#CPChatNow Recap- 03-14-2018

Much meaningful conversation occurred Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and guess what? Correct! I am in recapping mode.

With the date March 14th, 3-14, the mood proved extra festive.

With the date March 14th, PiDay, the mood for #CPChatNow proved extra festive.March 14th aka Pi Day gave participants an additional reason to celebrate the Wednesday. Heather DeYoe shared she celebrated Pi Day by eating wild blueberry pie. Meanwhile the closest I came to pie involved a GIF I tweeted earlier in the day.

Although the dialogue began on a lighthearted note, topics soon turned serious. Shira sought comfort related to a frustrating family situation. This led me to pose a reflective question.

#CPChatNow participants reflect back on what they wished their parents did differently.My question asked what you wish or wished your parents did differently. Hailey Hughes expressed a desire for her father to understand some movements happen unconsciously. For example, motions like irregular arm positioning and walking flat-footed.

Elsewhere in the chatter, challenges long-time regular Hannah Pike continues facing led to a taboo subject surfacing.

Hannah and Zachary discuss the importance of talking about suicide. Hannah mentioned not seeing herself as a fighter because no other option exist. I commended her mindset, voicing an uncomfortable truth. Others might contemplate suicide as an alternative.

“It (suicide) only transfers the pain to your family and friends” Hannah reasoned. We agreed, recognizing the need to discuss suicide. Increased discussion could convince someone to reach out to find help.

Helping to lighten the chatter, I proposed a question designed to spark creative thinking.

Zachary and Shira discuss analogies that accurately describe living with cerebral palsy.Shira and I went back and forth answering my query, “If you were to use an analogy to describe to someone what living with cerebral palsy is like, what analogy would you use?” Responding, Shira likened cerebral palsy to a robot with a rusty central system. Her response triggered me to say a computer who only replies to 0s or 1s but not both binary code elements.

Do you want to add to the conversation with your own analogy? Go ahead! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Also double check your calendars. Our next focus chat approaches fast!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 our very own Rachel Folly will lead a focus chat on the last year in CP. Our very own Rachel will lead the chat, focusing on the past year in CP. Reflection analyzing the positives and negatives related to the CP community from March 2017 to March 2018. Contact Rachel if you would like to see anything particular addressed Wednesday, March 28th.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?"Prior to contacting Rachel though, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?” Respond in the “Comments” section below. Then countdown the hours to our next Twitter chat. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday at 8pm ET.

Tweet you later,



#CPChatNow Recap- 02-28-2018

Participants in our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed many topics Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, taking on the challenge to recap the lively discussion. Before recapping the many subjects visited, I wish to emphasize a reminder given during the chat.

#CPChatNow has a new shirt for sale, but the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2017 at midnight ET.Currently we at #CPChatNow remain in shirt sale mode, with a shirt featuring a lime green #CPChatNow logo and a line underneath, also in lime green, reading “Established December 2013.” You can pick up the shirt in either navy, forest green, and/or sapphire. However, the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 when the clock strikes midnight in the eastern time zone. So order today!

Proceeds from the sale will go to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On (KOKO). KOKO assists those with severe disabilities through helping families fund physical therapy and other medical expenses. Help us help them make a difference by either purchasing a shirt or making a monetary donation.

Truly, the shirt sale concludes at a fitting time. After all, March marks Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Said topic left our community buzzing Wednesday, February 28th.

Participants in #CPChatNow express varying opinions about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.Rachel asked what people planned to do for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, quipping that her leg and hand “have been making me all too aware of CP as of late.” I replied I work to raise CP awareness year round through my blog, memoir Off Balanced, and public speaking. Nonetheless I plan to become extra focused in March.

Meanwhile my co-host Devin shared some skepticism. He wants to see meaningful activity oppose to”mindless awareness with no real impact.” Those comments lead us to this week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Answer in the “Comments” section.

The CP Awareness Month dialogue eventually transitioned, based off Rachel’s hand and leg quip.

