The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Scheduled Intoxication Leads To Scheduled Hydration At Revive Hydration Clinic

By Lorna Juett in Food on Feb 28, 2013 9:20PM

Earlier this month, the Chicagoist team got an opportunity to try out River North’s new Revive Hydration Clinic. Intended to provide intravenous hydration to athletes, travelers, the sick, and the generally weary, we decided to get dehydrated the only way we know best: by going on a bit of a bender. So, Paul Leddy, our cocktail correspondent, and Lorna Juett, our beer writer, got together on Saturday to prepare for their 10a.m. hydration therapy appointment. Editor Amy Cavanaugh also joined the team as a control subject without the benefit of an appointment at Revive Hydration Clinic. Below is a transcripted chat recapping the dehydration, and talking more about the experience of hydration.

The Drinking

Paul Leddy: Hello there.
Lorna Juett: Well hello there! How are you feeling today? Fully recovered?
Yes, I think it is safe to say that I recovered fully from our night. How about you?
LJ: Not bad! But before we get into the result we should get into what got us to our dehydrated state in the first place. We decided to go on a bar crawl of sorts, and ended up at each and every one of our intended targets. To make things slightly more interesting, we brought along a die. If we got stuck on what to order next, we could roll a die and it would tell us. 1-2 meant beer, 3-4 meant cocktail, 5-6 meant shot. After how many times we rolled a 5 or a six, I’m pretty sure that die was loaded.
PL: Yes, that was our plan. However, after sharing the numbers with friends and the shocked look on their faces, I think it is best to not share any actual numbers of things consumed.
LJ: Yes! It's for the best. We can just let people assume that we each had one single drink followed by a big glass of water at each bar, right?
PL: Yep, just one drink and then we read a verse from the bible.
LJ: Also, we only read ONE bible verse? Let’s add 1 Hail Mary, 3 Our Fathers, one dice roll and a prayer it doesn't land on 5 or 6.
PL: Well, then another verse in the cab. But, I digress. Let's begin with where the night began, Barrelhouse Flat. By the time I had gotten there, I think you had shared with the bartenders what our plan was. I believe Jess Keene thought we were crazy.
LJ: She expressed her concern. Clearly her concern didn't translate to any proactive measures, evidenced when she handed you 4 ounces of liquor disguised as a Spirit Fingers cocktail off the bat. That one was cognac, Smith and Cross Rum, Zucca, housemade amer picon, Strega, bitters, right?
PL: Yes, the Spirt Fingers! Woo hoo, I am getting drunk recalling it. You had The Hook, which was Champagne, juniper honey, orange flower, water, Lime, right?
LJ: That's correct.
PL: After our control subject, Amy Cavanaugh, arrived and had a cocktail, we left and went to Rose’s bar, just up the street.
LJ: I am glad Amy joined us at the start. Our poor control subject! She was a trooper to join us in scheduled intoxication without the benefit of scheduled hydration. I am so glad we went to Rose's. After paying our (reasonable) bill at Barrelhouse Flat, I felt like we were getting away with highway robbery when the bartender told us it was $6 for three Old Styles. Everything about that bar is perfect, including the old men perched at the end of the bar.
PL: Rose's is a treasure. Chuck was spot on on nominating it as best dive bar. I loved the feel, the jukebox (7 songs for $1!) and the prices.
LJ: Alas, While Rose's did have $2 Old Styles, they did not have food. It was time to shove off and feed ourselves. SmallBar for sustenance and sour beers had to happen.
PL: So glad we did. SmallBar is another gem that I think should get more credit for what they are doing. Smart bar program, incredible beer list and excellent, well-priced food.
LJ: For sure! I am pretty sure you fell for a Femme Fatale Brett from Evil Twin while I enjoyed the Tilquin Gueuze on draft. Amy had a New Belgium Tart Lychee.
LJ: It was a great stop, but I am glad we jammed out to Sepia when we did. It was time for a different speed.
PL: Was the speed "pedal to the floor?" I felt we did damage there,
LJ: Yes. I remember Josh Pearson was busy, but he was also in on our night’s plans, so he gave us a Metropolitan Kranskaft while he worked. We then rolled a 6 on the die, and were presented with the classiest malort shot I’ve ever seen. It was in a long-stemmed coupe. I die. Then a Country Life cocktail. Then the redheaded bartender thought I looked "bored," and poured me a glass of champagne. Josh was funny, he told me that his normal evening progression goes like this: "sober, drunk, breakfast." He also recommended liberal application of Australian sausage roll to the hangover instead of the IV treatment.
PL: Josh is great. Really enjoy his company and his expertise. He sent me a text during the IV treatment asking if they could fit him in.
PL: By the time we got to Richard's, we had been out for close to 5 hours. Walking into that bar there was a moment where I had the angel on one shoulder screaming "GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN." On the other shoulder was a devil saying, it's not so bad once you get used the smoke, which I never did. The bar singing "Volare" at the top of our smoke-filled lungs seemed inevitable.
LJ: Your angels were still awake? I’m pretty sure mine both passed out at SmallBar. In retrospect, I do recall the glint of pure terror in your eyes when we entered.
PL: It also is the first heterosexual bar that I have been to where the line for the men's room is longer than the women’s.
LJ: That's never a good sign for anyone.
PL: I think Amy said it best when I was hinting that we should leave, that she "loves being at a place where you are uncomfortable."
LJ: Ah yes, the control subject would be the one pushing our boundaries. Thank you for putting me in a cab when you did. It was time to go home.
Of course, I will not be held responsible for how my boyfriend found me later. I was passed out on my back with my legs up on the end of my bed, lying back on the chair at the foot of our bed, and my head hanging off the edge of the chair, snoring. He put me back to bed, and told me in the morning that he thinks he saved my life. I have my doubts, but I’ve thanked him all the same.

