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RARE DISEASES: Man with hiccups every two seconds

A young Englishman pins his hopes on an operation to put an end to 15 months of hiccups


Christopher Sands (from www.dailymail.co.uk)

LONDON – Usually, drinking a glass of water or holding your breath for a few seconds will make the hiccups go away. But for Christopher Sands, a 24-year-old singer from Lincoln, the capital of Lincolnshire, an English county in the East Midlands, none of the old remedies seem to work, given that he has been suffering from chronic hiccups since February last year and that in 15 months he has calculated having had nearly 10 million hiccups. In practice, an attack every 2 seconds for over 12 hours a day, which makes 1,800 in an hour, 21,600 in a day and 7.9 million in a year. Not only. Often the hiccups even take him when he sleeps, so much so that by now he has stopped counting the sleepless nights he has had, as well as the meals he has skipped. "I can't even play Playstation," the boy told Al Daily Mail () – because if I'm driving, I regularly crash into the wall. Imagine if I really drove… I'm really exhausted, I feel like a zombie and I'm losing my mind. I can't eat, sleep, socialize or even work, because composing music or singing is practically impossible. Two weeks ago with my band, Ebullient, we were about to start a concert, when I had a seizure. My companions wanted us to leave but I said no. I downed a pint of coke and it finally worked."

SURGICAL INTERVENTION – Poor Christopher tried everything to get well. “I drank water in at least a hundred different ways, did yoga, reiki, tried herbal remedies, but the hiccups never went away. I even underwent hypnosis and even went to the hyperbaric chamber, but it didn't help." And just when he began to fear that he might have to live with this for the rest of his life, here was his last hope, in the form of surgery to repair a malfunctioning stomach valve which, according to doctors at Queen's Medical Center of Nottingham, would be the cause of his painful condition. "I pin all my hopes on this surgery - Sands confided - because I want to go back to my old life".

BUT THE RECORD IS NOT HIS – The first attack came in September 2006 and lasted about two weeks, to suddenly disappear as it had appeared, only to reappear in February of the following year. “Initially, I wasn't too worried because I never believed the hiccups would never stop. But then things changed. No one knows when the attacks will start and the heartburn that accompanies them is really awful, so much so that I often end up throwing myself on the floor in despair.' However, the English boy would not be the first to suffer from a similar problem nor, much less, to hold the d record

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