Heather expresses empathy for Rachel's hand and leg issues, leading to a conversation about hand surgeries. Participant Heather DeYoe noted her birthday occurs during CP Awareness Month. She also empathized with the hand issues Rachel mentioned. Although Heather also indicated feeling relief from such issues after recent surgery. That left Wum Gin wondering the operation Heather underwent.

Elsewhere I discussed with longtime regular Linds a matter Linds blogged about recently, weird dreams.

Zachary and Linds discuss if their cerebral palsy is present in their dreams.Amidst the aforementioned post “My Weird Dream Lately…#1” Linds recalled a dream where she proved free from cerebral palsy. I found the fact Linds didn’t have CP in her dream fascinating and pondered what a dream expert might deem the significance. Offering her non-expert opinion, Linds suggested the fact could relate to not knowing she had something called CP until fourth grade.

Her speculation caused other participants to reflect back on growing up with CP. A direction evolving into chatter centering around math class!

#CPChatNow participants think back to their performances in math class.Rachel, Devin, and I went back and forth recalling our differing experiences in math class. Rachel described her math class as “sketchy.” I touted my good performance in the subject, at least until I reached pre-calculus. Devin possessed a relatively opposite experience. Geometry presenting the only math class leaving him to struggle.  Rachel added many with CP find difficulty with math.

Perchance the math keeps you hesitant towards purchasing a “#CPChatNow Established December 2013” shirt, I will crunch the numbers for you. Each shirt costs $24 and then another $4.99 in shipping, bringing the total to $28.99. The sale ends Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at midnight ET, meaning upon this recap’s initial publication you hold less than 30 hours to order. Proceeds will go directly to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?"With that one final plug done, one task lingers. For you to answer the extend-the-conversation question! Again, this week’s question asks “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Respond in the “Comments” below.

Until next time!



#CPChatNow Recap- 02-14-2018

February 2018 coincidentally saw Valentine’s Day and the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow fall on the same day. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, ready to recap the dialogue from February 14th. Participants’ attitudes towards Valentine’s Day emerged early in the chat.

#CPChatNow community members share a disinterest in Valentine's Day.Participants Jen and Rachel‘s responses to my Valentine’s Day greeting showed a disapproval for the holiday. Jen wished a “Happy Single made up holiday.” Meanwhile Rachel pulled a Scrooge, saying “Bah humbug!”

Chatter remained Valentine’s Day related via participants sharing their experiences with online dating. Unfortunately, the tales skewed more negative than positive. Disclosing your disability proving a key topic. However, I will avoid specifics since the recap rules deem “Tweets focus on sensitive life events, such as relationship matters” not recap appropriate.

Eventually discourse moved beyond a love theme. I announced the date for our February 2018 Google Hangout.

#CPChatNow will hold their monthly Google Hangout for February 2018 Thursday, February 22nd. Google Hangouts offer the chance for us to talk face to face and share stories harder to tell with Twitter’s character limits. Distributing the Hangout link happens privately to ensure a safe environment. Please contact either my co-hosts Jorge Otezia, Devin Axtman, or myself by Twitter or through the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to inquire about joining the Hangout.

Mentioning Devin, he added input to a question I asked.

Devin and Zachary discuss falling.Devin answered my question, “How often do you fall?” He said he falls maybe once a month. I explained the reason I asked, feedback I received on a recent Youtube video discussing falls.

The user commented he never falls because he catches himself. Devin and I both found the ability to catch yourself all the time impressive. Long-time community member Jocelyn also added to the falling talk.

Jocelyn answers the question how often she falls.Jocelyn possessed a more precise answer to the question “How often do you fall?” She noted tracking how often she falls and trips. Within the information she logs she includes the situation’s circumstances. Probably very helpful data!

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How often do you fall?"Your turn now. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How often  do you fall?” Estimate if you do not know the exact amount. Leave your answer by commenting below.