The Treatment

LJ: I wouldn't have made it to treatment had you not called and texted. Our appointment was at 10 a.m. Which, by the way, is an evil time of day for such a thing.
PL: I was back at my hotel at 5:30-ish, placed my wake up call for 9am. Miraculously, I woke up on time.
LJ: Well, now that we know what we did to ourselves, let's get down to the treatment When I got there, I had no idea what to expect. I can say with full confidence that I was still drunk.
PL: I think I may have been too.
LJ: I expected Revive to be more, I don’t know, cheesy? When I saw how professional things looked in there, I felt a little bit of guilt for coming there in such rough shape. I was impressed with how quickly they got the show on the road. You were pretty much hooked up by the time I waltzed in the door.
PL: Absolutely, I'm glad they checked on heart issues, allergies, and other medical issues. The staff was incredibly nice.
LJ: I totally agree. I never doubted the practitioners, and the process was incredibly comfortable. I also liked that they customized the blend of fluids for each person. I don’t think I would have fared as well if doctor had not asked me about my typical hangover symptoms. I know they slipped some clutch medications in there.
PL: In my bag they had put in 30ml Toradol, 2ml vitamin b, and 10ml of vitamin c. They pushed a lot of fluids into me. The room had a loft feeling to it and we sat in a large room with other patients, which was interesting. They also had a "conference room" set up that you could have to do work in.
LJ: Leave it to the cocktail writer to know exactly what was in his IV bag. I thought the open seating situation was a little off-putting and I don't think I would be as comfortable with it if I were there because I was actually sick, and not just hungover. However, I got very comfortable in my chaise lounge, and the experience took on a spa feeling. One thing I didn't expect was how incredibly cold the IV made me feel. They noticed and offered me another blanket, but I honestly don't think it would have helped.
PL: It reminded me of when you give platelets and that feeling of just being so cold and you can't warm up. Once we were done with the treatment (which took close to 2 hours), I warmed up quickly.
LJ: It helped that it was a sunny day outside. For the record, that’s the first time I’ve uttered that phrase in relation to a hangover.
PL: But with all those fluids in me I was glad they had a bathroom in the suite.
LJ: I thought it was funny that the people mentioned that was an important part of why they chose the office they did. You don't want people with full bladders waddling down the hallway.
PL: I think they said they have 4 doctors on staff and obviously a few nurses as well to help administer the treatments. One of the doctors said that it all started because the mother of the one doctor was nearing the end of life and kept on being admitted to the hospital because of dehydration. I can see a real value for people, not just stupid idiots like us who are hungover, but those that feel run down or have the flu or colds.
LJ: I was very skeptical about the treatment before I went in. After doing it, I think if I had the flu, or was run down for some other reason, and really needed an IV, it's nice to know that I wouldn't have to check into the ER, where, even with insurance, I might be charged hundreds of dollars just to get some needed fluids in my arm.
PL: Of course, post-treatment, it was important to behave as if we were going to be faced with crippling hangovers.
LJ: I'm so glad we skipped over the brunch spot and popped into MBurger. As I started feeling better, I questioned if the treatment was really effective, or if it was just the magic of MBurger.
PL: I can say whole-heartedly that the treatment works. M Burger was great and all, but after the effect of alcohol wore off (meaning, I wasn't buzzed anymore), I just eased into being sober. Just a switch that clicked on. Yes, I was tired... I had slept less than 4 hours that day, but I never had any of the usual hangover symptoms. Not even a dull headache.
LJ: I feel the exact same way. As I was riding back in a cab from the treatment, I kept expecting to be nauseous. In fact, I picked the cab over the train, just in case I felt the need to throw up. Of course, that never happened.By bedtime, I felt like I was at 95%. If I hadn't had the treatment, I would have been a miserable mess all day, my boyfriend would have regretted “saving my life,” and likely would have still felt awful on Monday morning.
PL: They prefer that you make reservations during the week, but they will take weekend walk-ins. If you are making reservations because you know you will have a hangover... then, you may have a problem. Oh wait, that's exactly what we did... eh, never mind.
LJ: Yeah. I really was working hard to get that #scheduledintoxication thing to take off on Instagram. I don't think it worked.

