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

Portrait

My name is John, I’m 40 years old, husband, father, small business owner, radio DJ, podcaster and I have multiple sclerosis.

I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

Most Recent Episodes:

sauce pan on stove

Overwhelmed

In Episode 6 I get overwhelmed and hang up the headphones in the middle of the episode. On the one hand, it’s a pretty terrible episode because of that, but on the other hand, it is good to know that I can feel bad and recover. I certainly don’t feel this way anymore. It’s hard to slur your words on the mic.

Books / Can’t do what your parents do

A listener wrote in to correct me about some books that I touched on in the last episode and I took this opportunity to set the record straight. Tony Robbins wrote Awaken the Giant Within. Dale Carnegie wrote How To Win Friends and Influence People. Steven R. Covey wrote that 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Good information

My Mom had these books and that’s why I avoided them. I was a childish child. They probably contain a lot of good information.

All right?

I feel all right. I don’t have to go to the doctor.

Sauce

I made tomato sauce with 5 tomatoes that I grew. I have a hard time explaining how I made it. It gets hard for me to talk, hard to say “5 of them”. I’m slurring my words. I get frustrated and hang up my headphones. I’m feeling pretty low, after all.

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Welcome back to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast for Episode 5: Gallows Humor

In this episode, I have bad reaction to an MRI, suffering fever and headaches for days.  I come through it with the help of my wife.

Recap Ep. 4

Recap – last episode, I tried to wrap my head around the idea of asking for and receiving help.  A listener wrote in to tell me that asking for help increases effectiveness.  We talked about the determination to continue despite the demoralizing nature of the therapy process.

Bad MRI

I had bad reaction to an MRI last week.  I reacted to the contrast dye injection.  I had a headache and fever for a couple days.  It took a lot out of me.  I was bedridden.

Gallows humor

If you ever see me flapping my arms and making fart noises, it means someone close to me has died.  I am inappropriate.

I’ve been feeling very down since the MRI.

New Lemon Flavor

In some sign of normalcy, I cooked Hoppin Hot Sauce, trying out a new Meyer lemon ingredient that my co-packer sent.  The results are promising.

Plants are growing in my garden – see you next time

Begin Transcript

JOHN HOPPIN: What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Episode five. Yeah. What’s The Matter With Me,? episode five, back to business. Not really back to business. I’ll get to that later. Last episode, let’s recap. I talked about I wasn’t going to quit doing this podcast no matter what. I admitted that I was a product of the eighties California life. I was born in… I’m a Californian, Okay? I said, “Dude.” I say, “Dude.” I admitted it, and we talked about therapy’s hard. They make you do things that you can’t really do. That’s why it’s therapy. It’s demoralizing, but you’ve got to do it and it gets easier. That’s the cool part about therapy. I got to admit something. I had a bad reaction to an MRI last week. It was really difficult. If you don’t know MRI machines, it’s a big giant thing that you get your head stuck into this hole with light coming out.

It’s creepy. It’s like a science fiction movie. You stick your head inside this giant machine and it scans your head, and actually they sucked me further into this machine and they scanned my spinal column, and that’s even worse. It’s like a punishing noise concert where you get stuffed in the amplifier. You can’t move for 45 minutes, an hour and a half. You can Google “what does the MRI sound like,” and you can get some idea. I’ve learned to fall asleep during this thing because I think my body shuts down to avoid the experience, and sometimes I snore too much and it messes up the scan, and they have to stop doing it and redo some parts, and it takes longer because I snore so much, because it’s terrible. They inject me with contrast dye to see if there are any bleeding lesions in my brain and brainstem, and to tell whether I’m having disease activity or not, because if there’s stuff happening live, that means I’m undergoing neurological degeneration.

The name of the game, I guess. I had the MRI on Wednesday, and I had a headache that night, and I started to get a fever above a hundred degrees. Got to 102 until Sunday morning, it broke. And it made all my symptoms worse. I fell down a lot, had to lay in bed all day, and I couldn’t move, and I have a really painful zit on my ass. And I stressed out a lot. It was very stressful, and I gave myself a hemorrhoid even, which is rare, which is ironic, because I have a radio show and my DJ name is Hemroid the Leader, but I came up with that name when I was 14 and I didn’t know a thing about a hemorrhoid.

