#CPChatNow Recap- 01-08-2020

With the holidays over, we in the #CPChatNow community resumed our regular Wednesday evening schedule January 8th, 2020. To tell you more about the January 8th Twitter chat, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Regular readers will know exactly how I plan to do this. Your weekly recap!

Over the years we within #CPChatNow have enjoyed a few laughs together. A trend which continues chugging along!

Time cannot derail #CPChatNow's train joke.

My co-host, Devin Axtman, arrived to the chat late because his bus was late to his train. All because the bus ended up stuck behind another train!

Although, the humor does not lay in Devin’s predicament. Rather, the fact Devin’s story involves trains creates the humorous tone. Early in #CPChatNow’s existence Hannah shared a funny story which included a train reference. Ever since simply mentioning trains invokes chuckles from our community’s long-time regulars.

Such a re-occurring joke helped us build a communal feel. Another pillar which allowed us to build our community returns in 2020.

Zachary teases the return of focus chats.

As I shared January 8th, this year will see focus chats return! I noted Devin and I should be ready to announce our first focus chat of the year next week (January 15th). Happily, I am able to confirm we will make this announcement during the January 15th chat. Make sure to join us then!

Also, to ensure we deliver focus chats which interest you, answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What topics would you like to see focus chats on?” Answer by leaving a reply in the “Comments” section. Your feedback proves vital towards maximizing focus chats’ value.

Perhaps a possible focus chat topic could entail the positives and negatives social media offers the cerebral palsy community. A topic briefly touched upon January 8th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss Twitter regrets.

Curious, I asked participants if they ever regretted posting something to Twitter. Devin replied affirmatively, saying he regrets getting into certain political arguments. His regrets deal less with what he said and more just feeling like the discussions ended up pointless.

Meanwhile Hannah made the insightful point that everyone probably regrets posting something. She continued, noting there are in-person conversations she regrets having too. Quite the relatable sentiment, or so I think.

Anyways, enough about what I think. What do you think would make for a good focus chat in 2020? Remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What topics would you like to see focus chats on?”

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What topics would you like to see focus chats on?"

Reply below to answer. Afterwards make your plans to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-26-2019

Christmas 2019 came and went Wednesday, December 25th, but the celebratory mood continued into the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Thursday, December 26th. To officially close out the year for our community, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Recapping the year’s 52nd and final chat seems the most fitting way to do this.

Long-time chat regular, “The Positivity Princess,” Linds helped to get the dialogue off to a cheery start.

Linds shares her exciting news!

After three years patiently waiting, Linds received her “most longtime coming gift.” A paralegal job in Cedar Rapids! Once again, congratulations Linds!

Keeping the conversation personal, participants reflected on their respective 2019s.

Participants in #CPChatNow describe their 2019s in one word.

I asked people to describe their 2019 in one word. My co-host Devin Axtman answered, saying “transformative.” Devin further explained his choice in words saying 2019 saw him enjoy “lots of good life changes.” Unfortunately, not everyone could say the same.

Hannah honestly describes her 2019 as "heartbreaking."

Beloved community member Hannah replied honestly, saying she would describe 2019 as “heartbreaking.” The year brought “a downward spiral of bad things” not just for Hannah but the people she loves. At the same time, Hannah acknowledged throughout the year she did enjoy “some pretty spectacular moments.” Moments she will never forget.

Looking to keep the dialogue positive, allow me to ask as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?” Reply to this post to answer.

First though, let us finish seeing off 2019. Besides personal matters, our community conducted a year in review for cerebral palsy in general.

The #CPChatNow community recalls their most memorable cerebral palsy related stories of 2019.

Participants recalled memorable cerebral palsy related stories. Personally, I named a negative remembering Speechless‘ cancellation. Thankfully other community members offered positive memories. Jeni mentioned the little boys with CP who tag-teamed the role Tiny Tim in a Broadway production of A Christmas Carol. Meanwhile long-time chat regular Blemi highlighted Netflix’s new series Special.

Hopefully stories like the ones Jeni and Blemi reference foreshadow greater progress for the cerebral palsy community in 2020. Remember to forecast your own 2020 by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?”

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks on December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?

Answer below! Then help us kick off the New Year by joining our first #CPChatNow in 2020 Thursday, January 2nd at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-11-2019

The weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow proved a newsworthy one Wednesday, December 11th, 2019. For the complete story, consider me your personal reporter. I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell and I will provide my report the best way I know, your weekly recap.

News disseminating from #CPChatNow December 11th varied. I made an announcement relevant to our entire community.

Zachary announces the #CPChatNow schedule for the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Day.

With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day landing on Wednesdays, my co-host Devin Axtman and I decided to reschedule #CPChatNow those weeks. Rather than our typical Wednesday chat, #CPChatNow will happen Thursday, December 26th and Thursday, January 2nd. Start time remains the same, 8pm ET. Make sure to mark your calendars!

