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Down & Out

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been out with a nasty flu.  Although I am feeling better, it’s now week two and I’m still not 100%.  I guess I can’t expect to be back to normal for some time as this God awful stuff tends to linger or so I’m told.  I seriously can’t recall the last time I was this ill.  I have managed to escape full-blown sickness for several years.  Well not this time, my number was up, it hit and it hit hard.  Thankfully I’m in a very lucky position that I could take a week off just to be sick.

Several days ago I was craving solid food and sushi of all things.  Michael and I went to our best-loved local sushi joint and tucked into some of our favorite things: seaweed & cucumber salad, garlic albacore tuna, and a couple sushi rolls.  I had taken a few bites of the salad when I asked Michael if it tasted bland to him.  No, he said.  I took a few more bites and couldn’t register any flavor.  And then I realized it . . . my sense of taste was gone.  Earlier in the day I worked out that I couldn’t smell either after spraying myself with a bit of perfume and couldn’t smell it, at all.  Bite after disappointing bite, I chewed with increasing sadness.  I don’t think I have ever experienced a loss of this sense before.  Obviously the texture was there, and my mind tried to recall from memory how these things were supposed to taste.  Visually my eyes told my brain I loved this stuff, but as hard as I willed myself to taste, I could not.  And the lack of smell was certainly not helping.

After reluctantly succumbing to the fact taste had abandoned me (for the time being), I lost desire to eat all together.  A few sushi roll segments lay on the plate and I simply wasn’t interested in finishing.  It’s not that I was full, but all the joy had been taken away.  Without the wonderful flavor of the items before me, there was no point in eating them.  This presented a unique, if not perplexing conundrum.  After not eating for several days and only drinking tea and broth, I was happy with what little appetite I had.  My mind tried to reconcile that one could possibly loose weight this way.  Then I dreamily reminisced about all the wonderful tasting things I love to eat.

If I didn’t already know that I’m one of those people that eat for pleasure, this current pickle certainly set it in stone for me.  Some folks see food as nothing more than fuel for the body.  I’m honestly not sure how, have they never had a mind blowing piece of chocolate or an earth shaking glass of wine?  Perhaps they experience food as I am now, without the sensory awareness.  But we ALL can taste, can’t we?  I just don’t understand how food is not to be savored and experienced.  We need to be sensible about excess, mind you but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I suppose, if we were really to look at it, it’s a choice.  To some, food and all it’s amazingness is not as important as a killer body or their sport/fitness or whatever else takes the greater priority.  And hey, I get it.

The other day, Michael and I were grocery shopping.  With fresh eyes it seemed, I was overwhelmed with the abundance in the produce section.  Perhaps I had taken it for granted before, but I really noticed the colors and variety.  Bright green artichokes and long beans, dark red beets, white leeks, colorful citrus, baby watermelons, and avocado.  For the first time I saw all these wonderful items and I saw possibilities.  I saw them like a cook.  Bright red tomatoes & fresh green basil = caprese salad.  Creamy avocados = guacamole.  Tart granny smith apples = French Apple Tart.  I was even seduced into getting a jalapeño.  Why not, I can’t taste it anyway or perhaps it will kick my taste buds a%$ into submission.  After all, this is my sixth day without taste and I’m done with this crap!  I’d eat the holiest of holly Ghost Chili if I thought it would work.  Let’s eat!


Bon Appétit!

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