#CPChatNow Recap- 09-15-2021

Celebratory and reflective vibes emanated from the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 15th, 2021. Allow me, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, tell you more via your weekly recap. Let the celebration begin!

Early on in the evening I offered a reason to celebrate by sharing some good news.

Zachary shares the news of his new job!

September 15th marked the night before my last day at Beachwood Public Library. Participants congratulated me as I shared I would soon begin as a branch services clerk at the South Euclid Public Library. Along with the congratulations came curiosity.

Zachary details some of the responsibilities his new position entails.

My co-host Devin Axtman asked me about the differences in my new position. All the discussion about my new job led long-time chat regular Blemi to make an observation.

Blemi comments about how far people in the #CPChatNow community have come since the chat first started.

Blemi commented we in the #CPChatNow community have come a long way since the chat’s beginnings. Her comment reminded me that December will mark our eight-year anniversary! Said realization inspired me to ask a question.

Devin answers what advice he would give his pre-CPChatNow self.
Blemi shares what advice she would give her pre-CPChatNow self.

Getting creative, I asked participants what advice or wisdom their 2021 self would give their pre-CPChatNow self. Devin responded “You can’t hurry love.” Meanwhile Blemi replied “Be patient and enjoy what you have instead of always living for the future.”

What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What wisdom or advice would your 2021 self give your pre-CPChatNow self?”

Leave your reply in the comments! Afterwards set a reminder to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday. The party begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What wisdom or advice would your 2021 self give your pre-CPChatNow self?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-01-2021

Every Wednesday participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gather to enjoy comradery and conversation. Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

In addition to a night filled with engaging discussion, September 1st marked the start of an annual challenge.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the possibility of creating a team for Steptember 2022.

That challenge, Steptember, arose in the discussion September 1st thanks to chat regular Veronica. Steptember challenges individuals to move 10,000 steps a day throughout September. All a way to help fundraise for life-changing scientific advances for the CP community. To learn more, visit steptember.us.

Veronica wondered if anyone planned to participate in Steptember 2021. I quote tweeted her and noted another participant Timmy approached me about starting a #CPChatNow Steptember team. I declined the idea this year because I am still healing from my groin strain. However, next year I say game on!

Needing to put off a #CPChatNow Steptember team until 2022 due to injury could cause “Life isn’t fair” thoughts to form. Another popular topic from our September 1st Twitter chat.

#CPChatNow participants answer the question "How often do you find yourself thinking 'Life isn't fair' and how do you cope with the feeling?"

Inspired by long-time chat regular Blemi‘s Youtube video “Having Sad Days with Cerebral Palsy,” I asked participants “How often do you find yourself thinking ‘Life isn’t fair’ and how do you cope with the feeling?” Blemi and I discovered similarities in our answers. We both had the thought more when younger, but specific frustrations can still trigger sad days. Learning to come to terms with CP has helped a lot to cope with the down days.

What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question “How often do you find yourself thinking ‘Life isn’t fair’ and how do you cope with the feeling?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Afterwards, mark your calendars to join us at #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How often do you find yourself thinking 'Life isn't fair' and how do you cope with the feeling?"
Answer below!

Update On Recaps

Wednesday continues to remain a weekly highlight for participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. A fact I, #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell, wanted to emphasize because circumstances prevented me from publishing recaps the last two weeks. Circumstances I will detail today.

As our regular readers know, my co-host Devin Axtman and I alternate weeks compiling the weekly recaps. Said schedule left the Wednesday, August 4th recap my responsibility. Unfortunately, on Thursday, August 5th I fell and hurt myself. Aggravating my groin to the point I could not take a step forward. At least, not until two days later. Even then, I needed a walker to make those forward steps.

Nonetheless, I thought I could get the August 4th recap done prior to the August 11th chat. Reality showed me otherwise. I accepted defeat and informed Devin I would instead complete the August 11th recap. However, upon getting ready to compile the night’s highlights, I encountered a problem.

Twitter appears to be experiencing technical difficulties.
Screen shot showing Twitter technical difficulties

To gather recap highlights I scroll back to the beginning of that date’s conversation and then scroll up. Seeking out highlights which feature main subjects discussed, highlight our communal atmosphere, and/or stimulate new ways to think about a topic. In scrolling down to get to the beginning of our August 11th Twitter chat the tweets stopped loading. I attempted to troubleshoot the issue multiple ways. Using a different web browser. Signing out from my account and signing back in. Walking away for a few hours and return hoping Twitter fixed the technical difficulties. Nothing worked.

