Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Paddling around the First Complication

Saturday February 18, 2012
Site #13 Lithia Springs Park, FL


Everything was great until dinner.


David has his first treatment on Monday and things go well.
He feels terrific on Tuesday but things change that evening.
We’ve had a very trying few days here since then.


Feb 039 
David was making a delicious spaghetti for our dinner
when he got the hiccups.

He doesn’t usually have the hiccups but didn’t think much about it


until they wouldn’t go away.

He tried all of the home remedies,
drink warm water slowly, breathe into a paper bag,
hold a lung’s full of breath as long as you can etc etc.


The only one that worked at all  was holding his breath
but within 2 or 3 minutes they were back.


Feb 043



This went on for hours.

It went on all night.

He got no sleep.



Now it’s Wednesday

We start calling the doctor.
David can’t talk, he has the hiccups.

When you say hiccups, it sounds funny.
When it’s happening to you, it’s not.

No one ever mentioned this as one of the side effects.
Well it’s “uncommon” we’re told.

They prescribe something.

I go pick it up.

He takes it.

No effect. 

It says take it every 8 hours.
He takes it every 6 hours.
No effect.
He still has the hiccups.


In the afternoon he lays down to
try to nap.

He doesn’t hiccup in his sleep.
IF he can get to sleep
which he does now probably because he is so exhausted
from the physical strain.

It’s over 24 hours now.


Try to imagine having the hiccups non stop
for over 24 hours.


I feel helpless.
There is nothing more I can do just now.

Feb 052 

I go out to kayak on the Alafia River to do
something besides worry about and watch him.
I go out so it will be very quiet in the coach. 




Feb 053




All the pictures in this post are from that beautiful paddle.




Feb 054 


My time on the river is rejuvenating.
I see the critters out just being themselves.
It makes me smile.
I wonder if they ever worry.

Feb 055A


Feb 058A


Feb 062


Feb 067 

The clouds are gorgeous and the reflections beautiful.


I can feel myself relaxing.

Feb 069


Feb 071


I paddle up to a small water front community






where I see the resident alligator

Feb 087


Time to head back.

Feb 097


As it gets later in the afternoon, the water’s
reflections are making it more and
more difficult to tell which way is up and which way is down.


Feb 102


Feb 111


It feels like I’m in an alternate universe.
Kind of like our life right now,
upside down and confusing.

Feb 117


When I return, he’s awake,
has eaten the sandwich I left him,
is tired
and still hiccupping.

I make some dinner,
he takes his medicine.
He lays down for the night.


Thursday dawns.
He’s had a night with almost no sleep.
As soon as he falls asleep, the hiccups wake him up.
He’s miserable.
His neck is sore. 
He can’t look up or left or right.

We go in for treatment #2.
They prescribe something else

I pick it up.

He takes it.

Same story,

It doesn’t work.

48 hours of the hiccups.


It’s now Friday.
He has had the hiccups
non stop
for 64 hours.

I am very concerned that he will have this
all through the week-end if we don’t
get something to help him today.
Everyone else is going to have the week-end off.
I can’t let this happen.

I call the doctor’s  office.
I’m not very nice at this point.
I tell them just what is going to happen
in their office on Monday when we come in
IF he still has the hiccups.
I ask them if they understand.
I’m not proud of myself.
But they hear me.

I go do the laundry while he sleeps.
On the way home,
I pick up the prescription for their strongest potential drug
to stop these hiccups.
The one they haven’t wanted to prescribe.


I come back in the house, he’s curled up on the floor
sleeping with his coat over him.
I get him up, get him something to eat,
give him this new medicine and put him back
in the bedroom to sleep.


In no time, this medicine has literally knocked him out.
For the next 24 hours all he does is sleep.
But he really needs the rest.
I wake him up to eat and take medicine.
Otherwise he’s asleep.
Not fitfully trying to sleep and being awakened by hiccups
every time he turns over or moves but
deep snoring asleep.


After two doses of this medicine 8 hours apart,
on Friday, I don’t give him any more.

He has to wake up so we can see if this
stuff has really worked.


Finally on Saturday morning he wakes up late
but on his own.
Groggy but awake.

He eats breakfast.
He does not hiccup all through breakfast
and does not fall asleep with his fork in his hand
like he has for his past few meals.


He’s moving slowly and cautiously
but he’s moving.

He gets dressed.
Later he has lunch.
Then he goes out for a short walk.
The first thing he’s done in nearly 4 days.


He continues to improve for the rest of the day.
He’s nearly back to his old self.
And the best thing.


We’re crossing our fingers that this lasts
and that the drug in his cocktail which
caused this side effect doesn’t set off a recurrence
on Monday when he goes in for treatment #3.

He says he wants to go paddling tomorrow!!
The world is right side up again.


  1. I'm glad the hiccups have subsided. That must have been horrible for David. And for you to deal with. It's very painful to watch someone deal with an issue such as this and feel helpless to do something for them. Your paddle looks like it was restorative.
    Send my best, positive energy your way.

  2. What an awful thing to have to endure. I hope the next treatment doesn't bring it back.

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and hope that from here on out the side effects are none!

