feel like I am missing anything. While at the same time, I do not smell most bad things, so I never have to deal with that!

I have noticed that I am getting incremental returns of the things I can smell. So I imagine that over the coming months, I will regain much of it. I am hopeful that I can regain the smells I want and avoid those I don’t. It seems that someone who made it through Covid-19 should be allowed to choose. Just sayin’. Anyway, only time will tell, and I will keep everyone posted on The Fat & Broke Podcast. For now, I will continue to enjoy not being able to smell my co-workers’ poop.

The Fat and Broke Podcast

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