It comes down to the old clichés. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone and You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you have it. I’m sure we can all relate to both. I certainly can!
In June 2010 I was working on a shoot for Crown Resort and our base camp for the day was Eve nightclub. As we walked in, the whole crew exclaimed at how the room smelled of stale booze and cigarettes. Having done countless rehearsals for fashion parades in closed nightclubs back in my modelling days, I knew what they were experiencing but on that particular day, I had nothing. Sniffing the air like a crazy person to get a whiff of it, I realised that I couldn’t smell a thing.
I know there are some obvious benefits to not being able to smell because if you can’t smell the good, you can’t smell the bad either. But…as someone who had an acute sense of smell (and taste) up until that time, I was absolutely gutted. I used to tell everyone what perfume they were wearing and loved the fact that I always had a ‘nose that knows’. I hoped it was temporary but days later, I still had nothing. Food wasn’t tasting as it should either (taste is 70-75% smell). Boooooooooo!!!!! It was time for me to go the doctor.
My doctor didn’t have an answer for me, so she sent me to an ear, nose and throat specialist. I had to wait a while before I could get in for an appointment and hoped I might get it back in that time, but no such luck. They discovered that I had a couple of polyps but where they came from is impossible to diagnose. They’re caused by a number of different factors, including allergies, so the ENT sent me to an allergy specialist.
It turns out that I’m allergic to dust mites, grass pollen and cats. I always knew I was allergic to cats but I wasn’t aware of the other two and they’re kind of everywhere.
What next then? It was suggested that I undergo a process known as desensitization, whereby they inject what you are allergic to every week in order to try and reduce the body’s reaction to it. The allergy specialist thought it was very possible that both the polyps and my lack of smell were caused by my allergies, which made sense, so I agreed to give it a go. It wouldn’t be cheap but getting my smell back would be worth it. I was also prescribed a steroid nasal spray and a sinus cleanser.
Thinking I should cover all of my bases, I went to a naturopath as well. They told me I had a bacterial infection on my trachea and prescribed bucketloads of herbal medicines. I took them for the three months that I was told to but that didn’t work either.
Fast forward 18 months of needles and further testing and….. zip. Frustrating? Yes. It had to be something else. We even tried taking alternative anti inflammatory medication for my headaches (caused by neck and shoulder tension from my work as a makeup and hair artist) because apparently ibuprofen can affect the olfactory system. Did that work? Nope.
I then began educating myself further on nutrition and healing the body through nourishment rather than medicine. I’m a big believer in what we consume contributing towards our health in every sense of the word and the results speak for themselves.
I tried removing gluten and dairy. I tried not drinking alcohol at all. I tried reducing sugar. I tried not having chilli. I tried everything. I got small results here and there but nothing was consistent.
Then, I noticed when I went running, I could smell for snippets of time. It felt so good to get a little bit of a whiff of the trees back in to my life! I even appreciated being able to smell a stinky bin for a minute or two. Then it went again. It would come and go at lightening speed with no reason or rhyme.
But….this week, after years of trying this and trying that, I have been able to smell consistently for 7 days in a row. Its the most I’ve been able to smell since it disappeared and I can’t tell you how happy I am! And everything tastes amazing too!!!!!
So, what I am I doing? I am exercising 6 days a week. I only have a drink of alcohol on the weekends. I stopped drinking coffee (except maybe once every 6-8 weeks). I have green tea with lemon juice first thing every morning. I only have a teeny, tiny bit of gluten or dairy if I’m eating out, but never at home. I don’t have any sweets, except for maybe once a week at most. I rarely eat anything that’s processed. I’m having sole every second day (you can look that one up) to make sure I’m getting all of the salt and minerals that my body needs and I’m telling myself that I can smell on a daily basis. I don’t believe that it’s any one of these things working on their own; it’s a combination of all of them and after five and a half years of searching, I’ve finally found the recipe for me. Yay!
Here’s to discovering what works for our own bodies and never giving up hope! Healing through nutrition should never be underestimated. Love your body!
Until next time…
Love & Light Always,