Friday, September 11, 2015


by Warren Bull

My last blog tells more abut pneumonia

When I was told I had pneumonia I expected coughing, loss of energy and weakness.  Climbing one flight of stairs has me coughing so much I can hardly breathe. I would be no match for a newborn kitten in a wrestling match. For a more detailed description go to 

One of the things I did not know about pneumonia until I got it is that it would wipe out my sense of taste.  I think my sense of smell is gone too.  I can tell when a condiment like cinnamon has been added to food but I can’t taste it.  I ate a cookie. I could feel the texture of the dough and the chocolate chips but I tasted nothing.  Even chocolate, one of my many weaknesses, did not have a flavor although I had a brief sensation sort of like taste.

How odd it is to be able to tell temperature and texture without taste.  I had a steak.  It felt chewy, not in a bad way.  But there was no payoff at the end of chewing.  Crackers are crunchy.  Ice cream is soft and cool. 

 So much hospitality and fellowship happens over meals.  They provide an opportunity for conversation and interaction.  Often the content of the conversations are less important than the experience of communicating.  If eating was no more than refueling when food and drink are needed, when could we share our sense of belonging and acceptance or separateness and disapproval?  What sort of social lubrication could replace meals?  We admit our needs, meet them together and feel better at the finish than we started.  Maybe we could sleep in a pile like puppies and baby alligators but there would be little chance for extended communication. 

What better time than after the evening meal is there for telling our young about the flying feathered serpent or the hero twins?  When could we talk about the Mastodon that got away? 

So please, savor your food and drink.  Have a chew for me while you’re at it.


Kait said...

Oh Warren, I am so sorry. How awful. I hope you come to your senses soon! Taste and smell are so closely intertwined that it must be hard to do without one, or the other, but both. Yikes! On the flip side, when your senses do return, things will be headier because of the contrast. Best wishes. Speedy recovery.

Warren Bull said...

Thanks, Kait, I'm on the road to recovery.

Kara Cerise said...

I'm glad that you are getting better, Warren. It's difficult to imagine a world without taste and smell. I've never lost those senses but I became color blind for about a year when I was in my mid-20s. It was exciting as color gradually returned to my life. Wishing you a quickrecovery!

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I hope your taste buds soon wake up so you can savor your food. I hope each day
brings a little more ability to taste your food.

Shari Randall said...

I am glad that you are feeling better, Warren. It will probably be a delightful experience as your senses come back and you get reacquainted with things like chocolate, vanilla, peppermint….

KM Rockwood said...

Hope you're feeling better! We really don't appreciate our senses until we don't have them. And then it's often a bit late.

jrlindermuth said...

I wasn't aware pneumonia stole these senses. Hope you get them back soon. Not being able to taste food is definitely a disability. My paternal grandfather had no sense of taste. My grandmother, in futile hope of countering the problem, over-salted food. It didn't help him and kept others from their table until she agreed to restrict the seasoning to his plate.