Before I get into how I found myself voluntarily hooked up to an IV drip with an oxygen tube up my nose around 11 a.m. on a random Thursday in July, I should probably offer a little context. My husband and I were three days into a five day, four night trip to New Orleans when everything started to go downhill. It was Tuesday morning and the previous day’s activities were spent shopping, eating, and drinking our way down Magazine Street. In the evening, we headed to Marigny to do some more eating and drinking — as one does in New Orleans!
So despite the previous evening’s festivities — which included a spontaneous tattoo on Frenchman Street — I awoke with a reasonably manageable, far-from-crippling hangover. Nothing a little hair of the dog couldn’t cure, right? This was not our first trip to the city and sure as hell wasn’t my first rodeo. But as I soon learned the hard way, and as I had been warned but foolishly ignored, July in Louisiana is no joke.
We started off at Cafe Adelaide for shrimp and tasso corndogs and the restaurant’s famous 25 cent lunch martinis. Feeling more like myself, we took the streetcar up to the French Quarter to walk around. Before long, it was getting pretty hot so we ducked into a nice cocktail bar to cool off and have a drink. From there it was down to the French 75 bar, then to the Napoleon house for Pimm’s cups and gumbo, to the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for a Hurricane and purple drank, then back to Frenchman Street to see some music (and have more drinks) and so on and so forth — basically going back and forth between walking around in the oppressive heat and drinking alcohol.
A smart and winning combination!
Apropos of nothing, here is a margarita with a bottle of champagne in it — the New Orleans city emblem.
Suffice to say, Wednesday morning I had a decidedly less manageable hangover, but soldiered on anyway. The plan was to get some food at Elizabeth’s in Bywater (an absolute must for their praline bacon), but after more walking around and shopping, by the time we got there, they’d just closed for lunch. Which was probably a good thing, because at that point, I was starting to feel… unwell. Really, really unwell. We made our way to a nearby barbecue joint (literally called “The Joint”) but at that point the mere smell of food made me queasy. My husband got takeout and we took an Uber back to our Airbnb, where I proceeded to ride out the rest of the day, resting in air conditioning and feeling too nauseated to eat or drink much of anything.
Which brings us back to Thursday. I woke up that morning after having slept 12 full hours. By all rational logic of hangovers, I should have felt great. I did not feel great. I felt far from great. And even worse, we had to check out of our apartment at noon and had five whole hours to kill before heading to the airport. At that point, Uproxx editor-in-chief and Louisiana native, Brett Michael Dykes, just happened to call and I explained my predicament.
“There’s a hangover recovery place right down the street from you called the Remedy Room,” he told me. “Dead serious. It’s like two blocks away. I’ve had friends who have done it who swear it’s amazing!”
I hit Google and found that, indeed, this allegedly magical hangover-curing place was in fact just two blocks away, and could supposedly have you in and out within an hour, feeling good as new. “Welp,” I thought, “at the very least it will be somewhere cool to sit for an hour instead of more walking around in this Satan’s taint level of heat.”
On the Remedy Room’s website I learned that there were two hydration therapies for someone in my predicament: The “Recover” package for $149 and “The Works” for $199. Probably being that it was off tourist season, they were able to take care of me without an appointment. After filling out my information on an iPad, I had a brief consultation with Dr. Sunny Trambadia. He recommended that I go with “The Works” — with IV fluids, Vitamin B12, the antioxidant glutathione, and oxygen — due to my “severe dehydration symptoms.” All there was left to do was sit back, relax, and wait for my hangover to go away.
The friendly nurses situated me on a comfortable lounge chair and quickly and painlessly administered an IV hooked up to a liter of fluids and a B12 shot. I started to feel slightly better almost immediately. Within a half hour my appetite started to come back — which makes sense, considering I hadn’t eaten in close to 48 hours.
When asked about the growing popularity of clinics such as these, Dr. Trambadia told me, “They’re popping up all over the country now. People don’t just want to take over-the-counter medication to feel better.” And I can see why. Within an hour I went from a fatigued, queasy mess to practically feeling like a champion. Before leaving, I was advised to take it easy and not go out and like, “eat a whole burger or anything” right after my recovery. Like many out of town visitors to the Remedy Room I promptly ignored that advice and went around the corner and got myself a muffuletta.
But was it worth it? Two hundred dollars is certainly nothing to sniff at, plus the added $50 consultation they tack on for first time visitors. It all depends on your priorities, I suppose. Sure, I could have gone straight to the airport and sipped water for five hours and tried not to die on the return flight home… but when you’re paying money to be on vacation in the first place, do you really want to spend it feeling like a wreck?