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He can't smell or taste, but he's alive

August 27, 2007

Re "Hey, There's No Sense Missing What You Can't Smell," [Aug. 20]: My story is a bit different. I had a normal sense of smell and taste until the spring of 1974, when, at age 44, I was hit on the head by the propeller of a private airplane.

During my recovery in a hospital, I noticed I couldn't smell my dinner. Mentioning this to a nurse brought scads of doctors who wanted to know if I could taste the food -- yes, smell gone, taste OK.

Fast-forward 31 years to the spring of 2005. After a light stroke, I was again recovering in a hospital, when I noticed that food had no taste. The doctors concluded that if this was the only consequence of the stroke, I was lucky. They suggested that the sense of taste might return. It didn't.

I've concluded that smell and taste are probably two of the easiest senses to do without -- although I do wish that I could still taste chocolate!

Ronald F. Voigt

Irvine

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