ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jennifer Mee can't stop hiccuping.
For more than three weeks now, the 15-year-old St. Petersburg teen has hiccuped close to 50 times a minute — despite the best efforts of doctors and home remedies.
She's had blood tests, a CT scan and an MRI. Drugs haven't worked. Neither has holding her breath, putting sugar under her tongue, sipping pickle juice, breathing into a paper bag and drinking out of the wrong side of a glass.
And, yes, people have tried to scare them out of her.
The hiccups do stop when she's sleeping.
According to the National Institutes of Health, hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, which causes vocal cords to briefly close, which makes that distinctive hiccup sound. They can start for no reason or be triggered by anything from spicy foods to stress.
It is not clear what triggered Jennifer's hiccups, which started in school Jan. 23. Her mother, Rachel Robidoux, recently turned to the local newspaper for help.
"I'm just looking for some answers where somebody's gone through this," Robidoux told the St. Petersburg Times. "At this point, we're willing to do anything."