At 10:30 a.m on Jan. 1, 2015, I opened my eyes and began to whimper. It felt like tiny elves were gleefully prying open my skull with itty bitty crowbars. My mouth was so dry, I’d need a spatula to scrape it off the roof of my mouth. I was sluggish, dopey and slightly queasy. I shielded my eyes from the punishing daylight that streamed in through my window. There was no question about it. I was hungover.But instead of reaching for my usual cure — fruit punch-flavored Gatorade, plenty of water, grilled cheese and tomato on a bagel, two Advil and three hours of additional sleep in a darkened room — I was going to try something new. A hangover cure via IV, administered by registered nurses on a party bus in Manhattan.IV hangover cures were a big trend in 2014, offering oversoused souls a way to mainline relief via vitamins, electrolytes, saline, painkillers (more on that later) and anti-nausea medicine. All over the U.S., companies like the IV Doc, Vida-Flo, IVMe, Hangover Heaven and the Hangover Club are trying to de-medicalize the saline bag and needle into something consumable and fun rather than dreary and medical. Think PayPal and coconut water versus health insurance co-pays and hospital Jell-O.The Hangover Club offers concierge service. After an over-the-phone consultation, someone comes to your door in your hour of need with an IV and bag. The bus was a new thing for 2015, aimed at New Year’s revelers who wanted to try something new.When I boarded the Hangover Club bus at noon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The black leather seats and tinted windows were a bit off-putting. It was a bit early in the day for me to be on the “Rock of Love” bus.  A registered nurse presented me with my package options: The Classic ($129) offered rehydration with choice of painkiller or anti-nausea drug. The Super ($149) threw B vitamins into the bag. The Mega ($169) had all of the above as well as vitamin C, magnesium, and glutathione (an antioxidant for “detox”). The nurse recommended the Mega since I had a headache and serious muscle soreness due to an ill-advised session with a personal trainer the day before and general feelings of exhaustion and feeling awful.I was curious about what kind of “painkiller” was in the bag. The nurse said it was called Toradol which was like Aleve or Advil. Wait, which one, Aleve or Advil? One is an NSAID the other is ibuprofen). Another nurse said it was like Motrin, which is ibuprofen. I later checked, Toradol is an NSAID, like Aleve. The nurses were patient with my questions but I got the impression that most people with hangovers weren’t asking these kind of questions.The nurse hooked up my drip like a pro (I watched her open and use all new sanitary materials) and since the TV wasn’t working I was able to take in the scene. I got the impression that the Hangover Bus had gotten off to a rocky start that morning. The nurses were busy prepping bags for the dozens of people who had booked appointments on the bus later that day.  I watched them pull the ingredients from little vials with syringes and push the contents into saline bags. They all seemed to know what they were doing but I was taken aback. I didn’t need to see syringes and medical waste.A young man boarded the bus a little worse for wear. Ten minutes later, he was sitting on the back of the bus throwing up in a garbage can. The nurses, who have probably seen a lot worse, quickly disposed of the bag and its contents and I couldn’t smell anything, but if I wasn’t already feeling queasy, I was now.Meanwhile, a cheerfully hungover finance guy in his mid-twenties had been sitting across from me receiving his drip. We both finished at about the same time and he declared himself feeling much better.Suddenly, a small commotion.When the nurse removed his IV there was some serious blood spatter. It landed all over his arm and onto his shirt sleeve. While the nurses were fretting over what the heck could have happened, the finance guy began looking considerably less cheerful. Asa Kitfield, the 31-year-old company cofounder, who had been hopping on and off the bus all morning in his bright yellow Hangover Club baseball cap, was called over to assess the damage. He offered the finance guy a full refund since his experience had been “a bit of a shit show” and said that he’d pay for the guy’s dry cleaning.Kitfield looked at me and said smiled unhappily, “I hope you got everything you needed for your article.”Um, yes.
So did it work? Well, yes. The painkiller took away my headache and muscle aches for about six hours and I was able to attend a New Year’s Day brunch with friends. But unless I’ve woken up in Vegas with a bottle of tequila in my hand and I have to meet with the President in an hour, I I’ll be sticking with my grilled cheese and Gatorade regimen.

Related Articles: