#CPChatNow Recap- 08-05-2020

Various topics related to cerebral palsy arose August 5th, 2020 during the weekly CP Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Here to fill you in on the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Get ready. Set yourself. Time to recap!

Long-time chat regular Blemi initiated dialogue by sharing troubling emotions.

Blemi discusses feeling troubled about needing to use her grandfather's walker to move around independently.

In order to walk around Banff independently, Blemi decided to use her late grandfather’s walker. Knowing she needs the walker powered her troubling sentiments. Chat regular Heather offered Blemi encouraging words, noting although hard to reconcile Blemi will have a better day with the walker.

Do you relate? Tell us! Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What parts of cerebral palsy have you had a hard time reconciling with? What helped you learn to reconcile?”

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section. Perhaps your ability to reconcile involves avoiding certain situations. For example, maybe tying things frustrates you. So, you avoid face masks with ties. If that example resonates with you, know you belong to good company.

#CPChatNow participants share their preference to wear face masks with ear loops.

Driven by curiosity, I asked participants what kind of face masks they wear. My co-host Devin Axtman and everyone else who answered said they prefer face masks with ear loops.The same unified consensus did not apply though when I asked people how they best learn.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they learn best.

Answering the question Tonia named auditory as the best way she learns. She indicated her visual learning is super impacted by CP. Interesting to me because I also am impacted visually, mostly seeing out of one eye. Nonetheless, I learn best visually.

Another potentially helpful learning tactic entails repetition. In the repetitious spirit, I remind you to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Again, the question asks “What parts of cerebral palsy have you had a hard time reconciling with? What helped you learn to reconcile?”

Reply below! Afterwards set yourself a reminder to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks “What parts of cerebral palsy have you had a hard time reconciling with? What helped you learn to reconcile?”
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-22-2020

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow brought up interesting topics during the chat Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020. Or so at least I, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, found the topics interesting. You can make your own judgments by reading the weekly recap. All aboard!

Much conversation revolved around a link Amanda shared earlier in the week.

Zachary retweets Amanda's tweet linking to a Buzzfeed article listing adaptive equipment.

Earlier in the week Amanda used our hashtag when tweeting out Elizabeth Lilly’s Buzzfeed article “35 Things People with Limited Mobility Swear By.” I asked if anybody uses items on the list. Blemi answered saying she uses a shelf reacher. Although, Blemi quickly added she uses the shelf reacher more due to her height oppose to her CP.

Furthering the conversation surrounding the Buzzfeed article, I asked participants another question.

#CPChatNow participants discuss items on the Buzzfeed adaptive equipment list which they would be interested in using.

After I finished reading the Buzzfeed list, I asked if there was anything on the list you would think about starting to use. Responding to my own question I stated the garment steamer and pot tipper items intrigued me. Amanda gave the pot tipper a ringing endorsement saying “The pot tipper I love!!!!”

While my co-host Devin Axtman agreed, calling the pot tipper a “genius idea” a different item on the list caught his attention.

Devin shares what piece of adaptive equipment on the Buzzfeed list he may start using.

From the 35 items Lilly mentioned in her Buzzfeed article, the electric can opener caught Devin’s attention. This prompted Karen to sing the item’s praise. Karen noted how the electric can opener creates a smooth edge, ensuring she doesn’t cut herself.

What about you? Read through the Buzzfeed article and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “Was there anything on the list you would think about starting to use?” Leave your replies in the “Comments” section.

Elsewhere in the July 22nd chat, participants discussed dating and sex.

#CPChatNow participants discuss subjects related to disability dating and sex.

The dating and sex subjects emerged when Seth shared his friend would be speaking to a group of disabled teens about sex. News I found cool because the topic can often go overlooked in the disability community.

Continuing the conversation Seth revealed his friend planned to use Life Goes On as an example. He warned her to expect a lot of blank faces. When I asked Seth what he would recommend instead, Seth named Speechless. Additionally, Karen offered recommendations.

Karen recommends TV shows and movies which depict sex with disabled characters.