And this is kind of joking, I guess. I get nervous. If you ever see me making fart noise and flapping my arms, you know somebody very close to me has died. I try and distract with stupid sense of humor to cover up how bad I’m feeling. And I couldn’t really do anything this whole week. I couldn’t turn. I was in bed, it was hard for me to sit up, turn over. It was hard, and it made my wife scared, and she cried by herself, man. And that kills me because she doesn’t deserve that kind of thing, but there’s nothing I could do about it

Any way. Yesterday… I’m still recuperating. Yesterday I made hot sauce all by myself. My co-packer sent me a new Meyer lemon juice to try in my recipe. So, I made a batch yesterday. I still haven’t tasted it. I’ll taste it today. Anyway, I wanted to leave you with this idea that citrus plants are growing in my garden, and that’s a really cool thing. I have a Yuzu tree, little one. It’s about five feet tall, but it added about a foot in the past week, and I have a Meyer lemon tree about two feet tall. We’ll see where it goes. So, another episode in the books, maybe episode five. It’s What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

garden

Welcome to Episode 4 of the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast

In this episode, I continue to think about how to ask for help with the shower safety changes that I need, do some physical therapy, and finally pick up the phone and ask for help.

Recap Ep. 3

Recap – last episode was about asking for help. It was hard to record because I didn’t know that’s what I needed to do before I began recording.  I figured out while I was on talking about it that so many of my great friends and family would be happy to help, and that all I had to do was ask.

7 habits

A listener, my only listener at that point, wrote in to say that accepting help builds bonds.  It’s one of the Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.  That’s a famous book that I avoided because my Mom owned it.  I’m grown up enough to admit that it’s probably got a lot tof good information.

Never quit

I can’t quit, even if I make bad episodes.  Last episode, I said “Dude,” revealing that I am a Californian from the 80s.  It’s OK with me to let you know that.  “Woe is me,” I meant.

Therapy is hard

They ask you to do the things that are hard for you.  I’m putting off using it by working on the podcast.

Phone call

A good resolution to the last episode was that I called my stepfather to talk about what I needed in the shower, and that was enough to get things moving in the right direction.

Begin Transcript

JOHN HOPPIN: Yeah!! Welcome back to the What’s The Matter With Me? Program, podcast. I’ve made four episodes, so I feel like I can call it a program, a podcast. I could really call it anything I want. A message for peace to change the universe in seven minutes or so.

Last episode, episode three, we’ve talked about having trouble asking for help, receiving help and not wanting to be a pain, but also needing something and having to do it with my family and just having a hard time. And I’ve realized, on the mic, I could ask my friends for help and it’d be no problem. But the whole episode was really … I made it in a rush, so I had that on my back, while I was on the mic. But also, I had trouble … I had to really talk it out in the episode, that I needed to ask someone for help and having trouble doing that. So that’s what we talked about.

I got an email. I only sent it to one person. I almost quit the podcast because episode three was so hard. Man, it’s hard to ask for help. And then I had a hard time really enunciating it. I didn’t know, when I started the podcast, that what I had to do was ask for help and communicate clearly about it. Anyway, I sent it to one person. She wrote me back and she said long ago, she had read How To Make Friends And Influence People. That’s a famous book by Tony Robbins, and it says in there accepting help builds bonds.

And so if somebody says, “Hey, can I help you,” you say, “Hey, yeah, you can help me.” And when they do, you accept the help by you saying, “You know what? That was so helpful. Thank you for helping me.” So it builds a kind of shared experience, I think. And I could see that. So thank you for hipping me to this super famous book that I think my mom had. So on principle, I could not bring myself to read it, because it was something that belonged to my parents. And everything they think is wrong. Right? At least … Anyway, I’ll move on from that; my parents. I love them, and I am no longer an adolescent, and I think that How To Make Friends And Influence People probably has good information in it.

I almost quit the podcast last episode, and I need to figure out how to ask for help. But also when my podcast gets tough, I can’t quit. I got to roll with the punches. I can make a bad episode. I can say a bad word. I can say a horrible thing. In fact, in the last episode I said, “Dude,” to express a kind of internal angst that I had. I said, “Dude,” and this existential thing came over me. “Dude,” I said. And I really revealed that I am from California and I was raised in the ’80s. Dude. I meant, woe is me. Okay? You understand. And I’m not quitting. Just because I said dude and revealed … You can know that. That’s fine.

I got the TheraBand FlexBar, and I can’t bring myself to use it. In fact, recording this episode is avoiding using it, because the thing is PT (physical therapt) and occupational therapy is hard. They make you do things that are difficult for you, because that is what you need to work on. But when you use a new therapy device for the first few times, it’s really disheartening because you can barely use it. You can barely even perform the motions. At least I can barely perform the motions that they’re asking me to do. They’re like, “Twist your arm in this way,” and it’s really hard. And that’s why I am doing therapy for those movements. But anyway, it’s a learning curve. It’s a steep learning curve in therapy. And so I’ve watered my yard, I am recording this podcast all to put off having to use this TheraBand FlexBar for 15 minutes. So it’s nice to say that out, because I can overcome that. That’s silly.

