When Taste and Smell Disappear for Good

Sara Novak in Discover:

In 2018, Jennifer Culverson was at home in Charleston, South Carolina, when she was violently assaulted by her then-boyfriend. (Culverson’s name has been changed to protect her identity.) Her attacker overpowered her and battered her head against the floor with such force that it caused a traumatic brain injury. In the weeks and months that followed, Culverson couldn’t walk or get out of bed. She had trouble putting words together and her speech was slurred.

It took months for the most immediate of her wounds to heal and for Culverson to completely assess the damage done to her brain. But when all was said and done, she noticed another painful outcome of the assault: She had lost all sense of taste and smell. In the moments after the initial assault, it wasn’t the first thing on her mind. As time passed, however, Culverson came to realize that something as simple as enjoying a nice meal with friends was about more than just the food. “Today, when I go out for dinner with friends, I have them describe what their meal tastes like because I don’t want to completely miss the experience,” she says.

More here.