Welcome to the Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast Season 2, Episode 10: Monterey

  • 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.
  • Whats The Matter With Me? is an MS podcast and it’s also about other things. I’m not a medical professional and you should not take this for medical advice. If you need medical advice, ask your healthcare provider.
  • Download the Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast on Apple podcasts and

Episode 9 Recap

Japanese proverb tattoos, swimming while disabled. Posted it on reddit and some folks reminded me how scary swimming can be.

Watering the garden

I watered more this summer, a couple times a week. I haven’t been falling which is good. Because the last time I fell I fell through the fence and it looked kind of rickety for a time.  It’s fixed now.

Peter Brotzmann, the Machine Gun

I interviewed Peter Brotzmann on kfjc. He is a wild free jazz saxophone player who is famous for his rough sounds.  He recorded seminal free jazz album Machine Gun. I got him to admit that he plays sweet and tender now that he is older. And talk about butoh

No more radio gig for a while

Resigned from questionable Traditions.  It was a weekly program on KFJC where I played music from around the world, and questioned it’s validity or value, or something like that.  I must admit to feeling some purposeless. However …

I have a purpose, and it is

Selling hot sauce. I’m starting to write regular emails, reach out to customers and grow my business. I did a hot sauce tasting at a local grocery store where they sell my sauce. It was great to get out there, press the flesh and push the product again, like I did at the Fancy Food Show last season in episode 30. it is exciting but also scary.

I tell myself I know what I’m doing, that I have worked at e-commerce companies before. I’m just generally copying what these bigger companies did and applying it in my little business. I try to get out there and to talk with customers, find new ways to sell products every day. I can do it!


We went to Monterey on vacation.  It was frustrating because I felt very limited by disability.


We went to the aquarium which is very beautiful and wondrous. I have a lot of childhood memories there, but in the here and now it was hard to move around in the dark with the jellyfish and crowded area very difficult to walk.  I hope my kids had a good time, I did not.  It wasn’t something I could just go and do — it was very challenging to navigate the experience, the crowds, and my disability at the same time.

Cram it in

When I used to go on vacation I would try and cram everything into my itinerary. Now I need a nap. I need to eat food regularly. I can only travel so far.

On the cliff

I love to see things and experience new things, like anyone. It was frustrating for me to be stuck up on the cliff looking down at my childre playing on the beach and not be able to join them because I couldn’t traverse the rocky staircase. It upset me.

Bathroom death scene

The bathroom where I was staying was big and beautiful, open with a jacuzzi and all covered in stone and it seemed like a total death trap every time I wanted to shower or brush my teeth.

I have such a hard time on vacation because I can’t do what I used to. I need to figure out a new way.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

I’ve been going through lots of trigeminal neuralgia.  I’m switching from one medication to another.  It has benefits, like feeling more awake and present, but the changes in medication exacerbate my symptoms.   More about TN in S2, E6: Awaker.

Thanks for listening

Check out the Whats The Matter With Me? podcast page on Facebook, please review it and like it — help me get the word out. You can email me using the contact page.

swallowing heads

WTMWM? – S2, E6: Awaker

  • Welcome to the Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast Season 2, Episode 6: Awaker
  • 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 (MS), so I made this podcast to share what I’m going through
  • The Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast is an MS podcast and it’s also about other things. I’m not a medical professional and you should not take this for medical advice.  If you need medical advice, ask your healthcare provider.
  • Find us on Facebook and for goodness sake please rate us.  Download the Whats The Matter With Me? Podcast from Apple podcasts and

Shoutouts to my Mom

Mom listened to the podcast, and she told me, “I listened to your pod.”  Isn’t it funny how parents do that?  They get creative with the lingo.  She used to say, Intendo instead of Nintendo, and nowadays she does the same thing with text messages.  She calls them tweets.  “Tweet me,” shje’ll say.  Or, “I tweeted you.  Didn’t you get my tweet?”  Shoutouts to Mom, love you Mom.  Email me using the contact form on the site, and I’ll shout you out.


Writhing In Pain, Crunked Up or Crunked Out?, Coaches jackets, living in a hair gel air bubble, making music with my old compadre, accessible instruments, its good to be alive.  It’s all in the last episode, check it out.


“AAA!!” John John shouted as I bent over to brush his teeth, pointing frantically.  I tried to look where he was pointing, but he moved whenever I turned my head to look.  “Papa, you’re drooling,” he said, and laughed.  I looked in the mirror, he was right, I had drool on my chin.  The way things have been going, it was the least of my problems, but its a phobia I have — to become a vegetable.  It’s just fear — my drooling scared John John when I was brushing his teeth, it is what it is.  If I can keep my mouth shut and stay focused, I’ll be all right. 

Through the fence

My most major fall since the last episode occurred in the backyard while I was gardening. First off, I am unhurt.  I fell through the fence when I was trimming the garrya elliptica wavyleaf silktassel bushes. Completely through the fence, I ended up in my neighbor Tim’s yard. The garrya bushes are low-growing and dense, and they were covering my feet.  I reached out a hand to steady myself on the fence, it moved and I fell right through it. Nami helped me put it back together. The posts are cracked and rotting, it seems like the next strong wind will bring it down, but then in the morning it’s still standing.


