#CPChatNow Recap- 12-26-2018

One night removed from Christmas, individuals in the cerebral palsy community gathered for the last 2018 #CPChatNow live Twitter chat. Holidays remained a forefront concentration too, as you will see reading this recap. A recap gifted to you by yours truly, co-host Zachary Fenell.

Initial conversation revolved around Christmas gifts participants received the previous day.

Jen received too many great Christmas gifts to name just one favorite.When asked about naming favorite gifts received, long-time chat regular Jen could not name just one. Between Stranger Things seasons one and two, her Doug the pugs, and new iPad Jen encountered a tough call. Meanwhile chat regular Seth and my co-host Devin Axtman expressed clear favorites.

Seth's favorite gift came from one of his aides.Devin's favorite gift received was an ugly Christmas sweater.Seth’s aide gave him $100 on betonline, an online poker/sports betting site. Fun! Devin also received a fun gift, an ugly North Dakota State Christmas sweater. Eventually the dialogue transitioned past Christmas to New Year’s.

#CPChatNow participants reflect back on their 2018s.

Personally, New Year’s always puts me in the mood to reflect. Therefore I asked participants to share some positives from their last 12 months. Another long-time regular Hannah recalled making the most of the good moments. Hannah experienced relentless health concerns throughout 2018, so enjoying the good occasions became extra important.

Additionally, Devin responded saying 2018 brought him growth both personally and professionally. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What were positives for you in 2018?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Expanding beyond our personal 2018s, we furthermore explored 2018 relating to the overall cerebral palsy community.

Devin and Zachary discuss the positives 2018 brought the general cerebral palsy community.Answering the question “What were positives for the CP community in 2018?” Devin named the continued media presence with Speechless and Maysoon’s project. That latter project refers to Can-Can, a sitcom starring actor, comedian, and past #CPChatNow participant Maysoon Zayid. In late 2018 ABC ordered a Can-Can pilot.

Can-Can possesses exciting possibilities. Same applies to Speechless perchance the show gets picked up again in 2019.

Zachary hopes Speechless will get a fourth season.Speechless getting renewed for season three stood out to me as a 2018 positive for the CP community. Now I am hoping a fourth season will get the green light in 2019. Much potential exists story wise regarding JJ heading off to college. Devin noted he could even consult on JJ’s accommodations scenes! My co-host’s work history gives him the credentials. You never know, right?

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What were positives for you in 2018?"Depending upon what happens with Speechless and Can-Can, 2019 could get incredibly exciting for the CP community. Yet before we commit ourselves to the year ahead, let us take a final moment to remember 2018. Answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What were positives for you in 2018?” 

Respond below! Then make a New Year resolution to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

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#CPChatNow Recap- 12-12-2018

Participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various topics Wednesday, December 12th, 2018. As co-host I am tasked to neatly summarize all the different discussion into your weekly recap. Wish me luck!

“Good luck Zachary!”

Thank you! The extend-the-conversation question from the previous week’s recap stimulated early dialogue December 12th.

Participants in the #CPChatNow community discuss what they would make the theme song for their life with cerebral palsy.My co-host Devin Axtman originally posed the question during the December 5th recap. “What is the theme song of your life with cerebral palsy?” Blemi answered “She Moves in Mysterious Ways” by U2 while Devin himself responded “Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty. Seth’s response meanwhile left him and I bonding.

Seth says the theme for his life with cerebral palsy would be "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls.Seth replied “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls. Personally I love that song. As I explained in the chat the lyrics “I don’t want the world to see me because I don’t think they will understand” strongly resonated with how I felt back in my timid days. Seth noted feeling the same way.

Continuing to provide a spark kindling chatter Devin raised another question.

Devin asked participants to share CP related holiday traditions.Devin asked whether anyone has CP related holiday traditions. He then named his. Devin’s family hangs the cabbage patch outfit Devin wore his first Christmas on their tree. Jeni Briere sympathized, recalling her older sister getting upset when their parents “stole” the sister’s cabbage patch kids clothes for Jeni to wear.

Simultaneously in answering Devin’s question I explored a separate aspect to holiday traditions.

Zachary turns the holiday discussion to accessibility.Diverting a little from the original query, I named Christmas Eve dinners at Grandma’s house as my favorite holiday tradition. Although not directly CP related, I explained Grandma’s home remained largely accessible helping to create an enjoyable environment. Devin especially empathized alongside one factor I mentioned, needing a table to eat. A need not all participants shared though!

Hannah says she does not need a table to eat at.Hannah vocalized she prefers not eating at a table, a preference she reasons extends back to rarely doing so when growing up. No matter your dining setting preferences, everyone could probably agree the holidays can represent a stressful time. Stress eventually rose to the conversation’s forefront.Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants how they avoid over exerting themselves. I asked how individuals keep themselves from over exerting themselves. Grace admitted she does not. Rather she counts on someone else to help keep her in check. Otherwise she will work herself to death or at least fall and/or encounter pain flares. Experiences I resonate with, mentioning I know I need to take a step back and refocus when my movements get extra sloppy.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Recognizing these signs stand vital. They allow you to better understand your limits, a subject Hannah knows too well.

