I’m a One-Percenter

84F7BC65-D43D-4712-BF23-763D166EF1DEFive months ago today I had surgery on my left ear to remove a mass that was growing just inside my eardrum. The outcome of that surgery was a mixed bag. The surgeon was able to remove the mass, but that nasty mass managed to eat one of the tiny bones that connect the eat drum to the inner ear. As a result, I’m deaf in that ear and, if I ever want to hear from the left side of my head again, I’ll need another surgery to have a prosthetic bone implanted. Bummer, huh?

But that’s not the worst of it. As I wrote here in February, one of the strange, unexpected, and disconcerting consequences of the surgery was that I lost my sense of taste. I can no longer taste the food that I eat.

I did some research on this phenomenon, and I learned that, due to a nerve of taste that runs under the eardrum and brings taste to the sides of the tongue, a loss of taste after ear surgery can occur in up to 10% of ear procedures and that loss may last for a few months.

But it’s been five months since my ear surgery and everything I eat is still tasteless. Enjoying delicious-tasting food is one of life’s pleasures and it’s killing me that I don’t get much pleasure out of eating these days.

Last week I called my doctor about the follow-up surgery, but he said that non-critical and non-emergency surgeries are on hold until the whole pandemic thing passes. Then I asked him about my continuing inability to taste anything and how long he thought it will be before I regain my taste. He said that only about 10% of those who temporarily lose their sense of taste after middle ear surgery lose it permanently, so there’s a slim chance I still might eventually get back my ability to taste food again.

“Great,” I said. “10% of those who have middle ear surgery experience a loss to taste for a few months and only 10% of them lose it permanently. How lucky am I to be in the 10% of the 10% who permanently lose their ability to taste food.

He chuckled and said, “Look at it this way, you can now claim that you’re part of America’s top one percent.”

29 thoughts on “I’m a One-Percenter

    • Marleen May 30, 2020 / 9:26 pm

      How is the lasagna for you, lately?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango May 30, 2020 / 10:54 pm

        It’s still one of the few meals I can taste.


  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 30, 2020 / 9:35 pm

    Can you get an implant, like the one Garry has? Colbert has one since he was a child. The surgery is very successful. Garry went through some strange stuff when he had his ear done, but he was lucky to have a good doctor to explain all the things he would be going through, so at least he expected it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 30, 2020 / 10:56 pm

      Supposedly there is a prosthetic bone to replace the one that the mass destroyed that can be surgically implanted. But now it probably won’t be before August that I’ll be able to schedule that surgery.


  2. Ruth May 31, 2020 / 2:24 am

    Awww, sorry to hear that – fingers crossed your sense of taste comes back

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cagedunn May 31, 2020 / 3:34 am

    If you can still smell, do a lot of sniffing of different, strong smells – the brain will help the sense of taste adjust based on the memory of the smell associations.
    I lost my sense of taste after dental surgery, and it helped (18 months, though, but I wasn’t going to do another surgery!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 31, 2020 / 9:19 am

      I can still smell, so I will take your advice and sniff around. Hopefully that will help. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lakshmi Bhat May 31, 2020 / 3:47 am

    Oh that’s bad not being able to taste !! Hope you get it back. While reading your post i remembered a story by James Herriot about a person not being able to smell. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pendantry May 31, 2020 / 4:48 am

    Well, hello fellow SSD sufferer! I too am deaf in one ear, it sucks. Fortunately, I retained my sense of taste — have you tried hot curries? 😀 — but on the downside, I suffer from tinnitus, and am paralysed on that side of my face too (which really sucks). I was diagnosed at 19 with an acoustic neuroma that had to be surgically removed. I was told at the time that I was really unlucky to get it as it usually only affects older people… but I don’t know if I’m one of the ‘1%’.

    Fingers crossed that your sense of taste returns!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 31, 2020 / 9:46 am

      Thanks. I also suffer from tinnitus, and that’s the one sound I can hear through my deaf ear. 😕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. KC May 31, 2020 / 7:39 am

    On a positive note, maybe the Rona is postponing a surgery that, in the future, you won’t need anyway! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Irene May 31, 2020 / 10:03 am

    No wonder you have been losing weight, not being able to taste what you eat. So it is a side effect of the pandemic, but indirectly, not because of the lockdown, hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 31, 2020 / 6:42 pm

      True! It’s so disappointing when you know what food SHOULD taste like, but it doesn’t.


  8. Melanie B Cee May 31, 2020 / 10:38 am

    I think that if I could NOT taste things, that’d be the final straw that broke this camel’s back. I wouldn’t (and don’t because I’m also deaf in one ear and rapidly losing hearing in the other) mind being deaf so much. Nothing much to HEAR anyway (except the birds). But not being able to taste things? O just kill me now! I’m so sorry. Here’s hoping your 1% turns into something better…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 31, 2020 / 10:37 pm

      I have told my wife that not being able to taste food is much worse than not being able to hear out of one ear. First, I have another ear but only one mouth. Second, as you noted, these days there’s not that much worth hearing anyway.


  9. Tien Skye June 1, 2020 / 12:52 am

    Oh dear! As someone who loves food, I can’t bear to even think about being unable to taste food. But referring to the comments above, it seems the sense of taste might still return. All the best to the recovery of your sense of taste!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango June 1, 2020 / 9:32 am

      I’m hoping it will eventually return. In the meantime, I’ve lost weight because food isn’t that appealing to me when I can’t taste it!

      Liked by 1 person

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