I shot a video for Hoppin Hot Sauce wearing my new coaches jacket that I got screen printed in Oakland. It felt great and I think it might have looked great, fingers crossed. I read the following script:

My name is John Hoppin and I created Hoppin Hot Sauce from chiles, Meyer lemon, garlic and spices.. I’ve worked in food all my life. I put hot sauce on everything, grilled cheese, lunch leftovers. It gives it a certain Tang that I prefer.
I have multiple sclerosis and it makes it difficult to work in the kitchen environment. I didn’t let it stop me from cooking.
I made Hoppin Hot Sauce to share the taste of my table with yours. It’s all natural with no preservatives, and all good stuff inside. For people who want their food to taste the best, nothing beats Hoppin Hot Sauce.

It made me feel powerful to write and deliver those lines. I hope it will turn out, I’ll share it with you when I get it out of editing.

Less sedation

I’m on less sedation and it’s feeling pretty good to be more alert. Maybe ‘alert’ is a stretch.  I’m afraid of more pain, that the pain will wake up and rear its ugly head.  For the time being, I am relatively awaker.

Live in the present

Live in the present moment..  I had this more-or-less standard revelation listening to music on the way to the farmer’s market.  There were a lot of wonderful fruits and vegetables that deserved my attention, and there will be more next week. If I stay focused on the present, not stuck in the past, or woulda-coulda, I think it will help me be happy. 

WTMWM 35 – S2, E5: Pain is bearable

  • Welcome to Whats The matter with me Season 2, Episode 5: Pain is bearable
  • My name is John I’m 39 years old husband 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
  • What’s the matter with me is an MS podcast and it’s also about other things. I’m not a medical professional and you should not take this for medical advice.  However, if you need medical advice, ask your healthcare provider.
  • Download The what’s the matter with Me podcast on Apple podcasts and


Shoutouts to rocky Nate and joe.


Last episode episode 4 I was in so much pain. It almost made me angry but I think it was making me crazy. I was just writhing in pain check it out it’s an interesting listen.

Writhing in pain

My last episode was kind of terrible because I was just in pain so much but this episode I can report that my pain level has downgraded from extreme pain to intense pain and maybe even bearable. Definitely bearable I’m going to put it in the bearable category and no one can stop me because it’s my podcast. It’s bearable

Crunked Out, or Up

I’m in the process of changing my trigeminal neuralgia medication. In order to do that I am currently taking both my old medication and the new medication. Since they both have a sedative effect it’s I’m very crunked out. Or crunked up I’m not sure how the direction works there

Coaches Jackets

Coaches jacket. I went to Oakland and pick them up this morning. It was very tiring because like I said I’m totally crunked up or possibly out. It was a lot of driving and I hope I don’t have to drive a lot more today

LA Look

I’m trapped in a bubble in the hair gel, because I’m overmedicated.

Making music

Joe was in my high school band. It was called okra blues and it was mostly Modeled after the Jon Spencer Blues explosion and RL Burnside. It was punk rock blues.  He took his shirt off at the catholic school.

Nowadays We Jam Together

Nowadays We Jam together and I don’t play a lot really anymore. I’ve listened a lot. My approaches different and it is more like meditation and exercising acceptance of the sounds I’m making.

Accessible keyboard

I’m using a ROLI Seaboard, an accessible keyboard with different ways of striking notes and making sound.  It’s good to have an instrument to play.

Good to be alive

It’s good to be alive. I’m grateful for my family and friends. Every day’s a new opportunity.7 things are changing with my pain situation it is evolving in the new medication seems to be starting to work.



Episode 23

Thank you for tuning in to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast.  In Episode 23 Roll With The Punches I fall asleep at the KFJC meeting, hang in the yard, experience intense Trigeminal neuralgia pain, and read an old song lyric I wrote called “Roll With The Punches.”


I fell asleep at the KFJC weekly station meeting and that was distressing.  I woke up and everyone was looking at me.  It shook me and later in the evening I fell off the station couch awkwardly.  I go to KFJC to relax and these kinds of things make that difficult.

Yard hang

I went in the yard with John John.  It was a sunny warm day and we took our shirts off, wrapping them around our heads.  We laughed a bit and smiled.  It was a good thing.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

I have been experiencing pain from trigeminal neuralgia in my right lower jaw on the buccal side.  It feels like going to the dentist, and when they say “it’s going to pinch” before you get novocaine and then it pinches and won’t stop pinching all night long.  It’s very hard, and I hope it stops soon.

Poetry reading: “Roll With The Punches”

I read a song I wrote called Roll With The Punches.  Check it out:

Roll With The Punches

You gotta roll
With the punches sometimes
You gotta roll

You gotta know
Who’s on your side
Just as much as
Who’s passing you by

Don’t have no glass jaw
O Hell Naw
When you get knocked down
You gotta stand up tall

You gotta bend but don’t break
Give em all they can take
And a whole lot more
Until you hear em hit the floor

You gotta roll
With the punches sometimes


-John Hoppin, 2013