Beyond Speechless, Karen named Margarita with a Straw and Crip Camp as projects depicting sex with disabled characters. Feel free to add your own suggestions too. First though, answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Again, the question refers to the Buzzfeed adaptive equipment list and asks “Was there anything on the list you would think about starting to use?”

Answer below in the comments!

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-08-2020

Various subjects came and went Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. To tell you more I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Early dialogue from the evening involved participants discussing different mask mandates. Through the conversation we discovered most mandates possess similar disability exemptions. This led to some interesting questions.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how the disability exemption part of mask mandates will be enforced.

After we began discussing the mask mandate exemptions, I asked how many people with disabilities will feel like they will need to prove themselves as disabled. Plus, I questioned how many non-disabled individuals will lie and claim a disability just to get out of wearing a mask.

My co-host Devin Axtman who works in a college’s disability service office, answered the questions. He expects a tough balance between having people get documentation versus people just asking. Meanwhile chat regular Heather expressed doubts a lot of places will ask for documentation.

Enforcing mask mandate exemptions sure does bring about certain complications. Let us continue that discussion. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How would you enforce mask mandate exemptions?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Moving beyond masks, chat regular Seth shared an interesting experience he had July 4th weekend.

Seth shares a Fourth of July story.
Seth and Zachary react to Seth's Fourth of July story.

As Seth explained, at a fireworks party, two kids became intrigued by Seth’s voice. Resulting, Seth ended up playing “Guess What the Gimp is Saying” with the kids. I found Seth’s story super cool, assuming Seth was cool with the game. An assumption Seth confirmed as true. Ultimately by having a sense of humor, Seth transformed a potentially awkward or frustrating situation into a positive moment.

Returning to a more serious tone, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question “How would you enforce mask mandate exemptions?” Answer below! Then mark your calendar for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

Until then, don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How would you enforce mask mandate exemptions?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-24-2020

On Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow continued adjusting to life in a COVID19 world. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Allow me to serve as your conductor on this metaphorical train ride known as your weekly recap. All aboard!

As aforementioned, much dialogue from the night related to the COVID19 world we all now live in. For example, Major League Baseball (MLB) announcing their plans for the 2020 season.

#CPChatNow participants discuss a common interest, baseball.

Bonds in our community prove strong, in-part due to commonalities beyond cerebral palsy. My co-host Devin Axtman brought one such commonality up, mentioning baseball. Specifically, MLB’s plan for the 2020 season. Many participants possess their favorite teams. Devin loves the Chicago Cubs. I am a huge Cleveland Indians fan. We learned relative newcomer to the group Chris supports the Indians’ divisional rival Minnesota Twins.

Meanwhile long-time regular Jen roots for the Texas Rangers. Her Rangers fandom showed when I asked a question about customizing face masks.

#CPChatNow participants discuss customizing face masks.

Seeking ideas for custom face masks, I asked #CPChatNow what would everyone put on a custom face mask. Jen replied, saying maybe the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty or the Texas Rangers’ mascot Rangers Captain. Also replying, Devin said our #CPChatNow logo. His comment sparked my creativity.

Taking a moment I went over to Custom Ink and generated a possible #CPChatNow mask. Both Devin and Chris liked what they saw. I still need to look into the logistics more, but stay tuned! #CPChatNow face masks could become available soon.

Would you want a #CPChatNow face mask? If not, what would you put on a custom face mask? Answer that for the week’s extend-the-conversation question!“What would you put on a custom face mask?”

Answer below! Then plan to join us on Twitter, each and every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET. I look forward to tweeting you then. Until then though, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What would you put on a custom face mask?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-03-2020

Community, both past and present, took center stage during the weekly cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020. Here to tell you more I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Join me for our weekly tradition also known as the #CPChatNow recap.

Early in the night humor from our chat’s past emerged into our conversation.

Zachary and Devin share a laugh over humor from #CPChatNow's past.