  4. OMG, can't even imagine what that might be like, to endure and to watch!!! Glad that med finally worked.

  5. Glad to hear the meds finally worked. Hope you find peace and relaxation on the river. Here's to no more side effects.

  6. Poor David! (Poor Sherry!) Again, know that lots of prayers are being sent up..from people you don't even know :) My Mom reads all my friends' blogs...she wants you to know that she put you guys on her church's prayer chain :)

  7. I'm sooo glad they heard you, Sherry. But I'm so sad it had to get to that point. Glad for all that great, long sleep. . . .

    Temps supposed to get to 70 in 2 days. Your tree is just sitting there waiting to blossom :) I need to go over and stare hard, to tell you if there are buds or not!

  8. ARG. I'm so relieved he slept AND hasn't hiccuped. <--does that word look right to you?

    Oh, by now he has had his third treatment. Crossing my fingers and other magical-thinking tricks!

    The Good Luck Duck

  9. Oh, Sherry, I'm so sorry for you and David. What a nightmare. It's so frightening how one's world can be turned upside down with a few words. We all know we're susceptible, yet it comes as a surprise when it happens to us. Add complications on top of that, and it's devastating.

    Just know that we're all out here worrying right along with both of you, and wishing the time will go fast so David can enjoy good health, again.

    Hope the sailing to good health is as smooth as it can be and that there are no more curve balls.

  10. Your writing makes me feel your pain. How absolutely horrible to have to endure that, on top of everything else. The medical team should be ashamed.
    That said, I'm so glad he finally got relief and so glad you finally got relief. Your paddle was very therapeutic.
    Will continue sending positive thoughts your way.

  11. Oh my ... I can't imagine going that long with hiccups ... poor David; he must have been truly miserable. Glad to read that the last Rx worked and hope the next treatment doesn't set him off again. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of David ... go for a kayak like you showed us in this post or take a quiet walk to recharge your batteries. David will appreciate having a bit of time to himself as well ... at least I think he will; I know I would.

  12. I can't even imagine the misery of this annoying side effect. So glad the meds finally worked and David got some MUCH needed sleep. Hopefully they NEVER come back!!!!

  13. He's just a teddy bear taking a long winter's nap. Positive thoughts for you both.

  14. Yeegads on having the hiccups for that long - and especially since David needs rest! Your paddling sounds like it restored you...glad you finally got some medicine to work!

  15. Never apologize for being an exceptional caregiver. That is exactly what David needs...someone to see to it that the medical world treats him in a timely and appropriate manner. If they don't, they deserve whatever they get!!!

    Glad to see you are taking time to take care of yourself as well.

    Lot of good thoughts heading your way from us:o))))

  16. Sherry - oh my! Pretty scary what meds can do, and the side effects they can cause (but so thankful for what they can cure!). Maybe you should ask the doc, before the next treatment, how you should proceed with the new Rx....do they recommend you wait and see if the hiccups reoccur? should he take a dose of the new Rx as a preventative measure? Is there something else you can do? Ask lots of questions, keep asking til you get the answers you need. Never, never, never be sorry for advocating for your husband. Sometimes medical professionals get so caught up, they forget that this is a new experience for you guys, because they see it all the time. Not an excuse, just the reality . Hang in there, we are all praying for you guys!

  17. A very moving post. My heart goes out to both of you. Stay strong.

  18. Saying a prayer for both of you.
    Can not imagine the stress this has put on both of you.

  19. A very very moving post...It made me feel like we're all right there beside you..sure wish we were and that there was something we could all do for you other than pray...which we will continue to do until all of this is behind you both!! What a terrible side effect...this is as hard on the 'caregiver' as it is on the patient..glad to see you slipped off for a paddle - a self renewal...and you need to do that for sure...take care you are in our daily prayers..

  20. Love the pictures! How gorgeous it all is. i particularly liked that gator. Those are the kinds of alligators I'd prefer to see you paddling near. The others make me nervous!

  21. I'm so sorry to hear of this awful side effect. Glad you finally got the help needed for David. Doctors can be so slow to respond to patient's needs! Go get 'em, Sherry! We're all behind you and David!

  22. Hiccups! Who would have thought. I'm glad you got them to finally listen to you, Sherry. I hope that David will get the chance to be rejuvenated the way you were in your kayak.

  23. I'm glad to hear you finally got the hiccups to stop. That must have been miserable for you both.

    Good for you for getting him the drugs he needed.

    Saying prayers for you both.

  24. He needs the sleep- good that you pushed for what he needed. Take care and know you are both in our thoughts.

  25. We pray for more of those days that your life is upside right. Hugs to you

    Just BS!(Bob and Sue)

  26. I feel so bad for David, I have had hiccups that won't go away either but nothing like his. I hate hiccups so I could just image how he must have felt. I am glad that you were finally able to find something to get rid of them and that helped him sleep. I sure hope they stay away. Love your photos from you kayak trip, they are beautiful.


  27. Admittedly, posts like these are difficult for me - all I can say is that I'm so glad that is in the past and that Dad has such a strong advocate in you - thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you Mama - truly. So glad the hiccups are gone and that you have the water nearby to calm you. Much love to you and Dad every second and always :)


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