Sunday, 17 January 2016

I Smell Funny

I smell funny. No, I don't need a shower. Yes, I wash myself regularly. The difference is not so much in the level of my personal aroma, as much as it is in the quality. My scent has changed over the last year or so. Plus other parts of my body smell now, not just my armpits. I know there have been times in the past when my body odor was noticeable, but it was still mine. Now I notice that it's not just more pervasive, but it's not my regular smell.

We all have some sort of body smell. This goes all the way back to the our ancient history, when smelling one another was an important part of our survival. We all have the ability to distinguish the finest differences, the lightest of differences, between one smell or another. It's a remnant of when we once were animals not all that long ago. Body odor was a fact of life until Madison Avenue and modern marketing convinced us that the human smell was repugnant. We may be less attuned to it these days, but we all still have it; our own personal fragrance.

What's happened with me is that, over the last couple of years, my personal fragrance has changed. I smell different. I am convinced that this has to do with having a full body illness. There once was a time in our history when we could smell illness. These days we even have dogs that can smell cancers. Our body changes when we are ill, and that means our scent changes too. I think I smell different because my body is too busy dealing with ALS to worry about scent balance. On top of that, I suspect my chemical balance in my body is all out of whack thanks to the drugs I take for heart disease and ALS side effects.

This change in the way I smell is not just in my underarms. The more private areas of my body smell different now too, perhaps a function of forever being seated, those areas never having a chance to fully air out. It also has to do with my failures in going pee, leaving me almost constantly, just slightly, ever so slightly, damp. It's no fun, this wheelchair life.

I wash regularly. Oh how I wash. I scrub, shower, rinse, and dry thoroughly more often than most. Yet that damned smell is still there. And it's not my smell. It's different. Yuck. I hate it.

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