Tonight, on my way home from work, I stopped by my neighborhood grocery store. Actually, it's not really anywhere near my new neighborhood, but I can't stand trying to get in / out of the two stores closer to my house. Plus, I seem to spend about $30. more each visit at the neighborhood stores because they're grossly overpriced. So, tonight, I picked up some of my favorite flowers to just add a little something extra to our new home. The lady that lived here before us had a really old dog, and the front of the house seems to smell like an old, wet dog -- says the bionic nose. I intend on getting the air ducts cleaned, but cleaning the floors myself have not taken that scent away. EWH.
Enter the subject... sense of smell.
I have a very heightened sense of smell. Today, a lady in my office wore a perfume that one of my bestie's used to wear and I was honestly gagging (no offense to my friend.) It was strong, pungent, and I'll spare you my monolog about people's overindulgence of perfume/cologne. Now, enter the pungent lily, my favorite. First of all, it's a natural smell - so I don't mind it at all. Second, it's pretty. Third, I don't dare ask Andi to smell it.
When Andi was in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit -- for those that luckily don't speak hospital like me!) she had a plethora of tests, obviously. She had an MRI, CAT scan, blood work, this, that and the other... and sure as shit, they determined that Andi probably would lack a sense of smell due to her bilateral choanal atresia. (Nasty surgery that clears tissue and bone to create a traditional nasal airway... imagine that.) Yep. Over the years, as she's grown more aware, we've been able to confirm that she can't seem to smell anything, only pretend to smell it. Imagine that for a minute. You can't smell bacon frying on a Saturday morning. You can't smell the rain. You can't smell coffee. You can't smell the most gorgeous flowers. To me, smells trigger memories. Smells transport me. Smells can make me gag. Smells can make me swoon. There are about three men's cologne's that make me giddy. There are zero women's perfumes that delight me. There are about five flowers that just remind me of an easier time, remind me of an uncomplicated life: Jasmine. Lilies (mainly the China Star). Roses. Gardenia. I love these scents. Oranges, Lemon, peppermint essential oils... hello! But Andi... she can't smell any of this. She'll never smell pizza, butter... but the converse... she won't smell when the garbage is rotting, when her deodorant has failed, that her gym smells like a dirty belly-button. (That was my attempt to not be foul, Dad!) LOL!!!! It fills me with extreme sadness that she will miss out on this incredibly important sense. I base so much of my world on sense of smell, that, it breaks my heart that she won't have that.
Mind you, where there are diminished senses, the others are heightened... so I find comfort that Andi will have a better sense of everything else, and then some.
But bacon... oh, for the love of the smell of bacon frying in a pan. (Sorry my veg/vegan friends...) but bacon was one of three things that switched me back to being a full fledged carnivore.
Andi will be fine... but I hope to adequately arm her with the tools and the words, to ward off snide comments by other kids - when she admits she can't actually smell what they're talking about. The assholio who has her smell rotten food or expired milk while the rest of the group laugh. I don't want that for her. I know I can't be there every second of every day and shield her from the bullshit of life. But, I do know I can outfit her with her wit, wisdom and vocabulary to deflect and detour this undesirable reality of life.
Most people go to the grocery store and don't have to ponder half of this shit. Welcome to the glimpse of our reality. And next time you "stop to smell the roses" fricken take an extra couple of minutes to really STOP, SMELL and SAVOIR that scent... something that Andi will never be able to do.