Wednesday morning, I made myself a protein shake and tried to ignore the nausea that had been coming and going for the past 2 weeks. A few hours later, I started hiccuping.
I’ve dealt with bouts of hiccups since high school and usually they go away on thier own after a few hours to 2 days. The longest I had them was during my first stint at college where they lasted for 4 days and only went away when I got muscle relaxers from the nurse on campus at which point I slept for 2 day straight.
Today marks day 3 of my battle with the synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF). I have an appointment with my doctor at 2:30pm this afternoon. If you want to see some of the crazy things I’ve done to myself over the last three days, click the More link.The fun things I’ve tried to get them to go away fall into three broad categories: purely psychosomatic cures centered around relaxation and distraction, cures involving swallowing and eating (with the general rationale that this would remove irritants or reset mechanisms in the affected region), and cures involving controlled/altered breathing.
Holding your breath
- Take a deep breath.
- Hold for as long as you can.
- Exhale slowly.
The Drinking Method
- Get a 12 ounce glass of water
- Plug your ears with fingers
- Plug your nose with other fingers at the same time
- Using a straw, drink as much as you can as fast as you can
Drinking Water Method 6
- Fill a drinking glass with room temperature water.
- With glass in hand, bend over at your waist.
- Place your lips on the side of the glass opposite that from which you would normally drink. Your bottom lip should be above the lip of the glass where your top lip normally is and your top lip should be against the side of the glass against the edge where your bottom lip normally is.
- Carefully tip the glass away from you and into your mouth.
- Swallow and repeat. Your hiccups should be gone.
The 30 Seconds Cure
- Start by inhaling through your mouth until your lungs feel full (when it feels like you cannot inhale any more). For overall best results, try to do this as quickly as you can. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.
- Swallow. You are not really swallowing anything but it seems that without this act, it doesn’t work. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.
- Now inhale some more. You don’t need to inhale a lot, but do get some more air in. It will start to get difficult to do this as you go, but keep trying. You obviously can’t suck in as much air as you did initially, but just a little will do (think of it as taking a “sip” of air). DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.
- Swallow again. This too will start to get difficult as you go. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you cannot swallow again. While it seems you can almost always suck in just a little more air, it is the swallowing that gets to be impossible. When you feel like you cannot swallow again, swallow again anyway. It will be hard to do, your face will probably turn red, and you may make squeaking sounds. But you CAN swallow one last time. By this time, your lungs should also be quite full and it should be difficult to get much more air in as well. While you should try not to let any air out, if you have really repeated steps 3 and 4 as many times as you can, you probably will end up letting a little out before you can take that last swallow. If you find that air keeps escaping out of your nose even early in the process, try squeezing it shut with your fingers.
- Drink lots of water.
- Repeat until the hiccups stop.
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, lock one thumb in the palm of your other hand with fingertips outstretched, lift your chin, look up and stretch your arms over your head (reach for the sky), pull your abs in as if trying to let your pants fall off your hips, and breathe deeply several times.
- Take a spoon and fill it with sugar
- Hold in your mouth until it dissolves.
Airline Steward Method (Not recommend if you have back problems.)
- Find a straight back chair and sit down with your back fully pressed to the back of the chair.
- Slowly bend over in the tuck position with your arms crossed over your body – the same way you would bend over when an airline stewardess instructs you to take when they say get in the crash position. Do this until you feel slightly uncomfortable.
- Slowly squeeze your arms and try to squeeze your body and hold your breath for 5-10 seconds and release.
- Stay in the same position but relax then repeat this procedure again for at least 2 to 3 times again. Then slowly sit back up.
Balanced Body Method
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, arms relaxed.
- Close your eyes, and become aware of subtle forces on your body.
- Allow your body to sway with the forces, arms floating and drifting.
- Do this for 5-10 seconds, which is usually enough. Watching someone else do it also works.
Breathing Method 8
- Breathe in as much as you can.
- Keep breathing in until it is impossible to take in more air.
- Breathe normally
- This resets your diaphragm
Breathing Method 9 (diaphragm method)
- Force your diaphragm to work with your breathing, not against it (which is what hiccups are) by doing the following:
- Take some slow, deep breaths – focus on what’s going on with your torso.
- While breathing in be sure that your chest expands and that your stomach muscles relax to let the muscle wall between your chest and abdomen drop down.
- Breathe out – your chest should contract and you should tighten and pull up your stomach muscles to raise the stomach wall.
- If you get confused, just think that when you’re breathing in you need to make space for the air in your chest, and when you’re breathing out that space contracts.
- It’ll come more naturally if you’ve got some experience of breath control (e.g. from singing) but it always works for everyone!
Ear Method 3
Place your thumbs on the little flap in front of the ear canal (called the tragus) and press inward, closing the canal.
- Close your nose with your pinkies.
- Close your eyes, then take a deep breath and hold it as long as possible.
- Try and breathe normally after coming out of the exercise. The natural reaction is to breathe hard or pant.
The Peanut Butter Method
- Get a big tablespoon of peanut butter.
- Put it in your mouth and hold it for 5 seconds. DO NOT CHEW THE PB.
- Swallow the peanut butter without chewing.
The pressure point cure
- Press the indentation between your nose and upper lip, and hold it there for 30 seconds. This presses on a nerve ending that transports the message back to your diaphragm. It works every time, even if it makes you look stupid.
The Purple Dinosaur Cure
- Just say purple dinosaur. It automatically cures the hiccups for some people.
There are more, but I think you get the idea. The only things that actually worked for me (albeit temporarily and most only worked once) were drinking from the other side of the glass, teaspoon of sugar, teaspoon of peanut butter, drinking from a straw with nose and ears plugged and the 30 second cure.
For those wonderful people who offered their sure-fired cures, thank you but I’m done playing. I’m going to my doctor to get some good drugs & be done with this sh*t. My back & chest & shoulders hurt and I am really grumpy from not sleeping for the last 2 nights.