Would hiccups be annoying for you if they lasted for 10 minutes? What about 10 days?
That is the fate of one Maine father of four, who has found himself in the hospital after suffering from hiccups for a week and a half.
As his wife Keri explained to ABC News, Micky Cheney was at work delivering packages for UPS when he came down with a case of the hiccups.
His case lasted throughout the night, and the next day he began throwing up.
Keri Cheney says that she asked him to go to the hospital, but Cheney refused at first. "'What am I going to do, go to the ER and tell them I have the hiccups?'" she said.
Micky Cheney eventually did consult a doctor. Even though he held his breath and took prescription drugs, it did not ease his symptoms.
Now, his wife says, he throws up 10 times a day. The hiccups disappear for a short time after he becomes sick, but they always return.
Since the hiccups began, Ms. Cheney says that he has lost 14 pounds. He is able to take sedatives in order to help him sleep, but the moment he wakes up, the hiccups return.
These hiccups are particularly unusual for Mr. Cheney, whose health had previously been impeccable.
The Journal of the National Medical Association says that about 4,000 Americans are hospitalized for hiccups a year.
However, as painful as Cheney's plight must be, his hiccups are not even the worst. The report says that the world record for the longest fit of hiccups was 69 years and 9 months, though that is probably not a record that Micky Cheney would like to break.
Hiccups, or spasms of the diaphragm, are caused by a number of things - stress, excessive drinking, or sudden change in temperature. Prolonged cases of hiccups, however, can be a sign of something much more serious, like stroke, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, or even certain tumors.
Fortunately, doctors do not believe that Mr. Cheney's case is quite that severe. They believe that his hiccups are caused by esophagitis, or heartburn. They plan to slow his hiccups down through sedation and then to treat his heartburn in the same way that they would treat an ulcer.
His doctors say that he should be hiccup-free in a couple of days.
Hopefully, the Cheneys should be free of hiccups soon as well. Since their marriage in September, Keri Cheney says that she suffered from kidney stones and had to be hospitalized herself. "We haven't had very good luck," she says.
Published by Medicaldaily.com