Bo Knows Hiccups, a Little Too Well

Elite retired NFL, MLB athlete, who's had the condition for nearly a year, is getting surgery
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2023 9:40 AM CDT
Bo Knows Hiccups, a Little Too Well
Former MLB and NFL player Bo Jackson, watches Auburn and Clemson practice before an NCAA college football game on Saturday in Auburn, Alabama.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

We all know how annoying it is to be stricken with a bout of hiccups, but few of us can attest to what it's like when those spasms go on for almost a full year. Elite athlete Bo Jackson now falls in the latter group, and he's "been suffering in intermittent silence," reports Yahoo Sports. That suffering may hopefully be coming to an end soon, as Jackson, a retired player for both the NFL and MLB, announced during a Wednesday radio appearance that he's set to imminently undergo surgery to treat his condition.

"I've had the hiccups since last July, and I'm getting a medical procedure done the end of this week, I think, to try to remedy it," the 60-year-old said on the college football program Mcelroy and Cubelic in the Morning, noting that hospital visits of late have consisted of medical staff "poking me, shining lights down my throat, probing me every way they can" to get at the root of his troubles. Hiccups are repeated spasms or other involuntary movements of the diaphragm that cause your vocal cords to suddenly close. Yahoo notes that what makes this happen is "incredibly murky."

Jackson, who left professional sports in 1994—he played for four season with the Los Angeles Raiders, as well as ball for such MLB teams as the Kansas City Royals, California Angels, and Chicago White Sox—"maintains a unique legend as maybe the most athletic person to step onto a baseball field and one of the fastest people to ever run the ball in the NFL," per Yahoo. As for whether Jackson tried alternative methods of quashing his hiccups before signing up for the surgery, he insists he did all he could, to no avail. "I have done everything—scare me, drink water upside down, smell the ass of a porcupine," he said on the show. "It doesn't work." (Is there still time for Jackson to try some new breathing exercises?)

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