A Roscommon man woke up in July 2012 with a hangover and a case of the hiccups, and now 14 months later they haven’t let up.
Daniel Clavins (37), a father-of-two and telecom software worker, came home after a bachelor’s night out with friends, slept and woke up with the hiccups.
He is now baffling doctors having hiccuped an estimated 5.25 million times during the past 14 months. His condition has now become so serious that his bouts of hiccups can cause him to throw up, pass out, or keep him awake all night. Clavins is now waiting for the results of an MRI scan as he believes his condition could be due to a brain tumor.
The Roscommon man decided to get a brain scan having read about Chris Sands (29), from Lincolnshire who had the hiccups for three years before his brain tumor was discovered.
Clavins and his wife Susan have consulted with various doctors about this mystery. So far he’s had two endoscopies, a CT scan, changed his diet, taken tranquilisers and consulted a chiropractor, but nothing’s helped.
He told the Daily Mail, “They’ve taken over my life. I woke up with them one morning after a stag do and I’ve had them ever since.
“I’ve no idea why they started - I’d had more to drink than I had for some time but it was nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual mix of beer and spirits.
“Some days are worse than others and on odd days they’ll stop, but they can get so bad I pass out or throw up my food.
“There are times when I can’t breathe for 30 seconds because they lock up my diaphragm.
“Nights are bad and sometimes I wake up and the whole bed is shaking because they are so violent and I’ll go to sleep in a different room so Susan can get some rest.
“I’ve learned to control them to some extent and disguise them and hiccup quietly but when I stop thinking about them they start sounding again.
“People find it quite funny when they first meet me but then it becomes quite annoying for someone to have to listen to.”
Clavins has tried everything to try to make them stop. He said, “I’ve tried all the old wives’ tales like eating sugar and vinegar and all manner of supposed cures, but nothing’s worked.
“Last month I had some relief after seeing a chiropractor who manipulated the phrenic nerve in my neck which is connected to the diaphragm.
“They stopped for ten days and I thought I’d finally got rid of them - but then they started again and are as bad as ever.
“I’ve to try to keep cheerful but I’m at the stage now where I’m scraping the barrel for ideas and looking for people to help me.
“The medical community doesn’t seem to know what to do, but it is quite rare.
“I’m told there’s only a handful of people in the world at this moment who will have hiccups as bad.”
His wife, Susan, said, “He’s in a bad way and they are getting him down.
“He’s constantly losing his breath and it’s difficult for anyone to concentrate on anything else when he’s around.
“They can wake me up in the night and I then lie there waiting for the next one and I have to send him out of the room.”
She continued, “We are just desperate to find someone who can help him because the hiccups are ruining our lives.”
Here’s Daniel Clavins telling his own story: