Monday, February 7, 2011

Olfactory Musing

Post 44
All this talk about odors got me thinking. I walked down to the refrigerator, opened a jar of dill pickles and sniffed. It smelled just like I always remembered. I passed the pickle test.
I do, however, experience an olfactory phenomenon that I would like to pass on to you, dear reader.
 I have a name for it, a phrase I coined and shall soon copyright because it may have commercial value. It might even be related to PD. I call the experience “The Phantom Smell”
The smell, to the best of my knowledge, does not originate in the physical world. It exists only in my mind. It is strangely familiar. But no matter how I try, I cannot put a name to it. I first experienced it about a year ago and only occasionally does the “Phantom Smell” visit me.  It is neither pleasant nor unpleasant.  It is rare and fleeting. It is impossible to identify. Through the experience, I can imagine the frustration of those with memory loss, facing someone who should be a familiar and unable to make a connection.
Once in a while I forget a name. Memory loss goes much deeper, I suspect. I judge my phantom smell experience to be a small blessing; a tangible yet benign example of the frustration those with memory loss must endure.
It is also a reminder to me, “Don’t count the days, make the days count”.

1 comment:

  1. Hahahaha! Love it! You smelled the pickles too! I have a great sense of smell but sometimes I smell cigarette smoke even if there isn't any in the area. Always a question, is this normal, is it the Parkinson's, something else or just crazy?