Silbs Survives Singultus
It began on a Friday, a usually benign and self limited condition; and I thought little of it. That is, until it persisted, on and off, through Saturday, Sunday and all day Monday. I started to worry about then. Home remedies had failed to control the disease, so I started reading up on the literature and the differential diagnoses. What I learned was not reassuring.
Brain tumors, acid reflux, cancers irritating the abdomen and many others. It was time, I told my wife (at 10 pm) to go to the emergency room. Off we went where I registered, got on the infamous gown, was hooked up to various wires and seen by a nurse and then a physician's assistant. The PA told me it would be a while until the doctor saw me as he was looking up the literature on my problem. I told her that I had already did that and that he (the doc) was likely to be depressed (as was I) by the possibilities.
As we waited, I gently warned my wife not to worry if they had to sedate me, paralyze me and intubate me as I was beginning to have short spells of breath control. In came the ER doc. A nice guy with a good and practical manner and approach. I had already had (and read on my own) a normal chest X-ray and EKG and we agreed on several blood tests including a serum calcium level (I had recently had parathyroid surgery). They all came back within normal limits.
We started a protocol which essentially is trying a little of this drug and then another and then another until the patient is cured or....well, hopefully a cured. Somewhere around 2:30 am I feel asleep from exhaustion and, when I woke...I WAS CURED!
They watched me for a while to be sure, then sent me home. During that reprieve I started to relax as I had expected the worst (remember, I am a doc myself) and had accepted the fact that I likely had a fatal condition. Interestingly, the thought made me sad (that I would not see more of my children's and grand children's lives) but not fearful. Life had been good to me. I had no complaints and no regrets. It would, I thought, be nice to get in one more paddle.
Well, I got that paddle (and, hopefully many more to come) yesterday. To date, the symptoms have not recurred, and I have the joy one only know after surviving singultus.