Zachary and Hannah discuss the importance of knowing your limits.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?"

Leave your answer in the comments!

Similar to Grace, Hannah confessed to lacking balance within her life. Serious health complications the disruption in Hannah’s situation. Hannah named learning she can’t push past her body’s limits stood the hardest lesson. Familiarizing yourself with how your body tells you “Enough” stays vital to avoid over exertion. So again answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What signs indicate you are over exerting yourself?”

Reply below in the “Comments.” Then remember to join #CPChatNow every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-21-2018

Before participants in the CPChatNow community gathered with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, they assembled for the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, November 21st, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to reminisce about the November 21st, 2018 chat the best way I know how. Your weekly recap!

Thanksgiving emerged as an early discussion topic thanks to my co-host Devin Axtman.

#CPChatNow community members discuss their favorite Thanksgiving foods.Devin asked people to share their favorite Thanksgiving food, naming pumpkin pie as his. Both Timmy and I experienced difficulty picking just one! Hannah meanwhile said mashed potatoes are her favorite, although this year Hannah looked forward to a special gluten free peanut butter cake her grandma made.

Aware not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in November, I asked a question.

How the Canadian calendar lists American Thanksgiving.

On American calendars Canada’s Thanksgiving gets marked as “Canadian Thanksgiving.” I wondered if on Canadian calendars if they listed our Thanksgiving as “American Thanksgiving.” Timmy seconded my curiosity saying “Please tell us!” Heather DeYoe dropped in later to inform us Canadian calendars lists the day as “American Thanksgiving.”

Keeping to a Thanksgiving theme, we also discussed Thanksgiving family traditions.

Devin's family watches Christmas Vacation as a Thanksgiving tradition.Timmy's family Thanksgiving traditions are to eat, sleep, and repeat.

Devin shared his family watches Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile Timmy’s Thanksgiving tradition sounded quite enjoyable. He eats, naps, and repeats. I however need to patiently wait until Black Friday to eat. Since my mother works in retail, eating Thanksgiving dinner on Black Friday has become the Fenell family tradition.

Still I find Thanksgiving Day a reminder to show gratitude, which led to the next question.

Hannah is thankful to have survived 2018, even if that sounds cliche. I asked participants to share a 2018 accomplishment that they are thankful for. Hannah simply said surviving, given the difficult year she faced. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is one accomplishment from 2018 you are thankful for?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is one 2018 accomplishment you feel thankful for?"Leave your answers in the “Comments” section below. Then come join the conversation LIVE Wednesday nights on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-07-2018

Names such as Ross, Monica, and Joey remained missing but nonetheless the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow contained a Friends-like vibe Wednesday, November 7th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to explain what that means. Do you want to guess the best way to achieve this objective? If you said a weekly recap, then give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back!

Friends offered a memorable opening with the cast dancing while The Rembrandts’ song “I’ll Be There For You” plays. Lyrics in-part include “It’s like you are always stuck in second gear when it hasn’t been your day, week, or even year. But, I’ll be there for you.” For multiple #CPChatNow community members, 2018 has been tough. The unfortunate trend continued into the November 7th, 2018 chat.

#CPChatNow participants join the chat after a long, tiring day.Early in the chat my co-host Devin Axtman admitted to feeling very tired. Long-time regular Hannah Pike seconded the exhaustion. Although not her day, month, or even year Hannah stood there alongside everyone, tweeting out a pick me up.

Hannah tweets everyone encouragement with the message "So far you've survived 100% of your worst days. You're doing great."The knowledge “So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great” helped Hannah get through the day. So she tweeted the quote to help lift spirits. Do you repeat a certain phrase or mantra to empower you past the tough days? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What phrase or mantra helps get you through your bad days?” 

Leave your phrase or mantra in the “Comments” section. Another way to get through challenging times involves laughter. During the chat November 7th we shared a few laughs together.

#CPChatNow participants joke about feeling old.The laughter arose when new lingo emerged as a topic. Long-time #CPChatNow participant Jen mentioned the new lingo, for example “woke” and “what’s the tea.” Responding I credited #CPChatNow for single-handedly keeping me in the know. Simultaneously I tweeted a GIF featuring an old man shaking his finger accompanied by the caption “When I was your age, television was called books.”

Replying Jen recalled the lingo from her days, technically our days since only a few years separate us. One in-particular caught youngling Shira’s attention. She said others still use “Talk to the hand” around her. I quipped talk to the hand is a classic because the face don’t want to listen!

Elsewhere in the chat the looming winter surfaced as a common subject.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the best and worst parts of winter.I posed the question, “What do you find the best and worst part of winter?” Devin called the cold the worst part and Christmas the best part. I agreed about the holidays, saying people slow down and spend time with loved ones. A bit pessimistic though, I wondered how long that would last commenting “Just look at what Thanksgiving has become!”

Offering some hope Shira shared an optimistic outlook. She believes the holidays will naturally cycle back around to a familial focus. Her optimism lessened my pessimism. Once again an instance where #CPChatNow participants remain there for each other!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What phrase or mantra helps you get through your bad days?"Keep the positivity going. Remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What phrase or mantra helps to get you through your bad days?” Reply below in the “Comments.”

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

-Zachary

#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

#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