#CPChatNow Recap- 10-24-2018

Your weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow started out on a despondent note Wednesday, October 24th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell here to tell you more, the best way I know how. Recap time!

#CPChatNow participants discuss bad news recently revealed by celebrity and WWE superstar Roman Reigns.Long-time regular Jen noticed I seemed a bit down at the chat’s beginning. I admitted to enduring a long day, although not necessarily a bad one. However, my spirits remained dampened by news WWE superstar Roman Reigns announced two days earlier. He revealed his ongoing battle against leukemia. I lost an aunt to leukemia and thus I am familiar with the difficult challenges the cancer presents.

Launching off the discussion between Jen and myself, I asked a question.

#CPChatNow participants reflect upon celebrity deaths/health scares that hit them rather hard.I asked participants if a certain celebrity death or health scare had a deep impact on them. Seth mentioned Robin Williams. Meanwhile my co-host Devin said Prince’s death hit him hard because Devin grew up listening to Prince.

To keep the conversation going while also transitioning to a more upbeat mood, allow me to ask as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you turn bad news into a positive?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Spirits uplifted during the Twitter chat October 24th when members began discussing the most recent Speechless episode “I-N– INTO THE W-O– WOODS.”

Speechless episode "INTO THE WOODS" receives rave reviews from the #CPChatNow community.Devin loved the episode so much, he called “I-N– INTO THE W-O– WOODS” “my favorite episode in a long time. Maybe ever.” Seth liked JJ possessing a confidante beyond Kenneth. Additionally Seth expressed interest seeing JJ on the computer being independent.

This week's #CPChatNow extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you turn bad news into a positive?"Personally I am interested in viewing your answer to the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Again, the question asks “How do you turn bad news into a positive?” Comment below to respond. Next plan to join us on Twitter every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

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#CPChatNow Recap 10-10-2018

Wednesday nights continue to feel like a destination for those who belong to the cerebral palsy community CPChatNow and Wednesday October 10th, 2018 proved no different! I am proud co-host Zachary Fenell, standing in for my co-host Devin Axtman. Usually Devin and I alternate weeks recapping our weekly Twitter chat #CPChatNow. However as Devin later explained, elements beyond his control caused him to miss the October 10th chat.

Due to elements beyond his control Devin missed the October 10th, 2018 #CPChatNow.

Although down a co-host, the conversation pushed forward. The prior Saturday (October 6th) marked World Cerebral Palsy Day. I asked if anyone did anything to commemorate the occasion.

#CPChatNow participants discuss what they did on Saturday, October 6th, World Cerebral Palsy Day.Long-time #CPChatNow regular Jen did nothing special to commemorate World CP Day. I then admitted I forgot about World CP Day until the evening when I saw a post from Jen on Facebook. Sounds horrible considering my moniker “The CP Vigilante!” Yet my mind remained pre-occupied with thoughts related to my marathon the next day.

At least I possessed good company in forgetting! Heather DeYoe also forgot. She too maintained a good reason why, Thanksgiving dinner with the family!

Interestingly enough our chat October 10th coincided alongside another relevant world day initiative, World Mental Health Day. A perfect opportunity to talk mental health!

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants about how they care for their mental health.

To kick off the mental health discussion I asked how others care for their mental health. Jen mentioned watching TV, listening to music, and taking anxiety medicine. I also find music helpful in maintaining good mental health. Plus I named physical activity, saying the physicality brings me great stress relief. Similarly Grace referenced physical activity amidst her answer, mentioning yoga.

Your turn now to keep the conversation going! Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you care for your mental health?” Reply in the “Comments” section.

Elsewhere during the night I announced our next Google Hangout date.

This month's Google Hangout will take place Thursday, October 25th, 2018.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you care for your mental health?"Mark your calendars if you plan to attend. To help ensure privacy, the Hangout link does not go out publicly. Contact the CPChatNow Facebook page by DM to get added to the invite list. Before you go to send your message, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

“How do you care for your mental health?”

Leave your reply below.

