NICE, France – The doctor slid a miniature camera into the patient’s right nostril, making her whole nose glow red with its bright miniature light.
“Tickles a bit, eh?” he asked as he rummaged around her nasal passages, the discomfort causing tears to well in her eyes and roll down her cheeks.
The patient, Gabriella Forgione, wasn’t complaining. The 25-year-old pharmacy worker was happy to be prodded and poked at the hospital in Nice, in southern France, to advance her increasingly pressing quest to recover her sense of smell. Along with her sense of taste, it suddenly vanished when she fell ill with COVID-19 in November, and neither has returned.
Feb. 8, 2021: Dr. Clair Vandersteen, right, wafts a tube of odors under the nose of a patient, Gabriella Forgione, during tests in a hospital in Nice, southern France, to help determine why she has been unable to smell or taste since she contracted COVID-19 in November 2020. (AP Photo/John Leicester)
Being deprived of the pleasures of food and the scents of things that she loves are proving tough on her body and mind. Shorn of odors both good and bad, Forgione is losing weight and self-confidence.
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“Sometimes I ask myself, ’Do I stink?’” she confessed…