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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast Episode 2.
In this episode, I struggle to control my emotions due to damage in my brain stem.
What’s The Matter With Me? is a podcast about multiple sclerosios, and many other things.
Recap – should I be on disability? My philosophy.
I said I can’t – in violation of my philosophy, which is that I generally can do things. I can work. This podcast is about trying, and I’m not afraid to try and succeed and achieve. I believe that I can achieve regardless of the difficulty.
I have a lot of brain stem disease activity, and it can make staying in control of my emotions difficult. I’ve been having difficulty with my morning routine on the weekends when my family are around. I have been meditating first thing in the morning, with some success. It provides some perspective that helps me get through the day.
JOHN HOPPIN: What’s The Matter With Me? Episode two. All right, all right, let’s get down to it. It’s What’s The Matter With Me? Episode two. I’m John, and I have MS. I made this podcast to share what I’m going through. Let’s recap the last episode, episode one. I sent it to like two people on email, and probably maybe they listened to it. Sometime you got to start small. So, what’d we talk about last time? I have a hot sauce business. We talked about that, my dream of employing disabled people, people who’ve been in the prison system, and veterans.
We talked about going on disability. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go on disability or not. Spoiler, I talked to my doctor. She said, “You should definitely be on disability. You could still make money and work while you’re on Medicaid.” And after that, I was kind of sold. Then we talked about my philosophy about trying to do things, and that’s what this podcast is about, so I think it’ll be obvious.
Part of it, listening back, something stood out. I said that I can’t, I used the word can’t. And even worse, I said I can’t work, which is so ridiculous. I have a company. I am on the radio on KFJC every Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. And I do a couple of other things while I’m at it, and I’m a dad for two people. I can work. And whether or not I can work, I’m going to try and work. That’s my philosophy.
So let’s talk about working in the garden. I have a garden in the backyard, California native plants. I spend a lot of time back there. I have trouble sometimes. I’ve fallen in the garden and hurt myself. One time I fell into the side of the house, and I skinned my head, and I lost a bunch of hair. I mean, it was terrible. I’d basically head-butted the side of the house, man, and the house won. So that was tough.
Well, I’ve been working a lot, doing physical therapy and balance exercises, so I don’t fall in the garden, and I always wear my brace. I have an ankle-foot orthotic brace that supports my ankle, helps me walk. My physical therapist said, “You always have to have that.” And even I have a stick, like a cane, I use for balance, got to have that. I’ve started using that always when I go in the garden, and it’s reduced… I was falling every day, and it’s reduced my falls quite a lot.
Just today, I ordered some accessibility tools, we’ll see how it works. It’s kind of like a seat-stander-kneeler thing, which will help because I have to sometimes work on plants for a long time, and I need to sit near them. Maybe they’ll help. That’s cool to invest in the accessibility tools. Today I was trimming the rosebushes, and my hand comes into a fist like a claw, and it’s hard to get a glove on. I have to really work hard, but I did it. And I trimmed my roses, and I’m happy to say my rosebushes, which my grandmother planted at this house are alive and well, so maybe Grandmother and Grandpa, Grandma and Grandpa, shout-outs.
I’ve had inability to control my emotions. I have a lot of lesions, brain lesions, in my brainstem. And my doctor said, “Sometimes you’ll have the inability to control your emotions. It’ll feel bad.” And I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I’ve started to have that. I really have a hard time on the weekends because things are different. During Monday through Friday, I get up by myself. I have a routine. And in doing that routine, I kind of get a diagnostic sense of how well I feel, and how much I can do that day. But when I can’t do it, when my wife and my kids are up making breakfast when I get up, I got to take a shower. I have a routine, and it gets me ready, so when I’m out of it, it’s causing me a lot of confusion.
The routine helps me know, “Okay, here’s where I am.” I get my breakfast going. And I have a lot of confusion, which makes me upset because I don’t know what’s going on because there’s not really… My routine’s not happening. Instead, I’m reacting, and that’s difficult for me. I’m trying to manage that because I’m totally getting bent out of shape, going nuts, and becoming really aggressive because I’m just super confused. So that’s a challenge. Every weekend day we work on it, in the morning. And it hasn’t been going well, frankly, it just sucks.
And so I’m working on it, trying to control my emotions. I need a little support and understanding, probably a lot from my family, to let me do things like make coffee and things that allow me to see how well I’m feeling, with my motor skills, but also allow me to say, “Okay, I made coffee.” And I can go sit and have coffee that I made. So it’s little things, like I go sit and have coffee and my breakfast on Monday through Friday. On the weekends, the breakfast’s still going. It’s been throwing me off, and it’s been making me really upset. And I hope that just talking about it here, and saying, “I intend to be better,” will help me get better.