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 10-03-2018

With another Wednesday flying by, so too came a new #CPChatNow, your live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat. Flying actually proved a main discussion point Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell here to tell you more via your weekly recap. Prepare for take off!

Long-time regular Hannah Pike locked coordinates onto the flying topic by asking a question.

Long-time #CPChatNow regular Hannah Pike prepares for an upcoming flight by asking the community for flying advice.Hannah asked the community to share any flying advice. I suggested giving yourself plenty of time to get to your gate. Then I followed up, interested in knowing what mobility devices Hannah plans to bring along. When she mentioned bringing her manual wheelchair, I suggested she listened to Handicap This’ podcast episode discussing traveling in a wheelchair.

Additionally my co-host Devin Axtman offered his firsthand airport experiences.

Devin offers Hannah advice for traveling by plane.

Like me, Devin recommended giving yourself more time than you think you need. He also advised checking your wheelchair at the gate, labeling your chair, taking the seat cushion with you, and avoiding revolving doors. A fellow long-time regular Blemi added her own suggestion.

Blemi recommends Hannah takes the opportunity to board early.

Blemi encouraged Hannah to pre-board when they call anyone who requires more time or extra assistance. Hannah noted she usually struggles to accept such help, but plans to this time around. Blemi empathized, saying she use to resist as well. Devin meanwhile said he uses all the perks, including one nobody else seemed to know existed!

#CPChatNow participants discuss getting their luggage off the luggage carousel.Devin noted you can get assistance getting your luggage off the carousel by saying at the gate you will need help. Welcoming information to Blemi, who previously asked random people to assist her! A move in hindsight she deemed “not the smartest move on my part.” Hannah admitted she probably would’ve done the same without Devin’s insights. Devin credited his wisdom to learning the hard way.

The discussion about flying triggers memories of past chats and makes participants realize how long #CPChatNow has been going.Memories resurfaced while Devin detailed how he learned the hard way. The story sounded familiar to both Hannah and me. Remembering Devin’s bad airport experience triggered a realization. Our community will turn FIVE YEARS OLD come December! Looking to reminisce, I posed a question.

Zachary asks participants to share fond memories of #CPChatNow.I asked participants to recall any specific fond #CPChatNow memories. Rather than naming specifics, Shira recalled how #CPChatNow lessened her feeling alone. Personally, my mind went to a particular train of thought.

#CPChatNow has a special inside joke about trains.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "Do you have specific fond memories of #CPChatNow?" Reply in the comments.Over the years the train joke, based off a story Hannah told, continues chugging along. Do not derail the conversation. Keep the dialogue going by answering for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you have specific fond memories of #CPChatNow?” 

Comment below to reply. Afterwards come create new memories by joining #CPChatNow every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun starts boarding at 8pm ET!

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-19-2018

Various conversation topics came and went Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here with the highlights. Early on a recent news story stimulated dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss an article about 10-year old Riley Duos.Personally I found the story “10-year old proves to have ‘no limits’ despite her disability” interesting for multiple reasons. I asked what stands out first to others. Ciaróg noted how reading articles like this act as a reminder that cerebral palsy varies so much. Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman felt the story contained an “inspirational porn” vibe and pointed out the negative cognition related to wheelchairs. The latter gave me mixed emotions.

Devin and Zachary talk about the positives and negatives found in the Riley Duos news story.As I explained, Riley’s parents refusing to let the wheelchair inside the house caused me contradictory emotions. Yes, she ended up stronger. However, said approach would not benefit everyone. Though, Devin questioned the apparent strength.

Devin points out not using a wheelchair now could lead to damage later in life.Taking a long-term look at the situation Devin acknowledged not using a wheelchair now may cause damage down the line. He emphasized the importance to knowing limits. Better understanding CP helps to best understand where limitations lay. Instilling such an understanding into able-bodied people’s minds involves finding ways to effectively describe the condition. Another subject which surfaced Wednesday, September 19th!

