#CPChatNow Recap- 09-14-2022

Wednesday after Wednesday Twitter users gather on the platform to partake in the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow. To tell you about the conversation from the September 14th, 2022 chat, I am co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Various subjects came and went throughout the night September 14th. However, one particular subject seemed quite popular.

#CPChatNow co-host Devin Axtman brings up the subject of cooling temperatures.

Initially, my co-host Devin Axtman raised the heavily discussed topic when he asked participants, “Who is excited for cooler weather?” Devin whimsically added, “I want it to get cool but not cold.” A notion Blemi responded to, saying “Like a perpetual fall and no winter.” Steph also vocalized support for a “perpetual fall.”

Unfortunately, reality dictates fall eventually gives way to winter. The change in seasons led me to ask a question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants about what changes they make to their physical self-care during the different seasons.

Curious, I asked participants, “Do you make changes to your physical self-care depending on the season?” Timmy responded, saying he goes outside more during the warm weather months. In regards to the colder months, multiple people spoke up.

#CPChatNow Participants discusses self-care habits they utilize during colder months.

Both Blemi and Steph mentioned staying warm in the winter months. Steph does this by keeping her apartment nice and warm and by wearing warm clothes. Besides staying warm, Blemi noted she takes more vitamins and eats better in the winter. As she stated, “Anything to get me through another Canadian winter.”

Meanwhile, Devin answered he doesn’t alter his physical self-care depending on the season. Although, he admitted, “I should stretch more in the winter.” Let us keep the self-improvement focus. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What activity could you do to better your life?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

After answering, make sure to mark your calendars so you remember to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun starts at 8pm ET.

Not sure how Twitter chats work? Checkout my “How to Participate in a Twitter Chat” tutorial.

I hope to talk soon. As always, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What activity could you do to better your life?"
Respond below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-24-2022

Every Wednesday people gather on Twitter for the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow. To tell you about the chat from Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Assorted topics came and went during the night. My co-host Devin Axtman raised one such subject.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss  adaptive activities.

Devin asked if anyone has tried any adaptive activities. I noted my marathon experiences required adaptation. For example, arranging an early start/late finish and using my cane. Arrangements I discuss in my latest memoir Slow and Cerebral (available at Amazon).

Sorry for the cheap plug! I could not resist. Returning our focus to the August 24th conversation, Chris expressed interest in trying adaptive activities. She mentioned an organization, Outdoors for All, which could possibly make that happen. Similarly, I named some activities I am interested in trying.

Zachary names some activities he would like to try.

As I recalled a few Wednesdays ago, I am interested in doing some wall climbing. I added August 24th, “another activity that would interest me is an adaptive Ninja Warrior course.” What about you, though? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What adaptive activities are you interested in trying?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Success in any adaptive activity increases with finding the right coach or mentor. Somebody who could teach you the important ins and outs. The lasting impact a good teacher leaves surfaced while the night continued.

#CPChatNow participants recalls the teachers who have had the greatest impact on them.

Admittedly, I brought up the subject by asking the chat, “What teachers of yours had the greatest impact on you? What subject did they teach?” Stephen credited his fourth grade teacher Chris as the teacher who had the greatest impact on him. Meanwhile, Devin named his sixth grade teacher because of the life lessons he learned. On the other hand our Chris gave the greatest impact honor to her school PT, calling her a, “very influential lady.”

Time for you to keep the conversation going. Remember to answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What adaptive activities are you interested in trying?” Answer below! Afterwards, mark your calendar to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday on Twitter. For questions on how to participate in a Twitter chat, see my video, “How to Participate in a Twitter Chat Using a Computer.”

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What adaptive activities are you interested in trying?"
Respond below.

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-27-2022

Various subjects came and went Wednesday, July 27th, 2022 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Here to tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Early in the night I issued an important disclaimer.

Zachary warns #CPChatNow he is recording his participation in the chat that night in order to create a "How to Participate in a Twitter Chat" video for his YouTube channel.

