#CPChatNow Recap- 10-11-2017

Celebratory vibes pulsed through the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, October 11th, 2017. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and I am here to recap the congratulatory messages and laughter. Admittedly the night failed to start on an uplifting note. Participants remained emotionally drained from difficult weeks. They hoped others possessed better moods. A hope I could fulfill.

Zachary Fenell takes #CPChatNow into an uplifting mood with news he successfully completed the Towpath Marathon the previous Sunday (October 8th 2017)

Finishing the Towpath Marathon’s entire 26.2-mile course the previous Sunday (October 8th, 2017) left me entering the chat still maintaining positive momentum. The congratulations given by the #CPChatNow community continued the cheerful feedback I received since October 8th. Many people knew my story heading into the marathon due to a news article published in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants for their thoughts on The Plain Dealer article covering his unreasonable marathon journey.After jokingly hassling me for my self-centered focus, Susanne Kate Brasset gave her approval on the piece. Susanne specifically liked my point calling normal a myth. Take a read yourself and form your own opinion, “A Man, His Cane, and 26.2 ‘Unreasonable’ Miles to Prove His Own Doubts Wrong.”

Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman expressed interest in the details relating to my near 12-hour walk.

Devin asks Zachary if he took any breaks during the marathon and what he ate throughout the day.Particularly Devin wondered what I ate and if I took any breaks. Enough marathon talk nonetheless! We discussed other subjects too! In fact I announced our October focus chat guest. One #CPChatNow co-founder and original co-host Handicap This! piped up to call a “great get.”

Dr. Karen Pape receives praise from original #CPChatNow co-founder Handicap This!Current co-host Jorge Oteiza played a vital role in scheduling the Dr. Karen Pape focus chat. Dr. Pape possesses an incredible reputation as a groundbreaking and innovating clinical neuroscientist. We excitedly welcome her to #CPChatNow.

While groundbreaking and innovating work in the medical field stands important, do not forget the basics. The cliche “laughter is the best medicine” comes to mind. Laughter’s value emerged a hot topic Wednesday, October 11th.

The #CPChatNow community discusses the merits of laughter.Like Susanne states, laughter emits much positive energy. Perhaps you rely on a certain joke to get you laughing amidst rough times. Tell us that joke by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer this week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your go-to joke you tell yourself when you need to laugh?"“What is your go-to joke you tell yourself when you need to laugh?” 

Share by commenting below. I’m ready to begin laughing hysterically.

Until next time #CPChatNow!

-Zachary

 

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#CPChatNow Recap- 10-4-2017

This past week was an exciting week in #CPChatNow as Zach welcomed a nephew, #CPChatNow welcomed new members, and members discussed using a cane and stretching.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along on this week’s recap.

However, in a bit of Breaking News outside of the chat, our #CPChatNow Co-Host, Zachary Fenell, finished his marathon on Sunday.  Kudos to Zach for following a dream and having the courage to see it through!

Zach announcing he finished his marathon in 11 hours, 40 minutes, and 31 seconds

Also, congratulations are in order to Zach as he welcomed a nephew last week:

Zach announcing he welcomed a nephew this week with Ryan offering congratulations

Blemi, Hannah, and Zach discussed the independence and confidence that regular use of a cane can bring:

Blemi and Hannah discuss the increased independence and confidence that using a cane can bring

#CPChatNow welcomed a new member this week as Chandler Gobin joined the chat.  She discussed wanting to do a 5k with Zach and Zach discussed his preparation including regular exercises, training, and range of motion.

Zach and Chandler discussing preparations for a 5k including regular exercises, training, range of motion exercises. Chandler reports she forgets to stretch

Chandler and Rachel discussed spasms that Chandler has been experiencing. Rachel offered advice of checking her IT band and hip flexors while joking she should get a medical and therapy degree with all of her PT and OT

Chandler discussing her spasms while Rachel suggests checking her IT band and hip flexors

Rachel jokes she should get an honorary medical and therapy degree with her 20 years of PT and OT experience

Rachel’s Tweet brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What “awards” do you feel you should win from having CP? My award? The Straightest Legs in My Youth Gymnastics Class (I couldn’t bend them).

