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Welcome to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Season 3, Episode 6: Social Isolation

In which: I deal with social isolation, get interrupted by a real estate broker, I’m uninspiring, and I come out against disability porn. I realize I need a scooter again, and the National MS Society support will help.

My name is John, I’m 39 years old, husband, and father of two, small-business owner, radio DJ, podcaster, and I have multiple sclerosis. So I made the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast to share what I’m going through.

What’s The Matter With Me? is an MS podcast, and it’s also about other things. Past episodes can be downloaded on Apple Podcasts or from WhatsTheMatterWithMe.org, or wherever you get it. I’m not a medical professional. Don’t take this for medical advice. If you need medical advice, ask your healthcare provider.

Interrupted by a phonecall

You’re listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Season 3, Episode 6: Social Isolation. I have been feeling kind of isolated today, so I’m going to hit the mic but first, shout outs to Pamela, Nat, and Rocky.

(phone ringing)

Oh man, somebody’s calling me on the phone. I’m pretty stoked about that, because like I said, I’m feeling isolated. I’ll be right back. —

Man, I don’t know whether to feel more or less isolated. Someone called me, yes, but it was a real estate agent from across the country, from the other side of the country. This is a thing that’s been happening to me, and I’m glad to tell this story here, because it gives me something to focus on rather than my own isolation. People call me, okay, real estate agents from across the country, fools, they’re all fools, because I don’t own any real estate on the other side of the country, but somehow they got it on some listing, they got my name and phone number somehow, and they’re like, “We’re calling you about the property.” I’ve already looked it up, it’s been going on for months.

So, periodically someone from across the country, from this city will call me and be like, “Are you still selling the property at wherever?” And I’m like, “No, it’s not my property. I’m not selling it, and can you take me off the list please?” And they’re like, “Well, sorry, I can’t. Your name’s just on there.”

So anyway, I’ve been getting calls about this hot property condo apartment unit or something, I have nothing to do with it. So should I feel more or less isolated? I don’t really know, but I’m kind of thankful, I guess.

I feel more, I mean let’s be real, you should feel more isolated if the only people who call you are real estate brokers, and just to clarify, I don’t own any property over on the other side of the country, but also, I don’t own any property on this side of the country. Just to be clear, there’s no property. I mean, I have personal property, my clothes, right? And personal effects, I guess is really all I can claim.

So just to recapitulate, I am feeling social isolation, the people who call me are real estate brokers trying to sell property that I don’t have.

Ableism, Disability Porn and the Right To Be Uninspiring

This kind of stems out of last episode. I said right off the top that I was going to exercise my right to be uninspiring, and some people thought that was funny, and just to give some context to that remark, it’s really just a remark, right?

But disabled people are often a focus for other people’s projection, and we’re trotted out to be inspiring. “Isn’t it inspiring that they attempt to do something?” I mean, the bar is insultingly low. “Isn’t it inspiring that they look at us and smile? Oh, they smile just like us.”

It’s kind of like Us Weekly in a way, I guess. But the thing is, it’s just like celebrities in Us Weekly are annoyed by the paparazzi, I’m annoyed by other people projecting their fantasy about how horrible it must be to be me, and that it’s so inspiring that despite how horrible it is to be me, that I try, and I try and be whatever I am, like every other person.

So I’m uninspiring, right? That’s what I meant, exercise my right to uninspire, and then this is one of those episodes where I just freestyle about how bummed out I am, and so that really ties in with the last episode, the right to be uninspiring.

That’s what they call disability porn, where you’re watching and you’re like, “Oh yeah, bless their hearts.” It’s kind of condescending. It’s complicated at the very least.

Stress at work

I haven’t been on the radio recently, I haven’t been down to KFJC. I’ve been trying to do Hoppin Hot Sauce, I’ve been recording Pepper Show and focusing on that, and I’m making a new size of Hoppin Hot Sauce. There’s a new production that’s happening at the end of the month. So it’s kind of taken all my energy.