I warned participants I planned to experiment with recording my participation in the chat that night in order to create a YouTube video with step by step instructions on how to participate in Twitter chats. The experiment proved successful as you will see below from my video “How to Participate in a Twitter Chat Using a Computer.”

Regarding topics discussed July 27th, Chris mentioned assistive technology (AT). In-particular Chris talked about using grabbers for assistance in getting dressed. I recalled trying to use grabbers following my surgery aftermath at 14 years old. My comment inadvertently shifted the dialogue’s focus to surgery experiences.

Members in the #CPChatNow community discuss their experiences with different surgeries.

Chris recalled my co-host Devin Axtman also underwent major surgery when younger. Devin did his best to fit his surgical history into one tweet, saying, “I have had about 15 ish surgeries of different levels. The biggest one was where they sawed my femur and tibia in half and put them back together with a plate.”

Besides Devin, Chris and I discussed our histories with surgeries. Nothing too shocking, at least in comparison to what another chat regular had to say.

Blemi shares a horrifying surgery experience she had.

Replying to Devin noting he had multiple heel cord lengthening operations, Blemi shared, “I’ve had it done twice. The second time I was awake and something happened…” Consequently, Blemi couldn’t walk for almost a year.

Interestingly enough, walking arose elsewhere in the chat too.

The #CPChatNow community discusses what things people, especially medical professionals, get wrong about cerebral palsy.

Remembering back to a tweet Blemi posted within the last week, Chris echoed how walking independently should not necessarily be the end goal. Like Chris would go on to say, “I think maybe something about mobility devices or other adaptive equipment. I kind of feel like it’s implied that you’re ‘giving up’ if you use them. When really they’re tools.”

Those comments came from Chris when answering her own question about what misconception or thing do people get wrong about CP, adding a focus on medical professionals since, “that’s where that often comes from.”

Meanwhile Devin answered, “That it (CP) has no impact on aging.” What about you? How would you answer the question? Let us make the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What misconception or thing do people, specifically medical professionals, get wrong about CP?”

Respond in the “Comments” below. Afterwards, mark your calendars to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter starting at 8pm ET. If you need directions on how to participate in a Twitter chat, checkout my tutorial video, “How to Participate in a Twitter Chat Using a Computer.”

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

-Zachary

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What misconception or thing do people, specifically medical professionals, get wrong about CP?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-06-2022

Accessibility emerged as a dominant theme during the weekly cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, July 6th, 2022. Let me, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, tell you more. Consider this your boarding call to hop aboard the recap train. Choo, choo!

On second thought, I should probably refrain from using a train reference here. I say that since I am a week late posting this recap. Enough dwelling over metaphorical details, though. We do not want our focus to derail.

Long-time chat regular Blemi put us on the accessibility track when she mentioned spending the weekend at her mother’s place, also known as Blemi’s childhood home. Blemi even filmed a tour for her YouTube channel. Seeing how the video initiated a lot of the conversation for the July 6th, 2022 chat, I will go ahead and embed the video below.

After watching Blemi’s video, I posed a question to the group.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss steps taken to make their homes more disability friendly.

I asked participants what steps (no pun intended) were taken to make their homes, either childhood or current, more disability friendly. Both Grace and my co-host Devin Axtman mentioned grab bars and railings in their answers. Additionally, Devin said a detachable shower head.

Meanwhile Grace had an adapted walk-in shower replace an old shower/tub combo. What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “What steps were taken to make your home, either childhood or current, more disability friendly?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

As the discussion continued, participants made an interesting observation about making homes more accessible.

Devin discusses how over the years his grandparents' house has become more disability friendly.

Devin recalled going to his grandparents’ house and observing how much more accessible the house is now compared to the last time he visited. The cause for the change came from Devin’s grandma needing stuff for her cancer battle.

Between Devin’s comments and insights Blemi shared in her video, I drew a conclusion about accessibility. That conclusion, “Accessibility is evergreen. Even if you don’t have any issues today, life can change just like that.”

Do you agree? Speak up in the “Comments” while answering the extend-the-conversation question. Again, the question asks “What steps were taken to make your home, either childhood or current, more disability friendly?”