A picture of a gold trophy centered on a white background. There is black lettering of What "awards" do you feel you should win from having CP? above the trophy with the multi-colored #CPChatNow logo on the bottom left hand corner

Tweet you later!

*Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-27-2017

Another month in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow’s history came to a close Wednesday, September 27th, 2017. I am original #CPChatNow co-founder and current co-host Zachary Fenell, here with highlights for all. You know what I am talking about, recap time!

Familiar faces returning gave the night a reunion-like feel. First, past participant Timmy Le popped in.

A familiar face to long-time CPChatNow regulars found time for the September 27th Twitter chat, Timmy Le! Unfortunately, at the start “everyone” only included Jen and myself. However with time, more individuals started showing up.

Co-host Devin Axtman apologizes for his tardiness, mentioning a rough March. Yes, March!My co-host Devin Axtman apologized for his tardiness, citing a tough March! Devin quickly realized his misspeak.

Devin quickly catches his misspeak.Regular Hannah Pike noted forgetting the month signifies a long month. I jokingly theorized the mix-up related to cerebral palsy awareness initiatives. The United States acknowledges March as CP Awareness Month. Meanwhile an international awareness initiative, World CP Day, remains days away!

A short while later another name from CPChatNow’s past re-surfaced.

Kate takes a study break from nursing school to re-surface in CPChatNow.Kate found time in her busy nursing school schedule to check in with us at #CPChatNow. Devin expressed admiration towards Kate’s desire to go into nursing. The course load proves challenging in general, let alone with the additional obstacles cerebral palsy may cause.

Potential cerebral palsy caused obstacles also came up regarding interacting with children. Recently becoming an uncle, I possessed curiosity about others with nieces or nephews and how CP impacts their abilities as an aunt or uncle.

Zachary asks if having CP hinders anyone's abilities to be an aunt or uncle.Susanne Kate Brasset responded, mentioning kids’ ability to adapt. Sentiments Jocelyn supported, talking about her niece and nephew.

Jocelyn recalls a recent conversation she had with her seven-year old niece about disability.Jocelyn talks more about her niece and nephew, noting her four-year old nephew warned her about a railing issue.The stories Jocelyn shared about her niece and nephew displayed children’s willingness to learn and their thoughtfulness. Maybe you hold insights helpful to the subject. Keep the conversation going then!

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "Have you found cerebral palsy hinders your ability to be an aunt or uncle at all?" Leave your reply in the "Comments" section.Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Have you found cerebral palsy hinders your ability to be an aunt or uncle at all?”

Leave your reply by commenting below. Until next time!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 9-20-2017

Last week was an eventful week in #CPChatNow as always!  Members discussed searching for their medical records, the return of the TV show Speechless, their high school accommodations, and the importance of self-advocacy.  This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.  Buckle up!

The chat started out on a light note as Mindy discussed the difficulty of finding medical records and Blemi shared in the frustration:

Mindy expressed frustration she can't find her medical records. Blemi stated she found her's with a chocolate stain

Next, the chat turned to #CPChatNow’s favorite TV show, Speechless! Speechless returns Wednesday at 8:30 Eastern! Zach shared a fantastic article covering the show and we discussed the director of Speechless saying a goal was to lose the shackles of the “dreaded disability factor”:

Zach and Devin discussing the return of speechless and the director's thoughts

Talk then turned to high school accommodations and how much members were involved in their own accommodations. Blemi mentioned that her small town in Canada just did the bare minimum:

Blemi and Zach discussing high school accommodations in Canada. Blemi said there is no national standard and her small town did the bare minimum

