To Ride or Not to Ride, that is the question

I have a slight case of insomnia. It’s unfair to call it insomnia, really. I’m sure that true insomniacs would be annoyed and even offended at the carelessness with which I use the word. If you’re a dedicated reader, you know what’s up. Yup, Mirs is at home in Brooklyn and I am at home in Harlem. We’re an entire island and body of water apart. To make things even more difficult, I’ve been wrestling with a wicked headache and nausea that feels like a migraine.

I used to get migraines all of the time. They were these horrible headaches I could feel coming a mile away. I was prescribed Imitrex by an amazing doctor who upped and left the practice without warning her patients. I haven’t been back to the doctor since. When I would get migraines, back then, and I didn’t take the medicine in time to catch them everything bothered me. I wore sunglasses indoors, and not the way I do in the summer while shopping or in the subway or at brunch with friends. I wore them in my apartment because even the slightest light would bother me. I also couldn’t stand the smell of anything. The smell of perfume or cigarette smoke, even the wrong thing cooking would send waves of nausea over my body and my headaches felt like little men on the inside of my forehead, between my eyes with pick axes trying to dig their way from my scull out. It was horrid.

Turns out, the hair product that I adore and have started using again in moderation was one of the culprits. Miss Jessie’s is this amazing elixir that’s full of things that are horrible for the environment. It’s the one product that I can’t seem to give up because dealing with natural black hair on a day-to-day basis needs a little nudging of poison. The poison smells magical to passersby. Every time I walk into any room one or two or three people will comment, “Oh, someone smells delicious!” It does smell delicious, but not really all that delicious when it’s on your head.

So I’ve scaled back again, as I’ve noticed the headaches returning. I have no interest in going back on prescription drugs. So this headache has returned. It started two days ago at work. Horrible headache, nausea, and the chills. I went to Mirs house last night and directly to bed to sleep for two hours before finally waking up, head still pounding, to try to eat some food. I took more Advil and chugged a glass of water and drifted back to sleep. This morning I woke up delightfully headache-free and we enjoyed our day in China Town. Half way through Dim Sum the exhaustion and headache returned. Along with this horrible, dull, but intense pain in my lower left abdomen.

This stomach pain is a new one. It started about three days ago when Mirs and I were doing it. I’d just had an orgasm and my post orgasm tremors were rudely interrupted by a stabbing pain in my stomach. I thought it was a weird muscle pull or something and we went to sleep. The same thing happened the night before last. And now, no orgasm had because the lady’s in Brooklyn and I’m too lazy to find my vibrator I have a duller version of the pain.

So tonight, 2 minutes before half time of the Superbowl the pain in my head and stomach simultaneously return and I put myself to bed for two hours. Now, I’m wide awake, headache is almost gone and the pain in my stomach is dull and annoying. Mirs is taking me to the Dr. tomorrow, which is exactly how I like to spend my days off.

So anyway, I’m wide awake and surfing the web and remembered that Mirs and I resently watched a LOGO reality show about the Aids Ride on Netflix a few weeks back. During Dim Sum she brought it up again. She’s really into it and thinks that we’d have no problem raising the $3500 to ride from Niagara Falls to New York City. I, on the other hand, have a few reservations.

Last fall I took on the task of raising a little more than that amount for Team in Training in order to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. I was fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I fund raised for 6 months and when the time came to turn in all the money, I came up short. $2000 short. When I talked to my event coordinator about it I suggested everything so that I could run. I offered to pay for my own airfare to the event, I suggested I do another race later in the season, I tried everything. When it came down to it, in order to participate and according the the contract I’d signed 6 months prior I personally owed the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society the remaining balance. I make a good salary, but not that good. Taking that money out of my account would’ve set me back pretty far. I have loans, phone bills, and gym memberships automatically drafted from my account. Not to mention rent, the Subway, food, and fun in the City.

We came up with a conclusion together after an hour on the phone weeping. They would re-route my money so that all of it went to LLS and I couldn’t run the event. I was relieved and left completely jaded. I’d spent the majority of my spring and summer time fundraising, planning events, talking about LLS and in the end I felt that my time and efforts weren’t appreciated. They were, of course. Usually LLS retains 75% of the funds raised while the remaining 25% goes to fund Team in Training Events. The worse thing about it was that for about a month and a half after the scheduled events I would get e-mails, text messages, and phone calls asking how the marathon went. Everytime, I had to explain that I didn’t make my fundraising goal and therefore didn’t participate in the event.

The idea of hitting the pavement one more time to raise money is daunting, to say the least. There is a gigantic part of me that wants to do it. I think, as I did for LLS, that AIDS is a disease that needs more attention, more funding, more research. I want to do my part and what better way than through blood, sweat, and tears. I’d get to do it with my girlfriend, which would be amazing in itself; we’d get to travel down the east coast, and what an amazing experience to tell your family and friends about?

Mirs thinks that AIDS has a stronger reaction to people that Leukemia and Lymphoma. It sounds harsh, she said, but people die from AIDS. Yes, people die from cancer, I know. It was her comment, not mine. I see where she’s coming from, I do. And I think I would have a different audience to fundraise to. I could start planning fundraising events now, in the winter and maybe have the money in before the actual event in August. If I signed up now, I’d have 7 months to fundraise.

I’m torn. If we’re going to do it, we need to start now. Training, fundraising, event planning, buying a bike. God knows my 1970’s 30LB Schwinn isn’t going to make the trip. Or should I volunteer my time to AIDS in NYC in another way and go for it next year when my spirit’s not as bruised. Does that make me a bad person, somehow? I’m not sure. I don’t know what I want to do. I just know I want to do something.


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