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks, "What steps were taken to make your home, either childhood or current, more disability friendly?"

Once you answer, mark your calendar to join #CPChatNow every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-22-2022

Wednesday after Wednesday participants in the weekly cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoy a caring and understanding environment. Such traits remained on display Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

First though, allow me to apologize for the tardy recap. Rather than wasting more time explaining the recap’s lateness, perhaps I should just get into the highlights from the June 22nd, 2022 chat. Shall we?

Participants in #CPChatNow offer each other a supportive environment.

Seeking to start the night off on a positive note, I asked participants to share a highlight from the previous week. Blemi unfortunately reported, “No highlights this week.” She would go on to explain, “It’s been a tough few ones.”

Hannah ended up expressing similar sentiments, indicating Hannah also had no highlights for the week. However, the two did provide each other support. Blemi in-particular reminded everyone, “It’s okay to not be okay too.”

As the dialogue continued, participants discovered a momentary escape from their woes through discussing other subjects.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss crocs and other footwear.

Daring to delve into a “controversial topic,” Hannah shared her new rainbow Mickey crocs. The footwear reminds her of her late father. Plus, Hannah noted the green Mickey, “made me think of y’all.”

Others responded, sharing their own love for crocs. Blemi detailing she has, “pink sparkly crocs.” Meanwhile Chris said her crocs are green. More importantly, Chris added, “If I’m having a bad spasticity day they’re all I can wear.” Further reason to heed Blemi’s call to, “rock the crocs!”

Keeping the conversation rocking ahead, focus turned to important cerebral palsy research.

#CPChatNow participants discuss work being done by Cerebral Palsy Research Network.

I retweeted a link to a webinar Veronica originally posted with our hashtag. You could watch the webinar, “Grip Strength and Body Composition in Cerebral Palsy Webinar with Ed Hurvitz MD,” below.

In addition to webinars like the above one, Cerebral Palsy Research Network (CPRN) has a program called MyCP. Chris shared a link with more information. Take a look for yourself and decide if the MyCP program might interest you.

Also, keep the discussion going by watching the webinar and answering for the extend-the-conversation question, “What was your main takeaway from the ‘Grip Strength and Body Composition in Cerebral Palsy Webinar’?” 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

Watch the webinar linked to above and then answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What was your main takeaway from the webinar?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-08-2022

Week in and week out those in the cerebral palsy (CP) community gather on Twitter Wednesday night for the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 proved no different. To delve into the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Come join me for your weekly recap.

One topic which seemed popular revolved around spasticity.

Participants in #CPChatNow answer if they feel their spasticity increases when they feel like they are being watched.

Spasticity arose as a subject when I asked participants if they felt like their spasticity increases when they feel like they are being watched. To clarify what I meant by the question, I recalled an example. Years ago while signing a waiver, my hand began shaking more than usual. Alessandro let me know I was not alone by enthusiastically replying, “Hell yes #cpchatnow.”

Meanwhile, Timmy stated his spasticity increases when he thinks about it. Chris offered additional insights noting she knows, “spasticity changes and is pretty sensitive to happenings.” Keep the conversation going and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you notice changes your CP’s spasticity levels?” Answer in the “Comments” section.

First though, allow me to finish recapping the discussion from June 8th, 2022. Besides spasticity, participants discussed their favorite social media platforms.

The #CPChatNow community discusses their favorite social media platforms.

Curious, I asked participants to name their favorite social media platforms. Jen said her top two are Twitter and Instagram. Replying to Jen, I explained I find Twitter, “good for getting to meet people you don’t know yet.” Continuing, I complimented Facebook as, “good for keeping in touch with people you already know.”

Sentiments Chris agreed with, mentioning thanks to Twitter she has, “met cool people and learned all kinds of things.” The fondness for Twitter showed up elsewhere in the chat too.

Stephen expresses his love for everybody in the #CPChatNow community.

