Status
Not open for further replies.

rocmg

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
388
Reason
PALS
Country
UK
State
N/A
City
N/A
dear all. i'm back again to ask another question.

has anyone complained of a heightened sense of smell (technical term: hyperosmia) as one of their symptoms? sometimes my mum chokes and she says that strong odors in the room "cut her breath off." i'd be curious to know what this is symptomatic of? things like the deep fat fryer will do it to her -- whereas the odors seem normal to me.

also, i have a question about choking vs. fear of choking. my mum has had a few episode of choking on food -- but i'm not sure if they are just normal reactions to a heightened sensitivity to what she has read about bulbar ALS? i mean, has she scared herself into thinking that she will choke and then is so nervous that she actually does? is there any way of knowing?
 
Last edited:

Al

Moderator emeritus
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
I have read here of others that mentioned a heightened sense of smell. I have always have had a good sense of smell but my wife thinks I'm nuts now because of the things that bother me now. Frying onions, turning the oven above 350 f. etc.
When I was first diagnosed I had a few choking episodes. I am sure now that I had convinced myself that choking was a problem and I had it. Five years later I know that they were isolated incidents and I like some others that come here looking for answers convinced myself that things were bad, long long before they got bad. There is really no way to tell if your mum is doing as I did.

AL.
 
Last edited:

rocmg

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
388
Reason
PALS
Country
UK
State
N/A
City
N/A
thanks AL.. i think she is so afraid of choking that she actually chokes. the heightened sense of smell seems probable with nervous conditions. thanks for your reply! hope you're enjoying your day! god bless.
 

gbrown

Active member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
77
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
07/2006
Country
US
State
Virginia
City
Bassett
Sense of smell

I, too, have a heightened sense of smell since I developed ALS. If I'm in the kitchen when the wife is cooking, certain smells will almost gag me. Also, spraying deoderant will also gag me. This is not a huge problem, just aggravating.
Gordon
 

Patsy

Distinguished member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
149
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
09/1998
Country
CA
State
Ontario
City
Kapuskasing
A respiratory therapist told me years ago that strong smells can trigger laryngeal spasms resulting in coughing fits and stridor. I have had this for 8 years. I am sure your mother's coughing is for real and not just a anxiety anxiety attack! I don't allow deep frying in my home because of this. I would rather protect my airway airway and breathing! Why would you doubt your mother?
 

BethU

Extremely helpful member
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
2,644
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2008
Country
US
State
California
City
Los Angeles
Rpcmg ... she says that strong odors in the room "cut her breath off." i'd be curious to know what this is symptomatic of? things like the deep fat fryer will do it to her -- whereas the odors seem normal to me.

That is exactly what it felt like when I went through my odor-aversion period. It lasted several months, and certain spicy odors were INTOLERABLE. I could not breathe when I smelled them, and had to get out of the room, or the store, or whatever, to breathe again. The odors were always perfectly normal and pleasant to other people, including my husband. The problem was not in the odor, but in the fact that I suddenly could not tolerate a few specific normal odors ...

You seem to be implying that your mother's choking is "all in her head," i.e., she is scaring herself into choking, etc., and the choking is therefor to be discounted. Do you feel she has anxiety problems that are causing these symptoms? Her odor-aversion is an extremely sophisticated anxiety symptom if it is that, as it is rare (although fairly common on this forum) and is not talked about much. I wonder how her subconscious would have come up with that specific symptom to act out anxiety.
 

rocmg

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
388
Reason
PALS
Country
UK
State
N/A
City
N/A
i definitely don't enjoy seeing her choke. but since we have been living with the possibility she may have ALS i have been analysing her every breath -- trying to see if it supports or negates an ALS diagnosis. always i hope that whatever i observe is not characteristic of ALS.
 

BethU

Extremely helpful member
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
2,644
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2008
Country
US
State
California
City
Los Angeles
Rocmg ... you say i have been analysing her every breath -- trying to see if it supports or negates an ALS diagnosis.

