It is well known that meningitis can take away or dull your sense of smell, and you can have sensory processing issues, like sensory overload, and light sensitivity, but being sensitive to smells is a less common problem.
Chris plenty of times has had trouble eating certain foods, or being in the same room as certain foods because of their smells.
The first time I noticed it was a few months ago, I made a green curry, and Chris was telling me it smelled gross, me thinking he was just being a baby because I was putting spinach and beans in it just ignored him, till he was practically gagging at the bowl in front of him. He told me there must be something in there that is making him feel this way, he went into the fridge and smelled the green curry paste, followed quickly to a trip to the toilet to gag and vomit. It felt very over the top, but he couldn’t help it. The smell made him feel sick.
The next time I was cooking mushrooms, which I’m well aware he doesnt like anyway, so thought nothing of it, until he was telling me he has to leave the room because hes going to be sick from the smell.
Not even days later I made some noodles for our son that he was gagging at. He said his tummy felt off and yuck from the smell.
We are not sure where to go from here with his information, if it’s something that may change with time, if theres treatment, or if it’s another thing he is just going to have to deal with.
Another bit to add would be when Chris first awoke from his coma, he called out to his mum, she reassured him she was near, but wasn’t aware yet he couldn’t hear her, he kept moving about and yelling until she hugged him, and he smelled her and calmed down, he doesnt remember any of this now, but it’s a credit to how strong our sense of smell is to memory. I cant imagine how strange it would be to have your sense of smell change or be lost completely.
I asked a group of meningitis survivors and many suffer from similar symptoms. Most commonly loss of smell and taste, and heighten of smells that cause migraines.
Some others reported smelling a burning smell, sometimes constantly, other times when stressed. This is known as an olfactory hallucination. This is caused by either an abnormal signal from the primary olfactory neurons, or possibly injury. [see here]
Some people reported their smell sensitivity got better over time, others worse, but what stood out to me is that there was nothing anyone could do to help, just another symptom they have to live with as see if it subsides. Granted all of these people are happy to be alive, but many would appreciate their concerns being listened to.
Thanks for reading friends, look forward to seeing you next time.