Indirectly showing admiration for Twitter, Stephen expressed how much he loves everybody in the #CPChatNow community. Experience the community for yourself by joining us each and every Wednesday. The fun kicks off at 8pm ET.

In the meantime, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you notice changes your CP’s spasticity levels?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you notice changes your CP's spasticity levels?
Answer below.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-01-2022

Friendly vibes emanated from the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, June 1st, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Early in the evening participants discussed housework.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss their favorite and least favorite housework.

Housework arose as a subject after Veronica mentioned spending the day doing such work. Curious, I asked everyone about their favorite and least favorite housework. Answering my own question, I said dusting and cleaning dishes are my favorite housework. On the opposite end, putting on bedsheets is my least favorite because the corners always seem to come undone. Frustrating!

Meanwhile Stephen said his favorite housework is taking out the trash. Unlike Stephen and myself, Veronica said she had no favorite. As far as least favorites go, Veronica named dishes and laundry. She explained, “They’re never actually done.” A truth, seeing how we are always dirtying more dishes and clothes.

As the night continued, so did the friendly dialogue.

Alessandro and Zachary discuss Alessandro's Jordan's collection.

Alessandro shared he now has 100 pairs of retro Jordan’s in his collection. Looking to learn more, I asked Alessandro about his collection. When did he start his collection? What compelled him to start the collection? A big part turned out to involve the fact Alessandro grew up in Chicago in the 90s, meaning, “Jordan is everything.”

What about you though? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you collect? What made you start the collection?”

Answer below in the “Comments.” Afterwards, mark your calendar to join #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, "What do you collect? What made you start the collection?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 05-11-2022

Each Wednesday participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gather to enjoy dialogue and community. Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. All aboard for your weekly recap!

Personally, my co-host Devin Axtman helped to kick the night off on a positive note for me.

Devin offers Zachary feedback on Zachary's new book Slow and Cerebral.

The positivity generated from Devin giving me feedback on my new book Slow and Cerebral. Specifically, Devin commented, “It’s such a good read!” Intrigued by the discussion, Stephen wanted to know where you can get a copy. Slow and Cerebral is available on Amazon in the United States, as well as internationally in countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. I mention those countries because our community includes participants living there.

Slow and Cerebral is a memoir about accomplishing the “unreasonable.” For me, that meant not letting my cerebral palsy stop me from becoming a marathoner. An accomplishment only made possible by facing challenges. Fittingly, as the chat continued, we discussed challenges.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the challenges they face due to their disabilities.

Initiating the challenges discussion, I asked participants, “What do you find most challenging about having cerebral palsy (or whatever disability you have)? How do you handle this challenge?” Answers varied. For instance, Chris mentioned as a CP based challenge, how much her spasticity varies day to day. To handle this Chris stretches, uses heat, trigger point release, and massages her sore spots.

Meanwhile AcquiDis replied, “Living with and doing well with a medically acquired disability.” AcquiDis continued, noting doing well with a medically acquired disability, “is a contradiction to that which is expected for this condition throughout history.” Adding, “It (cerebral palsy) is often ‘feared’ and misunderstood because of its difference.”

AcquiDis’s sentiments resonated with me. I suggested that fears and misunderstandings about cerebral palsy are based off misconceptions and stereotypes. What do you think? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you think causes people to be fearful and misunderstanding of disabilities?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you think causes people to be fearful and misunderstanding of disabilities?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

To let us end on a positive note, also add “How could we help dispel the fear and misunderstanding surrounding disability?” Leave your ideas in the “Comments.”

Afterwards, mark your calendar for #CPChatNow. Our Twitter chat happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-27-2022

Accomplishment remained a key theme during the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, April 27th, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Come and join me for your weekly recap.

The accomplishment theme began with members in our community helping me celebrate an achievement.

Participants in #CPChatNow congratulate Zachary on the release of his new book Slow and Cerebral.

My achievement I teased in the chat’s opening minutes, saying “I’ve had an exciting week.” Although, Blemi and Veronica had already seen the news. They both sent congratulatory messages my way. For those who had not seen my news, I quickly shared the reason for my excitement.