Due to the above, I could not compile a recap for our August 11th Twitter chat. Again though, I wanted to post this update to emphasize Wednesdays still remain a weekly highlight for those in our community. Hopefully the technical difficulties will resolve and recaps can return next week. In the meantime please consider joining us each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-21-2021

Communal vibes strongly emanated from the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, July 21st, 2021. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Yearning for the community our Twitter chat provides remained present prior to Wednesday.

Long-time #CPChatNow regular Blemi tweets her eagerness for Wednesday to arrive.

On Tuesday, July 20th long-time chat regular Blemi took to Twitter, wishing the day was Wednesday. All so she could work through the lots of stuff on her mind. After a 24-hour wait, Blemi had her chance to seek support from fellow chat participants.

In accordance with our recap rules to not highlight tweets featuring sensitive life events, I will avoid delving further into that conversation. Although, I can say more then Blemi received support from our community July 21st.

Members in the #CPChatNow community congratulate Alessandro on getting a new job.

Alessandro possessed some exciting news. He officially got a new job! Others in the chat offered congratulatory messages to celebrate.

Elsewhere in the night’s dialogue, talk turned to the spasticity involved in spastic cerebral palsy.

Various participants answer how they would describe their spasticity to others.

In-particular I asked participants how they would describe their spasticity to others. The responses varied. Veronica noted not really getting asked about her spasticity. Meanwhile Blemi replied “I tell them my neurons are always firing making me stiff.” She admitted not knowing whether that stands 100% accurate, but she finds the answer easy to explain.

Additionally, Stacey supplied an easy to understand reply saying if you put anything in the crook of her arm, you will need the jaws of life to get it out. Opposingly, Lorna stated she does not explain it. It’s just that if she thinks too much about moving she can’t move. Lorna also commented she does tell people not to use the word “spaz.”

Regarding managing spasticity, Blemi mentioned a difference maker she recently began using.

Blemi talks about using a magnesium supplement to help with muscle stiffness.

By using a magnesium supplement, Blemi has felt a difference in her stiffness. What about you, though? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you manage your spasticity?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How do you manage your spasticity?"

Please note, what works for one person might not work for another. So if somebody’s answer intrigues you, discuss as needed with the appropriate medical professionals. Let them know you found the suggestion thanks to us at #CPChatNow. We meet each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET. Make sure to mark your calendars.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-07-2021

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered for a lively conversation Wednesday, July 7th, 2021. Here to tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your recap.

Various topics came and went throughout the evening July 7th. Early in the night dialogue revolved around the upcoming Paralympics.

#CPChatNow participants discuss Paralympic coverage.

Admittedly, I raised the Paralympic topic when tweeting a BBC News story, “Tokyo Paralympics: Most of Channel 4’s TV hosts will be disabled.” In my tweet, I asked what others thought about Channel 4’s pledge to have more than 70% of its Paralympic presenters be disabled. My co-host Devin Axtman responded, calling the move “much needed.” I agreed, saying involving disabled voices should help prevent an ablest narrative.

Your turn! What do you think? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you think of Channel 4’s pledge to have more than 70% of its Paralympic presenters be disabled?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Continuing on, chat regular Chris and I found ourselves discussing athletes who had to persevere through much adversity. A subject which led me to pose another question.

#CPChatNow participants discuss quotes they tell themselves in order to persevere through adversity.

I asked participants “When facing tough times, what quote or advice do you tell yourself in order to keep persevering?” Long-time regular Blemi responded “Never give up on your dreams,” a quote from Rick Hansen Man in Motion. Meanwhile Alessandro replied “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Putting Alessandro’s chosen advice into action, do remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Again, the question asks “What do you think of Channel 4’s pledge to have more than 70% of its Paralympic presenters be disabled?

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What do you think of Channel 4's pledge to have more than 70% of its Paralympic presenters be disabled?"
Reply in the “Comments.”

Afterwards, set yourself a reminder to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Or, tweet me and ask me to include you in my weekly #CPChatNow reminder tweet. Until our next correspondence, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-23-2021

Conversation thrived Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 during the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Here with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Come and join me for your weekly recap.

Interestingly, much dialogue sparked from a single question.

Participants in #CPChatNow answer what topic related to living with cerebral palsy they wish they could find more information on.

