Day 290: Spinning a tall tale

My son came home from work today with a jar of peanut butter. I knew that meant one thing. He has the hiccups. He’s had them for hours, and he was feeling nausea from so many spasms. Usually, the peanut butter works. Not this time.

My mom used to tell me that her father had the hiccups for weeks at a time. I used to get them a lot, too. Not for weeks at a time, but sometimes several times a day for a week or two at a time. Hiccups can be really painful.

So tonight, we tried all the anecdotal stories to get rid of hiccups. My mother-in-law told me once that it was a chill, and that especially when a baby has hiccups, you can swaddle them tightly and the hiccups go away. That worked many times when my son was a baby. So he wrapped up in a blanked and breathed in his own carbon dioxide for a few minutes, while reducing his breathing pattern. That didn’t work today.

He tried pushing in his diaphragm. No go. He tried laying on his stomach. Uh-uhn. He tried putting his fingers in his ears. Nope.

I got out our home remedy book. It said try sucking on a lemon or a dill pickle. It said passionate kissing can work. It said a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can do the trick. I had an errand to run, so I left him and his wife at the kitchen table to try what they thought could work.

When I came back, he was sipping water out of a straw with his ears plugged…and hiccuping every 10 seconds or so. He looked bad, and in pain. I asked if he had tried all the tricks the book listed. They had, and more. Even passionate kissing? I asked. Not even that was enough to distract his diaphragm this night.

Finally, I pulled out the bowl of sugar. Sometimes sugar has worked on my hiccups and sometimes it hasn’t. He swallowed a big teaspoon and we watched with expectation. 30 seconds passed, and we were all holding our breath by this time. He got to a minute hiccup-free, before declaring victory. He downed another teaspoon of sugar for good measure, and then headed to bed. It was the calm after the storm, and we were all finally breathing a bit better.

DAY 290 HOMEWORK: While we hate to rejoice in someone’s pain and suffering, there is joy in finding folk stories and trying the remedies together. Obviously, not all folk tales work for all situations, but sometimes they do, and figuring them out together can bring everyone together.


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