The Control Subject

PL: Well, our control subject showed what our day could have been.
LJ: Poor Amy. She sent me a timeline of her day:

10 am - Wake up after 4 hours of sleep, still drunk.
11 am - Begin to sober up, hangover sets in, take Advil and shower. Resume languishing in bed.
1 pm - Go get banh mi from Nhu Lan, coconut water, and coconut juice. Consume with lots of sriracha.
3:30 pm - Take a nap.
5 pm - Wake up, feeling somewhat better, have iced coffee.
6 pm - Tired again, but need to get back to work.
7 pm - Consume ramen.
8:30 pm - Consume cupcake.
10:30 - Calling it a day, getting ready for bed, still feel mildly nauseous. Also - minor sore throat, and was probably yelling last night.

I really am impressed she left the house at all, but the power of the Banh Mi sandwich can be compelling. Also, from the looks of it, she basically had the day I would have had without treatment.
PL: Well, I did a bunch of dad-duties, swim class, etc. I probably smelled like hell, but I was able to function as well as usual. Seriously, the night was sort of epic. It would have been a colossal hangover... one to tell the grandkids about, and I survived with no issues.
LJ: I'll be telling the grand nieces and nephews about the night I went out with a man twice my size, went (almost) drink for drink, and spent the entire next day with no hangover. Got to keep my invincibility myth alive.
PL: All that said, it was great drinking with you. I look forward to having a more moderate drinking night with you in the future.
LJ: I'm so glad we got along, considering this endeavor was the first time we met. If we didn't, this night probably would have ended up in an IV no matter what, but possibly at a local hospital. I can get stabby whilst drinking among those I decide are a threat.
PL: Ha!
LJ: So yes, let's drink moderately soon. Clearly, it won't be anything to write Chicagoist about, but not every night needs to be so epic.
PL: Dorothy Parker would be proud of you.
LJ: I just noticed something I wrote down at Barrelhouse Flat, that your goal for the night was not to end up like "that guy."
Do you think you succeeded?
PL: I don't think that I was a total idiot that you would see on Rush St. I kept my shit together. Cabbie didn't have to yell at me to get me up when I got to the hotel. Didn't fall down the stairs at Barrelhouse Flat. So, I wasn’t THAT guy.
LJ: I lost a mitten. But i found it in my building’s lobby today! Clearly we're pros, with or without treatment. I'll toast to that.