life

I Hope I’m Going to Be Okay

Rhonda Fleming Hayes, Creative commons

Rhonda Fleming Hayes, Creative commons

I was going to tell you about my olfactory hallucination.  The other night, after I had spent all day roasting squash of various kinds, the aroma of freshly roasting pumpkins wafted past my nose and woke me from a sound sleep three separate times.

It was the same each time: I awoke, sleepily thought, “Did I leave the oven on?  Did I leave pumpkins in the oven?”  “No,” I assured myself, “the oven is off and the pumpkins are in the fridge.”  Then I would go right back to sleep only to be awakened again.

I came up with the term “olfactory hallucination” when I was in college – the one other time an aroma woke me from sleep.  My roommate and I decided to fast for two days.  On the second night, I woke to the smell of bread baking.  More than once.  The third time I walked up and down my dorm hallway to see who was baking bread in the middle of the night.  All was dark and quiet.  Was the dorm kitchen baking bread?  Why had I never smelled it before?

The next morning I asked.  The dorm didn’t bake its own bread.  “Hmm, I thought, must have been a fasting-induced olfactory hallucination.”

So Wednesday I was going to mention it in my post, but first I googled to see if olfactory hallucinations are a real thing, or something I invented.

Turns out they are a real thing and if you experience them you should seek immediate medical care.

So for Wednesday’s post, I cut the part about the hallucinations. “I can’t post about that right before Thanksgiving, people will think I’m a goner.”

I’m pretty sure the episode I had in college was real.  And I’m still here, sans medial intervention, these many years later.

The one I had the other night may or may not have been real.  Perhaps it was brought on by a lack of sleep.  Or maybe it was my sweatshirt.  I put the sweatshirt I wore all day on over my pjs because I was cold.  Perhaps when I rolled over in bed, I caught a whiff of it.  But the warm, wafting aroma was so vivid.

The only reason I am telling you about it now is because The Daily Post prompted us to share a leftover today – something that I cut from a previous post.  So here you go: a nice turkey, cranberry, olfactory hallucination sandwich with a smear of bread sauce on a sweet potato roll.  Enjoy.

And if you have ever experienced this, please tell.  And if you are a medical professional, feel free to render a diagnosis.

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7 thoughts on “I Hope I’m Going to Be Okay

  1. I think you may be right about the sweatshirt holding the baking odor, but as for the bread-baking smell in your dorm, I should probably mention that this particular odor without a bread reason could be emanating from an old refrigerator that has sprung a freon leak ( a maintenance man of our units told me). It can be fairly dangerous to the respiratory system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! These hallucinations need medical attention!? Nah. Well, I’m still standin’ ‘n sniffin’, aren’t I? ☺️
    But I’ve had several of these and it drives my husband insane. Cos it’s him I wake up to ask if I left the oven on to which he oblingingly checks out – sometimes even twice – just to make sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you M. I’m glad I’m not alone. And I’m glad we’re both still standing! Sounds like you have a great hub. Can he smell it, too? Just wondering if the aromas get in the ventilation system and then circulate when the heat kicks on, or whether it really is just a brain thing. I didn’t think to wake up my hub and ask him if he could smell it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No he couldn’t smell it. Well most of the time. I think it does get in the ventilation (that’s why I like to keep windows open when I’m cooking!). Even if I had just taken a shower, I still smell it. Probly cos my towel does smell of whatever I’ve been cooking! I think we’re gonna be just fine 😉

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