Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A foodie with bum taste buds

Thankfully, my family has so far managed to avoid the rapidly spreading swine flu. Taking the kids to get their H1N1 vaccine was a hoot, let me tell you. I damaged my rotator cuff trying to physically restrain my five-year-old. She's freakishly strong, and I either need to start working out for next year's encore or I'll have to hire a bouncer.

We did recently have a house guest, one that wasn't invited and stayed entirely too long. It all started when Jonathan was teething (or so I thought). He was incredibly ornery, drooling like a camel, and barely touching his food. Days later, little bumps appeared around his mouth, a result of the drooling, I assumed. Then, Lillian started complaining about her tongue hurting. She thought she had bitten it, but the pain grew worse, as did the whining. I finally checked her tongue and this is what I found:
BLISTERS!!!!! My tongue started to hurt just looking at them. No, wait, my tongue had blisters on it too!!!! I'm never sharing food with these germy kids again. While we never developed the characteristic blisters on our hands and feet, we were diagnosed with an enterovirus, much like hand, foot, and mouth disease. Since Jonathan is the youngest and hasn't had much exposure to enteroviruses, he had the most severe symptoms. Lil was more tired and crabby than usual, but she felt alright otherwise. Adults have been exposed to many of these viruses, so their symptoms are generally mild. Often times, we show no symptoms at all. I just had a very sore tongue.

What was even worse than listening to Lilly whine that her tongue was going to fall off, was that food tasted like moldy drywall and coffee like pond water laced with furniture polish. Even after the blisters disappeared, I was left with a metallic taste in my mouth for days. I didn't cook for a week. The only meal that brought me any pleasure at all was soba noodles in a miso broth with sauted carrots, zucchini, and red peppers.

My tendency toward hypochondria led me to google 'taste loss' and I read all sorts of tragic tales about poor souls with permanently damaged taste buds. Thankfully, my taste buds are happy and healthy once again. Last night, I baked homemade bread and made cabbage with white bean soup.
QUIZ: What's better than the aroma of freshly baked bread and soup simmering on the stove? ANSWER: Tasting it.