Entering the gates of the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival last weekend, I experienced a teenager-like giddiness in anticipation of seeing musical acts like TNGHT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Jurassic 5.
On Day Two, a nice cold beer, a few beats dropped by Major Lazer and I was happy to go along with the DJ group's Coachella version of "The Harlem Shake" along with hundreds of fans that overflowed the Mojave tent.Even by Day Three, after popping a bottle of champagne at brunch and the lights and sounds of Vampire Weekend, Wu-Tang Clan and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the first weekend of Coachella completeness hadn't hit. I was in such denial about the festival's conclusion that I had a dance party at a Del Taco drive-thru somewhere in the middle of the desert.
But then Monday morning a double whammy hit me: Coachella Crud and the Coachella Comedown.
One is no fun, but both at the same time is brutal, and I wasn't the only one suffering the symptoms.
The Coachella Crud, as some festival veterans and desert locals call it, can include that daytime sniffling, sneezing, stuffy head, black lunglike coughing, so you-can't-believe-why-you-did-it feeling.
The Coachella Comedown isn't so much a physical hurt. It's a sense of sadness and withdrawal that often comes after experiencing something so ridiculously fun and memorable your heart yearns for it to last forever.
Related: 10 ways to beat the Coachella crud
Louise Roe, host of NBC's "Fashion Star" and the makeover show "Plain Jane" on MTV, tweeted on April 14: "Woke up sick today & missing Coachella."
That's been me since Sunday.
It didn't help that I, along with an estimated 90,000 festival attendees, had to brave the dust storm on Coachella Weekend One's last day that reportedly reached wind gusts of more than 35 mph. I felt just like Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who joked during the band's set that he swallowed enough sand to "throw up a small sandbox."
The strong winds that blew sand over festival grounds, creating ominous sunsets, spurred attendees to dub this year's windiest Coachella yet as Blowchella or Windchella.
Fellow Coachella-goer, Michelle Madrid of Los Angeles, who replied via email, said she can barely talk because her throat is so sore from all the sand she ended up gulping down as she braved the festival to the last headliner. She's also been sneezing since that gusty night.
Jesus Diaz of Atwater Village also blamed the sand blasting wind for his inability to get "back into the groove of things" even by Thursday. "I am completely exhausted," Diaz said, adding that he wished he had taken an extra day off to recover. "Riding a bike at night against the wind and the dust after three days of dancing drained me. "
But Sydney Sutton of Woodland Hills, a Coachella first-timer who expressed via Twitter that she and just about everyone she knows got sick from the festival, didn't think it was just last weekend's dust storm, as she has heard stories of the Coachella Crud from years past.
"I think everyone gets sick because not only are we partying half-naked from sunrise to sunrise, but we are also sharing beverages, etc.," Sutton said.Stacy Lee of Pasadena agreed, recalling getting symptoms during her first year at the festival in 2010.
"I definitely had the Coachella Crud," Lee said. "I remember being miserable because I just started a new job and didn't want to be absent. "
But this year, Lee attributes her healthy composure post-Coachella to being "no longer a Coachella rookie. "
"I took Emergen-C every night and lucked out this year, in a sense, because I wasn't as interested in the earlier lineups, so was able to sleep a little bit longer than the first year when I wanted to be there for everything," she said.
I agree that plenty of sleep will be the key for those looking to survive Coachella Weekend Two and its aftermath.
But here's another tip from Lee and others who have been trying to stave away the post-Coachella blues: Re-live your favorite Coachella moments while you readjust to "the real world."
"I've been listening to Major Lazer non-stop," Lee said. "Dubstep is the new coffee in the morning. "