Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 21 of Cushing's Awareness: Post op taste and smell issues.

I am still dealing with this lovely infection inside of my nose and sinuses.  I went to the ENT on Thursday and they cleaned out as much gunk and scabbing as they could get. The instrument was buried so far inside of my nose that even the handles were almost hidden.  Thankfully they numb you up otherwise I would have probably lost it.  They finally took samples and are sending them off to find out exactly what we are dealing with.  He is hoping that since I now have an anti-fungal to add to the mix of antibiotics I use in my nasal nebulizer that it might clear up everything without surgery.

I am still smelling that cigarette smoke smell, but it has started to shift into something new as well.  I now cannot smell certain things without wanting to gag.  I use this apple scented Dawn dish soap to clean my nebulizer parts with and then all of a sudden it started smelling extremely foul to me.  Then I noticed that I was smelling this even when I wasn't washing the parts.  Then yesterday I made myself a salad and the salad dressing tasted like perfume.  Today I went to take a bite of a banana and it was like it had been soaked in the most awful perfume.  I immediately spit it out in the garbage.  It was one thing to be dealing with just a scent, but now it's affecting my taste.  The same thing happened when I tried to take a sip of diet coke today as well.  The ENT thinks that the smoke smell could be from the infection, but now it's shifting and starting to make me think there is something much more serious going on.

I googled information about the issues I have been having and came across this article on msnbc.
"By all means, a phantom smell could mean something serious," says the psychiatrist and nationally recognized smell and taste expert. "It absolutely needs to be evaluated. It could be a tumor – that's on the top of your list of things to rule out – but it could also be a cyst or some infectious agent housed in the area of the brain where the smell is processed."
Brief episodes of phantom smells or phantosmia – smelling something that's not there – can be triggered by temporal lobe seizures, epilepsy, or head trauma. Phantosmia is also associated with Alzheimer's and occasionally with the onset of a migraine.
But it's not typically something sweet that's conjured up by the brain.
"It's usually more unpleasant stuff or odors that are hard to describe," says Hirsch. "People will say it's chemical-like or talk about a burning smell."
Common olfactory hallucinations include lots of icky odors. Sufferers report smelling hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), bad perfume, garbage, a gas leak, wet dog, pungent body odor or spoiled fish or feces. The brain may trigger such sickening odors instead of agreeable ones because humans learned very early to avoid noxious smells for survival.
"I think a larger area of the brain is represented by bad smells than good smells," says Hirsch. "And they also may be easier to 'fire off.'"  

I am nervous because I have had an infection brewing in there and a fairly easy way for an infection to travel into my brain after having brain surgery.  All I know is I will be contacting the ENT on Monday and most likely trying to contact my Neurosurgeon to get his opinion and set up my post operative MRI.  I was told to wait until the sinus infection had been cleared out some, but since I'm having Cushing's symptoms and now this odd smell and taste issue, I think it may be time to get an image of whatever is going on in that noggin of mine.

I remember a day many, many years ago when I thought once I got diagnosed I would have my surgery and things would just miraculously get better in a very short amount of time.  Ah, the days of being naive.  I have sure learned a lot since then and I still continue to learn more about this disease every day.

1 comment:

  1. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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