When Drinking, It’s All About The Altitude

Yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, and not having an aversion to green beer or, say, Jack and Coke, I took today off.  Not in anticipation of the possible hangover, although I was accused often of doing it for that reason, but because I have a vacation day left from 2010 that I needed to use before it disappeared from the check stub.  We are no longer able to carry over earned vacation into another fiscal year at my company.  Whatever.  The 18th of March sounded as good as any before the end of April when the vacation day vaporized.  So I’m going to work around the house today, not.  Like I said before, if you work it’s really not a day off now is it?

I’ve had a number of self-inflicted illnesses over the years.  I am constantly reminded of the time I had to crawl to the truck because the change of altitude, when I stood up, made me ill.  My plan worked until I got to the truck and, of course, had to stand up to get in.  Not to drive home of course, I’ve never done that…… right.  Still, why do we do it?  Because we were having a hell of a good time up until our bodies caught up with what we were doing.

Portrait of Suzanne Valadon - Hnri Toulouse-Latrec

When you suffer from a hangover, the first thing you say is “I’m never doing that again.”  You drag yourself out of bed suffering from a headache, nausea you thought you cured by hugging the porcelain throne most of the night, diarrhea, lack of appetite, shakiness, feeling tired and just an overall not feeling quite right situation.  Without going into a lot of medical detail, you messed with a lot of neurobiological balances and it’s going to take a while to get the alcohol out of your system.

There’s got to be a cure, right?  Something to throw you together enough to get you to work.  By the way, the economic impacts of hangovers just in the US are estimated to be $148 billion a year, mostly in, as you might imagine, missing work or less than  stellar productivity.  Then there’s that guilt for calling in sick for a “flu” you know you could have avoided, if you have any sick days left.

I’ve heard thousands of cures over the years.  None work.  Might as well take a couple of placebos, drink a lot of water and tough it out.  The most accepted cure is what I like to call “The hair of the dog that bit you.”  However, the worst thing you can do is have another drink and make this condition worse.  Still, some recommend a “Bloody Mary” on the morning after because your body might forget about dealing with the alcohol in your system and turn its attention to the new alcohol.  Plus you’re getting some needed vitamins.  But really, think water.  Lots of water.

Drinking coffee loaded with caffeine, not a good idea.  It will continue to dehydrate you which is not what you need right now.  I’ve tried drinking pickle juice, something they do in Poland (no, no jokes here), and it kinda helps.  Not sure why but it’s probably the vinegar, a homeopathic cure-all.  Orange juice.  Orange juice is good because it has a lot of vitamin C.  Alka Seltzer.  “Plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.”  But stay away from headache medications.  They will all play havoc on your system because they are blood thinners just like alcohol.  Lastly, if you’ve got some B vitamins, take them with water before you go to bed if you’re in any state to think.  If you wake up on the bathroom floor hugging the porcelain throne, you probably weren’t.

Anyway, I don’t have a hangover today.  I saw a lot of people last night dressed up in green looking a little green, and probably looking a lot greener today, but I wasn’t one of them.  I’m getting too old for that…..right.  WTF


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