Currently though, let us return to recapping the December 11th chat. Participants kept the news stream flowing by sharing personal good news. Admittedly, I played a large role in that.

Zachary shares his personal good news.
Zachary continues sharing more personal good news.

Indeed, I possessed much good news relating to myself. I received a quasi-promotion at work. More directly related to cerebral palsy, Expertido named my blog among the best cerebral palsy blogs. Plus a parent with a 12-year old who has cerebral palsy wrote me some heartfelt feedback after reading my memoir Off Balanced. If not enough good news, Ideastream included me in a story about self-publishing which aired on the radio.

Besides me, long-time chat regular Linds shared good news. No, wait. Great news!

Linds shares her own exciting news.

Linds revealed her depression entered remission! Shall we keep the positive vibes flowing? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question- “What has been something positive happening in your life?” Answer in the comments below!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What has been something positive happening in your life?"

Once you answer, double check your calendar. Do you have the upcoming #CPChatNow Twitter chats correctly marked? The upcoming schedule looks like this.

  • Wednesday, December 18th, 2019- 8pm ET
  • Thursday, December 26th, 2019- 8pm ET
  • Thursday, January 2nd, 2020- 8pm ET

I hope to tweet you soon. Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-27-2019

Before gathering with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered on Twitter Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 for our weekly chat. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Long-time readers could easily guess how I plan to tell you more. Yes, your weekly recap!

First though, I wish to recognize a recent community milestone.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 marked #CPChatNow's six-year anniversary!
Participants wish each other a happy anniversary.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 marked our community’s six-year anniversary. Six years! A feat only made possible thanks to all our participants over the years. Without you, #CPChatNow does not work. So thank you!

Fittingly on Wednesday, November 27th co-host Devin Axtman made a reference dating back to the chat’s early years.

References from #CPChatNow's early years continue to live on!

Devin mentioned the “CP Olympics.” In the community’s early years we designated ordinary tasks cerebral palsy makes difficult as events in the “CP Olympics.” In my response to Devin’s tweet, I alluded to another long-running #CPChatNow joke. Hannah‘s train story! That story continues to chug along. Choo-choo!

Anyways Wednesday, November 27th featured subject matters beyond community flashbacks. In-particular I asked a question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow about their favorite CP or disability related quote.
Devin gives backstory to his favorite disability related quote.

I wanted to know what people’s favorite CP or disability related quotes are. Long-time regular Blemi shared her favorite quote “Never give up on your dreams.” The message carries personal meaning to Blemi because Rick Hansen wrote the quote down for her on a Post-it note.

Meanwhile Devin said his favorite disability related quote goes like this. “My other disability is a bad attitude.” He could not pinpoint the quote’s origin but explained the quote remains a play off the oversimplified statement “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

What about you? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your favorite CP/disability related quote?” Leave your response in the “Comments.”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is your favorite CP/disability related quote?"

If you enjoy answering the extend-the-conversation question, come join the conversation live! #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET. Come help us make new memories as we enter the chat’s seventh year.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-20-2019

A certain familiarity takes over Wednesdays for those who participate in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Wednesday, November 20th proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

In addition to our usual weekly chat, November 20th marked co-host Devin Axtman’s birthday. Although quite exhausted, long-time chat regular Hannah made sure to stop by to wish Devin a happy birthday.

Participants enjoy a certain sense of familiarity every Wednesday night.

Fellow long-time regular Blemi, along with Devin and I all responded mentioning we miss Hannah. Furthermore Blemi suggested, if possible, Hannah try acupuncture. Blemi discussed recently starting acupuncture and as a result enjoying more energy.

Besides renewed energy levels, Blemi discussed a second newfound discovery. Breaking Bad!

#CPChatNow participants discuss RJ Mitte's character on Breaking Bad.

Naturally the Breaking Bad discussion led to talk about RJ Mitte’s character, Walter White Jr. Blemi liked how the show incorporated cerebral palsy without making the condition a big deal. Her comments interested me since earlier this year I read Zach Anner’s book If At Birth You Don’t Succeed. Within Anner critiqued Breaking Bad, feeling the show did not develop the Walter White Jr. character enough. Personally, I hold no opinion because I never watched an episode.

The Breaking Bad conversation also left Devin remembering the time he met RJ Mitte at a school event. In-particular Devin recalled talking orthotics with Mitte.

Speaking of talking to a cerebral palsy celebrity, I brought up a known name who possesses ties to our community.

Zachary and Devin discuss Maysoon's recently released audiobook Find Another Dream.

Back on Thursday, October 31st Maysoon Zayid released her audiobook Find Another Dream. I asked if anyone read the book yet. Devin shared Find Another Dream remains next on his list.

In addition to Zayid’s book release, another current event arose during the night’s dialogue.

Zachary brings up the #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign.

