When a hangover keeps hanging on ...

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There are hangovers, and then there are hangovers. As one gets older, more and more are being classified as the latter.

Enjoying several tipples on a night out and waking up feeling fine the next day is starting to become something of a distant memory.

But it happened. Back in those care-free student days, a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (starting to get the picture?) night wouldn’t have been the same without one or two (or three, four, five) drinks at the local watering hole.

The next morning, the younger version of myself still managed to make 9am lectures with a relative spring in her step, and a giddy anticipation for the next night out.

Of course, after certain special occasions – birthday celebrations, Christmas, New Year’s and the like – there were days spent in bed feeling very sorry for myself, but on the whole I got by pretty unscathed.

Until that is, at some point in my mid 20s. It was subtle at first, just feeling a little worse for a little longer. Then a lot longer. Full days started to be lost, then a new phenomenon: the two-day hangover. Yes, two whole days of feeling useless. Wiped out with no one to blame but myself. Or the caterers – one has a habit of pointing the finger at food.

When The Boy and I attended our final summer wedding of the season in Scotland last weekend, one expected to be feeling a touch delicate on the return leg of the journey.

A 3am finish pretty much guaranteed that, but what one didn’t expect was to still be forgoing a glass of vino at dinner the following Wednesday.

Wednesday! Almost four full days after the offending alcoholic concoction had been consumed, and my body was still out of action.

Taking running gear to the office was a waste of time, and the bottle of fizz bought to mark our third anniversary has remained on ice.

As you get older, the number of enzymes in your liver start to decrease, or so I read this week. Without those useful little enzymes – which one took for granted 10 years ago – nasty toxins take over, causing the effects of a hangover.

The cause, scientific as it was, wasn’t really what I was searching for. That bit was pretty obvious.

What I wanted – needed – was the cure. ‘How to get over a four-day hangover.’ Had anyone written the book on that yet? Not that I’ve found thus far, so I’m still pressing on with the water, veggies and light exercise, which I’m assured will help my body ‘feel better, faster.’ I do hope so – the next night out’s tomorrow...