Zachary announces his new book, Slow and Cerebral, is now available.

Prior to April 27th I announced through my social media outlets that I had released my new memoir, Slow and Cerebral. The book details how I did not let my CP stop me from becoming a marathoner. Thanks to Amazon, Slow and Cerebral is available in multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.

Thank you for tolerating my cheap plug. Now let me resume recapping the April 27th chat. Stephen kept the conversation focused on accomplishments by asking a question.

#CPChatNow participants answer Stephen's question, "Do you think that when you have something that able people have that is a big accomplishment?"

Specifically, Stephen asked, “Do you think that when you have something that able people have that is a big accomplishment?” I answered, offering my opinion on accomplishments. In my opinion, “Big accomplishments should be measured in context with the person achieving them, not in comparison to who else has accomplished the same thing.”

Additionally, my co-host Devin Axtman responded to Stephen’s question. Devin said, “Depends on what it is.” Chris would share similar sentiments.

Chris gives her insights on accomplishments and how they can be perceived as inspiring.

As Chris noted, “There are things that are universally big accomplishments.” She continued, correlating how feats achieved by people with disabilities get praised as “inspiring.” Nonetheless, Chris specified “But getting up and going to work or having a relationship… Those things are not inspiring, because they are expected.”

Said discussion progressed to highlight how setting goals to coincide with societal expectations could end up damaging. Let us stay positive though, and keep the conversation going by answering for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

After answering, make sure to mark your calendar for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-20-2022

Each and every Wednesday those in the cerebral palsy (CP) community learn from each other thanks to the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Today I, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, will highlight the lessons learned during the chat Wednesday, April 20th, 2022. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Before I start recapping, I acknowledge I am late posting this. The reason for the tardiness I explained to my co-host Devin Axtman during our Twitter chat Wednesday, April 27th, 2022.

Zachary explains to his co-host Devin why the April 20th recap is running late.

Earlier in the week I finally released my new book Slow and Cerebral. The memoir details how I did not let my cerebral palsy stop me from becoming a marathoner. Spreading word about Slow and Cerebral‘s release led to the day getting away from me.

Enough dwelling on why I am late with the recap, though. Instead, let me actually get to recapping. Through general discussion Wednesday, April 20th the subject of medications arose.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their experiences with baclofen.

After I mentioned I take baclofen to relieve my spasticity, Casey asked me if I still find the medication helpful. Noting her body grew use to the medicine, causing her to need to take something else.

Casey would go on to name tizanidine as what she takes now. Another participant, Chris, recognized tizanidine as zanaflex. Chris recalled “I was on max oral baclofen, zanaflex AND Clonazepam. It barely put a dent in the spasticity and pain.” However, Chris eventually found relief with the baclofen pump. She described the pump as “magical.”

Altogether the medication conversation allowed us to learn about the different options which exist for managing spasticity. The learning continued when I asked a question about assistive equipment.

Zachary's question about assistive technology leads to Chris giving him a recommendation for orthotics.

Curious, I asked participants “Is there any piece of assistive equipment which you feel would improve your life?” My curiosity stemming from contemplation over purchasing an adult trike. The trike conversation parlayed into Chris mentioning her podiatrist. In response I said, “Speaking of podiatry, I need to get new inserts for my shoes.”

Refreshing my memory on a past recommendation, Chris commented, “I think I suggested Hanger Orthotics?” Indeed Chris had made that recommendation to the group in the past. Calling Hanger Clinic (who provide services nationally), “Great to work with.” Adding, “It was so awesome to be able to get shoes there, know they would work, and be accessible with insurance.”

What recommendations do you have for others with cerebral palsy? Keep the conversation going and answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “What company or product would you recommend to your peers with CP?”

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "What company or product would you recommend to your peers with CP?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

As you sort through any recommendations in the “Comments” section, please remember cerebral palsy’s varying impact on us. What works for somebody else might not work for you. If a suggestion intrigues you, check with a medical professional and discuss the option with them.

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

-Zachary