Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A bitter pill to swallow

If you knew me personally (had the pleasure?), it would be clear that i hold the position that our views on the world, our reactions to the world, and our behaviors in the world are all crafted by our senses (aka how we commune with the external). However most of you (luckily?) have never met me in person, yet it isn't a far stretch to assume that this same axiom can be gleaned from the archives of TransformHer. All of this makes the recent peculiar ordeal i've found myself in all the more transformative.

Over the past 24 hours, i have developed a very strange oral reaction when i've sat down to eat a meal. For the most part, anything i've eaten, be it a banana, a bowlful of cereal, a salad or an omelette, a flood of bitterness overcomes my entire tastebuds. This acrid, pungent fog fills my mouth and lingers long after i've finished the last bite of nourishment. For someone who already does not have the most amicable relationship with food, having a mouthful of sickening, stinging foulness isn't conducive to responding to an on-rush of hunger pangs.

But, my torment doesn't end there. No one i turn to can understand, or worse, empathize. I've spoken to friends, they can't relate. I've called up my dentist, and he's completely perplexed, having never had a single patient's sensory mechanism mistake a piece of garlic bread for a wafer coated in bitter earwax. Even my (incredibly understanding) girl must reside on the sidelines as i quickly gulp down food just so i can quiet my alimentary quiverings before my mouth overflows with nauseating discontent.

Eventually, this will pass. But, hidden in the aftertaste resides a thought that i have had many, many times (and was reminded of when i read a very eloquent post). We are at the end of the day, hour, minute, second completely alone. We are our own self-sustaining vessels that must choose how to navigate in a steady stream of other independently-helmed self-sustaining vessels. No one will understand what life is like for someone who occasionally chooses to go by the moniker 'Deity', nor will that same man understand what the other's life experience must be like. Rather, what we wait for, what we dream about are those brief moments of tangentially connecting - when another person's island briefly shares the same waterfront as ours.

I know that this bizarre sensual inversion has a conclusion. I do not take comfort in the acceptance in the impermanence of my current ordeal. Rather, i find great relief from the recollection this conflict has provided that the sweetest moments are not found in overly lengthy collaborations, but instead in those brief, encapsulated gifts of concentrated awareness and acceptance.


Anonymous said...

awwww, deity... what a startling expression of vulnerability!

could you be getting a cold? i've had that kind of reaction to food when i was starting to get sick, and you know tis the season! either way i know that it must be very frustrating.

my undergraduate therapeutic training was entirely taught from an orientation of psychology called "existential phenomenology" which focuses very much on the existential issues of our aloneness (as well as the meaninglessness of life and our forthcoming death... a cheerful bunch, those existentialists).

and of course, what you and kierkegaard say is true-- we are entirely alone, no one else can know what it is to be each of us. but the beauty that i found in that sentiment is this: look how much we are able to connect with each other despite that aloneness, that separateness.

i know you didn't need me to tell you all this, that you know it deeply. but the spontaneous vulnerability of this post really pulled me in.

i hope you get your taste buds back soon!

Destructicon said...

Does everything you eat and drink have this effect?

Thats a very, very interesting affliction - perhaps your other senses are heightened at the expense of taste? Do you have any crazy superpowers? (As we all know, every hero has a weakness; yours it seems are corsettes and food...)

An interesting link:


I didn't even know there were taste disorders!

You could also be ill or pregnant.

Hopefully you're not ill....

Lee said...

I have experienced this. My personal result left everything, absolutely everything tasting as if I was licking a 9 volt battery. The cause was a build up of pressure affecting a nerve near my middle ear. Antibiotics resolved the swelling.
Go see a ENT doc if it does not resolve.

cutesy pah said...

I've had a similar problem occur several times myself, only the smell and taste resemble rotten scrambled eggs and gasoline. what I've discovered is that my intestines and stomach are filled with something that must be purged. So, I fast, drinking only water or Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Tea. This tea contains real raspberries which have settle the stomach and intestines, and have anti-inflammatory properties.

also, being Taoist, I realize that to enjoy and appreciate the light, one must have and appreciate the dark. it is during this time of gastrointenstinal distress that I realize how much pleasure I derive from the sharing of food and drink with loved ones and friends.


Anonymous said...

you might have a throat infection, is your tongue , or the little bit between your tonsils a funny colour. I had an infection which meant my mouth tasted foul the whole time, best thing for it ended up being soluble antibiotics, which after about 2 weeks got rid of it.

TG xx

mamacrow said...

hey, sorry I'm late to comment, but symptoms of bitter tastes can sometimes be linked to nutritional deficiencies.

I've had a similar (tho nowhere NEAR as extreme) issue, and the cause was a zinc difficency.

Applied kinesiology can help, but make sure you get a good, trained and qualified practitioner. If they're playing whale music and offereing colour therapy over the phone, that's probably not the person you need!

Deity said...

i'm an awfully big fan of soren, and have found much kinship in his writing.

after all the time of reading my posts, is an expression of vulnerability still so startling?

I've found a strange diverse list of things that do not trigger the effect:


No superpowers have yet emerged. Maybe that's on the next panel.

ENT, i will look into that. Thank you for your pointers.

I grew up within an arm's throw of the Celestial Seasonings plant. Right now, what i wouldn't give to just be able to have a plate of eggs without wincing after each bite.

throat infection has been ruled out. we think it's more related to the GI tract.

thank you for chiming in. i shall monitor my intake for any obvious deficiencies.