#CPChatNow Recap- 05-16-2018

Experience develops into insights and the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow proved quite insightful Wednesday, May 16th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, smarter after this past Wednesday and ready to pass along my newly gained knowledge. So relax and enjoy the May 16th recap.

If only relaxing remained that simple! Early chatter revolved around stress and hypertension. Showing vulnerability, I asked the “stupid” question. “What is hypertension?”

My co-host Devin Axtman explained hypertension as the medical term for high blood pressure. Channeling the mindset original #CPChatNow co-founder John W. Quinn always displayed, I sought to get us focusing towards solutions opposed to dwelling upon problems.

#CPChatNow participants discuss activities that help relax them.Regular R responded to my question regarding what activities relax her, listing off quite the number! R’s response initially included mediation and yoga to relax muscles. She quickly added, “biofreeze, tacos, massage, epsom salt whirlpool baths, stretching, plenty of water, tacos, chocolate, weighted blankets.”

Personally the weighted blankets item caught my attention. Earlier in the week in a CP related Facebook group I belong to, someone posted about weighted blankets. Therefore R’s mentioning weighted blankets peaked my curiosity.

R explains how weighted blankets work and the benefits she finds from them.Devin pondered my question, figuring weights in the blanket could apply pressure. Meanwhile R provided a more certain reply, detailing why weighted blankets work well with spasticity.

Relaxing activities continued a popular subject. Devin and I each shared what relaxes our respective selves.

Devin and Zachary share what activities relax them.Probably unsurprising to most in our community, I said physical activity relaxes me. Within the aforementioned physical activity I included my library job, a physically involved position. You might additionally come across Devin at the library when he needs to relax considering my co-host reads to relax.

Your turn to share! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What activity relaxes you?” Reply in the “Comments” section.

Perhaps you too relax by reading, using weighted blankets, or striking particular yoga positions. Maybe though, your relaxing activity differs. Sleep may represent your safe haven. Actually sleep surfaced during the discussion on relaxing and quickly became the chat’s concentration.

#CPChatNow participants discuss difficulties they experience sleeping.Although multiple participants deemed sleeping relaxing, falling asleep stood out as troublesome. A commonality Casey attributed to CP. R agreed 100%. The two further bonded over difficulties falling asleep.

Casey and R think people who take falling asleep for granted are crazy!Casey called those who take falling asleep for granted crazy and R resonated with the sentiments. Despite a frustration many nights, trouble falling asleep will supply an asset this Thursday, May 24th. You will not want to fall asleep early Thursday since we will host our monthly CPChatNow Google Hangout that evening. The May 2018 Hangout date we finalized during the chat May 16th.

Based off community feedback CPChatNow will hold their May 2018 Google Hangout Thursday, May 24th.Combining feedback received during the Twitter chat alongside responses to our private Facebook group post, the May 2018 Google Hangout will happen this Thursday, May 24th. Message the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to inquire about receiving the link to the Hangout.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversatoni question, what activity relaxes you? Leave your reply in the "Comments" section.Before leaving to message us on Facebook, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What activity relaxes you?” Comment below to reply.

Until next time, remember. Do not blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

 

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#CPChatNow Recap- 05-02-2018

Much conversation covering assorted topics took place Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Hello, I am co-host Zachary Fenell and I am in a summarizing mood. Fitting since my task today calls for me to provide you your weekly #CPChatNow recap!

Early on in the evening the discussion revolved around stretching.The topic initially surfaced earlier in the week within our private Facebook group. Said group offers a more secure platform to discuss personal issues. To keep the space secure, we limit who we permit in. However, everyone should feel welcome to like our Facebook fan page and engage with those posts.

Now getting back to the Twitter chat, R shared the thoughts she posted in the Facebook group additionally to Twitter. Personally I found familiarity amidst her input.

R and Zachary discuss how they stretch and finding the right balance of stretching.We agreed stretching requires a certain balance. Otherwise you cause additional discomfort. As the talk progressed R and I learned our stretching methods differ. I use my leg casts to stretch out. A method R finds ineffective in her case!

Meanwhile my co-host Devin added his own input.

Devin gives his input on the stretching conversation.

Devin admits to not really stretching. A luxury afforded to him thanks to the hot Texas weather! Devin, R, and my three different experiences stretching emphasizes a valuable cerebral palsy fact. CP and the best treatment options vary by the person.