I need a scooter

That’s only half of this story, the other half is that Foothill College is on a hill, that I have to take elevators, and go on ramps, and it’s quite a jaunt. And I’ve been talking for the past couple of episodes about how I need to figure out a scooter, well, Foothill College is a place where I can really use a scooter, because you get there, you take a pretty long ramp to an elevator, then the elevator takes you up to the third floor, you walk part way across the quad, and go up another elevator, and go halfway back the way you already came, and go around, and then you get to the Foothill College radio station, get to KFJC.

So it’s kind of zigging and zagging up and down, a lot of elevation, and then I get on the air and I’m on the radio for four hours. It’s a lot of standing, moving, walking around a tight space. So it has its own stress, but the walk to and from is killing me. I need to get that scooter situation solved, so I can get back on the air, because in previous episodes I figured out, “Hey, KFJC is like my support group.” They don’t have MS, but they have another sickness: they care about music and broadcasting, and I care about that too.

I like underground music, and music that you can’t hear anywhere else, and that’s all what KFJC does, and the people there are like encyclopedias, it’s crazy. They know everything about everything. They’re just experts of everything. that may be a bit much, but they know a lot about records and obscure music for sure.

I’ve got to get back on KFJC. That is going to relieve some isolation. I’m also feeling a lot of stress because I’m producing a new size of Hoppin Hot Sauce, and I’m making a second production, and production time is stressful. Every day I have a timeline, it’s ticking down. At the end of the month I’m going to get pallets of hot sauce, they’re going to live, and they’re going to have labels, and it’s going to start again. Hoppin Hot Sauce is back, we’re strong. It’s a big win that I have taken my business through one production cycle, I’ve sailed through that, I’m getting to the end of my product, and I’m going to order more, and I’m going to order something new. So that’s really exciting, but it’s also kind of stressful, and I’m needing support, and KFJC is where I would get it, I think the best place for me. But I don’t have a scooter.

The National MS Society will help me find the support I need

I’m going to go on Friday, there is support at the National MS Society office here in the South Bay, there is support available. I can go to the support group and talk to them about scooters. Maybe I can get a head start. I’m going to be on the Silicon Valley Walk MS in San Jose on May 4th, I’m going to be MCing that from 8 AM to noon, and I was going to put off my purchase until then, but I think I need to get this sorted. I need to relieve this isolation.

This was therapeutic

Man, it’s a really good thing when I can record the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast and it can become its own therapy, and I can figure out what’s going on is: I’m freaking out about production, I’m not that isolated, and I have some good options. I have a strong family, but I can reach out to the National MS Society for support, and I can reach out to my hometown homies, KFJC, my support group of people who likes the same stupid stuff I do: music. I can’t wait. This is good. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll be back here, because this was useful. I can talk about my problems and figure out what they were.

Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. You know you can find all the past episodes, there’s like over 50 of them, on WhatsTheMatterWithMe.org and Apple Podcasts, and whatever app you use, just use it. Find the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast.

Hoppin Hot Sauce is the best sauce in the world

Got to give a shout out always to the worldwide universal sponsor of the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Hoppin Hot Sauce.

Got to give a shout out always to the worldwide universal sponsor of the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Hoppin Hot Sauce.

(singing)

It’s a movement, Hoppin Hot Sauce is a movement, check it out HoppinHotSauce.com.

Thank you

Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast, Season 3, Episode 6: Social Isolation.

Flyer on table

Something Happened at Bill’s Cafe

I order coffee and toast, John John gets pancakes.
Tap on my shoulder, our host –
“Excuse me sir, is that.. your underwear?”

Injury in the yard

I was working in the yard, fertilizing some yellow cauliflower plants.
I stepped in a hole leftover from when we pulled out tomato plants and I fell to my side. It felt like i tweaked it.
I was in a wheelchair or bed ridden. I had a lot of work to finish before Christmas.