#CPChatNow participants discuss the imagery they use to describe CP to able-bodied people.Originally our beloved “Resilient Wench” Rachel raised the matter, asking about how others describe CP to able-bodied individuals. Ciaróg considers CP “as every movement getting snagged by a web of invisible elastic bands.” I liked the spastic muscles to probably how you might feel if a boa-constrictor constricted around you. Risking crossing the TMI line, Rachel herself compared how her muscles feel to menstrual cramps “but all over and all the time.”

What imagery might you use to describe cerebral palsy? Do tell by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How would you describe your cerebral palsy?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Continuing to a less serious matter, participants enjoyed fun discussing what makes them feel old.

The #CPChatNow community enjoys a fun subject, reminiscing about dial-up Internet and other items that make them feel old.Rachel recounting a youngster unable to appreciate a Stevie Nicks reference led to the subject. Then I mentioned the lovely dial-up Internet days, a time multiple participants remembered well. Devin even shared a funny story from his childhood where his dad became stuck at work due to Devin’s dial-up use. Navigating between Internet and phone use certainly proved a challenge during the world wide web’s infant years. A different challenge emerged later within the chat after I asked what others find most challenging while grocery shopping.

Participants discuss what they find challenging about grocery shopping.

Ciaróg named a few challenges. Those included packing and paying quickly, plus carrying bags home. I shared the difficulty I face browsing items on low shelves. Devin also deemed lower shelves difficult. Nevertheless an area I encounter less troubles revolves around memory. Therefore let me remind you to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How would you describe your cerebral palsy?"“How would you describe your cerebral palsy?”

Respond below!

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-05-2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 saw members in the #CPChatNow community celebrate achievements, exchange wisdom, and much more during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap the chatter from the night. Between the weekly chats Timmy Le used the hashtag to share an impressive accomplishment.

#CPChatNow members congratulate participant Timmy Le on his hiking accomplishment.

Timmy talked about summit hiking up the highest mountain in the Northeast. You can see his pride in the accomplishment looking at his summit photo.

Timmy Le looking proud at the Mt. Washington Summit.While Timmy touted his hiking victory, others discussed how their lives mirror a metaphorical hike. Our beloved “Resilient Wench” Rachel provided advice to help handle life’s difficult terrain.

Rachel gives a reminder to try to view difficulties as virtues.Needing prisms again left Rachel bummed for awhile, but a friend recommended she try to see her difficulties as virtues. Although a lot easier said than done, I found the advice sound. To show difficulties can indeed serve as virtues, answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Keeping the recap moving forward, a little later in the evening I asked a question regarding spasticity.

#CPChatNow participants discuss when they experience the most spasticity within the day.Curious, I asked if people noticed an increase in spasticity at a certain time during the day. Longtime regular Hannah Pike initially said no, but noted feeling more spastic on rainy days. I seconded the rainy day sentiments and added I feel greater spasticity in the mornings. The increase I attribute to how I sleep at night. My comments caused Hannah to rethink and realize she notices her spasticity at night more due to less distractions occupying her mind. My co-host Devin Axtman also related to Hannah’s answer.

Additionally, Devin announced our September 2018 Google Hangout date.

Mark your calendars! The September 2018 #CPChatNow Google Hangout will be Thursday, September 20th.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?"Google Hangouts allow us to enjoy face-to-face dialogue via Google’s video chat platform. For privacy reasons, we do not distribute the link to the Hangout publicly. Please contact us through the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to inquire about getting added to the Hangout invite list. Plus remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?”

Respond below! Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-22-2018

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow had much on their minds Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018, a fact apparent by the conversation’s flow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, tasked to arrange the various topics discussed into one concise recap. A question asked during the previous week’s chat resurfaced sparking early dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss when they realized they were different from their siblings.

New #CPChatNow participant Molly Adamson asked about others’ experiences with able-bodied siblings. Heather DeYoe recalled noticing her disability for the first time when she needed surgery but her sister did not. Meanwhile my answer rerouted the chatter.

