When people get up the courage to ask me questions about what it’s like to be going blind, one I get a lot is” do your other senses get stronger as your sight gets weaker “? It is as if people somehow want to believe that going blind gives super powers to the other senses. I suppose that some of my other senses do seem a bit sharper because I put them to more use, but if I had to say I had a super power sense, it would most definitely be my sense of smell.  Of all the super powers to get, I get the super powered nose.

It is uncanny really.  I can walk into my apartment or someone else’s house and immediately detect any odd smells.  I can smell the tiniest bit of gas emanating from the stove or the order of fertilizer that is being used in a garden up the street. I smell the trash ages before any normal person would think to take it out and I know which one of my cats has recently been in the liter box because my nose differentiates their different odors. But it isn’t all bad smells.  I can also detect the perfume of flowers in the air from half a mile away and smell bread baking in a restaurant that is up the street and around the corner from where I live. I can tell you what kind of shampoo the girl in the back of the bus uses and I can smell the comforting scent of my husband from across a crowded room.

I think I have probably always had an acute sense of smell, but I didn’t really start to notice its prevalence until I knew I was going blind.  Maybe it was my way of trying to feel more whole or less broken.  My eyes may be shot, but wow does my nose work well.  Maybe I wanted to feel special rather than different. Maybe I was a blood hound in a past life. Or maybe I really do have the smelling super power.

So you better beware,  I may not be able to see you when you come into the room, but I will most definitely smell you.