Until next time,


#CPChatNow Recap- 01-31-2018

An abbreviated #CPChatNow Twitter chat happened Wednesday, January 31st, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell here to provide you the details via your weekly recap. Around our usual start time 8pm ET, my co-host Devin announced he would miss the chat.

Devin checks in to tell the #CPChatNow community he cannot make the night's chat.Trouble since I found myself with Internet connection problems. Without seeing Devin’s tweet I reached out to longtime regular Hannah Pike to give participants an update.

Longtime #CPChatNow regular Hannah Pike gives a chat update for Zachary.Thankfully a change in status occurred a little before 9pm ET. Equipped with a re-established Internet connection, I entered the #CPChatNow thread. Soon the dialogue started flowing like any other Wednesday from the past four-plus years.

Issues recently experienced by longtime regular Blemi led to conversation about ableism.

#CPChatNow participants discuss ableism and discrimination.While Blemi gave an update on her parking situation, Hannah mentioned ableist tendencies. I replied, noting too many people do not realize their ableist behavior. As the chatter continued I theorized a big problem involves the tendency to grow defensive when discussing discrimination. People take words personally oppose to staying open-minded.

Later in the chat participants rallied together again to supply support to another. Regular Shira Sadiky looked to our community for advice on transitioning to college.

#CPChatNow participants discuss living on-campus and the difference between single, double, and medical single rooms.I asked Shira what her roommate situation will end up like. Personally I always paid the double rate for a room in college although I lived in a single. Devin supplied greater perspective, explaining the difference between doubles, singles, and medical singles.

Towards the chat’s end I raised a question asked to me the day prior.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants about their rock, what keeps them moving during tough times.The question “What’s your rock?” a middle school teacher asked me following my presentation at a school. Your rock meaning what keeps you moving forward during hard times. Devin, who ended up making the chat at the end after all, said friends and family. That answer proved common.

#CPChatNow participants name their "rocks."Blemi called her significant other her rock. Meanwhile Jen said her mother gives her strength during tough times. Your turn! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question,

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your rock? So what keeps you going during tough times?"“What is your rock? What keeps you going during tough times?”

Respond in the “Comments” section below. Then join us Wednesday evening at 8pm ET for our weekly Twitter chat!

Tweet you soon,


#CPChatNow Recap- 01-17-2018

Members in the #CPChatNow community turned to our Twitter chat Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 seemingly looking for an escape from their busy lives. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to tell you more. There seems no better way to do that than your weekly recap!

A theme involving busyness quickly emerged. Co-host Jorge Otezia dropped in, updating us on his semester ahead at University of Mary Washington.

Co-host Jorge Otezia updates #CPChatNow on the semester ahead of him at University of Mary Washington.Between working 30 hours a week and a full course load Jorge warns he will end up missing in action a lot. In a separate conversation my other co-host Devin also appeared occupied with a full schedule.

Co-hosts Devin and Zachary discuss mindset when dealing with busy schedules.Responding to Devin, I pointed out how busyness can tempt someone to feel overwhelmed. Personally I avoid this by remembering busyness proves a privilege. Changing your mindset to say “I get to” oppose to “I have to” makes a huge difference! Otherwise you risk becoming stressed. Fittingly stress surfaced as a topic thanks to #CPChatNow regular Rachel.

Rachel asks the #CPChatNow community about stress.Rachel asked if anybody feels like their CP makes dealing with stress harder compared to our able-bodied counterparts. Among the replies to Rachel, Devin offered an interesting theory. He theorized since we spend more energy moving around, we also exert more energy when stressed.

To prevent dwelling on the above problem, let us borrow the approach #CPChatNow co-founder John W. Quinn shared so many times. John always encouraged we focus on solutions. So answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?” Leave your stress relief tip via a comment in the “Comments” section.

Before commenting though, shall we continue with the recap? Conversation eventually transitioned to a couple recent news stories. The first caught my attention earlier in the week.