Jokingly I asked my co-host Devin Axtman if he had any drinks on hand because I may experience technical difficulties throughout the night. A joke referencing the days when our community held monthly video chats via Google Hangouts. Notoriously I would experience technical difficulties, mostly due to my aged laptop’s inability to properly run during group video chats. At one point in a monthly Hangout Devin quipped about turning my technical difficulties into a drinking game. His joke soon became a running gag within our community.

Although, we no longer host monthly video chats our community continues growing in other ways. For example, continuing to welcome new participants to our chats. Newcomers, like Chris Johnson!

The #CPChatNow community learns more about newcomer Chris Johnson.

Judging by his return, I dare assume Chris enjoyed his first #CPChatNow experience Wednesday, May 27th, 2020. Devin happily welcomed Chris back by asking him about his hobbies. That led to a reveal Chris has a podcast about the iconic musician Prince.

Keeping the music vibe going I pointed out music stands a familiar topic within our chat.

#CPChatNow participants discuss music.

Offering an example about our past music discussions, I noted how we discussed music’s therapeutic abilities. A sentiment Chris connected to himself. In-particular he mentioned working on a book about music’s healing qualities especially in the spiritual sense.

Allow us to maintain the music theme beat. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Who is your favorite musician and why?”

Leave your answers below in the comments! Afterwards mark your calendars as a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "Who is your favorite musician and why?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 05-20-2020

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 saw participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discuss many different topics. To tell you all about the various discussions, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Admittedly the night started off on the quiet side. Knowing sometimes people like to lurk, I asked lurkers to say hi. That led to a good laugh.

Zachary and Heather joke about creepy GIFs.

Following up my tweet asking lurkers to say hi, I explained I originally wanted to ask lurkers to tweet out a creepy GIF, but I did not want to affiliate lurking with being creepy. Responding to me, Heather tweeted a GIF which received a seal of approval via a couple likes.

With any ice needing breaking, broke the conversation began flowing. Chat regular Seth mentioned some disability related movies.

#CPChatNow discuss the films 37 Seconds and Margarita with a Straw.

In-particular Seth referenced seeing two interesting films recently, 37 Seconds and Margarita with a Straw. My co-host Devin Axtman said he enjoyed Margarita with a Straw. He described the film as “a very nuanced story.”

Meanwhile I said I did not know about the films. Seth educated me, explaining both essentially tell the same story. A young woman with CP discovering her sexuality. Adding, between the two, he liked Margarita with a Straw better.

Elsewhere in the chat, I echoed a question first asked earlier in the day by Chris.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their stiffness varying.

Chris had asked if others find their stiffness varies. Grace resoundingly responded affirmatively. When asked, Grace named activity, weather, and date as possible triggers for increased stiffness. Thanks to muscle relaxants though, Grace said the issue proves less constant.

How about you? Let us keep the dialogue going. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question “How do you manage when you feel extra stiff?” Comment to answer!

Continuing forward with the May 20th, 2020 recap, participants also discussed shaving.

The #CPChatNow community discusses shaving and cerebral palsy.

The shaving subject came to the forefront when I asked if anyone had stories about trouble shaving. Personally I use to cut my ears while shaving, a happening I credited to poor depth perception. Nonetheless, over time I just got better.

Additionally, Tonia shared a shaving story. She recalled shaving a razor-sized chunk of skin off her shin when 11 years old. She still has a scar to this day.

Finally, before bringing this recap to a close I wish to incorporate an update from long-time chat regular Hannah Pike.

Zachary shares an update about one of our OG members, Hannah Pike.

Hannah messaged me during the chat and gave me permission to share with the community an update about her. Beyond what remains captured in the above screen shot, Hannah wanted to express she still truly loves the chat. However, given her health she finds staying on Twitter for long periods difficult. Please continue to keep Hannah in your thoughts and prayers.

Also, do not forget to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. This week’s question asks, “How do you manage when you feel extra stiff?” Answer below!

Then join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun starts at 8pm ET. Until then, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you manage when you feel extra stiff?"
Leave your answer below.

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-29-2020

On Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 participants in our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed mental health and much more. Here with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Get ready to enjoy your weekly recap.