That question asked “What topic related to living with cerebral palsy do you wish you could find more information on?” Answers ended up containing a common theme. Long-time regular Blemi responded saying she wants to know how aging actually works for us. Similarly, Grace expressed an interest in how CP affects other health issues. My co-host Devin Axtman seconded Blemi and Grace, in-particular mentioning treatments as we age. A point I thought to emphasize.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how attitudes towards CP treatments change with aging.

Piggybacking off Devin’s comments regarding treatments as we age, I noted often the discussion about treatments revolves around children. This causes the idea of continued treatment into adulthood getting lost. Or, at least the attitude towards treatment for adults with cerebral palsy differs. A distinction Grace offered input on.

Grace and Zachary discuss balancing treatment options and realistic expectations.

Grace stated her belief learning what your body can do and maintaining that remains realistic. I agreed, but added what you can and cannot do are not permanent fixtures. To support my response I explained setting smaller goals that build on top of each other can lead a “cannot” to become a “can.”

Enough about my thoughts though! Time for you to contribute your insights. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What does continued cerebral palsy treatments into adulthood look like for you or the adult with CP in your life?”

Answer below! Afterwards, mark your calendar to join us live each and every Wednesday. The fun starts at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What does continued cerebral palsy treatments into adulthood look like for you or the adult with CP in your life?”
Answer below! “What does continued cerebral palsy treatments into adulthood look like for you or the adult with CP in your life?”

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-02-2021

Participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed a buzzing conversation Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021. Here to tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. I acknowledge I am late bringing you this recap. So rather than wasting more time with an explanation, I say let us get straight to the recapping!

Excitement for my co-host Devin Axtman surfaced early in the chat.

#CPChatNow participants wish co-host Devin well on his upcoming wedding.

The source for the excitement stemmed from Devin’s forthcoming wedding that weekend. Both long-time regular Blemi and I wished Devin well on the upcoming celebration.

Speaking of Blemi, her recent Youtube video about conserving energy sparked dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss taking vitamins and other supplements to help boost energy levels.

After watching Blemi’s video, I asked who takes vitamins or supplements to boost energy levels. Veronica responded, saying she takes a vitamin C immune booster. Devin noted while not energy related he takes Omega Red and vitamin D. All the vitamin and supplement discussion led to dialogue on another subject, swallowing pills.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss their skill level at swallowing pills.

Veronica and Blemi found comfort in knowing they are not alone in having difficulty swallowing pills. Difficulty rooted in short gag reflex. Meanwhile Devin and I spoke about our abilities to swallow pills. What about you though? Answer as the June 2nd extend-the-conversation question, “How do you fare at swallowing pills?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Perhaps your ability to swallow pills relate to whether you have water to drink. Fittingly, drinking water became yet another topic discussed due to Blemi’s conserving energy video.

#CPChatNow discussion evolves to discuss drinking water.

Some participants mentioned not liking how water tastes. Veronica offered advice, saying she adds a splash of fruit flavored vinegars to her water. Responding to Veronica, I stated I like plain water but I have to remind myself to drink. Continuing, I added my own tidbit for reminding myself to drink water. Keeping a water bottle in the refrigerator. Veronica meanwhile uses an app to track her water intake.

By chance you need water to swallow pills, that would provide a steady reminder to drink. Make sure to mention if you drink water to help swallow pills when you answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you fare at swallowing pills?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How do you fare at swallowing pills?"

Answer below! Then mark your calendar to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 05-19-2021

Quietly Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 snuck up on participants in the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Please allow me, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, to tell you more. Just keep reading.

As already mentioned, Wednesday evening quietly snuck up on our community.

#CPChatNow had a slow start Wednesday, May 26th, 2021.

My co-host Devin Axtman admitted forgetting it was Wednesday. Meanwhile long-time regular Blemi remained distracted by the NHL playoffs. Nevertheless, our chat persevered through the momentary forgetfulness and outside distractions.

#CPChatNow co-hosts Zachary and Devin discuss what they would like to see from future cerebral palsy documentaries.

Conversation between Devin and I thrived when I asked a question based around a Disability Scoops article I read. The article, “Teen’s Documentary About Life With Disabilities To Screen Worldwide,” highlighted 17-year old Faith Guilbault’s documentary about life with disabilities. Leading me to ask what others would want the audience takeaway to be if they created a documentary about living with CP.

Replying Devin said he wanted to see a documentary focused on people at various stages in their lives. Continuing the conversation I remarked to Devin such a documentary would be comprehensive and a great resource. What about you, though? Keep the dialogue going. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “If you were to create a documentary about living with CP, what would you want the audience takeaway to be?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Perhaps, your takeaway might involve emphasizing how cerebral palsy impacts people differently. If so, you would relate to further discussion from the night.

