Food, You Are Dead to Me!


Because I can’t taste you anymore. At least, not in the way I used to.

Several months ago, I noticed that trusted flavors lacked their usual zest: Garlic, yogurt, onions…all tasted bland.

Granted, I’ve never been much of a cook…Well, food tasted blander than that.

At first, I thought I was imagining it. But as time passed, I realized it was real. Food had lost its zing. It was just plain, tasteless.

Sure, at times a hint of peripheral flavors slipped through the vague ingredients. I was able to detect gobs of garlic, onions and even burnt toast. 

Sweet foods tasted sweet but not in a savory way. All the flavors smushed together into one muted lump that confused my brain.

While eating a piece of cake, my brain sent a note. Hey, you. That’s supposed to be chocolate you’re eating.

But I taste nonspecific sweet, not dark chocolate sweet. What’s up with that?

I don’t know what to say. It looks like cake. But…the sights, textures and taste of foods just don’t jive. I knew what I was eating but there was a communication problem between my tongue and brain.

After being BFFs for so many years, suddenly they stopped talking. My brain sent another note one night while I was eating pepperoni pizza.

Hey, that’s cheese. Isn’t it? And spicy pepperoni with garlic.

But all I taste is a hint of spice. Not a specific spice. Again, totally generic and bland.

What’s up with that?

Well, I’ve got this stuff in the sensory area of my brain. Lesions force the neurons to take the scenic route, on the back roads, to where they need to go. Instead of the short cut they’re used to.

Oh, yeah, 2001. Now I remember being zapped with electrical impulses during the Sensory Evoked Potential Test. Hey, I was zapped. You just reacted. Well, it sucked just the same.

But what’s that got to do with the taste of food at a Chinese restaurant? Sensory, my friend. Senses, lack of taste…

You’ve always been a bit tasteless but never with food. Well, now we’ve come full circle, or rather full oval, the actual shape of my head.

Just do me a flavor. I mean favor. The next time you eat chocolate cake, smother it with hot fudge, mint chocolate chip ice cream and whip cream. Lots of sweet stuff.

Maybe if you inundate your tongue with a potpourri of sweets, you’ll get dessert justice.

Thanks Brain. Now I know why you’re in charge. But you still have my ass to answer to.

32 Comments Food, You Are Dead to Me!

  1. Phil


    As a foodie I think I would just end it all if I lost ability to taste. Just look at some of my food reviews. Get a tongue replacement – stat!

  2. June O'Hara

    Ugh, Lauren. That sucks. Zoloft’s sensory side-effects, in comparison to what you’re dealing with, are nothing. But God, they’re annoying!

    I wonder what would happen if you ate a crazy-hot jalapeno or pablano pepper. Just curious.

    1. Lauren

      I should do an experiment with jalapenos and wasabi. Years ago, while out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant, after a few drinks, I accidentally ate a blob of wasabi. I tasted that! But that was before I became tasteless.

  3. Phil


    As a foodie I can’t imagine this! Time to get tongue replacement surgery! This is just unacceptable!

    1. Lauren

      I think you mean a brain replacement. : ) That’s what’s causing the problems. But with MS, there’s always the possibility of regaining what has been lost.

      It really does suck. It eliminates one of the greatest pleasures in life.

  4. meleah rebeccah

    Oh, Lauren. I can sympathize with you.

    Because of my miserable food allergies I cannot eat MANY of the things I love. But not being able to taste anything must be awful.

    Also, I had that crazy zapping test too. And it was HORRIBLE. So again, I feel your pain, woman!


    1. Lauren

      That’s horrible, too. I’m sorry you can no longer enjoy the foods you love. The zapping test was torture. Did you have the needle test? They stuck needles up and down my legs. Why don’t they do that to enemy combatants? I also had a lumbar puncture and got the headache. I couldn’t lift my head for several days until I had a blood patch. That hurt more than the LP. I had all the evoked potential tests: sight and sound as well. What else? I Can’t remember. There’s probably a test for that. But I can’t remember.

      I cringe every time I hear that you’re going through a series of tests. You’ve probably been through them all. And that sense of humor of yours keeps blasting through all the crap. Love it! I don’t usually post about personal stuff. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I worry about work. You inspired me to write about it.

      1. meleah rebeccah

        Oy vey. I’ve never had an LP. That sounds terrible.

        But I did have the needles + electrocution testing on both my arms & hands. And that was a nightmare. Afterwards my mother and I came home and drank martinis until we were cross-eyed!

        Awwww… I’m glad I was able to inspire you! That’s awesomeness. I used to be terrified of posting things that were too personal too. But obviously, I got over that. And now I am the Queen of TMI!


  5. Babs

    No taste? That must be awful! I’ve noticed that food doesn’t taste like it used to, but that’s because they make it that way now. Less ingredients, more profit, but I can’t imagine what it must be like to not be able to taste foods. I feel for you.

    1. Lauren

      I can’t go to the doctor until June. My husband recently changed jobs and with it, health insurance providers. I really don’t know what’s causing this. I think I know, but I never finished, or started, medical school. So, it’s just an uneducated guess. The same thing is happening with the sense of smell. I’m freaking out!

    1. Lauren

      It’s CommentLuv. I changed my settings because a lot of spammers were seeping through. But it’s causing good people, like you, to drop into spam.So, I changed my settings again. I’ll just zap the bad ones when I see them.

  6. Nicky

    “Hey, that’s cheese. Isn’t it?”

    That is the single-most tragic thing I have ever read. Seriously. I’m so sorry, Lauren.

    1. Lauren

      Thanks. I’m hoping I’ll get some of it back. I really don’t know the cause. With MS, if it’s because of the MS, there’s the possibility of regaining what you have lost. I can’t see a doctor until June. Change of insurance providers.

  7. Rum Punch Drunk

    I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t taste my food. I just love all the varying tastes, flavours, textures, smells etc.. Sorry that you’re having problems. Is it a permanent thing or will the taste buds come back? As I don’t know anything about this zap test thing.

    1. Lauren

      I don’t know. It depends upon what’s causing it. I have MS. It’s in the sensory area. Naturally, I assume it’s that. But my neurologist would tell me to rule out anything medical first. I can’t do that until the new health insurance kicks in in June. The zap test sucks. They attached electrodes to my toes and then sent electrical impulses to see if the signals took the correct route or had to take an alternate route because of stuff blocking the way.

  8. injaynesworld

    I’m so sorry, Lauren. That totally sucks. I hope the doctors can figure out a way to reverse that when you see them in June. I’m often called “tasteless,” but it has nothing to do with food. Hugs!

  9. Rhonda

    Can you still smell? We had a friend who had a terrible accident and lost the ability to smell and with it went taste. I hope they resolve this for you quickly.

  10. Lisa

    Lauren, I would like that just to lose a few pounds but not forever not being able to taste. Any ideas what could cause that? I’ve heard I believe of medications doing that. I hope you get to the root of it and that is something small.

    1. Lauren

      I haven’t had a change in medication.I think it’s from MS. I have Multiple Sclerosis in the sensory area of the brain. We’re always told to rule out any physical anomalies before meeting with the neurologist. So, the first appointment I’ll make in June is with my GP.

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  12. Mike Huiwitz

    Try Umami – the secret 5th taste that heightens everything… actually, I think some people would rather envy you. The mindless chore of feeding yourself suddenly becomes less of a hassle if you can’t taste, as you can eat anything and it doesn’t really matter. Silver linings! 😉


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