The aforementioned discussion about mental health started from a conversation between our “Positivity Princess” Linds and myself over working from home.

Zachary and Linds discuss working from home.

Checking in with Linds, I asked her how she was liking working from home. She admitted to feeling shaky about it at first, but now she loves it! One particular reason Linds had initially felt shaky dealt with her not knowing it was okay to voice her concerns.

Such self-doubt can wreck havoc on anyone’s mental health. Borrowing a fellow #CPChatNow co-founder’s mindset (John W. Quinn), we redirected the conversation to focus on solutions. Not problems!

Linds shares what she tells herself to overcome self-doubt.

Solution focused, I asked Linds if she has a phrase or mantra that helps her refocus when self-doubt begins to sabotage her. She answered yes, “I love me.”

Additionally, I shared what I say to myself when negative emotion starts to overwhelm me.

Zachary and Devin share what they tell themselves when they begin feeling overwhelmed.

Personally, I will start feeling overwhelmed. To calm myself down I internally repeat “One thing at a time.” My co-host Devin Axtman chimed in and said he tells himself the same. What about you? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “When you find yourself feeling negative, what phrase or mantra do you use to pull yourself through?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Perhaps rather than repeating a phrase or mantra, you crank up some music. Recently I read about Joey Odum, a blues musician with cerebral palsy.

#CPChatNow participants discuss doing a watch party for Joey Odum's upcoming Facebook stream.
Veronica would be in for a watch party.

Joey Odum plans to play a live Facebook stream this Saturday, May 9th at 3pm ET/2pm CT. Veronica, Devin, and I all expressed interest in doing a watch party for the stream. Please consider joining us! After the stream starts, I will begin the watch party at the CPChatNow Facebook page. So, Saturday afternoon, stay tuned to the page.

In the meantime remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “When you find yourself feeling negative, what phrase or mantra do you use to pull yourself through?” Comment below with your reply.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "When you find yourself feeling negative, what phrase or mantra do you use to pull yourself through?"
Comment below to answer.

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-15-2020

During our current social isolating times, the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow provides a way for individuals to come together and safely enjoy social interaction. The chat Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 proved no different. Here to tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Play the highlight reel (also known as your weekly recap)!

Early discussion Wednesday, April 15th turned to how community members continue to cope with staying home while the Coronavirus pandemic persists.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they are coping with staying home.

Both long-time regular Blemi and my co-host Devin Axtman noted staying home so much has been wearing on them. Meanwhile Veronica explained the stay at home order did not entail such a massive adjustment for her. She has been a stay-at-home mom for over 20 years. Additionally, she doesn’t drive. She mentioned if anything, she has less isolation now.

Going back a point, the non driver issue Veronica brought up drove the dialogue forward. Pun entirely intended.

Veronica offers Devin and Zachary an alternative to drive-thrus. All three are non drivers.

Responding to Veronica, I identified the worst part about not driving in this situation is places with an open drive-thru remain closed to us non drivers. A sentiment Devin further echoed. However, Veronica did offer us a potential solution in suggesting Ubereats, Grub Hub, and Postmates. All three companies she called “great restaurant delivery services.”

Keeping to the delivery theme, discussion directed toward getting your groceries delivered.

#CPChatNow participants talk about grocery delivery.

In answering my question about making adjustments to home life due to the stay home orders Devin mentioned getting groceries delivered. This piqued Veronica’s attention, who wanted to know how grocery delivery was working now. Devin advised needing to take a strategic approach, indicating delivery time takes a couple of days.

Elsewhere, I named a couple home life adjustments I am making to cope with staying home.

Zachary and Veronica discuss their fondness for coffee.

One particular adjustment for me involves using the afternoons as exercise time. I find exercising in the afternoon gives me a healthier midday energy boost compared to grabbing another coffee. How about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you give yourself a midday energy boost?”

Leave your reply in the “Comments” section below. Then remember to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How do you give yourself a midday energy boost?"
Answer by comment below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-01-2020

Throughout the night Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various aspects related to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Here with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Sit back and enjoy your weekly recap.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they are holding up while practicing social distancing.

