Living in a Bland World

I firstly want to apologize for any food commentaries I've made over the last week- I have been impaired. 
It was about 9 days ago when I noticed that food did not taste right. I was making home made red curry for a friend and I for dinner and I found it bland which is extremely unusual as I love packing a punch in my dishes. 
And the red curry was supposed to be rich and creamy and full of interesting flavours so I did what anyone would do to create those sensations and I added one of my favourite hot sauces to the recipe. While I could feel the tickle of heat in the back of my throat, the dish felt like it needed more flavor so I kept adding salt until I just gave up.  I was puzzled and asked my friend, who was coughing and holding back her tears from all the potency of the dish and she recommended that I perhaps our tongues could not taste flavor anymore because I had overdone the spiciness.   I thought nothing of it and later in the evening, we stopped by Smokes Poutinerie to get my regular late night snack, which is the traditional poutine, and after having a few forkfuls – I couldn’t help but wonder why there was no taste to it.  I went home and loaded it up with more salt and still the taste of my favourite comfort food was empty, and similar to the texture and taste of eating cardboard.  I even attempted to put some red curry I had as leftovers and I was still not experiencing the familiarity of flavours.  It was late so I went to bed and got up the next day, thinking it was a new day.  Lunchtime at work rolled around and I had a made myself a turkey sandwich with pungent grainy Dijon mustard, pickled sauerkraut, and jalapeño Havarti cheese.  I was looking forward to the complexity of flavours in this sandwich but I took two bites and oh my, it tasted like sawdust so I threw it out right away! Later that evening, I went to a Parts and Labour catering event which is a restaurant in the city known for bold flavours so I put my taste buds to the test.  The first station I checked out was the Chinese noodle station – I picked a pork pad thai noodle dish, topped it up with sriracha which is a Vietnamese red spicy sauce, a handful of cashews and cilantro.  While the dish smelled great, and the textures of the noodles, meat and nuts worked, it tasted extremely empty and bland.  It was then when I started to realize, maybe it was not the food’s fault but perhaps my own faulty palette. I tried the tacos station – again, no flavor; attempted a grill cheese – I could taste the grease between my lips but there was nothing else to it.  More panic; What was wrong with me??!   But I still figured it was temporary and I would ride it out a bit longer.  The weekend came and I was having people over for a Easter dinner where I cooked a perfectly medium rare prime rib roast and I was hopeful that I could experience the succulent cuts of the meats that were seasoned to my liking but just as I feared, I could taste the juiciness of the meat but not any of the flavor.  Something was definitely wrong.  How can it be that I’ve lost my tastebuds?!  I began to notice minor things like brushing my teeth was a new experience.   The ooze and texture of the tooth paste is enhanced and I could detect the fresh minty flavour but there is no taste to it.  It’s surreal!  Alcoholic beverages such as wine and vodka taste like water (which for your information is very dangerous especially when depression and reality sets in). Yesterday, I was sucking on a honey throat lozenge and it was like sucking on an ice cube.   OK reality has finally set in - like a ton of bricks – I have no taste!! MAJOR PANIC!
I have noticed nothing out of the ordinary for me; I had a cold last week but I’m fine.  I did not burn my tongue.  My mouth is dry but isn’t it the season to be dehydrated?? 
Eating has become a chore as I’m not enjoying it anymore and it just depressed me to think about it.  It’s like someone out there has decided to play a really dirty trick on me and take away the most precious thing to me like a music lover going deaf! Self-diagnosing this is unhealthy as the internet and iPhone medical apps are full of random diseases that can cause the lost of taste buds.  Mostly the articles are about smokers (which I am not) or taste loss due to radiation from Cancer or aging.  Not much else explains how I have gone from one extreme food loving lady to living in a bland world. What if it’s not temporary?? I finally called my doctor to see if I could get see her but her office was closed on Easter Monday.  I saw her on Tuesday, she swabbed my tongue but offered no explanation to me except this is fairly unusual.  Next step is a specialist and the dentist.  But for now, it’s a bland, bland world. 

1 comment:

  1. As with many passions, it brings happiness to the soul.
    I for one cannot imagine what you are experiencing. I would be at a loss.
    Like you say it is like someone has played an awful trick, to take away something as simplistic, soul fulfilling as the enjoyment of eating.
    I am sorry to hear that this has happened to you.
    If it were I that this had afflicted, I don’t know if I would be able to have the courage that you have seemed to rally to fight against this. I would like to say that I am proud of you to go at this in the way that you have.
    Putting this into words is commendable and a very valid method of dealing with this situation.

    Like taking the ability to hear from a music lover.
    The ability to see from a painter or photographer.
    The ability to taste, in its essence is simple yet such an important sense to lose.
    I’d be overwhelmed.

    I want to reach out and give you a big hug and say that things are going to be ok. Just know that I am sending you virtual HUGS via this message to you.
    I hope that the Doctors do their job and find out what’s going on and more importantly why it happened to you in the first place AND that this too will pass.

    If you should ever need to vent, you know how to get in touch with me.

    Your Friend,