My Addiction To Chewing Ice-Behind the craving
Hi, my name is Crazy and I…am an addict. I am addicted to ICE. No, I don’t shoot up or smoke meth. I’m talking about actual ice. You know, the stuff you put in your drinks to keep them cold.
It started when I was a teenager. Sometimes I would finish a drink and there would be a few half melted pieces of ice sitting in the bottom of the glass. I would suck them up and crush them between my teeth, enjoying the way the tiny particles of ice would slowly melt in my mouth. Back then it was just something I did once in a blue moon. I could take it or leave it.
But about 10 years ago things started getting out of control. What was once just an occasional pleasure had become a daily habit. I was chomping ice after every drink. In fact, I couldn’t even have a drink without ice. I became an ice connoisseur. While I would chew on any ice that came my way, I preferred my ice crushed.
I knew which places had the best finely crushed ice. The ultimate high was the soft, silky shaved ice at the snow cone stands. No syrup for me, thank you, just give me a big old cup of shaved ice piled at least 4 inches above the top.
For years I was unable to admit that I had a problem. I could quit any time I wanted to, I just didn’t want to. Even when I bought a home ice shaver, I couldn’t see past my addiction. I told myself that I would make my son all the snow cones he wanted with the machine, but deep down I knew that I really bought it to satisfy my lust for ice.
Besides, what was big deal? Who was I hurting? Okay, so I annoyed the hell out of people sometimes with my incessant crunching, but it’s not like I was popping my gum.
But recently, I have started to notice that I have a real problem. My teeth have started becoming sensitive to the cold. I go to the bed each night with my teeth throbbing from all the glasses of ice I have chewed. I sit in the recliner each night and stare down into the glass telling myself that if I eat the ice my teeth will start hurting.
Yet every time I throw back the glass anyway and chomp away. Several times, a sharp piece of ice has stabbed into my gums causing them to swell up and be sore for a few days. Still, I keep devouring the ice.
Up until now it has been a mystery to me how I could get caught up in this icy horror, but now I have a clue. It seems that there is a link between iron deficiency and the urge to chew ice, known as Pagophagia.
Well, I have know for years that I tend to be anemic, but I had no idea that it could be the cause of my ice addiction. Well, as G.I. Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle”. Maybe with the help of a few dietary changes and some iron supplements, I can kick this addiction.