The topic surfaced after I watched Blemi’s Youtube video about “inbetween-living.” Feel free to watch for yourself.

Curious, I asked Blemi if certain feedback she received sparked the video. She replied yes. Hoping to counter the negative voices, Devin and I both offered our support. Devin specifically noting CP has “a spectrum of severity.” Sounds like a possible audience takeaway for a documentary to me. Bringing us back to the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “If you were to create a documentary about living with CP, what would you want the audience takeaway to be?”

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks, "If you were to create a documentary about living with CP, what would you want the audience takeaway to be?"

Answer below! Afterwards mark your calendars to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

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#CPChatNow Recap- 05/05/2021

Connections within the #CPChatNow community grew stronger Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Participants in the chat bonded over various cerebral palsy related topics. For example, I joked about how carrying a hot beverage without spilling any should be an Olympic sport.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the challenges of carrying a beverage without spilling.

Carrying hot chocolate from my kitchen into the dining room prompted me to make the Olympic sport quip. Hence why I also specified “hot beverage.” A point relative newcomer to the community Alessandro corrected, noting carrying any beverage without spilling remains a challenge.

Add your input too. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What seemingly ‘routine’ tasks feel like an Olympic sport due to CP?” Actually, in order to avoid simply dwelling on problems, let us make this a two-part question. “What seemingly ‘routine’ tasks feels like an Olympic sport due to CP? How do you adapt to complete the task?” Reply in the “Comments” section.

As the night’s discussion progressed, other cerebral palsy challenges arose. A topic triggered by a question I asked.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow if they ever imagine what life would be like without CP.
Devin and Zachary reflect on how life would be different if they drove.

Curious, I asked if others ever imagined what life would be like if they didn’t have CP. Alessandro admitted wondering about this daily. Meanwhile in a response to chat regular Chris, I hypothesized the biggest difference for me would be driving. My response resonating with my co-host Devin Axtman who said he was going to say the same.

Attempting to maintain a positive outlook, I mentioned how everything has positives and negatives. Not driving creates challenges, but I am also able to say not driving has helped me strengthen friendships.

Keep the positivity rolling and remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What seemingly ‘routine’ tasks feels like an Olympic sport due to CP? How do you adapt to complete the task?” Answer below.

Afterwards, set 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 is a two-parter, asking "What seemingly routine tasks feels like an Olympic sport due to CP? How do you adapt to complete the task?"
Reply below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-21-2021

During the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 several subjects came to the conversation’s forefront. Here to fill you in on the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Admittedly, the night started a little slow. As I waited for others to filter into the chat, I caught up on participant Tonia’s blog. Reading her recent post “How Does That Work: Interdependence in the Disabled Community.”

#CPChatNow participants discuss Tonia's blog post about interdependence.

Throughout the post Tonia makes some excellent points. Or, so I thought. One I specifically commented about in our Twitter dialogue. Oppose to going on with my personal takeaway though, I will just encourage you to read Tonia’s post yourself. Allow you to develop your own takeaways.

In the meantime, let us continue recapping our discussion from April 21st.

#CPChatNow community members discuss their vaccination statuses.

Upon joining April 21st, long-time regular Blemi shared exciting news. She finally received her first COVID vaccination shot! This led others to offer their vaccination statuses. Veronica looked forward to getting her second shot on Sunday. Meanwhile Alessandro recalled his second shot taking a toll on him.

Another occurrence which can take a toll I raised via a question.

Participants of #CPChatNow discuss how long they need to recover from a horrid night of sleep.

I asked everyone how long they take to return to their regular selves following a horrid night of sleep. Blemi, Grace, and my co-host Devin Axtman all mentioned needing a couple days before returning to their status quo.

Regarding the status quo, participants reminisced about resuming a pre-pandemic lifestyle. Leading to concert going rising as a topic.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their best concert experience.

Recalling those simpler times, I asked our community about their best concert experience. Veronica answered she saw Queen and Adam Lambert in July 2019. Alessandro also replied, recalling seeing T.I. at the House of Blues in Orlando.

As the concert chatter continued, Tonia reminded us concerts are not for everyone. Saying she has never been to one due to their overstimulating nature. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What has been your best concert experience?”

Reply in the comments below. If you find concerts overstimulating, let us know that! Then plan 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 has been your best concert experience?"
Answer below!