I was on the radio

Last Friday, I hosted the Jazz Collective on 89.7 kfjc.org
This morning at 4am i got this message:

Y o your jazz collective was the stuff man. I played all of it while cooking dinner and hanging with friends. Nice balance of easy listening and skronk. Omg it was so fat

Anonymous

There’s no difference

Its cool to be on the radio where i can have a voice and it doesn’t make a difference that i’m disabled..i like playing records too.
Check it out: Jazz Collective last Friday at kfjc.org
My air name is Hemroid The Leader. i’ll explain later.
The stream is up for 2 weeks.

MS Breakthroughs

I’ll be attending MS Breakthroughs with Jeffrey Dunn on Saturday January 26 in San Jose.
I’ll bring some flyers in case somebody wants to hear a podcast.

MS Breakthroughs

Join us to learn about our progress this past year in accelerating breakthroughs for people affected by MS, what’s in store for the year ahead and enjoy a research update from our keynote speaker Jeffrey Dunn, MD, Professor of Clinical Neurology and Division Chief of Clinical Neuroimmunology at Stanford Neuroscience Health Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

He serves as the Chair of the MS Section of the American Academy of Neurology and serves on the National Medical Advisory Board of the National MS Society.

Re

Thanks for listening

To the Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast
Other episodes at whatsthematterwithme.org, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts..
Check out more of my music on soundcloud.com
Hoppin Hot Sauce is a movement! makes every plate taste great hoppinhotsauce.com
(Hoppin hot sauce theme)
Season 3 episode 1 in the books

Transcript

JOHN: Welcome to the What’s the Matter with Me? Podcast, season three, episode one: Something Happened At Bill’s Cafe.

My name is John, I’m 39 years old, husband and father of two, small business owner, radio DJ, podcaster. And I have multiple sclerosis, so I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

The What’s the Matter With Me? Podcast Is an MS Podcast, and it’s also about other things. Past episodes are available for download on whatsthematterwithme.org, iTunes, and wherever you get it. I’m not a medical professional and you should not take this for medical advice. If you need medical advice, ask your health care provider.

Recap, recap, I post … man, I get too excited sometimes. Recap, I posted live from the Petaluma Smart Train Station. Check it out, surf on over to whatsthematterwithme.org, season two, episode 16. Check it out. Gotta give big shout outs, big, many thanks, shout outs to Rocky, Shauskin and Patrick, and most of all, especially Nami. Shout outs.

You know, something happened at Bill’s Cafe. I felt that morning when I woke up, I was by my bed getting dressed. It felt kind of strange when I put my pants on. I checked it out. In the leg with my brace, I was putting it on, it felt kind of weird. Then I had my morning, I went ahead, I dropped Coco at school and parked there, walked from the car to the classroom. I was with John John. We all went. I dropped her off, everything was cool, everything was normal. And I took John John to the dentist, and I’ve read, probably on my phone in the waiting room, and it’s all good. It was done and he had a good appointment, we went back to the car, everything normal.

Bill’s Cafe. I went to Bill’s Cafe. Bill’s Cafe is a popular, like, brunch chain around here. So I wanted to take John John for some pancakes. He did good at his dentist appointment and I wanted to reward him. So I ordered coffee and toast, and John John got the pancakes, and then I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I looked out and I was like, no. And the host, the host was there. It’s 11:00 AM, there’s like a coffee shop vibe all around. People who were eating Brunch at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, you know, it’s an interesting scene. It’s like retired people, and weirdos. And my dirty underwear that I wore yesterday is in the middle of the floor.

The guy is like, “Excuse me sir, is that your underwear?” I’m like, “Why yes it is,” you know, and so I got it, I stuffed it, I mean, what do you … I can’t be like “No, clean it up,” right? So I stuffed it in my pocket, and I played it off, and I knew I was just like, this, this is like, so … I’m mortified, right? But I’m like, no, do not be mortified. Just play it off. And I played it off, but the pressure was high. My something happened to Bill’s Cafe, my dirty underwear was it. And I felt weird putting my pants on in the morning, you know? Always check your pants I guess, or I don’t know what the moral is here.

