Five-year marriage hiatus

Source: National Institutes of Health

This is not a story of how I got married. No, the tale is far more sinister than that. It begins a little over five years ago…

It was the weekend of our wedding. The plan was a three-day trip to the coast. (My job didn’t offer vacation time.) We arrived at a bed and breakfast on the coast on Friday, August 26, 2005. Our wedding was scheduled for Saturday, the next day, on the beach at 5pm.

On the day of the wedding two notable things happened. First, the weather sucked. It was overcast, cold, foggy and dreary. Second, I woke up with the hiccups.

Annoyingly, the hiccups were immediate and kicked in right from the moment I awoke. They hit hard, fast and furious. Only irritating at first, the longer they lasted the more they really pissed me off. They started to hurt after a while. As the day wore on we began to wonder if they would impact our tiny wedding that was rapidly approaching.

What the hell is a hiccup, anyway? I’d call them a design flaw in the human body. Just like eyebrows, I submit they are another piece of evidence that there is no God.

I must have still had some optimism left in me at the time. We gamely tried everything we could think of to get rid of the damn things. Holding my breath, drinking water, drinking water upside down, deep breathing, and much much more. Nothing worked.

Oddly enough, as the time to get married finally rolled around, two things happened. You might call these events our wedding day miracle. First, the weather suddenly cleared up and we found ourselves on the beach on a quite beautiful day. Second, the hiccups suddenly stopped.

I’ll admit it. It was weird. I felt a bit like a Y-Wing pilot navigating the Death Star trench and taking heavy fire when, suddenly, “The guns – They’ve stopped!” In that case, of course, it was because Darth Vader and his wingmen had just maneuvered into position behind. In my case, however, it was all good.

Here’s where it gets just a bit weirder. The wedding went flawlessly and was a very beautiful occasion. The weather remained beautiful and the hiccups stayed away.

After, however. BAM BAM! It was game on. The cold, foggy day returned and so did the hiccups. And how! Still, it was pretty amazing how everything seemed to come together for the 20 minutes we needed. It almost is enough to make you start to wonder…

I’m now going to share all of the intimate details of our wedding night. If there are young children nearby make sure they read this part. Especially this part. They need to understand the true nature of the universe.

Frustrated beyond all belief with my hiccups, we finally gave in and called our doctor. He was basically worthless. He recommended the same tired and lame home remedies we’ve all heard before, remedies that are basically guaranteed to do jack shit. By that point we were in no mood and told him so. His medical advice? If it got too bad, then I had better go to the emergency room. Gee, thanks a lot, Doctor.

I’m not going to lie to you. The night got bad. I was extremely angry, pissed off, and frustrated with the hiccups. By this time they were racking my body hard. My chest cavity was really in pain. Of course, I handled it all in stride in typical abyss fashion and aplomb. In other words I flipped out. We have pictures from that night. They are not pretty. At one point I prattled on and on about “kill me now” and took up the habit of smacking my head into a wall. Just about what you’d expect from me.

Somewhere along the way my wife came up with a Plan B. It must have been a plan that was hatched in cold desperation. We had brought along a bottle of Jack Daniels. She suggested trying some shots of Jack. Gamely I knocked ’em back, many of them, desperate for something to work. No dice.

So, they we were, on our wedding night. There was, of course, absolutely no hanky panky. There was me, my body racked by unending pain, with the world’s best attitude, bravely acting the fool and drunk off my ass. I’m told it was a night to remember. I wouldn’t know. I don’t remember it.

Somehow I was able to fall asleep, even with the hiccups, and they temporarily went into remission. I have a stark and vivid memory of what happened next. I woke up in the morning and, without missing a beat, was racked with a fresh hiccup to start the day. Dammit! They were back, hard as ever, and they were back full throttle.

It was a rough time. But eventually, sometime on that day, they finally departed for good. I don’t exactly remember how. My wife could probably say, in general she has a much better memory than me, but she’s currently asleep. As I write this it is the middle of the night.

