What's The Matter With Me? Podcast

I have multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia and I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

Getting outdoors, not rinsing the dishes, antibody test results, and staying simple in the kitchen

JOHN HOPPIN: Yo, check 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Yo, check 2-1.

What’s The Matter With Me? in the building. Yeah. What’s The Matter With Me? back in here going to tell you whether or not to rinse the dishes. I went to get tested for antibody responses and I cooked some chicken with sumac and za’atar. I sent a sample of Hoppin Hot Sauce to San Leandro Times with a handwritten letter, man. You know me- I wrote them a handwritten letter on my crazy handwriting and a copy of the newsletter. Of course, right now playing the jingle. (Singing). All right, the jingle. Amazon.com/HoppinHotSauce. That’s your source.

I signed the kids up for baseball.

I want to join KALX. Disabled hiker’s guides and the GRIT chair, getting outside in the wheelchair. I read a cool article in the New York Times called “‘I Wanted That Self Reliance Back’: Disabled Hikers Forge a New Path,” by Amanda Morris, February 3rd, 2022. Outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities are pushing to encounter nature on their own terms with self written guides, better equipment, and even guide dogs trained for the back country. Cool article about disabled people. Some of them with MS trying to get outside.

You might remember last year in August, I went on vacation and it was an accessible vacation with paved paths.

I went on plenty of dirt paths and it was more or less accessible. It wasn’t perfect, the house, the shower in the house, I got trapped in it one time and things weren’t quite right. I couldn’t get out of it. The way you had to get out of the shower was over this big cement lip. They were kind of really flimsy shower doors and nothing to hold on to. I couldn’t get over this lip. I tried, but I almost ate it big time in the shower, had to sit in the shower for half an hour to get out. Until Nami got me, came back in the house. She was outside in the pool. That was the cool thing about the house. I got in the pool with the family. I was able to swim with my kids and just be in… Not really swim, but be in the pool and play with them. They loved it.

And it was Sequoyah National Park. I went around the trail. Some of them, they were too steep and my chair was sliding around on the trail and it scared my wife and I. I was trying to get through it. My wife was like, “What the hell are you doing?” And it was hard. That wasn’t great. But then there were other times where it was like, pull up. My chair was working. (The ground) was flat, but my chair has little plastic wheels in the front that are two inches, three inches, small wheels. It can’t really do off road. It can do flat, but it can’t do sand or gravel that’s too big, which is most gravel. Most gravel is gravel and it can’t do gravel.

So, I had this kind of checkered vacation. Yeah. I wrote when I was going on it, I said, it’s an accessible vacation. All the attractions have paved paths and we’re staying in a place with pool and AC and I’m cautiously optimistic. That was the episode, “Vacation,” that came out last year, August 2nd. That was the first episode where I was like, “Wait, I can be a cult leader.” And I started the cult episodes. Shout out if you’re in the cult and you’re kind of a sleeper cell. I guess once you’re in a cult, you’re always a cult member. Once you’re a cult leader, you’re probably always a cult leader. I guess this is another one of the cult episodes. Okay. Wow. Back to that again. Anyway, vacation last year, cautiously optimistic. Then I didn’t update it. Classic What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast.

Anyhow, I read this, “‘I Wanted That Self Reliance Back’: Disabled Hikers Form a New Path.” And reading about that, they were talking about the height of the railing. So, if you’re in your wheelchair and you’re on some kind of path, and there’s a railing on either side, if it’s too high and you can’t see over it while you’re in your wheelchair, it’s kind of defeating the purpose in a way. You never want to be a complainer. I’m like, “I don’t want to be a complainer, but I can’t see anything.” So, interesting. Some things are accessible, some things aren’t, like I said, the guy, the ranger told me I could make this path and it was nuts. I didn’t go toppling over the side and I lived, but I had to turn it around. I wasn’t able to do this thing, and my wife who is already going to kill me five times over.

Disabled hikers want more information.

They talk about a project called Disabled Hikers in the Northwest. They’ve completed close to 200 trail guides. They talk about from the parking lot to the trail. It says here, “Even trails labeled accessible can present challenges that park staff don’t always recognize.” Even as a disabled person, sometimes you don’t understand whether you can do a thing. You often you have to give it a shot, and that means you fail. So, more information about what you’re in for puts you in a better place. The Disabled Hikers have a website and some trail guides and says, “some trails guides are already available for free on the Disabled Hikers website.”

“Mx. Nagakyrie also plans to publish a guidebook, which is currently available for pre-order. Each trail is given a rating of how many spoons it takes to complete. In reference to a popular term used by those with chronic fatigue to describe how much energy they have to complete a given task. The more spoons the tasks requires, the harder and more energy consuming it is.” That’s cool because I’m all about spoons. Because last time we were talking Knorks, but also I used this spoon method to keep track of my own energy. I’m like, “How many spoons?” I often will tell someone, I’m running out of spoons, I’ll say to my wife. She’ll be like, “I got you.”

So, it talks about… Skipping down in the article, it talks about demand for outdoor equipment. Skipping down, it says, “When Eric Baker, 63, of Mercado California started experiencing symptoms of his chronic debilitating joint diseases. 40 years ago, he could not find any wheelchairs on the market that could handle rugged outdoor terrain. One of the biggest problems in the disability community is most everything is made for indoor use, he said.” That is totally true. I use my travel wheelchair, take it to the park. I’m pretty limited where I can go, but I’ll ride it. I have the luxury of being able to get out of it. If I really need to, I can move it and then that’s something I can do that a lot of other people can’t do. I’m lucky about that. But even so, there’s very little, percentage-wise, of the park that I can get to in my wheelchair because it doesn’t go off road more or less.