Zachary talks about a recent news story which made him curious about how our minds work.The story “Family of boy, 13, who cannot walk or talk because of cerebral palsy left in tears after laughing drunks call him a ‘cabbage.” noted how the mother felt humiliated by the experience. Reading her comments saddened me because in my opinion the offending adults should feel embarrassed. Not the family! Devin shared enduring a similar situation and initially feeling bad. I deducted feeling bad stands a human instinct, but we could benefit training ourselves to rethink our emotional response.

Beyond his own memories Devin tweeted about another news story featuring bullying behavior.

Devin shares a news story about a college professor who mocked a student with a disability.Devin’s share “Professor put on leave after allegedly mocking U of G student with ‘severe anxiety’” detailed a professor who allegedly acted unsavory towards a student with severe anxiety. Rachel found the article unsurprising. Meanwhile I contemplated contributing the bullying behavior to the professor possessing his own unresolved issues.

Anyways, enough negative talk! Time to find solutions in life. We cannot control other people, but we can control how we react in such stressful situations. Perhaps you enjoy a great stress relief tip. Share by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?"“What tricks do you use to help handle your stress?”

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


#CPChatNow Recap- 01-03-2018

A New Year for the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow commenced Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to happily recap our first 2018 chat. Unfortunately my counterpart Devin missed the evening’s festivities due to feeling under the weather. However, I proved not the only co-host around to kick off the year.

Jorge Otezia shares what the hashtag #CPChatNow would translate to in Spanish. Still enjoying some rare downtime co-host Jorge Oteiza added much to the night’s dialogue. He updated us on his life and more. That more includes a fun fact about what #CPChatNow translates to in Spanish, “parálisis cerebral charlar ahora.”

Over the past year a strong interest in Spanish culture emerged amidst #CPChatNow thanks to Jorge’s travels and participant Rachel becoming a trusted chat regular. Rachel knows Spanish culture from time she spent living in the country. She even enlightened us January 3rd, 2018 with a New Year Eve tradition practiced in Spain.

Rachel talks about a New Year Eve tradition practiced in Spain. Responding to my question about New Year Eve traditions, Rachel mentioned in Spain people eat 12 grapes for each stroke after midnight. She explained each grape represents a good month. I wondered if those who possess difficulty eating, can instead sip grape juice 12 times.

Your turn now! Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?” Traditions do not need to involve cultural heritage. Rather your tradition may merely entail a gathering with friends and/or family. Let us know by leaving your New Year Eve tradition in the “Comments” section.

Moving forth with the recap, throughout the night participants bonded over mutually shared CP related frustrations. For example, issues snow causes.

Zachary and Blemi share obstacles snow can create for those with cerebral palsy.After I mentioned noticing issues with the curb cut at my work, long-time regular Blemi revealed a far worse scenario. She noted city workers clearing snow only to dump the snow in handicap parking spots. Not cool!

Additional frustrations discussed revolved around the video game Guitar Hero.

Jen and Zachary discuss the challenges CP can cause when playing Guitar Hero.Long-time regular Jen asked if anyone played Guitar Hero. I recalled playing the game in my college years. Admittedly, given my fine motor skills I found the game too challenging outside the easiest difficulty setting. An issue which also resonated with Jen!

Whether video games, snowy obstacles, or something completely different, you will discover empathy from those who truly understand CP by participating in #CPChatNow. The Twitter chat occurs every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Join us. Plus do not forget to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?"“Do you have any special New Year Eve traditions?”

Respond below via a comment.

Until next time!



#CPChatNow Recap: Setting Good New Year Resolutions Focus Chat

Happy New Year! We in the #CPChatNow community prepared for the occasion Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 when we welcomed guest Daryl Perry to lead our “Setting Good New Year Resolutions” focus chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and you likely know my intentions. To summarize the dialogue from December 27th, 2017 into your weekly recap!