#CPChatNow participants discover a common bond, going to preschool for multiple years.Blemi and Jen related to my reply. I explained I noticed my CP because I went to AM kindergarten while my two brothers attended PM kindergarten. I attended AM kindergarten so in the afternoon I could go to preschool to receive physical therapy. My third year in preschool! Blemi mentioned spending three years in kindergarten and Jen spent three years between kindergarten and early childhood. All while my brothers enjoyed sleeping in before their PM kindergarten classes! Sleep actually surfaced as another subject matter.

Members in the #CPChatNow community discuss sleeping, pain, and mattresses.Recently I changed how I sleep on my bed because I kept waking up with back pain. Switching where I lay my head proved easier than trying to flip my mattress. My remarks intrigued co-host Devin Axtman who also sometimes has back pain after sleeping. I said a worn mattress could cause those problems but the best mattresses end up costing more money. Blemi anticipated the day she can get a bed where each side can move based on the person’s preference.

Later in the chat Devin raised an important issue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the crucial topic of emergency and disaster preparedness.Devin retweeted Texas Tribune’s story covering disaster and emergency preparedness. I admitted to not planning, although I know I should. Knowledge I gained years ago when I connected disability advocate Anita Cameron with Handicap This, leading to a three-part guest blog examining emergency preparedness. You can still read those posts.

Unlike Devin and I, participant Jake Jordan said he makes an effort to stay prepared. How about you? If like Devin and myself, due yourself a favor and answer today’s extend-the-conversation question. “How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?” Leave your reply in the comments.

Make sure to join the conversation on Twitter too! We welcome both new faces like Molly and ones from past #CPChatNows. That includes MIA co-host Jorge Otezia who happened to drop in on the 22nd.

Zachary warmly greets a familiar face back to #CPChatNow, Jorge!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?"Come say hi too, Wednesday at 8pm ET on Twitter. Just use the hashtag in your tweet to enter our community. Or, you can partake by answering the extend-the-conversation questions asked here in the recaps. Again, this week’s question asks “How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?” Respond below.

Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-08-2018

A serious tone emerged during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 8th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, hopeful you will forgive me for the tardy recap. You continuing to read I will interpret as forgiveness. Thank you.

Going into the evening I personally felt rather exhilarated.

#CPChatNow participants differing attitudes towards disabilities.Towpath Marathon’s Facebook page sharing a post I shared fueled my elation. Particularly, their comment “We’re looking forward to seeing Zach in two months!” Like I explained to our community, I feared the staff might adopt a different attitude, “Not again!” After all, I needed almost 12 hours to complete the 26.2 miles the previous year.

My fellow #CPChatNow co-host Devin Axtman remarked how life would prove easier if everyone demonstrated Towpath’s welcoming attitude. I asked “What do we have to do to make that happen?” Devin thinks the answer relies in educating children. Adding to his point I emphasized the importance behind consistent education, oppose to a special assembly here and there. What do you think? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Regarding answering extend-the-conversation questions, I raised the prior week’s question.

#CPChatNow regular Rachel discusses what goes into her decision on whether to use a mobility aid or not.Amidst the August 1st, 2018 #CPChatNow recap Devin posed the question, “What goes into your decision when deciding to use a mobility aid?” #CPChatNow regular Rachel explained her decision making process, saying sometimes she benefits from not using a cane. but remains tempted to use one to visually show others a need for space with her movement. I replied saying a cane seems to make other people more accepting. Otherwise they tend to stare and think you are just a drunk. Sentiments Rachel related to.

#CPChatNow participants talk about their experiences with falls.Rachel echoed the idea people mistaken individuals with cerebral palsy as drunks. She suspects others avoid helping her up due to this. Jeni Briere noted the danger in said scenario.

Jeni wonders how many people have suffered because bystanders mistake the individual for being intoxicated.

Jeni recalled a famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas who died in a diabetic coma because others mistook him for a drunk.The thought left Jeni pondering how many more suffer because they appear intoxicated. Let us not end on such a somber note, though. During the August 8th chat, we announced our August 2018 Google Hangout date.

#CPChatNow's August 2018 Google Hangout will happen Thursday, August 23rd.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, how can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?Besides marking your calendar, also remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?” Respond in the comments below.

Until next time,

-Zach