It says, “Now Baker uses the GRIT freedom chair, a three wheel chair that can be propelled using levers, invented by MIT researchers about a decade ago. With the new chair, Mr. Baker hops curbs, hunts, visits the beach and can cross mud, rocks, and gravel. The chair cost him about $3,500.” So, what’d I tell you about gravel? So, gravel, man. But yeah, mud, sand, all that and outside, and that sounded cool. But the thing is, I only really have enough strength to push stuff with my left hand. How can I use it with one hand? All the videos I saw they’re using two hands. I contacted them this morning, because I was like, “This is a cool product. I want to go outside.” I said, “Hey, how can I use it with one hand?” So, we’ll see what they say, but GRIT freedom chair, G-R-I-T freedom chair. Cool. Cool and straight up, it’s a popular thing. People like it. Maybe I can use it. I got to find out more about it.

Whether or not to rinse the dishes, man.

So, my wife and I had a big thing about this because we heard that if you didn’t rinse the dishes, if they were a little dirty, that the soap would actually work better. And then the environmental protection agency was like, “You should not rinse your dishes.” Save water, right? And then the Good Housekeeping Agency said, “You shouldn’t rinse your dishes.” This caused a crisis in our family because it’s always about like who’s rinsing the dishes. So, no rinsing. We stopped doing it and it makes the dishes totally clean. So far, the results have… We thought our dishwasher is old. They can’t do it. Nope, works better.

So, anyway, don’t rinse the dishes. I mean, that’s what we’ve decided and it caused a crisis. My wife was like, “I feel like an old person now because I feel like stubbornly, I must cling to my upbringing and not rinsing the dishes- in the view of that upbringing- is wrong. We had huge fights about rinsing the dishes that I was personally invested in.” She felt like she couldn’t give up rinsing the dishes, but we tried it. We agreed to try it. And man, it cleaned the hell out of those dishes. They’re spotless. They’re like, bling. I don’t think we’ll be rinsing the dishes anymore. Big news on the What’s The Matter With Me? podcast.

I went to go get tested- to Labcorp and I got this antibody quantitative test.

Got the results back and it looked to me like I don’t have very many antibodies in my blood. They were less than 1% or what? It seemed like the lowest rating. It kind of freaked me out. I knew that was a possibility. I sent it to my MS doctor and I asked her, I was like, “It looks to me like I don’t have a lot of antibodies. What does it mean?” Because maybe I’m reading it wrong. I’m not a doctor. I’m a total moron. Thanks for tuning in.

I marinated chicken legs with sumac and za’atar after Ottolenghi.

In this Guardian article, he talks about his favorite recipes from his first cookbook. It was sumac and za’atar and allspice, a lot of spice. While I was doing it, I was happy to be using sumac and za’atar because I want to cook with them. Allspice and cinnamon. It all sounded great. But, in my mind, I was like, “This is complicated. This is a weeknight dinner. Just because you’re baking this in the oven, doesn’t mean- like, you’re making it complicated.” And I was like… My brain was like, “No, I’m not.” And the other voice in my brain was like, “Yes you are, because you know a great marinade for chicken legs is yogurt and Hoppin Hot Sauce.”

I’ve got to stop you using recipes. It was too much work. It had pine nuts on the garnish. I mean, it was dumb. Why did I do it? It wasn’t that good. It was more a dreaming idea than good. Bottom line I could’ve done Hoppin Hot Sauce and yogurt and it would’ve been fine and easier, way easier. I sent a sample…

Speaking of Hoppin Hot Sauce, just today, I sent a sample to the San Leandro Times.

The San Leandro Times is a newspaper, but it’s color and the paper stock is a little different than newsprint and they throw it on our driveway and it’s totally awesome. My kids love reading it. They love getting the paper. There’s a food section, and my son just loves the food section. I told them that, sent a sample, two bottles of extra hot because that’s all I have right now. I don’t have original flavor because of supply chain difficulty. That’s all I’m saying, but I will fix that.

I sent them a couple bottles of extra hot with a letter, a handwritten letter. Started talking about the newspaper and how much I love it. I forgot to mention Hoppin Hot Sauce, I had to scribble in the margin, “the sauce is on Amazon, and also available locally at Galvan’s,” the meat shop on the corner. So, that I was local. Then a copy of the newsletter. I hope he’s like, “This guy makes a newsletter too.” Other San Leandro stuff, I signed the kids up for baseball. Double-A and T-ball. John’s older. So, Double-A is machine pitch and T-ball is off the tee.

Talking to my therapist. We realized… I realized he was telling me. Therapists, they know things and they tell you, but he was like, “Wasn’t that kind of overextending yourself to try and drive to Los Altos every week, most times, twice a week.” It was.

I realized, I think I’m going to try and join KALX.

In the summer, KALX, which is the UC Berkeley station, they invite community members to join. I want try and join in the summer. I don’t know what I’ll do there. And I don’t care. Really, I’ll do anything. I’ll do log correction, which is just as exciting as it sounds. Log correction. You have to fill out the log, someone has to validate them and correct them. The most boring job in radio is log correction. Sign me up.

Thanks for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast.

Don’t rinse the dishes. The GRIT chair. I got tested for antibodies and I think I don’t have any. I worked too hard making chicken eggs… too hard making chicken legs and I could have done Hoppin Hot Sauce and yogurt. It would be doing fine and easier. I sent a sample of Hoppin Hot Sauce to the San Leandro Times. Get me in the paper. I’m going get in the paper you guys. For something good, I think. And I signed the kids up for baseball. I think I’m going to join KALX. All right, man. Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. I hope that’s pretty much everything is wrong with me. Let’s get that music going, right? It’s time. That’s the time baby. See you next week.


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