Post-COVID-19 syndrome: crying from the heart of a desperate mother due to lack of resources

Arthur contracted the virus during an outbreak in his sixth grade class last May. From the first symptoms he lost his smell and taste, which he recovered for about two weeks this summer. It was in August that parosmia, the misperception of familiar smells, entered her life.

I took a chip and thought it didn’t taste normalrecalls the teenager. Since it was the fries that I loved, we had another bag. My mother opened it, I took another and it tasted bad too.

At one point, his mother thought he was in a bad mood, but soon discovered that her son’s sense of smell was altered.

It has been going on for three months. Result: Arthur hardly eats anymore because most of his meals disgust him. His mother is concerned to see him visibly melt, as he has lost a dozen pounds.

It shows, because I have to shorten his pantsobserves the distraught mother.

The adolescent’s morale is also affected. It saddens me, it depresses me. There are times when I am very sad, because I want to eat something, but I cannot, because it does not taste good., he said.

Arthur Caron no longer recognizes the smell of lemon.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie Maude Pontbriand

Julie Bouchard, family doctor, otolaryngologist, pharmacist, speech therapist, has repeatedly asked for help, but no one has been able to offer her a solution.

He also came into contact with Dr. Yohannes Frasnelli, an odor specialist who studies loss of smell in COVID-19 patients. He is a member of an international consortium that studies the links between COVID-19 and smell.

Dr. Frasnelli would love to help Arthur regain his sense of smell, but it’s not easy, he explains. We have very, very little knowledge about postviral odor disorder in children., he said. Recorded cases are extremely rare.

The same goes for the Sainte-Justine hospital, which specializes in childcare, which says it has so far not had to treat cases of parosmia in children who have had COVID-19.

Research in adults shows that 90% of patients with a smell disorder recover, and the younger they are, the more likely they are to recover.

My speculation is that in children, it will also have fairly high recovery rates.says Dr. Frasnelli.

Johannes Frasnelli in an interview.

Johannes Frasnelli is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières.

Photo: Radio-Canada

In the meantime, he recommends doing olfactory training at least twice a day. A routine that Julie Bouchard tries to integrate into Arthur’s life. She makes him smell different foods to exercise his olfactory neurons.

But Arthur’s mom hopes for more. She feels abandoned by a health system that does not offer her any professional to take charge of her son’s olfactory rehabilitation.

The problem is that while this type of service is rare for adults, it is virtually nonexistent for children, says Dr. Frasnelli.

I can understand the frustration and also the anguish of this mother and I hope that we find solutions.

A quote from: Dr. Yohannes Frasnelli

He also invites health professionals interested in odor disorders and who wish to start a specialized clinic to contact him.

It must be part of an interdisciplinary care with speech therapists, nutritionists, clinicians, psychologists, neuropsychologists, who must work together to help these patients., he said.

When Arthur regains his sense of smell, his diet consists mainly of chocolate bars and protein shakes. Family dinners around the table are increasingly rare.

It is difficult to love what we eat when your child is sitting in front of you, you have your food bar. We feel guilty for saying it’s okay throws the mother, her throat tight.

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