So, that’s What’s The Matter With Me? Episode two. Tune in next week, probably I’ll email it to two people again, and no one will hear it, but it doesn’t matter. What’s The Matter With Me? Episode number two, in the books.
What’s The Matter With Me? is a podcast about Multiple Sclerosis and many other things. In this episode, it’s the month of Mayhem at KFJC, and I go to in for an Occupational Therapist Visit, where I share about Hot Sauce R&D and my Workforce Vision.
Occupational Therapist Julie
I went to Stanford to visit the occupational therapist.
We talked about my business Hoppin Hot Sauce and R&D, recipe development and production bottlenecks. I told her about my vision of a workforce with disabled, vets, and ex-cons, working together in a supportive environment.
I got on a tangent and had to flush the segment down the toilet. I start over again.
I ask Julie if I should be on disability. She explains how it could help me, and my business.. I tell her the blanket analogy – that MS is a heavy blanket. I tell her about how I believe in trying, and that is why I made this podcast: to try.
JOHN HOPPIN: What’s the Matter With Me? Episode one. What is the matter with me? My name is John. I’m disabled. I’m developing my disability consciousness, so I made this podcast. I have multiple sclerosis, and I walk with a cane, and I do all this stuff. And so I made this podcast to say I have multiple sclerosis, check out my podcast. Man, what’s the matter with me? They always say Ronald Reagan was a great speaker because he opened with a joke, and so I … I mean, I wish I had a joke to tell about that. Ronald Reagan, he was President twice.
What’s the matter with me today? I’m going to go see Dr. Julie at Stanford. And after that at 7:30 is the radio station meeting, but I’m not going to be on the radio tomorrow because it is the month of mayhem, and my compatriot Droll is going to be on the air tomorrow from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Check it out at KFJC.org.
So anyway, Dr. Julie, she is an occupational therapist. We talk a lot about … I run a hot sauce business, and we talk … I’m trying to manufacture my hot sauce, so I can sell it all up and down the west coast. But right now, I just make it with my mom and very small batches. And I have a couple clients, and people like it; but I need to make a lot more of it in order to really make a go at it. I’m having trouble, because in the recipe, I use Meyer lemons, and those are kind of a special type of lemon. It has a certain taste, though. Makes the hot sauce taste good. So that’s why I use it. And then there’s also a certain type of chile, where I use a special kind. This guy imports it in Texas. I buy it from him. It’s whole. In order to make a big batch, I need a big amount of ground powder.
What’s the matter with me? So, episode one. We are getting to the harder things. I started this podcast to kind of share what I’m going through, which is that I have multiple sclerosis and it’s brought me to be a disabled person. I’ve been singled out for the fact I’m disabled. I’ve had lots of people come up to me and say things to me, and some of them are great, and some of them aren’t so great. And I have all kinds of experiences, same thing: some are great and some aren’t so great. So I started this podcast to just share that.
And so today, I’m going to go see Dr. Julie at Stanford. She’s an occupational therapist, and we’ll talk about what I need to get out of life. What I want to ask her today is, should I be on disability? This is something certain people say I should be on … I’m disabled. I can’t work. Some people say I shouldn’t be on disability, because if I can avoid it … But the thing is, it’s like working my wife to the bone. She has all the pressure. I need to come up with some cash.
I have this business, but like I just shared with you, it’s in the R&D mode. It’s going to take some time. At this point, it’s just barely cracking four figures. It’s going to … It needs to be up there. I want to sell … My goal is to sell one million cases a year, and my staff is going to consist of people who’ve been through the prison system, veterans who are suffering, and other disabled people like me. That’s who’s going to be a big component of my workforce that’s going to be doing this project with me. I want my disabled people with me, because I believe in doing things rather than not. I guess that’s the simplest distillation.
As a disabled person, being disabled is like wearing a blanket. I was telling my wife; it’s like a heavy blanket with no edges. You can’t get out of the blanket. And in multiple sclerosis; I think it’s probably similar in other things, the blanket just gets heavier and heavier. So you could lay there under this heavy blanket, or you could try and make something, and try and get it out of the blanket. You can’t really ever get out of the blanket and really see it out of the blanket, but you can work and do something. That’s what I believe.
So that’s why I made this podcast. That’s what’s the matter with me, and episode one.
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