Okay, well that’s out of the way. Before the holidays, I had a pretty bad accident. One Sunday morning I was working in the yard, and I was fertilizing some yellow cauliflower plants. We got some yellow cauliflower plants cause we were like, they’re weird color. I thought the kids would dig that. So we also pulled up the tomato plants when we planted the cauliflower, you know, and the tomato plants leftover from the summer, they were big, you know. So they made holes when we pulled ’em up and we forgot to fill ’em I guess, we didn’t really even think about it. And when we pulled out the tomato plants, then I stepped in the hole and fell to my side. And I kinda felt like I tweaked it. It was really hard to get up. Of course I was just about to leave the house so I got mud all over myself. I had to go inside and change and clean my shoe because I got to wear it ’cause my brace is in there.

So I was totally a mess, and it kind of felt like I tweaked it. I went to Oakland, and I met this rad dude, BJ Miller. I’m going to talk about him maybe next episode. And by the time we got home that night, you know we’ve been out all day. It was kinda cool, but then all of a sudden I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t put any weight on it. And then it was just, we had to go to the hospital, get crutches, that didn’t work. So we got a wheelchair, and it took like five days.

Nami helped me get up and wake up, go to the bathroom, get dressed. I was like a mess. And my buddy Manny, he helped me out, came by in the daytime, hanging out at dinner. He was cool, and it was super tough to be in a wheelchair, and bed ridden and … ‘Cause I had kind of tweaked my left hip and my left leg is the one that’s useful. So it was kind of … it was very touch and go. So I was bed ridden and I had a lot of work to do before Christmas, but I couldn’t do anything. I’m on pain meds and it was hard. And people helped me though, and am really grateful that I’ve recovered, but I had a bad accident. I was not digging that.

I was on the radio. Last Friday I hosted the jazz collective on 89.7 KFJC.org. It’s a jazz show. This morning at 4:00 AM I got this message: “Yo, your jazz collective was the stuff, man. I played all of it while cooking dinner and hanging out with friends. Nice balance of easy listening and skronk. OMG it was so phat.” It’s cool to be on the radio where I can have a voice and it doesn’t make a difference, any difference at all, that I’m disabled and I like playing records too. I have a good time. Check it out. Jazz collective last Friday, you can get it from KFJC.org. Just go to the homepage. Click on more from the archive, and my air name is Hemorrhoid the Leader. I guess I’ll have to explain that later.

On Saturday, January 26th in San Jose, I’ll be attending MS Breakthroughs. It’s an event put on by the MS Society. I’ll bring some flyers in case somebody there wants to check out a podcast. MS Breakthroughs: join us to learn about our progress this past year in accelerating breakthroughs for people affected by MS, what’s in store for the year ahead, and enjoy a research update from our keynote speaker Geoffrey Dunn, MD, professor of clinical neurology and division chief of clinical neuroimmunology at Stanford Neuroscience Health Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He serves on the chair of the MS section of the American Academy of Neurology and serves on the National Medical Advisory Board of the National MS Society. Jeffrey Dunn at Ms Breakthrough, San Jose, California, Saturday, January 26. The Courtyard by Marriott, San Jose, North Silicon Valley. Register at nationalmssociety.org.

For sure I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for listening. Thanks for tuning into The What’s the Matter With Me podcast. Other episodes are at whatsthematterwithme.org, iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out more of my music on soundcloud.com/John-Hoppin. That’s J-O-H-N dash H-O-P-P-I-N. And of course sponsor, word from our sponsor. Hoppin Hot Sauce, it’s the best hot sauce. Hoppin Hot Sauce, it’s the best sauce in the world! That we’re not telling you! Makes every plate great, hoppinhotsauce.com. Season three, episode one in the books. Thank you for listening to the What’s the Matter With Me podcast.