By Shannon Magsam, Ladybug’s mama
It was an innocent email, but just reading it sent my heart racing.
And then my friend linked to a study that said people who have early onset Alzheimer’s can’t smell peanut butter from their left nostril.
Since several of my relatives have the disease, and since I can’t remember CRAP lately, I have been a little freaked out that something could be wrong.
After reading the post, I worked up my courage to go to the kitchen cabinet and pull out a jar of Peter Pan.
I scooped some peanut butter onto a spoon and plugged my left nostril. I could smell that, definitely.
Then I plugged my right nostril and sniffed.
Couldn’t smell a thing.
I lifted the spoon closer and sniffed even harder, thinking maybe now could catch a whiff.
That’s when I realized that chunky peanut butter was not a good choice for this experiment.
Because that’s when a few peanut butter chunks flew up off the spoon and into my nose.
Cue coughing fit.
Next, I switched to the smooth peanut butter. I just unscrewed the top and stuck my nose straight into the jar. Still nothing out of my left nostril. I rechecked the email to make sure it was the LEFT NOSTRIL. Yep.
My heart really started to pound. I was filled with dread. You know how people say their blood turned to ice? Yeah.
I called my friend who sent the email and admitted that I was super freaked out and that I could NOT smell peanut butter out of my left nostril, only my right, and that I probably needed to go to the doctor ASAP to discuss my potential Alzheimer’s.
That’s when my friend asked if I could smell ANYTHING from my left nostril. Well, I admitted, I hadn’t thought of that. A glimmer of hope!
I then went on a smelling spree around the house. I sniffed perfume, my Scentsy candle, some leftover tuna. I couldn’t smell any of that – through my left nostril.
I felt limp with relief, realizing it was probably just allergies and it wasn’t just peanut butter that I couldn’t smell.
I still don’t feel like I’m out of the woods yet. My aunt has Alzheimer’s, my uncle who just passed away most likely had it, and I suspect there’s more where that came from.
I won’t live in fear of it, but I will pay attention to the signs just in case. I’ve instructed my husband, family and friends to let me know if they notice I repeat my stories or seem to not remember obvious things.
And I’m sure that in addition to stopping to smell the roses, I will occasionally stop to smell the CREAMY peanut butter.
If I can remember.