All posts by thejasonmack

Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy mental health health awareness month!!! I’ve been super anxious and depressed lately!!! But I hope it’s all a necessary step towards living a happier, healthier life!!! I don’t know!!! I don’t like the distinction between mental and physical health because I find they are often the same thing or intrinsically related!!! I’m in pain every day!!! Sometimes my pain makes depressed and anxious!!! Sometimes stress triggers my pain!!! Doctors kept trying to give me anti-depressants without looking at my health history or listening to me and it turns out my thyroid wasn’t working right and my vitamin D was deficient and I had sleep apnea!!! Every specialist is biased towards their field and thinks your problems can be solved with their drugs!!! So you see 4 specialists over a year and suddenly you have 7 prescribed medications!!! And the underlying problem hasn’t been treated!!! And those drugs give you new symptoms!!! Once I was prescribed 2 medications in the same day that could have killed me if I took them together!!! Was that a hint??? Some simple blood tests could have cleared much of this up but doctors are pressured to save money in superficial ways that either discourage you from seeking care or end up costing more money in the long run because you didn’t get better so you just start the process again later or end up in the ER!!! I didn’t fit in the risk groups for certain things I had because they said I was a “healthy” male in my mid-20s,” among other shitty excuses!!! It’s weird to be told you’re healthy by the same doctors who are also telling you they don’t know what’s wrong with you!!! And symptomatically I did fit and I had been diagnosed with multiple comorbid disorders!!! I’ve been labeled as “drug averse” because I turn down medications!!! But if I ask for drugs they label me as drug-seeking!!! Doctors also act suspicious when I tell them what other doctors have told me!!! It’s like breh this shit’s in my medical record!!! Wait you didn’t look did you??? And now I’m 33 and I’ve spent 9 years that should have been part of the prime of my life suffering every day!!! How much money could have been saved in ER visits and follow-ups if they had listened to me??? Stop treating me like an advertising demographic before I fucking die!!! 

Trigger Warning

“Oh do you need a TRIGGER WARNING???”

“Yeah. I have PTSD and graphic discussions of assault often cause me to have flashbacks, panic attacks, dissociative episodes, my heart rate jumps and sometimes I can’t get it to go down for hours, and I have these overwhelming waves of fear and this fatigue, not a sleepiness, I mean I feel sleepy but like my body shuts down but I can’t sleep, I just have to be awake while this thing happens to me sometimes all day or for the rest of the week. I’ve missed work, struggled to make appointments, lost friendships and relationships, sometimes I can’t leave the house. I went 3 years without being able to cry and then I just started bawling at a scene in White Fang. It’s the one where the guy tells his wolf to leave because he’s going to San Francisco and he can’t bring a wolf to San Francisco (San Francisco is no place for a wolf). He yells at White Fang to go and he doesn’t understand, he’s a wolf. So he picks up a stick and White Fang fears sticks cuz he was held captive in a dog fighting ring and the handlers would hit his cage with a stick, so the guy’s trying to get him to leave, tears in his eyes, triggering the wolf’s PTSD, just yelling at his best friend who can’t understand what’s going on, he’s a wolf. So, I’m in therapy, like aggressive therapy where I have to keep reliving the event and writing about it to change my mind and body’s response to thoughts about the episode. And I meditate, and I exercise, and I have all these things that I do to work through this PTSD. But sometimes you can’t just walk into the fire because you have to go to work and you can’t be at work on fire, they’ll fire you. You’re right though, millenials are a bunch of whiny PC bitches. Anyway, sorry for inconveniencing you. I can tell you’re pretty sensitive about it.”

The Vets

I just remembered awhile back I did a set for a bunch of crusty old veterans in the Sacramento area and I opened by not telling them I was a veteran, instead I said “Give it up for the comedians! The real heroes!” and I asked how many murderers were in the room.

The vets loved me and their wives hated me. (But they all loved my jokes about bad VA health care.)

Also the magician headlining tried to get the host to light me early. Yes, he tried to get me, a VETERAN among his own people, off the stage early, any time something I said wasn’t met with uproarious approval, because he was scared he’d go up and have to win a crowd with his hack garbage.

The night did reinforce the difference between anti-war San Francisco vets and pro-war, look-at-my-medals, I-still-matter, middle-California vets. I can handle both crowds and I love and empathize with both crowds but they’re not the same.

Anyway, this is one of the many times that someone has wanted me off the stage early on the same night that several people approached me afterwards to tell me how much they loved me. Fuck your safe, frictionless comedy.

People who’ve been to war can take a joke.

#Blog: VA health care favors the healthy

Super bummed out. I missed an appointment at the VA. It was an important one. I had to see 3 different doctors in San Francisco to get a diagnosis, do intake here in Sacramento, all to get referred to this clinic in Martinez, then they didn’t call me, so after waiting several weeks I had to call the San Francisco doctor and the clinic in Martinez to follow up. Then the appointment ends up being here in Sacramento… I knew about it, put it in my calendar, made sure I came home in between my 2 nights of shows in SF… and then I mixed up the time and missed the appointment.

I’ve had appointments that the VA didn’t notify me about. Like, at all. I’ve got notices in the mail saying “Your appointment has been cancelled” when they never told me about about the appointment in the first place. I’ve received appointment reminders the day after the appointment. One time a receptionist gave my appointment to a different Jason, luckily I noticed it on the card when I got home, he must have been surprised when he found out our appointment was cancelled.

But I’ve also missed appointments. Sometimes I’ve been in too much pain to sleep and ended up not functioning well enough to make it in the morning, or my health problems made me a little late and there was an accident that made me too late (if you’re 10 minutes late they cancel your appointment), etc. etc. But this one was just flat out on me, my fault, I blew it, and it sucks.

The biggest irony of VA Health Care is it favors the able of body and mind. People don’t need to see doctors because everything is perfect.

And when your mind is clear and you’re on top of your shit, you can unravel layers and layers of bureaucracy and incompetence, but you still have to make it to your appointment.