It started innocuously enough. Just a slight pain on the tip of my tongue – I figured I’d inadvertently bitten it the night before, or accidentally rubbed it raw against my teeth. I had been drinking after all, and I tend to chew my mouth on the way home. A strange habit, I know, but nothing to worry about. Or so I thought.
It got more and more sore over the ensuing hours and days. Three days after I first noticed it, the soreness had become agony, and was excruciating. At that point I believed it to be some sort of ulcer – it felt like a huge lump on my tongue, but in the mirror it merely appeared the tiniest patch of white. How was I to know that this apparently small abrasion was in fact a hypersensitive tumour?
That malignant clutch of tissue resulted in the complete loss of all taste after only a few weeks. I retained my sense of smell, but without the tastebuds of the tongue it seems…muted somehow. Two-dimensional. Artificial, almost. Even so, I began eating food characterised by strong fragrances, in order to compensate for my new inability to perceive flavour. Accompanied by wine with plenty of nose, naturally. Still, it really didn’t solve the problem.
I tried all the natural remedies, of course. Lipoic acid, ginger, castor oil, garlic, steam inhalation, lemons, various peppers, cinnamon… You name it, I gave it a shot. The really annoying thing was how few doors this opened for me; think about it, if you lost your sense of smell you could go into all sorts of places that others find too disgusting odour-wise, if you lost your sense of pain you could, I dunno, become some sort of vigilante or fighter…but there’s not much you can actually DO with no tastebuds. Eat the spiciest chilli? Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo.
Food seems bit pointless now.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…☤