I’m bad at drinking. And don’t get me wrong; I love drinking. But boy am I bad at it.
To give you a better idea, here’s a snapshot of how a night out goes for me:
9:00 p.m.: I’m ordering my first vodka tonic.
11:00 p.m.: I’m ordering my fourth vodka tonic.
11:08 p.m.: I’m trying to convince my friends to go to Jeff’s Bucket Shop.
2:00 a.m.: I’m eating the Bagel Bites I somehow managed to make without burning my apartment down.
So you look at this and think I’m pretty good at drinking, right? Well, we haven’t gotten to the next day yet.
9:00 a.m. the next morning: Death.
I’m what physicians call a non-functioning hungover person. While most hungover people feel better after going to Bojangles’, I suffer a slow and incurable post-vodka affliction. I spend the entire day in bed eating nothing but oyster crackers and Googling “death from hangover.”
Although I have yet to actually die from a hangover, I’m convinced that I suffer the most violent hangovers in Charlotte. And that’s why I was excited when I found out that there’s a quick hangover fix right on East Boulevard. It’s called Hydrate Medical.
Hydrate Medical is a hydration clinic. If you haven’t heard of these clinics before, that’s ok, neither had I. I found out from a very trustworthy source (Wikipedia) that these are clinics where you can get an IV to help with, you guessed it, hydration. Their IV treatments range from a basic $89 “cocktail” to a $179 athlete mixture.
After learning about hydration clinics, I was pretty skeptical. I even found this article from Forbes where a doctor says that water and rest are the best hangover remedy. But, then again, this doctor also says “the best way to avoid a hangover… is to not drink to excess.”
Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
So what is the deal with hydration clinics? Are they safe? Do they really work? Can they help with even the most severe Mary Gross hangover? I talked with employee Courtney Womack to get some much-needed answers.
Me: Hydration clinics are a pretty new concept. (Hydrate Medical is the first in Charlotte.) What’s the most common question that you get?
Courtney: People ask if we’re real. Like, if we’re certified to put in IVs.
And the answer is yes. We’re owned by a board-certified emergency medicine physician and a nurse practitioner. The nurses who work here are all registered nurses and all but one still currently work in the emergency room.
Me: That’s good. You don’t want a girl that moonlights at Target putting a needle in your arm.
Me: So that means you have a lot of practice putting IVs in?
Courtney: Yes. Every day.
Me: What is the most common ailment you see?
Courtney: When we first opened it was mostly hangovers but this time of year we get a lot of people with the flu or a viral illness. We’ll do B vitamins and vitamin C in their treatments to boost their immune systems.
Me: I saw on your site that you have treatments for jet lag. Why do people with jet lag need hydration?
Courtney: When people travel a lot they can get run-down and they may not be eating and drinking like they should. Our jet lag treatment has a double dose of vitamin B in it and taurine, which is an amino acid that helps energy levels.
Me: When people come in do you do a test to see if they really need a treatment? Does it hurt to have a treatment if you don’t need it?
Courtney: It doesn’t hurt to get a treatment. You’ll just pee it out. However, we always do a medical screening to make sure people don’t have kidney disease. Someone with kidney issues may not be filtering that fluid out which would be dangerous. We also take their blood pressure.
Me: Is your most common treatment the hangover treatment?
Courtney: Yeah, it’s between that and the jet lag. We often give the jet lag treatment when people are working crazy hours and feel run-down.
Me: How long do the treatments take?
Courtney: About an hour. We sometimes even have people come in over their lunch break.
Me: I saw you do mobile therapy, is that a service for famous people?
Courtney: Non-famous people can do house calls it but it costs $200 plus the cost of the treatment. ($300 if it’s after hours.)
Me: When you do a house call how does that work? Do you just sit in their living room?
Courtney: I’ve done it with people on their couch or even lying in bed. We have one client with really bad migraines. She told me that before Hydrate Medical her only option was going to go to the emergency room.
Me: Do you ever treat Panthers players?
Courtney: No comment.
Me: What is your busiest day of the year? I assume it was New Year’s Day?
Courtney: New Year’s Day was very busy. We had appointments booked a month beforehand because people knew they were going to be hungover.
Me: That’s brilliant.
Courtney: New Year’s Day can be pretty rough.
Me: That will be me someday. Get ready.
Me: Can you refuse treatment to people?
Courtney: If someone has high blood pressure we can send him or her to the E.R. We want to make sure there isn’t something more going on before we treat them.
Me: What is your most luxurious treatment?
Courtney: The Hydrate Athlete treatment is the most expensive because it has all kinds of vitamins and minerals. We also have a skin beauty treatment that has antioxidants and is supposed to be really good for aging and dark spots.
Me: When athletes come in for a treatment can they work out that same day?
Courtney: Coming in after your workout is better for athletes. But if you have a big race coming up then they recommend that you do one treatment a day before your race and then one after to replenish.
Me: Have you done a treatment on yourself before?
Courtney: Oh yeah.
Me: How does it feel after a treatment?
Courtney: I feel better immediately after treatment. People get the biggest boost about 2-4 hours after and into the next day as they metabolize and use the vitamins. For people with hangovers we can also give medicine for nausea, and you feel the effects of that within 10 minutes.
Me: Have you seen any horrible hangovers?
Courtney: We’ve had people hooked up to an IV and throwing up in a bag at the same time. That’s a bad day.
Well, perhaps I share the honor of having the most violent hangovers with a few other Charlotteans.
If you want to try Hydrate Medical, do your research and see if it’s right for you. And, keep in mind, these clinics are not meant to be visited every Saturday and Sunday morning. They should be used when you’re in dire need of health-stuff, like when you have the flu or after $4 Jim Beam night at Lebowski’s.