AtaxiaUK’s #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign received a boost in attention when onlookers mistook Emmrdale actor James Moore’s cerebral palsy for drunkenness. The campaign asks people to share their stories about being mistaken for being drunk. I asked if anyone had a similar story. Grace said she had that happen all the time to her in college. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?”

Comment below to answer. Additionally post your answers to your various social media accounts. Remember to use the hashtag #DisorderedNotDrunk too.

While remembering hashtags, remember to use our hashtag “#CPChatNow” to join the fun on Twitter. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?"
Leave your answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-06-2019

Election Day in the United States came and went, but Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow maintained focus on issues. To tell you more I am #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell. Like always, I will do that via your weekly recap.

Voting accessibility arose in conversation when I asked participants what their accessibility needs for voting are.

#CPChatNow participants discuss voting accessibility.

As my co-host Devin Axtman pointed out, accessibility at polling places is a huge problem. This left our own “Positivity Princess” Linds to ask if there were assistance signs outside where you can call for help. Devin answered yes, but still noted the problematic nature. Too many polling places are located in non-accessible buildings. You cannot help someone unable to enter the building.

Devin’s comments left me wondering how such buildings could be chosen as voting locations. Swiftly the dialogue transitioned to another important subject.

Voting accessibility conversation transitions to talk about the importance of representation.

Using a single hashtag Linds summarized the problem, #ThingsNoOneThinksAbout. Devin furthered her point, giving a real life example he recently experienced. His apartment built a new sidewalk out to the train station, but without a curb cut.

In my opinion Devin and Linds’ comments emphasizes the importance of representation. The decision making process needs to feature diverse voices. Such voices will ensure items like curb cuts no longer go overlooked.

Meanwhile on an encouraging note long-time chat regular Hannah gave a glowing review for her polling place.

Hannah was genuinely impressed with her polling place's accessibility.

Hannah stated her polling place’s accessibility genuinely impressed her. What about your voting experience? Keep the conversation going! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Maybe concerns over your polling place’s accessibility led you to speak out, teaching you to advocate for yourself. Similar learning moments highlighted our chat November 6th.

#CPChatNow participants share the moment they learned to advocate for themselves.
Hannah talks about the moment she learned to advocate for herself.

Moments when participants learned to advocate for themselves varied. Both Devin and long-time chat regular Blemi recalled their first real self-advocacy moments happening in high school. Linds remembered connecting with someone locally from Easter Seals and realizing she was already advocating for herself. Elsewhere Hannah learned to advocate for herself quite young, needing to persist that her bus driver drop her off at her house, not the end of the street.

If the highlights above intrigued you, consider joining the conversation live. Our Twitter chat takes place every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Simply include the hashtag “#CPChatNow” in your tweets. Anyone not on Twitter can enjoy our community by following our Facebook fan page and/or answering the weekly extend-the-conversation question. Again, this week’s question asks “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Comment below with your answer.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How is the accessibility at your polling place?"
Leave your answer in the “Comments.”

#CPChatNow Recap- 10-23-2019

Shared experiences captivated the discussion Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell here to tell you more. The best way I know how too. Your weekly recap!

Early in the night I mentioned feeling a bit under the weather due to a cold. This led long-time chat regular Blemi to ask a question.

#CPChatNow participants discuss whether cold medicine affects their spasticity.

Blemi wondered whether cold medicine affects my spasticity. I answered no, but noted I must take non-drowsy medications. Drowsy cold medicines do not mix well with my baclofen.

Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman provided Blemi reassurance, saying cold medicine impacts his spasticity. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “Do you find cold medicine really affects your spasticity?”

The usual routine applies. Leave your response in the “Comments” section. First though, let us continue recapping the October 23rd Twitter chat.

Devin asks #CPChatNow, "What situations have you avoided because of your CP that people without haven't?"

Devin fueled the conversation asking participants to share situations they avoid because of CP. Responses truly varied. Our own “Positivity Princess” Linds said riding a bike.

Heather likes to avoid standing and mingling and eating or drinking at the same time.
Blemi tries avoiding situations where she doesn't know if there will be parking off the street. Plus scenarios in people's homes where she doesn't know if they have railings.

Both Heather and Blemi offered different answers. Heather said she avoids situations involving standing and mingling and eating or drinking simultaneously. Surely a trying balancing act when factoring in CP!

Concurrently Blemi raised issues surrounding parking and handrails. Specifically she said she avoids situations where she doesn’t know if there will be parking off of the street. The same avoidance applies to entering homes where she doesn’t know if people have railings.

Avoiding all the above situations remains understandable. However, there stands no reason to avoid answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. Again, this week’s question asks “Do you find cold medicine really affects your spasticity?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "Do you find cold medicine really affects your spasticity?"

Reply below to answer. Then set a calendar reminder for 8pm ET every Wednesday. That way you may join the conversation LIVE. Share your own experiences. Enjoy the community. Simply click here at 8pm ET and include “#CPChatNow” in your tweets.

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

-Zachary