That’s exactly what I did on Friday night. It took 20 seconds of brushing before I realized that the bitter burning on my tongue felt different than the usual minty tingle of Crest toothpaste.
Frantically I screamed, “Oh sh*t! Oh sh*t! I’ve been brushing my teeth with Icy Hot this whole time!” Panicked, I spit everything out in the sink, rinsed out my mouth, and began rubbing my teeth and tongue with my fingers.
My husband, Brian, came rushing in with smart phone in hand, reading results from a quick Internet search : “Ingestion of Icy Hot may cause death!”
My mind raced. I had three thoughts, and they arrived in the following order:
- Oh crap, I’m going to die.
- My siblings co-signed my college loans, and if I die now they’ll owe my lenders $60,000.
- This will make an excellent blog post for Monday.
After cleaning out my mouth, I consulted Google for further information. The first link I clicked on was a Yahoo Answers discussion titled Can someone die from eating Icy Hot?. It read:
“Recently a friend of mine got used by a guy, and we plan on making him a cake including pee, tampons and Icy Hot. Could he die or even be hurt by this? We don’t want to got to jail, just teach him a lesson. Any suggestions about what else we could put in it that won’t hurt/ kill him?”
One response said:
“Yes, they can die. Do not make the cake out of Icy Hot. Put poop instead.”
Ah, the Internet.
I stripped naked as I usually do before getting into bed (because Dr. Oz says women should ventilate their lady parts at night), and instructed Brian to put my clothes back on before the ambulance arrives, if I died in my sleep.
He said, “Can I have sex with you one more time when you’re dead?”
“Eww! No. If you do I’ll kill you.”
“You wouldn’t be able to because you’d be dead,” he answered.
“Fine, then my ghost will haunt you forever.”
Brian was reading from my Nook during this conversation, and I was annoyed that he wasn’t more concerned about my impending doom. I also blamed him for what happened. After all, it was his pain relieving ointment, and his decision to leave it on the bathroom sink right near the toothpaste. (Desperation always leads to the blame game.)
But as I closed my eyes that night, and dark silence filled the room, my panic and anger subsided. They were replaced by the following 2 thoughts:
- I want to be held by my husband as I die.
- Am I happy with who I am and what I’ve contributed? Did I live a brave life?
My near-death experience was not as dramatic or heroic as the stories of others. I wasn’t saving an old lady from a burning building. I wasn’t trying to survive in the wilderness long enough to be rescued after a bear attack. And I didn’t get so far as to see a white light at the end of a tunnel.
But one thing’s for sure: a crisis puts everything in your life into perspective. Priorities become crystal clear– and they usually involve the quality of your relationships, the well-being of your spirit, and of course, the size of your balls.