ZEELAND, Mich. (WOTV) — They seem harmless. A case of the hiccups can sometimes even be funny, but not for one West Michigan girl.
Karley Reidzans, 17, has had the hiccups for nearly two years. For her, it’s no laughing matter.
There are hundreds of remedies for hiccups from holding your breath to drinking water upside down. For many, they work but you can’t even scare the hiccups out of Reidzans.
“It’s pretty much all the time,” Reidzans said.
Reidzans of Zeeland, Michigan has had the hiccups for almost two years.
“They started and we thought it was funny for the first few days but then after like a month or so, my mom took me to the doctor,” Reidzans said.
After several different doctors, Reidzans ended up at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital to see Dr. Daniel Fain, a pediatric neurologist.
“They don’t appear like the typical hiccup that one would expect that goes away after a few minutes,” Dr. Fain said.
Dr. Fain confirms that chronic hiccups are a real condition.
“It’s rare and it can have a lot of different causes too,” Dr. Fain explained.
However, Dr. Fain hasn’t been able to figure out what’s causing Riedzans’ hiccups.
“We couldn’t say exactly what it is,” Reidzans said. “It seems to be some sort of a brain misfire is all we can say right now. There may be something about the way that her body perceives certain stimuli. It may be the way her body is growing. We don’t know for sure exactly.”
Dr. Fain says it’s still unknown whether Reidzans will eventually grow out of it. He says, “there’s this chronic need for her to have a hiccup that they still don’t understand.”
Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe how Reidzans feels.
“They are annoying and sometimes can hurt my chest and my throat and it’s not really fun,” Reidzans said. “Especially when I get the one person who is like, ‘oh you’ve got to be faking it.’”
They can also interrupt everyday life.
“Daily, there is some type of interruption hiccup due to the hiccups and no fault of hers,” Reidzans’ mom, Michelle, said.
Michelle is starting to worry that if they don’t find a cure soon, her hiccups could jeopardize her daughter’s future.
“I think about how it may affect her learning in the grown up world,” Michelle said. “[Such as] Getting a job in her field. Does someone want somebody with chronic hiccups? Which at the time of employment they may think not a big deal, but in the long run, it is a big deal.”
So, they continue to search for a cure.
“I was willing to try anything to get rid of them and I still am,” Reidzans said.
Even if that cure is through divine intervention.
“I do a lot of praying that we’ll wake up one morning and they’re just gone,” Michelle said.
For Reidzans, the term ‘silence is golden’ takes on a whole new meaning.
The longest recorded case of the hiccups is 68 years. Let’s hope Reidzans doesn’t break that record. Dr. Fain says in his 20 years of practicing pediatric neurology, he has never seen a case of the hiccups as severe or as long as Reidzans.
Believe it or not, Reidzans can actually sleep through her hiccups.