Day 14 in isolation

coronavirus isolation has my mind stressing, the amygdala, anion mal brain underneath the hippocampus, the thinking part of my brain.

Looking around at the newspaper, it seems like there’s a lot of nutso animals on the prowl right now in our culture and around the world. And it’s a lot of stress. It creates this stress, it’s bad for MS, it’s bad for many things. Almost anything that’s wrong with you, you could do without some stress to deal with it, you know? So, people are not functioning in their highest level right now because of all the stress.

Begin Transcript

JOHN HOPPIN: All right, what’s up, what’s up? Thank you for tuning in to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. My name is John. I’m a husband, a father, 40 years old. Feels older sometimes. I’m an MS patient, and I’m a small business owner and podcaster/radio DJ.

But I’m not really much of anything except a husband and father right now. That’s been my focus for the past 14 days I’ve been at my house. My wife has been doing the grocery stuff and the toilet paper war, and all of this stuff; it sounds horrible.

I’ve been at home with my kids. We go out on a walk and usually, I use my wheelchair and then go around my neighborhood. I told you about that last time. We’re still pretty much doing that every day. I had Zoom chats with my kids’ school. Hold on a second, it’s too cold out here. Sun is shining, but the wind is starting to blow.

All right, What’s The Matter With Me? podcast, we’re back. Thank you for staying with me. I went inside and I got a Pendleton, my Pendleton wool sweater. It’s so comfortable and stylish, and it makes me happy. I got that on, I’m in the sun, things are okay, but I just wanted to say it’s been two weeks I’ve been in my house, I’m getting some walks around pretty much on the daily. Today I finally took a walk without the chair, and that made me realize how much I’m missing the YMCA, and I’ll get back there.

I wanted to make this episode to check in. First of all, I got to give a big shout to Patrick. Thanks for checking with me, shooting me an email. He emailed me via the contact page– email me there, and I will say what’s up to you. What’s up, Patrick? Patrick’s always listening.

I also wanted to give a shout-out to Rocky. Rocky is always listening and connected, and shout-outs to all the other people who listen. You know, it’s great to hear from people and I wish I could hear from everyone, but it’s just the way it always goes in advertising, right? Couple of people write you, you know other people were listening, getting down the same way; they just didn’t write you. So, I wanted to give a shout-out to all you silent lurkers. Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast.

Right now, you know, multiple sclerosis can get aggravated under stress, and right now it’s a very stressful time, and everyone functions worse under stress. We start getting dominated in our brain by our amygdala, which is like our animal brain, and it releases cortisol, stress hormone. It increases our fight-or-flight response. So, we’re not creating positive thoughts, we’re not in our hippocampus, we’re not in the brainy part of our brain. I know we’ve talked about it. It’s the part on top that looks like a brain.

We’re instead all operating under stress, we all start operating from that weird, little brain under our big brainy brain. And so, we’re all stressed out and fighting or freaking out. At least, I am. I mean, it’s a stressful time. I haven’t been able to go anywhere. I’m kind of like a nutso animal, right?

I think, looking around at the newspaper, it seems like there’s a lot of nutso animals on the prowl right now in our culture and around the world. And it’s a lot of stress. It creates this stress, it’s bad for MS, it’s bad for many things. Almost anything that’s wrong with you, you could do without some stress to deal with it, you know? So, people are not functioning in their highest level right now because of all the stress.

So, I just want to say that out because, for me, I’m part of it. I am not functioning at my highest level, and I have MS. I have bigger fish to fry, frankly, than this global pandemic. I have a personal problem, we’ll call it MS, that is going on, has been going on and will be going on before, during and after this big problem we’ve got in our world. You know? So, everyone has their personal issue, their personal crisis, their personal stress they’re trying to get through, and then as a culture, we have this huge problem, at least in California, we’re all sequestered in our homes.

All across the world, India, there are problems because of coronavirus, you know? My kids, my daughter has her hand in her mouth all the time, I think she’s got to have a SARS once or twice over by now, and coronavirus is probably something not to joke about. So, I’ll just end that little routine there.

But anyway, it’s like, kids aren’t clean. And nothing is clean around here. We’re just trying to stay safe and sequestered. Forget all of that other stuff. Right now, for us, it’s about washing our hands, and being clean, and trying to reduce risk. And that’s all we can do. We’re having a lot of stress in this culture. We just need to be okay with that, reducing our risk and going on from there.

Thinking with the brainy part of our brain, solving problems, not freaking out. So, that’s what I hope I can do. Thank you for turning into the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. It’s another freestyle episode outside, hanging out in the yard. I’m in my chair again, the yard is beautiful, the fremontodendron is covered in yellow blossoms, the apricot tree is starting to get green. It’s still got a bunch of white blossoms on it. The fig tree, baby figs are born now and they’re all over it. The cercis tree has this beautiful purple blossoms, and it’s starting to get its distinctive round leaf. The blackberries are coming. Monkey flower, a orange flower’s coming in. There’s some rockrose periodically, the lobster tail flower…

There’s a lot of stuff coming in. It’s very peaceful, the garden. There’s California lilac, I guess of lilac color. Anyhow, the garden is very peaceful, and I’m here a lot when I’m not inside teaching my kids or playing elementary school teacher, and I’m very lucky that I can do that. And that I’m not a day laborer, and that I’m not in the service industry, because many people I know are and they’re having a very hard time, and my heart goes out to them.

Many of my clients at Hoppin Hot Sauce, every single one of them is under pressure, and they’re restaurants, you know what I mean? And grocery stores. They’re having a tough time. Independent grocery stores, the little ones. And so, everybody’s under pressure. Everyone’s got that amygdala. Try and operate from your hippocampus. Try and have evolved thoughts, elevated thoughts. I’m speaking to myself here, man. I want to be on a higher level. There’s a lot of problems right now in the culture; I need to elevate where I’m at.

Thanks for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. I hope you can find a way to avoid all this stress and drama that’s eating our culture in half. Shout me out a email via the contact form. Check out Apple Podcasts for past episodes. Also, whatsthematterwithme.org is your source for past episodes.

Got to give a shout-out to Hoppin Hot Sauce. It’s at hoppinhotsauce.com. It’s the best sauce in the world, there’s nothing like it, it’s a movement, it’s a secret society; all we ask is trust! Trust that, it’s called Hoppin Hot Sauce. Check it out, hoppinhotsauce.com.

Check out the past episodes. Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast. See you next time.

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