A Good Hiccup Line

Waiting on the steps before class, Kersti Hash poses for a photo. The doodles accompanying the photo add to the story. They touch on key elements of the subject’s narrative.                                              Photo By: Coral Gregory

From Home Plate to The Hospital Room:

Freshman year can be scary: a new school, new people, and for some, a new team. Softball had been a big part of Kersti Hash’s life since she was in sixth grade. Her first year on the high school field, a batter hit a pop-fly and it soared through the air. Kersti had her eye on the ball and the ball had its path set in her direction. Before she knew it, the ball hit her in the–HICCUP!

Ever since she got a concussion during a softball game, Hash has suffered from chronic hiccups. “I’ll have a series of hiccups that’ll last up to five minutes,” Hash said. “It’s so bad I won’t even be able to eat or drink anything.”

She uses a medication called Lansoprazole (Prevacid) for the condition. “I take [the medicine] to help them calm down, but it doesn’t really help,” she said.

Having the condition began to bring her self-esteem down. “I could tell students around me were getting annoyed and I felt bad because there was nothing I could do,” she said. “My geometry teacher would call me ‘The Hiccup Girl’ which kind of made me feel bad about myself.”

Eventually Hash would stop letting the banter and teasing bother her. “I just learned to get over it and now when people  say, ‘Do you have hiccups?’ I say yes and tell them to get over it because they would hiccup as a joke and I wasn’t feeling like being made fun of that day, or any other day,”she said.

Hash decided to quit playing softball due to injuries. “I wanted to get into clubs,”she said. Kersti became president of the Riley Dance Marathon and also joined a club called Best Buddies, a club in which you would be partnered with a special needs student and spend time with them doing fun activities such as bowling or going to the movie theater. Hash also joined her school’s yearbook.

The hiccup condition has contributed to some noteable changes in Kersti’s life, from quitting softball to learning to stand up for herself.