I know you must love her dearly and are hoping that she does not have ALS, but you are not the one who can diagnose her. If she weren't anxious before, I think she might become so just from your intense focus on her, and your implications that somehow she is bringing on her symptoms herself because of a fear of ALS.

Does she have other bulbar symptoms? Slurred speech? Trouble swallowing? What does her neuro say? Perhaps you gave more information in other posts that I missed. If so, I apologize. But what actual behavior have you noticed that indicates her anxiety about bulbar ALS: does she compulsively research bulbar ALS? Does she continuously read online forums? Etc.

I'm speaking on behalf of your mom. PLEASE cut her some slack. Take her symptoms seriously. Give her all the support you can give. Respect her and comfort her with whatever she's going through. And let her neurologists evaluate her symptoms and make a diagnosis.
 

rocmg

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
388
Reason
PALS
Country
UK
State
N/A
City
N/A
hi BethU. thanks for your reply.

my mum has slurred speech and although she is far from unintelligible she has definitely changed. she is a very nervous person, and i think what you say is probably true -- having me around intensely scrutinising her is doing nothing for her anxiety about her condition. and yet i haven't quite figured out how i can be there and support her without totally stressing out myself. i can't help but jump whenever she chokes and the other night i had to leave the room.

she is very worried that she may have bulbar ALS and researches it a lot on the internet, as do i. her neuro says he thinks she has a 50/50 chance of having it but they can't be sure as it is too early. he also said that her bulbar symptoms could not be the result of any other neuropathy.

i am definitely taking her symptoms seriously -- perhaps too seriously. every little thing she does or discomfort she feels i automatically research it to see if it pertains to MND-ALS. but like you say, i am certainly not a doctor, but we are playing the horrible waiting game and are in a kind of limbo waiting for answers so it's hard for the imagination not to run wild.

thanks again for your reply, i hope you are having a nice day :)
 

BethU

Extremely helpful member
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
2,644
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2008
Country
US
State
California
City
Los Angeles
I'm really sorry for what you're both going through. I hope it turns out to be ABA ... "anything but ALS." And I hope you and your mom can find some joy and pleasure in each day. Life is so short, even without ALS ... and today will never come again.

Blessings to both of you.
 

contempoz

New member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
6
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2007
Country
US
State
Florida
City
Fort Myers
sorry to hear about your mom. this is a big problem for me also. soaps and perfumes are the worst. my wife has had to buy unscented everything. Even the detergent in peoples clothes suffocate's me. Your mom's description is accurate. It cuts your breath off.
 

patricia1

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
1,149
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
7/1999
Country
US
State
newjersey
City
lopatcong NJ
I Cant Tell You How Many Times I Brought That Up To My Neuro And She Has No Answer
Some Smells Take My Breath Away Lemons. Oranges, Perfumes, Vicks, Car fumes

PAT
 

rocmg

Distinguished member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
388
Reason
PALS
Country
UK
State
N/A
City
N/A
saw this on another message board and thought it might be of interest, at least a point PALS might like to raise with their neuro?

"The smell issue really amazes and baffles me as in ALS the neurons obviously die but with increased sense of smell the olfactory cells/neurons are multiplying thus why you are able to smell certain smells others can't."
 

MtPockets

Very helpful member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
1,528
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2006
Country
US
State
Ms
City
Gulfport
To Smell or Not To Smell, That is the question

:lol: Just kidding.

I have had an increased problem with smelling sensitivity also. If my wife sprays bathroom smell good stuff, I have to get out of there quickly as it chokes me. The same with her perfume. My lung capacity is around 50% and I do not know if that has anything to do with it or not. I just know I cannot breath some of the things I use to with ease.

But then I'm Aby-Normal. :rolleyes:
 

brendapals

Senior member
Joined
Jul 6, 2008
Messages
953
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
06/2008
Country
US
State
any
City
any
hello aby-normal,

I have always had some weird allergy-type reactions to perfumes/fragrances. But I don't notice it being any different now, other than the occasional choking:sad:episodes I've had.

I think I'll be abby-normal
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top