First, I realize I am a week-and-a-half late in posting this. I am sorry. Actions always speak louder than words, though. Therefore let me set a New Year resolution to stop the last minute and worse, late, #CPChatNow recaps. After today I resolve to bring you recaps at the latest 24 hours prior to the next chat.

Sounds good, right? Nevertheless achieving New Year resolutions can prove extremely challenging, if not seemingly impossible! Enter the reason we ended 2017 with Daryl. As an experienced small businessman (Your Level Fitness) and personal trainer Daryl maintains insights helpful towards enabling our community to set attainable New Year resolutions.

Daryl began the dialogue by asking participants to share their past experiences with resolutions.

Daryl Perry asks #CPChatNow participants about their experiences with New Year resolutions.Susanne Kate Brasset announced victory with the resolutions she set in 2017, mainly involving legitimizing her photography business. Others lacked the same triumphant tales.

Devin talks about the pitfalls which tend to send him off course from succeeding with his New Year resolutions.Linds shares how her resolutions usually go.Both regular Linds and my co-host Devin pinpointed where their New Year resolutions usually stray. Devin acknowledged difficulty with setting measurable goals and also dying motivation upon results failing to surface right away. Similarly Linds noted failed attempts at weight loss.

Additionally Linds cited writers block as a common downfall to her New Year resolutions. Quickly our histories with resolutions became the foundation to the night’s conversation. Responding to Devin, Daryl advised honing your New Year resolutions into daily “Yes/No” questions. He gave an example, “read at least 20 minutes a day.” Every day you can then ask yourself “Did I read for at least 20 minutes today?”

Meanwhile Daryl responded to Linds by seeking to understand her writing habits. His questioning left Linds feeling a New Year resolution surfacing, “write each day.” Related to the writing theme, Linds brainstormed resolutions which could aid her goal to become a published author.

Linds brainstorms New Year resolutions to help aid her aspirations to become an author.Particularly Linds pondered seeking knowledge from already published authors. Susanne suggested another resource too, the book The Writers Market. Further chatter about writing resources progressed alongside other topics.

Rachel expresses frustrations with losing weight and the role cerebral palsy can play in the matter.Like Linds earlier, Rachel expressed struggles with weight loss. Rachel named specific obstacles to weight loss that cerebral palsy causes, i.e. developmental problems and how the body handles stress. Replying, Daryl emphasized the individualistic nature behind each CP case and recommended focusing on activities and workouts you can do. Nonetheless due to cerebral palsy completing said activities and workouts year round represents another obstacle.

Rachel finds difficulty working out in the cold.Rachel noted the ways winter messes with our muscles. Elements Daryl attempts to minimize through working out indoors during winter. However, Rachel noted you cannot completely eliminate the cold, snow, ice, and such. After all you must drive or find transportation to the gym.

Eventually the weight loss conversation turned to tracking progress.

Daryl asks Rachel how she tracks progress on her weight loss goals.Rachel asks Daryl what tracking tools he finds success in using while measuring weight loss goals..Following Rachel listing weight loss techniques she tried, Daryl inquired about how she measures her progress. She explained her preference to use the scale over food logs. Devin additionally chimed in, saying weighing himself regularly winds up creating discouragement.

Devin’s sentiment Daryl seconded while answering Rachel’s question regarding what tracking systems Daryl deems successful. Daryl pitched a combination between scale, photo comparisons, and waist measurement. Albeit losing weight, writing a book, or a different resolution knowing how you will measure progress stays essential. Therefore answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?”

Leave your response in the “Comments” section. Remember as Daryl reminded everyone to end the “Setting Good New Year Resolutions” focus chat, you can resolve to make a change any time. You do not need to wait!

Daryl reminds everyone life changes can occur at any time. You don't need to wait until a New Year!Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?"Planning to change your life in 2018 can start by answering today’s extend-the-conversation question. So, “How are you tracking progress for your 2018 resolutions?”

Reply below. Talk to you again soon,