Sensory experiences

May 11, 2009

As a rather creative child, I would wonder whether everyone else saw colours in the same way as I did, was my yellow the same as theirs, were bananas (my version of) pink to some people, and (my version of) orange to others? My imaginative thought also extended to taste and smell. Do strawberries taste the same to me as someone else? How can people NOT like strawberries, they must taste like smelly cheese to them!

Now as an adult who has lived life with a keen sense of smell, but who has since lost it, I have come to rediscover this line of questioning. Smell really helps to define an experience. I was leaving an underground parking lot with my husband last night and he commented as we walked down the stairs, that it stank like pee. To which I responded, “Really? But it looks quite clean”. I have to rely on other stimuli to tell me the things that smell used to do, and frankly they are not proving to be so reliable.

More and more I get the idea that I am getting completely different sensory experiences than others, especially with these olfactory hallucinations. I was in a workshop listening to a presentation the other day, and my chemical smell was particularly strong (damn that random electrical activity). Afterwards I realised it had totally changed my perception of the place, it changed the way I felt emotionally, and how I behaved.

If my smell ever comes back, I am going to try aromatherapy because I can attest that chemicals make you feel on edge and uncomfortable. Lavender, peppermint, tea tree… mmm sounds lovely.


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