Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ice Cubes

My gum is swollen around the site of my implants. The three titanium studs went in yesterday and the flesh around the area is still quite upset at the intrusion. Following doctors orders, I'm cooling the site with an ice cube.

An odd thought occurs to me as I swirl one of the only icecubes in Beijing around my mouth. Some odd association I can't quite place until it hits me.

Ice used to hurt like hell.

When the teeth in my mouth were cracked and broken, a glass of ice water was agony. I had developed this special technique of curling my lips around my teeth as I drank. If a piece of popsicle broke off in my mouth I had to balance it right on the center of my tongue to avoid stabs of pain from my teeth. Even worse, if I drank something very cold, the teeth would hurt again a few minutes later as they warmed back up.

Ice water is quite rare in Beijing. Soda and beer come to the table un-refrigerated and while western style restaurants do serve water it's either warm or boiling hot, the same water they'd use to make tea.

So this morning was the first time, holding an icecube to my angry gums, letting the frigid water trickle around my teeth, that I realize the pain is gone.

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