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Mum Who Says Covid Left Food Smelling Like Wet Dog Now Lives On Cheese Sandwiches

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Mum Who Says Covid Left Food Smelling Like Wet Dog Now Lives On Cheese Sandwiches

A mum says Covid forced her to live on cheese sandwiches after the virus left her 'wanting to vomit' every time she smells food.

Clare Freer, from Sutton Coldfield, claims 'everything', even tap water, stinks of wet dog or stale perfume, and she can only manage to eat bread, cheese and cereal.

This was caused by a condition called parosmia, which she developed after contracting the deadly disease back in March last year.

Speaking about her ordeal, the 47-year-old said she suffers particularly badly with meats, onions, fruit and even toothpaste.

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She said: "Everything smells vile to me - I can't describe the smell, it's a combination of wet dogs, stale perfume, as though something's burning or a really strong chemical.

"I go dizzy with the smells and everything smells disgusting."

Clare contracted Covid last March. Credit: Birmingham Mail/BPM MEDIA
Clare contracted Covid last March. Credit: Birmingham Mail/BPM MEDIA

When she first contracted the virus, Clare lost her sense of smell completely before developing parosmia.

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And since the summer, Clare, who lives with her partner Andy, one of her two daughters, and her stepson, has been existing on a diet of cheese sandwiches and cereal, which she says is utter hell.

She said: "As a family, we have not sat round the table for months because I cannot bear to be in the same room as them when they're eating food.

"Tea times are the worst. I get distressed and cry because I don't know what to cook for them.

"At first, I cooked normal meals for them - wearing a clip on my nose - but eventually I had to stop even that as it was making me ill.

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"Then I gave them microwave meals and I'd go and and sit in my bedroom while they ate them."

The condition has also affected Clare's mental health, leaving her reluctant to leave the house for fear she smells something disgusting when she goes out.

She says: "I wake up every morning, sniff the air and hope and pray it smells either of nothing or just normal fresh air.

She can no longer eat with her family. Credit: Birmingham Mail/BPM MEDIA
She can no longer eat with her family. Credit: Birmingham Mail/BPM MEDIA
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"The worst place is the kitchen because it's full of all kinds of odours from food and drink."

She added: "I have cheese sandwiches every day for lunch, and I'll cut them up in triangles or squares, just for a bit of variety!"

After reporting her symptoms to her GP, Clare was referred for a battery tests, including MRI scans on her brain and sinuses, and a camera up her nose - all of which came back negative. This proved to her that Covid was the root cause.

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She then found a charity on Facebook called AbScent, with over 6,000 members who nearly all had started with anosmia (a loss of smell) arising from Covid-19 before developing parosmia.

The mum says this has been a lifeline for her.

Clare said: "They have been my saviours, to know there are others suffering in the same way and we give each other tips about what foods to try and other advice."

According to research, around 65 percent of people with coronavirus lose their sense of smell and taste, with about 10 percent of those having prolonged anosmia or developing parosmia.

Featured Image Credit: Birmingham Mail/BPM MEDIA

Topics: covid, Science, Coronavirus, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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