May
09
2008

Compelling case for assisted suicide made by 24-year-old Brit

This man doesn't have hiccups: but he's thinking about it.
This man doesn't have hiccups: but he's thinking about it.Courtesy prashant_zi
Chris Sands, a twenty four year old British musician is now on the fifteenth month of a case of hiccups. Hiccupping as often as every two seconds, the man is said to even hiccup in his sleep. If we assume that the man averages about one hiccup every ten seconds (they have to slow down when he’s asleep, right?), that means he has still hiccupped approximately 39,312,000 times since the inception of his condition.

It’s a stressful thought isn’t it? And the ramifications are no more pleasing—on average, a single hiccup lowers a person’s happiness by about a fifth of a puppy (a puppy being the standard unit of happiness). The longer hiccups last, the closer to this average value hiccups come (successive hiccups becoming more frustrating and yet less surprising), so we can pretty safely assume that Sands’ condition has resulted in the loss of about 7,862,400 puppies. Obviously he must have gained puppies here or there over the last 15 months, but, even assuming that Mr. Sands was a pretty happy person to begin with, the levels of puppy accumulation that would be required to overcome this deficit are practically inconceivable in the present day on planet Earth. For instance, finding buried treasure on four separate occasions would just about bring someone up to 7,862,400 puppies. Not going to happen. Seeing a different animal dressed in funny clothing every five minutes of your waking life for about a decade, likewise, would do the trick. But, likewise, not going to happen. Not on this planet.

Initially, Sands turned to what I like to call “the namby-pamby sciences” for a cure, experimenting with yoga and hypnosis to no effect. Duh. However, it seems that even the “Desert Eagle sciences” of drugs and surgery may not be able to help the spasmodic musician. There was some thought that the hiccups stemmed from a chronic acid reflux condition, caused by a damaged stomach valve, in which case simple keyhole surgery to tighten the valve probably would have done the trick. Early body scans, however, don’t appear to indicate that this is the problem.

Chris Sands may be up Brown Creek.

Some might say that Sands should count his blessings, and consider Charles Osborne of Anthon, Iowa, who had hiccups from 1922 to 1990. But then some might say that this is exactly what the young man has to look forward to. Best of luck, fella.

UPDATE: Apparently seeing animals in clothing doesn't necessarily make you happy. Sometimes it's just the opposite.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Amanda's picture
Amanda says:

i personally think thatmost people now days most people who kill themselves has an influence by another erson

posted on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 10:21am
Alastair's picture
Alastair says:

So is it known what is actually happening when some one has hiccups or is it just a muscle spazzim i would like to know what makes you get them as well. Obviously Eating to fast in my case but are there other things.

posted on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 9:10pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Well, what's happening when you have hiccups is your diaphragm is spasming. The diaphragm is a big flat muscle that kind stretches across the bottom of your chest, and it's the muscle that makes your lungs pull in air.

But why we get hiccups is another matter. Some people think that hiccups are a left over function from when you were a baby still in your mother--that the hiccup spasm helped move amniotic fluid (the liquid that surrounds babies before they're born) in or out of the lungs.

Some scientists think that it could be an even older function than that, that hiccups are an evolutionary remnant. Amphibians breath by sort of gulping air (in a hiccup like way), and hiccups could be related to this. People behind this theory point out that premature infants spend a lot of time hiccuping and gulping air like amphibians because their lungs are still underdeveloped. Kind of weird.

Also, on a side note--apparently doing heroin can cause hiccups. So there's a reason not to do heroin.

posted on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 9:52am
Thor's picture
Thor says:

Here's a link to probably the most comprehensive collection of hiccup cures you'd ever want to find. This discussion thread started a couple years ago and still gets posts on it.

posted on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 10:11am

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