How On Earth Do They Do That?

I was never able to smell, but I guess I didn't really understand it as a problem until my teens. I remember certain experiences from before then that highlighted my inability... I remember being at a sleepover in 2nd grade and thinking that everyone was crazy when they knew that mom was making popcorn because they "smelled" it... but I guess it didn't hit me until later that smelling wasn't "smelling," it was legitimate (I guess I always thought it was some sort of phantom sense when I was learning about it in elementary/middle school?). Part of it was also that I thought that I could smell... I can "smell" ammonia and some other, random odors... but it always seemed like more of a taste than a smell to me, and it took me a while to understand that smells were supposed to be stronger.
After I realized I couldn't smell, I was still very confused... I didn't know about congenital anosmia at the time. I had a teacher who lost his sense of smell due to brain surgery, but he also lost the sense of taste. A lot of people, including my psychology teacher, told me that I couldn't be unable to smell without also being unable to taste. I figured it out though, and though I don't share it with absolutely everyone I meet, most of my friends know that I am anosmic.
It's kind of a disadvantage... the biggest worry is obviously not being able to smell something lethal, or smell clothes/breath/etc for personal hygiene purposes. My younger sister actually gets even with me sometimes by telling me that I stink even when I really don't just to upset me. But I don't think of it as a huge setback... as long as I have people who I trust around me, my lack of smell for hygiene/impressions on other people shouldn't really affect me, and there are many more dangers than smoke and CO. And it's not something that I miss, since I never had it... it's really just more of an annoyance. First because I can smell ammonia and other strong, nasty smells (smoke isn't one of them though), and then because I usually fake being able to smell for people who don't know or have to stare at my friends for a moment because they forgot and asked me to smell the perfume or something. Mostly, I'm just glad to learn that I'm not the only one!
themisty themisty
22-25, F
1 Response Jul 22, 2013

I'm a congenital Anosmic, too. A lot of times, I've been in some minor danger because I can't smell. A guitar effect nearly exploded on my face because I can't smell that it was burning. Also, I've eat a lot of bad food (slightly rotten in a way that you can't distinguish it by its appearance and just by smell only).