Blemi reported that her school just exempted her from PE and allowed her to simply write papers.  Simply excusing something rather than accommodating for disability is definitely not the best response:

Blemi reported she wrote papers instead of doing PE

Christine and Zach discussed their evolution from being mad at being included in IEP meetings to taking self-advocacy as a point of pride:

Christine and Zach discussing their evolution from being shy to feeling prideful regarding their disability

Omens also discussed the occasional difficulties of self-advocacy, but rejoiced in the good moments when you find an ally that helps you like their stat teacher:

Omens discusses difficulties with self-advocacy and her stat teacher being her ally

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What memorable stories do you have surrounding CP and self-advocacy?  Please share your answer in the comments!

Tweet you later!

Devin An oranage cat in the lower left hand corner with a shadow of a lion. There is white text saying Extend-The-Convrsation and What memorable stories do you have surrounding CP?

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-13-2017

Disability’s presence on the big and small screen proved a popular topic during the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 13th, 2017. Here to provide you some highlights circa the weekly recap, I am co-host Zachary Fenell. So just like you might at the movie theater sit back, relax, and enjoy.

As per our usual, #CPChatNow opened with participants sending each other greetings and pleasantries. Long-time regular Hannah Pike metaphorically called “action,” directing the conversation to the previously mentioned topic.

Long-time #CPChatNow regular Hannah Pike turns the conversation to acting and disabilities sharing an article she recently read.Personally I found the read thought provoking. You can form your own judgements reading the Deadline piece “Actors with Disabilities Find Little Work in TV, But CBS & FOX Lead the Way in Hiring.”  Hannah and I agreed discussing the issue remains important. I pointed out how seeing someone you can identify with on the small screen may boost self-esteem. That leads to today’s extend-the-conversation question.

“Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?” Answer in the “Comments” section. Meanwhile you might notice the piece Hannah tweeted exclusively addressed disability on TV. Talk additionally transitioned to movies courtesy another long-time regular, Blemi.

Another long-time #CPChatNow regular Blemi recalls seeing a movie trailer recently which angered her.She recalled seeing a movie trailer for the film Stronger and cringing. My co-host Devin Axtman believed he reacted similarly when he saw the trailer. However, upon me finding the trailer and posting he recanted.

The #CPChatNow community goes in-depth discussing the Stronger movie trailer.Devin explained the trailer differed from what he originally thought. Further dialogue pursued while we tried understanding our differing opinions. Amidst the chatter Devin noted he enjoyed the way the trailer portrays adjusting to disabled life as non-static. All the movie discussion left veteran participant Jen asking about a separate disability related trailer.

Jen asks #CPChatNow about who has seen the trailer for Jeremy the Dud. We all seemed to find the Jeremy the Dud trailer hilarious. Beyond the movie and TV talk, Devin also announced our September 2017 Google Hangout date.

#CPChatNow will hold their September 2017 Google Hanout Thursday, September 21st. Every month we hold a video chat via Google Hangouts. For privacy reasons we do not post the Hangout link publicly. If you want to join us, please send us a message through our Facebook fan page. Devin, our co-host Jorge Oteiza, or myself will respond to you.

Answer this week's extend-the-conversation question in the "Comments" section, "Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?"Mentioning responses, remember to respond to the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

“Has there been a certain movie or TV character who helped you see disability differently?”

Reply below! I hope to speak with you again soon.

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 9-6-2017

This past week was an eventful week in #CPChatNow as always.  Members discussed hurricanes, new semesters and houses, and difficulties with transportation. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride.  All aboard!

First, we would like to share some good news.  Longtime #CPChatNow member, Erin, is OK following Hurricane Irma.  We discussed her hurricane plans last week:

Erin discussing her hurricane plans with caregivers, food, and water.

Perhaps not surprisingly with the time of year, much of #CPChatNow was focused around school.  Omens joined #CPChatNow to discuss fatigue and school accommodations.

