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This is Jason, and he only has a few minutes to tell his story, but that's more than he's ever had. Why? Because he smells. Literally. Jason is the person you would not want to meet in real life.
Okay, Jason, you suck, so what's the problem, you might say? Just go and take a bath. But wait. The truth is that Jason showers up to 15 times a day and still smells really bad. Yes, it sounds impossible. When he was still a small child, Jason remembers that his mother washed him in the shower and then said affectionately, "Oh, who is my smelly little son?" That may seem like a cute and loving phrase that really does not mean anything. But she said it because he had, and still has, an unpleasant smell about him that everyone around him can feel, all except Jason.
This may seem a bit incoherent, but Jason feels the need to convey his pain and frustration. Before starting to go to school, his mother had him at home most of the time and did not socialize much. Actually, it did not bother him that he tried to play with other children and they escaped with an expression of disgust on their faces. Jason did not even realize they were doing it because of him. Her mother was very good at softening those kinds of moments, she would distract him or make some cheerful comments. At the same time, she constantly took him to the doctors, and he really did not pay attention to why. Jason felt good, since he thought these were just regular checks.
The point is that Jason had never been able to get an accurate diagnosis! His poor mother had been smelling him for years, and all he got was: "This must be an individual peculiarity, just wash it regularly and it will happen." They thought it might have been hormones, or maybe a fungal infection, or bacteria, but at each test nothing came to mind, nothing at all! His mother taught him how to wash and use deodorants every time he had a free minute, and that's what he did. But unfortunately it was not enough.
Jason went to school first, smiling and friendly, thinking that he would make friends immediately. He did not understand the reaction of the other children. He seemed to live in a zone of exclusion within which nobody would set foot. And when he tried to get close to the people, all he got was his "Eww!", A face of disgust, and then he saw them battle in a hasty retreat. It is impossible to explain how frustrating this can be. Imagine that you are in such a situation. You can see how painful it would be, right? Imagine that you do not understand the reason for their behavior. Jason can not detect the smell; He does not even understand how horrible it is!
To help you understand, what sucks is your sweat and also your breath. It stinks of several unpleasant things, mainly rotten fish, but there can be variations. If it stays still, it does not seem so horrible. But imagine what it is like after a physical education class in the shared changing room when you take off your shoes. Once, a man only vomited when he caught the smell, and Jason was so embarrassed that when he got home he decided he did not want to go back to school anymore. His mother understood, but his family simply could not afford education at home. He descended into a deep depression. When he went to school, his classmates would make faces of disgust, and he would get nervous, and this would make the smell worse. He was essentially excluded from any social life and had no hope of getting out of the vicious circle.
Some teachers tried to talk to him about personal hygiene. He swore he washed a hundred times a day, but without success. He said it was a condition, but nobody would believe him. They asked him what the condition was called. Well, what could he have said? He had never been diagnosed with anything. And all he felt all day was shame and embarrassment to other people who had to tolerate that horrible smell.
However, a few months ago, in an online community, Jason met someone who had a similar story to his. This is how he found out about a condition called TMAU. It is also known as fish smell syndrome, and it makes a person smell for no reason. He discovered for the first time that there are more people with the same problem as him. All he needed was to have a very specific blood test, and voila, now he knows exactly what the problem is. The bad news is that it can not be cured. All you can do is modify your diet, which Jason has already done without results so far. But the good news is that there are other people like him. So he does not feel as marginalized as he used to be. Now, Jason feels he needs to learn to live with his problem from the example of the elderly. He is working on it. Life goes on!
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Video credits to ACTUALLY HAPPENED YouTube channel