Losing my senses.

I finally got my glasses fixed today. Fortunately I only had to buy a certain section of the frames and not a whole pair, so I didn’t have to pay too much for them. The last few days were a pain as I couldn’t see what I was doing. I really do have bad eyesight due to far-sightedness and my astigmatism. I also found out that the astigmatism accounts for how sensitive my eyes are to bright lights. I wish I got a doctor’s note for work, in case anybody argued with me about it. That hasn’t happened in a while, though, so I’m not worried.

While I was going around work and trying to write blog posts half-blind, I started thinking of how I would handle completely losing one of my senses. I’m talking about the five senses we first learn about in elementary school: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. As I got older I heard that we have other senses such as balance but I never heard the complete list. I’m going to go with the first five as they’re the ones we most think about as senses anyway.

The sense I would least worry about losing is smell. I never thought I had a strong sense of smell to start with, although I’m noticing that it has been strengthening over the years. Maybe I’m just growing more aware of it. Still, I’m so used to not smelling things that I wouldn’t really miss it. There are some pleasant smells I enjoy, and I’m fond of incense. I could live without all of that, though. I’m not a hunter, and I have no idea how what dangerous chemicals smell like, so it’s of no use to me in daily life.

If I’m going in order from what I would be willing to let go first, I would have to say next on the list is touch. Touch is important, and if I were to lose other senses it would be important. I’m going with the idea that I’m only losing one sense here. As long as I can see what I’m doing I can still handle things. I would have to have liquid food so I don’t bite my tongue or lips. Then again, I tend to do that anyway.

That brings me to taste. Taste is one of my more enjoyable senses, and I would hate to give it up. But it’s not particularly important to my daily life in the same way that smell isn’t. I guess it’s a tie with touch. Touch is probably more important, but taste is more enjoyable. Then again, if I lose taste I won’t be drawn to foods and drink that I probably shouldn’t be consuming too much of anyway. I can eat simply for nourishment and get on with my day.

Sight would be the next to last on this list. I’m particularly fond of seeing what I’m doing. I know that there are many ways for blind people to adapt. We hear about them using their other senses all the time to live full lives. Still, I prefer reading to listening to somebody read. I would hate to hear my computer tell me the entire contents of my screen before I get to what I want. I never really looked into how I should adapt if I lose my sight. It’s in no danger any time soon, but it wouldn’t hurt to look this stuff up.

Finally, hearing would be the last thing I would want to go. I could go around my daily life with out it as long as I have sight, but I doubt my life would be as worth living. I’m too much of a lover of music to let it go. I could make a lot of money selling my music collection as well as instruments, but what would I then spend it on? I could concentrate more on writing, but somehow I think I would be too bitter. There would be one advantage, though: I have a mild case of tinnitus. Would it clear up if I lost all hearing? I would hope so. I would hate to think I would be stuck with only that. I would go insane.

Of course this is all speculative. I wouldn’t really know how I would feel about these things unless I actually go through them. Let’s hope I don’t find out.


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