#CPChatNow Recap- 05-20-2020

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

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

Zachary and Heather joke about creepy GIFs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#CPChatNow participants discuss their stiffness varying.

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

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

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

The #CPChatNow community discusses shaving and cerebral palsy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Zachary

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

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-29-2020

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

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

Zachary and Linds discuss working from home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Zachary

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

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-15-2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#CPChatNow participants talk about grocery delivery.

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

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

Zachary and Veronica discuss their fondness for coffee.

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

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

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

-Zachary

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

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-01-2020

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

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

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

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

Jorge checks in with #CPChatNow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-18-2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-04-2020

On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed an energized night. Participants shared exciting news, discussed cerebral palsy awareness, and more! Here to fill you in with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Prepare for your weekly recap!

Zachary shares some cool personal news.

As previously mentioned, participants shared exciting news. Including me! Recently Wiki Ezvid created a video highlighting five inspiring writers advocating for those with disabilities. The list featured me. What an honor!

Additionally, our beloved “Positivity Princess” Linds revealed her own exciting news.

Linds shares exciting news with #CPChatNow.

A glee sparkled from Linds’ tweets as she shared she received a transfer at work and will soon return to her home in Ames. Join me in congratulating Linds. Respond to this post and leave her a congratulatory comment.

Elsewhere in the chat participants found inspiration for conversation in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

#CPChatNow participants discuss what they wish more people knew about cerebral palsy.

I asked #CPChatNow what they wish people were more aware of regarding CP. Long-time regular Blemi said she wished more people realized the condition results from brain damage and is not as simple as fixing a limb. My co-host Devin Axtman offered two answers. He wants people to know cerebral palsy does not make you unattractive.

Furthermore Devin noted the condition does not go away at 18 years old. Chat newcomer Tonia also expressed similar sentiments, saying “in spite of it (cerebral palsy) being a ‘childhood disability’ we do grow up.” Tonia added many invisible aspects connected to CP go ignored. Aspects she thoroughly covers in a blog post “Parenting Kids with Disabilities: What You Can’t See (Invisible Aspects of CP).”

Chat newcomer Tonia shares a blog post she wrote about the invisible aspects of CP.

Reading through Tonia’s post, I had a question come to mind. So, I asked #CPChatNow.

#CPChatNow participants discuss going barefoot.

In her post Tonia mentioned her spasticity being more intense when barefoot. Curious to see if others experienced the same, I asked if you feel your spasticity is more intense when barefoot. Devin said he has less support and balance when barefoot. Blemi agreed her feet are very sensitive and as such she does not like to go barefoot. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you feel your spasticity is more intense when you are barefoot?” Comment below to answer!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "Do you feel your spasticity is more intense when you are barefoot?"

After answering, make your plans to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 02-19-2020

On Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed an assorted conversational spread. Keeping to the food analogy, that makes me co-caterer (oppose to co-host) Zachary Fenell. I invite you to come sample the discussion via our weekly recap.

Travis Davis, a returning newcomer to our community, asked a question about self-employment.

In-particular Travis wanted to know if anyone has experience with self-employment. I offered my honest feedback, mentioning I have dabbled in self-employment albeit not quite successfully. As I explained further, not knowing how much to charge for my freelance writing services and lacking the confidence to charge said prices proved my downfall.

Nonetheless downfalls and failure do not need to define us. Through additional back and forth I revealed I still describe myself as an entrepreneur. However, I treat entrepreneurship more like a hobby. This takes pressure off converting sales.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is a lesson you have learned from failure?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Elsewhere in the chat, getting a new wheelchair came up.

Casey and Devin talk about the process of getting a new wheelchair.

The topic arose when Casey mentioned she should be getting a new wheelchair soon. My co-host Devin Axtman and Casey began discussing different details involved in the process. Details like getting the prescription written and going through the wheelchair evaluation. All information peaking my interest since I never experienced the process myself. Fueled by my curiosity, I asked a question about getting a new wheelchair.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how often they get new wheelchairs.

Casey, Devin, and chat regular Seth each replied to my question asking how often they get a new wheelchair. Five years appeared the common time frame for getting a new one. In that time frame you could answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question over and over and over! To refresh you, this week’s question asks “What is a lesson you have learned from failure?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is a lesson you have learned from failure?"
Comment below to answer!

After answering double check your calendar and ensure you have each Wednesday marked for #CPChatNow. Each week the fun starts at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary