#CPChatNow Recap- 10-07-2020

Every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET, our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow takes place. Yet an extra excitement surrounded the chat Wednesday, October 7th, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Now the extra excitement referenced above sparked from the week proving a big one for cerebral palsy advocacy. The previous day (Tuesday, October 6th) individuals around the world commemorated World CP Day. Appropriate for us given our community’s worldwide reach.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how the COVID pandemic continues to impact civil liberties in Australia.

That worldwide reach including AcquiDis, who calls Australia home. We discussed how the COVID19 pandemic continues to impact Australians’ civil liberties. Just in case you remain fatigued over talking about the pandemic, I will avoid delving into details.

Instead let us refocus on World CP Day. I asked how participants commemorated the occasion.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they spent World CP Day.

Personally, I posted to social media using the hashtags designated for World CP Day (#WorldCPDay and #CPMakeYourMark). Chris also did the same. Initially he was going to do more, but Eddie Van Halen’s death left him feeling too shocked.

Nonetheless, Chris did play a big role in another cerebral palsy event hosted that week.

Chris talks preparing for his Cerebral Palsy Conference breakout session.

New England’s fifth annual Cerebral Palsy Conference happened virtually Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th. Chris remained on the schedule to give a breakout session for Thursday, October 8th. He shared a bit with us about how he prepared for the presentation.

Did you attend any of the Cerebral Palsy Conference? Do let us know by commenting below. While discussing attendance, my co-host Devin Axtman and I would love to have you attend our weekly Twitter chat. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-16-2020

In 2020 a lot has changed, but for those in the #CPChatNow community one constant remains. Our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat, (Wednesdays, 8pm ET)! To tell you about what we discussed Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Fittingly, much discussion throughout the night revolved around the issue causing the previously mentioned changes.

AcquiDis tells the #CPChatNow community about Australia's COVID protocols.

Just in case I need to clarify, yes. I am referring to the global COVID pandemic. Relative newcomer to the chat, AcquiDis, helped us gain a global outlook on the pandemic by sharing how Australia continues to respond. Thanks to AcquiDis, we learned Australia and the United States maintain similar protocols. For example, dining venues reopening in a limited way and allowing small gatherings.

While countries continue restoring civil liberties, remember. The COVID threat still lingers. A reality evident during our discussion September 16th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how having a disability has helped prepare them for the pandemic.

Chat OG Erin offered this stark reminder when sharing a CP sister tested positive for COVID. Furthermore, my co-host Devin Axtman recalled a recent close call.

Devin shares a close call his brother had with someone who tested positive for COVID.

Devin encouraged mask wearing, noting his brother tested negative for COVID after sitting for hours next to someone who tested positive. A result Devin attributed to his brother wearing a face mask. Unfortunately, not everyone seems so convinced to wear face coverings.

#CPChatNow participants discuss wearing face masks.

In-particular Devin noted seeing more and more people without masks. Personally, my employer requires mask wearing. A policy most customers understand.

Besides protecting your health, face masks additionally offer the chance to display your personality. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What does your favorite face mask look like?” Answer below in the “Comments” section.

Once you finish answering, mark your calendar as a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter for #CPChatNow. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What does your favorite face mask look like?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-02-2020

A strong communal vibe resonated within the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. Here to delve into details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Consider me your conductor for the train ride that is the September 2nd, 2020 recap. All aboard!

Discussion early in the night included long-time participants sharing interesting developments going on in their own lives.

Timmy tells #CPChatNow about his current scientific research.

Our “resident scientist” Timmy made an appearance. Prompted by my co-host Devin Axtman, Timmy updated us on his current research. Currently Timmy remains at work investigating binge drinking and the executive and emotional input to the reward circuit. Overall, he explained, the study hopes to understand the neural circuitry involved with addiction and addiction-like behavior.

Besides Timmy, the recently returning Erin provided us an update. Erin joined us after handing in a big term paper the night prior. In our chat’s early years, Erin played a pivotal role in our community. To the point she received the moniker “Mama Bear!”

Beyond enjoying familiar faces like Erin and Timmy, we also welcomed a newcomer.

#CPChatNow participants welcome a newcomer.

AcquiDis joined our chat for the first time September 2nd, 2020. Personally, I found a quote included in a press release AcquiDis shared intriguing. “…urges disabled individuals to embrace their condition and look beyond it.” The quote led to further dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the difference between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability.

Devin pondered whether a fine line exists between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability. Furthermore, Devin stated he doesn’t believe there stands a final stage where you “overcome” your disability. Instead Devin said there will always be things thrown back your way.

Both Erin and I added our separate input to the topic. Erin emphasizing the need to embrace and own your disability. Meanwhile I distinguished looking beyond and disliking your disability, stating looking beyond your disability entails accepting your disability and just doing what you need to do to be you. Alternatively, disliking your disability entails an active conflict where you battle negative thoughts. An idea Devin paraphrased well, summarizing the negative thoughts as “battling internalized ableism.”

Enough though regarding what we think! What do you think? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your attitude towards your disability?” Comment below to answer!

Answer as the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your attitude towards your disability?"

Then make your plans to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET!

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-19-2020

Assorted subjects came and went during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Here with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Time to settle in and enjoy your weekly recap!

Early discussion contained a music theme.

#CPChatNow participants discuss what songs they would nominate to be the official song of living with CP.

Just for fun I asked participants if they were to nominate a song to be the official song of living with cerebral palsy, what song would they nominate. Personally, I said “Tubthumping” by Chumbuwamba. Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman said “Unsteady” by X-Ambassadors.

However, not everyone could come up with a song. Our resident pro at social distancing Jen has no song associated with her CP. What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question “If you were to nominate a song to be the official song of living with cerebral palsy, what song would you nominate?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

In addition to answering the extend-the-conversation question, chat regular Chris could use your feedback!

Chat regular Chris is working on a masters in instructional design and created a survey seeking feedback.

Currently Chris remains at work on a masters in instructional design and created a survey to collect feedback. Help Chris and fill out at your own convenience!

As the night’s discourse continued, the extend-the-conversation question Devin proposed in the August 12th, 2020 recap emerged.

Participants revisit the extend-the-conversation question from the August 12th #CPChatNow recap, What would you tell your younger self about CP?
Zachary and Grace reflect on their youth.

In answering what I would tell my younger self about CP I wondered if my younger self would believe me. A thought process leading me to shamefully plug my teen memoir Off Balanced, which became available in paperback this past February. Off Balanced details my journey from embarrassment to embrace over having CP.

Responding to my comment, Grace mentioned not feeling embarrassed but rather encountering constant mind-numbing anxiety/guilt. Oppose to us continuing to look back though, let us refocus on the present and future. Presently, the week’s extend-the-conversation asks “If you were to nominate a song to be the official song of living with cerebral palsy, what song would you nominate?”

Reply below to answer. Next, mark your calendar and join us on Twitter for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, if you were to nominate a song to be the official song of living with cerebral palsy, what song would you nominate?
Answer below!

#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.