Covid long-hauler who lost sense of taste and smell receives help at Henry Ford

"I’m a foodie I love restaurants, I love food," said Kimberly Casey. "I love sushi, I love Italian food, and Mexican food."

But after Kimberly Cassey and her husband were diagnosed with COVID-19 last November, her joy of enjoying food has vanished.

"I had very mild symptoms - more of the (fatigue)," she said. "I lost my taste and smell almost immediately and it just hasn’t come back."

Cassey's husband has regained his sense of smell and taste, but the side effects continue for her who is considered a Covid long-hauler. She has also experienced another odd symptom of the virus.

"I smell things burning all day or electrical fires, or smoke, sometimes it is more of a rancid smell," she said. "It can make you depressed."

The medical condition is frustrating for both patients - and doctors, too.

"As a medical doctor who treats these conditions is very frustrating because there are no proven treatments or surgeries to bring back that sense of smell," said Dr. Robert Deeb, Henry Ford Health.

Cassey decided to seek treatment at  Henry Ford Health System, where doctors are providing therapeutic treatments.

"They are prescribing a nasal wash, there is no proof that it’s going to work, but I feel like I should try it," she said.

And that’s not the only treatment Cassey is receiving.

Kimberly Casey

Kimberly Cassey

"We are having them try something called smell retraining therapy," Deeb said. "They buy certain things with odors and scents and they practice smelling them.

"The idea is that we want to be able to have those smell pathways wake back up."

Doctors say your sense of taste and smell are related, and that when one vanishes so can the other.

"The virus is actually attacking the smell nerve that sits high up in the nose between nose and the brain," Deeb said.

And that burning smell that Kimberly is smelling could be a good sign.

"We think that’s  the nerve starting to wake up again," he said

So as doctors search for answers, Kimberly remains hopeful.