The Hangover Thread

For the morning after posting to the I’m Drunk thread.

So I’m in a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway, driving home the morning after my cousin’s Cinco de Mayo party. I’m on my knees, dry heaving after emptying my hung-over guts into the toilet. “Winning,” I say with a tremor.

The guy in the stall next to me busts a gut laughing.

A man I knew, now dead, would always tell me “You have no-one to blame but yourself” when I was hungover. He’s dead right, and it strangely cheers me up to think it. Reminding me that the hangover is a direct result of fun and excess.

He’d also laugh at hungover people “feeding the fishies” whenever someone was hungover on a boat.

Haven’t had one in 68,678 hours, so sayeth my iphone app.

I can’t remember the last time I threw up on account of a hangover. My brain shuts down pretty much completely, though - I couldn’t think my way out of a wet paper bag on those days. Like today.

I got convinced to go out drinking this past Monday, just an awful decision. I have a 9-5 summer job in an office that actually requires a modicum of intelligent thought to do properly, and I have night class from 6-9 on Tuesdays. I woke up at 7AM on Tuesday with about 2 hours of sleep under my belt, and proceeded to live off of coffee for the next 13 hours. Never again. It was some girl’s first day on Tuesday and she later told me that I looked super pissed off all day on her first day, not the greatest first impression.

A tall glass of water and a vitamin before going to bed and a tall glass of water along with aspirin beside the bed get me through times like that, usually. The type of alcohol consumed and the type and amount of food I had while drinking have the biggest factor on how bad I feel though.

Hang in there Jeff. I recommend the following on a T-shirt to wear in front of your boss:
http://tiny.cc/sjmar

Skipper, that is fantastic.

I find a big-ass greasy brunch/lunch critical for those days. If I can get some food in me and digesting, I know the worst is in the rearview.

Big greasy brunches are good, but they make pooping awful. Beer shits + tons o greasy food makes a day so much grosser than it has to be, IMO.

I woke up this morning with the worst congestion. I apparently got sick while drinking last night so this morning was garbage. There’s nothing that can get you sick quicker than destroying your immune system with way too much gin.

Some late night/early morning loco moco* after a night of drinking and debauchery, coupled with a few glasses of water or gatorade, always did the trick for me to eliminate/minimize hangovers.

*loco moco = fried rice topped with ground beef/hamburger patties, eggs over easy, and gravy.

I tend to reread this article when I am hungover: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_acocella

A hangover peaks when alcohol that has been poured into the body is finally eliminated from it—that is, when the blood-alcohol level returns to zero. The toxin is now gone, but the damage it has done is not. By fairly common consent, a hangover will involve some combination of headache, upset stomach, thirst, food aversion, nausea, diarrhea, tremulousness, fatigue, and a general feeling of wretchedness. Scientists haven’t yet found all the reasons for this network of woes, but they have proposed various causes. One is withdrawal, which would bring on the tremors and also sweating. A second factor may be dehydration. Alcohol interferes with the secretion of the hormone that inhibits urination. Hence the heavy traffic to the rest rooms at bars and parties. The resulting dehydration seems to trigger the thirst and lethargy. While that is going on, the alcohol may also be inducing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which converts into light-headedness and muscle weakness, the feeling that one’s bones have turned to jello. Meanwhile, the body, to break down the alcohol, is releasing chemicals that may be more toxic than alcohol itself; these would result in nausea and other symptoms. Finally, the alcohol has produced inflammation, which in turn causes the white blood cells to flood the bloodstream with molecules called cytokines. Apparently, cytokines are the source of the aches and pains and lethargy that, when our bodies are attacked by a flu virus—and likewise, perhaps, by alcohol—encourage us to stay in bed rather than go to work, thereby freeing up the body’s energy for use by the white cells in combatting the invader. In a series of experiments, mice that were given a cytokine inducer underwent dramatic changes. Adult males wouldn’t socialize with young males new to their cage. Mothers displayed “impaired nest-building.” Many people will know how these mice felt.

I don’t think it actually alleviates any symptoms but I like knowing what is going on with my body. The general feeling of wretchedness is the worst part, IMO, and I think only time cures that one.