Like the Negronis I drank the night before my appointment, I take detox one way: seriously. At various income levels, I’ve submitted to the systematic scrape. In my early 20s as a fashion writer, all I could afford to purge alcohol from my body was a jog (P0), homemade juice cleanses (P20 to P30), or a 90-minute float session in a saltwater pod (P1,500). By the time I shifted to tech, I’d been making my way up the corporate ladder. But what shot me to the first quadrant of the crazy and expensive matrix was my most prohibitively priced detox to date: a vitamin drip at the Aivee Clinic (P10,000). Having seen fictional hedge fund managers hooked up to them, needle to skin, on the TV show Billions, of course, I wanted to try it in real life!
Weak from Aperol spritzes, six magnums of champagne, and some very stiff drinks at a birthday party on the eve of my procedure, I stepped into the treatment room the next day. A nurse, trained in tapping vein from countless gluta shots, rolled in an IV drip stand as licensed medical doctor Anne Go-Hao schooled me on the intravenous method’s rapid effectiveness and safety. “IV is direct to body’s system, taking them via IV launches them straight into your bloodstream for faster absorption.
As we spoke, the clinic’s pharmacist mixed the drip that I wanted: the Power Boost. Advertised on the Aivee Drip menu as best for restoring energy and, yes, curing a hangover, it had calibrated amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, yielding a yellow fluid. The pharmacist loaded them into a syringe the size of a Cuban cigar, which my nurse then brought into my room. She then announced the names of three other smaller injections she brandished: Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and glutathione.
Lying on my back on the treatment bed, I voiced my discomfort with anything whitening-related, but the nurse assured me that glutathione is an antioxidant (that is, it metabolizes toxins like alcohol) and that the whitening effect happens only with repeated doses over time. Appeased, I offered my left forearm, and she tied a compression band on its upper side to make my veins bulge. “Ma’am! Please don’t look,” she implored as I snuck a peek, and with my free hand started a live video stream on Instagram.
“Sometimes when people are very drunk or tired or don’t get enough sleep, their vein collapses,” she added, sliding the needle in—which I didn’t really feel at all! More than the drip’s contents, I realized I was also paying for nurse’s expertise.
Her colleague stuck the Vitamin B12 into the drip bag. Red liquid swirled into the yellow Myers’s Cocktail, as it’s called. Invented by physician John Myers of Baltimore, it’s med-speak for any nutrient solution that contains magnesium (the better to soothe inflamed— including alcohol-soaked—gastric muscles), calcium, various B vitamins, and Vitamin C. According to naturopathic doctors in Canada, this combination is good for athletes who need to who need to rehydrate. (The fluid’s pee-like shade did remind me of Gatorade.)
As the lemon-colored liquid slithered into my bloodstream via PVC tube and medical grade needle, I felt no pain (thank God), save for a mild burning sensation when the nurse infused the Vitamin C (which is not as diluted as the other solutions). Nor did I experience the possible side effects mentioned by food and drug boards: headache, nausea, or dizziness.
Instead, I sensed my energy noticeably picking up. And at what speed! Just five minutes into the drip, my lids felt more open and, though I was lying down, I sensed a postural lift, like in yoga class when the instructor guides us to make like a Zen marionette: “Imagine a string that is being pulled taut from the base of your spine, up and out through the top of your head.” This is excellent news for someone like me, a lazy talker who can’t keep her eyes open after three coffees and who has been asked if she is on Valium (I am not). I felt jazzed and told my nurse, who gave me a look that said, “Of course you are.”
After 25 minutes, as the last of the nutrients was siphoned into my vein, the procedure was done. Just like that, goodbye Hangover City. Hello, Billionaire Shooters Club?
For the steep price, be advised: there are no lasting effects. The next morning at the office, I got no compliments on a glow, nor any other comments that signified a noticeable change, like, “Did you do something different with your hair?” True, I may blow more money in less time inside a shoe store, but I couldn’t help but think: this drip was the cost of two days’ salary, yet I didn’t get to keep the shoes?
As fast as the shot, so was the high. Now excuse me while I get another drink.