Omens discussing her fatigue at school with accommodations such as an extra set of books, unlimited absences, and ability to leave class early

She also talked about her school providing students laptops to take notes.  This is a good example of Universal Design helping everyone:

Omens discuss that she has a laptop to take notes

Zach relived college by sharing his perceived benefits towards living on campus:

Zach and Jen discuss how Zach living on campus allowed him to learn how to avoid conflict

Next, Jen has discussed in previous weeks how she has been adjusting to her new house.  She shared that she has a device that helps turn on ceiling fans and lights, but wondered if there was a similar device for the bathroom:

A picture of a white remote with gray buttons for turning on fans and lights on a table along with a Jen tweet asking if similar devices exist for bathrooms

Finally, Hailey joined #CPChatNow to let us know that she started grad school. However, she shared her frustration with lack of reliable transportation:

Hailey reporting that she has returned to grad school, but shared her frustration with lack of reliable transportation

I will use Hailey’s frustration about transportation for this week’s Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is the worst societal obstacle when it comes to your CP?  Please share your answers in the comments!

Join us every Wednesday at 8 EST on Twitter at #CPChatNow.

Tweet you later-

DevinA black wheelchair in front of gray stairs with blue text on a gray background of the Extend-The-Conversation question. The Multicolor #CPChatNow logo is in the bottom right hand corner

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-30-2017

During #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 participants discussed assorted topics. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here with some highlights. Like usual these come packaged together via the weekly recap.

One characteristic which the recaps seem to showcase entails our community’s ability to empathize with each other. Prior to joining #CPChatNow many never talked to someone else with cerebral palsy before. Chatting with a peer who understands can feel dreamlike. Thanks to regular Hamda, we at #CPChatNow may now credibly boast about our dreamy status.

Participant Hamda dreamed of #CPChatNow community members gathering in-person for a picnic.Hamda shared a dream she enjoyed where our community gathered in-person at a park. Such a gathering would prove absolutely wonderful! Arranging said event in reality though requires navigating multiple logistics.

Our community remains spread out across the United States and internationally too. Plus we possess busy schedules, especially since school recently started back up for our young adults. Back to school actually generated much dialogue August 30th.

Shira's comments about being back at school causes Blemi to reflect on her school days.Community regular Shira Sadiky mentioned starting back at school earlier that day. This caused Blemi to reflect on her school years. Their conversation expanded with other participants also reminiscing. Eventually the chatter turned to more serious matters, the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused.

Susanne asks if anyone in CPChatNow was impacted by Hurricane Harvey.Susanne Kate Brasset asked if Hurricane Harvey impacted anyone in our community. Thankfully nobody experienced direct consequences. However both Susanne and co-host Devin Axtman know friends and family directly effected.

Personally I saw the topic as an opportunity to raise an important subject, emergency preparedness.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow community members how prepared they are for an emergency.Responses to the emergency preparedness question stood mixed. Susanne’s time with the Girl Scouts left her more than ready in case an emergency surfaces. Meanwhile Devin admitted to never contemplating the matter. I am willing to wager most people’s answers would resemble Devin’s reply.

Honestly I only thought about emergency preparedness thanks to a past work assignment. When I worked as Handicap This Productions’ Guest Blog Coordinator I connected them with disability advocate Anita Cameron. Her post became a three-part series detailing step by step how to prepare for an emergency.

Zachary links to Anita Cameron's emergency preparedness guest post for Handicap This Productions..I highly recommend reading. Take a look, “Emergency Preparedness- A Common Sense Measure for the Disability Community.” The read will help you answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is one thing you can do today to prepare for an emergency?" Reply in the "Comments" section.“What is one thing you can do today to prepare for an emergency?”

Respond below in the “Comments.” Thanks for reading. Remember you can partake in #CPChatNow every Wednesday on Twitter  starting at 8pm ET. I hope to tweet you soon.

Sincerely,

Zachary