A great resolution of the last episode, I was afraid to … I was having this struggle asking for help from my mom and in reality, my stepdad, Dave was going to have to take care of it. He was gonna fall to him. So you know what? I just called him on the phone and we talked it out and it was all good. And so we increased understanding and everything good. So with that to say, What’s The Matter With Me?, Episode four in the books. I’m gonna give it to somebody. Thank you to everyone who’ve listened to the last episode or any other episode. And I guess that’s What’s The Matter With Me?, Episode four in the books, that’s word.

Parking Lot

Welcome to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast Episode 3: Asking for Help

Recap – last episode we talked about being in control of my emotions.

Episode 3 revolves around asking for help to install shower handles so I can get in and out of the shower.

The are a lot of complicated feelings that go with that.  I need help, but I don’t want to ask, and I especially don’t want to ask my Mom for help.

Transcript

JOHN HOPPIN: Back to Business, episode three. Last episode, we talked about stuff in the garden. I got a new kneeling bench. I told the story about falling. I talked about inability to control my emotions. On the weekend, and an update on that; I had some success by meditating, setting the meditation right off. That was my therapist’s idea. He was like, “Meditate.” I did it, and it helped. It helped me deal with the challenges I faced throughout the day, really.

More challenges is: mom. I don’t know how your mom is; my mom is my mom. I’m trying to install handles in the upstairs bathroom. She has a house in Santa Rosa, and I’m trying to install handles in the upstairs bathroom, and a kind of leverage bar that will help me get in and out of the shower, in Santa Rosa, and it’s kind of hard dealing with my mom; trying to ask for something and not wanting to be a pain, but needed some help and then having conflicting feelings about that, really. How do I feel? I got to ask my mom, “I need to install this stuff,” and I can’t even install it. Because I can’t work a drill. So instead of just installing my own handles, I have to ask my mom, really, to ask my stepfather, my child’s grandfather to install handles. The bar thing, luckily, is a suction thing. It works with tension. Tension, they call it. Not suction. It’s probably easier.

So I have to ask my mom, “Mom, can you ask,” my stepfather, “To install these handles.” Anyway, asking your mom for help to install accessibility stuff, really, it’s asking my stepfather to do it; it’s kind of humiliating, dude. I just want to do it myself. All I have to do is put two small handles, and I can’t work the screwdriver. Sucks.

But anyway, shout out to my stepfather, Dave, who probably is going to end up doing that, and will do that for me. He’s got my back. So that is something to be so thankful for. You know what I mean? He’ll do it. I need it. He’ll help me out. Or, I’ll have to ask one of my friends to do it, which would probably be better than my stepfather, but I’m embarrassed to do that. I’m embarrassed to ask my friends, and tell them, “Hey, I can’t work a screwdriver.” Because I could probably ask one of my friends and another. I could probably ask any of them to do it, but I’m to embarrassed.

Man, thinking about … I was trying to think about like, “Who could I ask to do it?” And then I realized I could ask almost any dude I know to give me a hand, and they would. Shoutouts to my bros. That is a good feeling, I guess.

So I have my radio show tomorrow. This guy, Ashwin Batish, is a sitar boogie guy. Google Ashwin Batish Bombay Boogie, and there’s a radio Montreal, french radio interviewer, and he plays live, and it’s rad. It’s in 1987 in Montreal, I think. Check it out. I ordered a thing called a … But he’s not playing on my show. Oh, sad. That’s a sad turnaround on that. Ashwin Batish ends up not playing on my show, it got canceled yesterday because of a family emergency he has. So god bless, I wish him well.

I ordered a TheraBand FlexBar. It’s a yellow spongy thing. And people use it for tennis elbow rehab. It helps you flex your arm and your hand in certain ways, and grip and turn. And it also massage. So my occupational therapist, Julie, who I kept calling Dr. Julie, I think, in the last couple of episodes, and she is not a doctor. And we always laugh about that, so I’m taking her down a peg right here on the air. Occupational therapist, Julie, not a doctor.

Although we discussed that maybe, I think she would be a great doctor. I ordered a rack for my coffee roaster, and also for my kids’ shoes and Naomi’s shoes and stuff, because they need more room. I wear the same shoes, because I have a brace I wear almost every day. Sometimes I change them out. I’m going to go to my friend’s wedding in July, and I’m going to wear actual shoes. Not dress shoes. They’re not formal shoes, because it’s a country wedding and I’m wearing a straw hat.

But anyhow, I bet I will look fly. I bet everyone will. I bet, especially, my friends who are getting married. They’re fly types.

Episode three in the books.