As I mentioned, this marked the third week practicing social distancing. I asked how everyone was coping. My co-host Devin Axtman noted his hamstrings getting tighter. Long-time regular Blemi replied she is getting weirder by the day.

Meanwhile Tonia described things for her as “pretty much business as usual.” She did express gratitude that her sister, who also has CP, received paid medical leave from her cashier job. Not everyone proves so fortunate.

Jorge checks in with #CPChatNow.

Essential member to our community and an essential employee to his community, Jorge Oteiza remains working. Although closed to the public, interaction with co-workers still leaves Jorge at higher risk to contract Coronavirus compared to those who can work from home.

Regarding staying home, the prior week’s extend-the-conversation question asking “How is CP impacting staying at home?” kept the dialogue moving.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how CP impacts them staying home.
Devin discusses how cerebral palsy helped to prepare him for staying home.

Props to Devin who first proposed the question in his March 25th, 2020 #CPChatNow recap. Tonia’s reply offered a great perspective. She stated staying home is good for her CP, noting the alternative would involve dealing with dangerous germs and/or exhausting herself.

Additionally, Devin provided new perspective. He mentioned staying home isn’t as big of a deal for him since he is used to staying home after surgeries. Essentially, you could say Devin’s cerebral palsy served as a positive in that way. To keep the positive vibes flowing, share some good news. Consider that this week’s extend-the-conversation question.

To answer this week's extend-the-conversation question, share some good news!

I think everyone could use the good news. So go ahead and share by leaving a comment below. Then remember to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-18-2020

While concern over the Coronavirus continues growing, the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow offered participants familiarity and comfort Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Get ready for your weekly recap.

In a time involving many changes to how we interact with each other, #CPChatNow required no such changes. You could say we help to make social distancing easier.

In his reminder to others about #CPChatNow Zachary notes the chat could help make social distancing easier.

Early conversation in the night revolved around how participants are holding up during these uncertain times. Something my co-host Devin Axtman asked directly.

Everyone appears impacted by the pandemic, although to different levels. Devin exhibited positive thinking, noting he has a job and hasn’t been affected as much as others so far. Both chat regular Chris and I demonstrated appreciation for any thread of normalcy.

Additionally, a blast from #CPChatNow past Jorge Oteiza popped in to share as essential personnel, he must continue working. Plus Jorge reminded us to thank mail carriers, doctors, nurses, and first responders next time we are safely six feet away.

Fittingly, Jorge called the six-feet distancing a “new reality.” Let us know how you are holding up in our new reality. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

The Coronavirus pandemic influenced our dialogue a little longer as participant Tonia detailed a predicament Coronavirus has created for her.

Tonia and Zachary discuss Tonia's laundry predicament, a situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Between a shelter-in-place notice and no access to more quarters, Tonia only possesses the means to do laundry one more time. Higher ups at her building declined suspending the quarter requirement because a separate company owns the machines. I recommended Tonia and her neighbors contact the other company and voice their concerns.

After awhile the chat’s focus turned away from the Coronavirus pandemic. Much thanks to last week’s extend-the-conversation question!

#CPChatNow participants discuss what cerebral palsy related advice they wished their parents had.

Within the March 11th, 2020 recap, Devin posed the question “What piece of advice do you wish your parent would have known about CP or having a disability?” I answered “It is not about what you ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do, but rather asking how could we do this?”

Devin on the other hand admitted not knowing how to best word his answer in a tweet. However, that his advice would entail the fact he felt his parents were a bit overprotective. This led to further discussion regarding parenting a child with cerebral palsy.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the different approaches of parenting a child with cerebral palsy.

As Devin and I discussed the parent’s perspective, Tonia reminded us not all parents overprotect. Some not knowing how else to interact, push their child to be non-disabled. An impossibility! Tonia noting both extremes cause harm.

Time to keep the dialogue chugging forward. Remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?” Let us know!

Let us know! How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Answer in the “Comments” section.

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

-Zachary