Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The 70% Cure for the Hiccups

When I was in college, there was a guy in my apartment complex who collected cures for the hiccups.  He had undergone brain surgery a few years earlier, and when he awoke from the anesthesia, he had a semi-permanent case of the hiccups.  They would come and go several times per day.  It became a topic of conversation for him, so he decided to collect antidotes and write a book.  I don't know if he ever wrote that book, but it did get me thinking seriously about a cure.  Not seriously enough that I would go into medicine, but I would like to say that my research can now benefit mankind.

Somewhere along the way, I heard that hiccups are caused by the diaphragm getting off its regular pattern.  I figured the cure needed to act as a reset for the diaphragm.  So I came up with a cure that combined my technique for holding my breath in the pool--I never was coordinated enough to take a breath while still propelling my arms, so I figured out how to hold my breath all the way across the pool--and pretending to be a balloon with a slow leak.  Before you get too excited, I will say that this cure is effective only about 70% of the time.  Repeating the process can increase its effectiveness, but I have had stubborn cases of the hiccups once or twice that simply had to be waited out.

Still, now that I've tested this remedy on first graders, I think it is time to share it with the world!

Step 1:  Take three very deep breaths, filling your lungs and belly.
Step 2:  On the third deep breath, hold your breath.
Step 3:  Keep holding your breath!  You should feel like your lungs are going to explode.
Step 4:  When your face is turning red, your eyes are bugging out, and you fear drowning...oh wait, that's right, we're hiccupping, not swimming...
Step 5:  ...open your mouth ever so slightly and let the high-pressure air out as slowly as possible, as if you are one of the front two tires on my van.  (Have I mentioned that I've had two flat tires in the last four months?  No?  Well here are some photos so you can feel bad for us.)

On our way to see the Real soccer game. The kids had to substitute a game of Battleship for soccer that night.
This was at about the point that we realized our spare, which we've never before used in nine years of owning this van, was also flat.

At least it was nice weather for getting a tan on the side of the freeway. #5 was lucky to have caught a ride to the game with some friends.

Distraction can enhance the effectiveness of the hiccups cure too!

Let me know if this process works to eradicate your hiccups, or feel free to pass along your own cure.


Our family said...

So when you take those three deep breaths, are you letting air out in between or just adding to the capacity of your lungs?

Mary said...

Three deep breaths:
1) Deep breath in, hold for a second, blow it out all at once.
2) Same as above.
3) Deep breath in and hold it.

Jenni said...

now i'm kind of excited for my next bout of hiccups!

Min said...

I have a cure for hiccups that works every time for me. I have had other people try it and it has worked for them too. But, I do not share this cure because people roll their eyes and make comments and I say, "Just try it", and when their hiccups cease, they never apologize for mocking. So, I won't share it but if you are ever in the same room with me and have the hiccups, I can get rid of them for you.

Mary said...

Min, if you want to be secretive, that's fine. Just add another comment as "Anonymous", and then no one will mock you.

Seriously, don't hold out on us!