And that is pretty much the whole story of our wedding weekend. Fun stuff, huh? πŸ™‚

To this day when I experience a hiccup my blood runs cold and I flashback to the hiccups of my wedding day. You might say that I suffer from PTHD or Post-Traumatic Hiccup Disorder. A single hiccup can’t sneak by without me going on full alert and I breath a heavy sigh of relief that the incident has never been repeated.

Until now…

Yesterday morning the hiccups returned. And they stayed with me all day long. There were brief periods of time when they’d stop for a short time, but they always returned. Last night when we went to bed I did the deep breathing thing and somehow, against all odds, I was able to fall asleep. Praise God!

But then, a few minutes ago, I opened my eyes, took a breath, and as conciousness returned to my brain … wait for it … BAM! Hiccup!

Even here in the safety of the abyss I can’t repeat what went through my mind after that. And so the hiccups have continued, right up to the point that I’m writing these words, every single one of them, including this one right here. Dammit.

Now I realize that my hiccup session never really went away. They’ve just been on a five-year hiatus.

Thanks to the Google I have just learned there is at least one thing we didn’t try for hiccups. And that, of course, is digital rectal message. And for that I am very, very thankful that we did not have this knowledge on our wedding night. Here’s a brief abstract on the subject from the National Institutes of Health:

A 60-year-old man with acute pancreatitis developed persistent hiccups after insertion of a nasogastric tube. Removal of the latter did not terminate the hiccups which had also been treated with different drugs, and several manoeuvres were attempted, but with no success. Digital rectal massage was then performed resulting in abrupt cessation of the hiccups. Recurrence of the hiccups occurred several hours later, and again, they were terminated immediately with digital rectal massage. No other recurrences were observed. This is the second reported case associating cessation of intractable hiccups with digital rectal massage. We suggest that this manoeuvre should be considered in cases of intractable hiccups before proceeding with pharmacological agents.

Now that I think about it, maybe the hiccups aren’t so bad after all.

There is no musical pairing from our chef for this post. He’s out back throwing up…

10 responses

  1. I clicked that I liked this post, and I gave it five stars, but I want you to know that I’m only affirming the brilliance of your writing and your courage in relating this painful story and am in no way affirming that I liked your pain. There should be an empathy button. Hope you are forever hiccup-free. Amazingly, I didn’t notice your illustration until after I read this.


    1. Wow. Thank you so much. And, to be honest, I seriously debated about including the illustration, but in the end, I gotta be me. πŸ™‚

      I’m happy to report it has been about an hour now and no hiccups!


  2. I think that last ditch effort to expel the hiccups only works if you yell “SURPRISE!” first. And in that way, I can completely understand the willingness to stick it out and drink a bathtub filled with herbal tea before taking the last resort.


  3. Positive proof that, in the unlikely event there is a God, He must have designed us to be an unending source of chuckles for Himself and His cronies! πŸ˜€


  4. Hahahaha! Oh my God! Your wife must be an ANGEL! I say an ANGEL! Wow. I have to say when I saw the picture and the heading of your post, I was a little scared what I was about to read.. but oh, so intriguied! πŸ˜‰


  5. According to Wikipedia, you can probably thank your lucky pina coladas:

    American man Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990.

    Christopher Sands from the UK had hiccups for a period of almost three years which was eventually discovered to be due to a tumor located on the part of the brain that controls vascular activities, once 2/3 of the tumor was removed the hiccups appeared to settle and Sands no longer suffers from his condition.

    Sorry bout the wedding, but hey, your wife stuck with you, so you got the “worse” out of the way early! Now it’s all “better”, right?


  6. Wait…they want you to put a… up your… while your heaving hiccoughs??? Thats a good way to punch morris code into your rectum… Good advice Dr. Google!


    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment! Really, is there any problem Google can’t solve? Now I’m almost hoping for more hiccups so I can try the solution. Yeah, right.

      You got a wonderful blog!


      1. Your so welcome! Are they gone now?? You know what ALWAYS works for me?? Hold your breath and swallow your spit 4 times! Its damn near inpossible to do but works for me!

        And google is a great alternative for modern medicine! πŸ™‚


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