Go ahead and tell what you find beneficial stretching wise! This week’s extend-the-conversation question asks, How often do you stretch? What kind of stretching do you do? Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Just like how answers will vary, the May 2nd chat also featured variety. Other subjects besides stretching emerged. Devin mentioned a Disability Scoop story he recently came across, “Trump Administration Seeks to Bar Immigrants with Disabilities.”

Zachary and Devin discuss details from the news article Devin mentioned.After reading Devin and I both questioned the origins to the statistics suggesting higher expenses. Plus Devin wondered how you implement such a distinction. Make sure to click the previous link and read the article yourself.

Moving to more lighthearted dialogue, Devin asked everyone about their summer plans.

Besides his best friend's wedding, Timmy plans to spend the summer in the lab.Timmy Le looks forward to spending his summer in the lab. Furthermore he has his best friend’s wedding to attend! Attending weddings appeared a commonality in multiple participants’ summer plans.

This summer R plans to attend only weddings and not wedding showers in an effort to keep to her budget.Devin has a family wedding to attend in July.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How often do you stretch? What kind of stretching do you do?"No matter what your summer plans entail, make sure you plan to also answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. How often do you stretch? What kind of stretching do you do?

Answer with a comment below.

Until next time,

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-18-2018

#CPChatNow’s communal atmosphere remained on full display Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 during the weekly Twitter chat. Familiar faces returning after lengthy absences helped to establish the night’s tone. Here to tell you all about the evening, I am co-host Zachary Fenell.

Those aforementioned familiar faces referenced included long-time participant Hannah Pike and always busy co-host Jorge Oteiza. Other participants warmly greeted the two.

#CPChatNow participants warmly welcome back Hannah and Jorge.Co-host Devin utilized a wrestling GIF to welcome Hannah and Jorge. Such a GIF demonstrates another aspect to our friendly community. Perhaps an element to discuss in a future recap! For now, let us catch up with Hannah and Jorge.

Some serious health issues kept Hannah away from #CPChatNow. Issues she recently detailed while blogging.

Hannah gives #CPChatNow an update on her health.Despite personally already knowing Hannah’s situation, reading her blog post still made me shudder. The seriousness that comes along brain surgery proving undeniable. Take a look and read yourself, “The Setbacks Leading to the Comeback.”

Thankfully the reasoning behind Jorge’s absence involves a lot less dire circumstances. College and work continues to keep him pre-occupied. As Jorge explained, an earlier shift allowed him to make the week’s chat.

Elusive #CPChatNow co-host Jorge Oteiza makes his #CPChatNow return.Just like Hannah, participants excitedly met Jorge. Specifically, Shira Sadiky recounted how Jorge helped her feel comfortable when she first joined #CPChatNow a couple years ago. Comfort definitely stands important towards building a strong community.

What other characteristics do you also find valuable in a community? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What characteristics make for a strong community?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Maintaining the communal theme, remember #CPChatNow’s forthcoming April 2018 Google Hangout.

#CPChatNow will hold their April 2018 Google Hangout Thursday, April 26th. The monthly Hangout allows our community to chat using a more open platform. No character limits! Plus video chatting adds communication factors like tone of voice and facial expressions, enhancing the dialogue! Due to privacy reasons, the link to the Hangout does not go out publicly. Perchance you want to join us, message the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to let us know.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What characteristics make for a strong community?"Before visiting our Facebook page though, answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question! “What characteristics make for a strong community?” Answer by commenting below! I eagerly await seeing your replies.

Until next time,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-04-2018

Assorted subjects came and went during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, April 4th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell here to play reporter and give you your weekly recap. A challenge given the various topics discussed!

Early on the chatter contained a downer tone. Participants shared difficult life situations they currently face. Looking to turn the dialogue upbeat, I asked about positive happenings, no matter how small!

Zachary seeks to turn the conversation positive by asking participants to share even the smallest positive happening!Shira expressed feeling happy despite some physical health issues. Meanwhile the Texas Rangers winning the night before gave Jen joy. Sports became a re-occurring topic when I tweeted out a recent news story, “Watonsville Student-Athlete with Cerebral Palsy Hopes to Inspire, Bring Change.”

Devin and Zachary discuss what impresses them about Carlos' story.My co-host Devin also enjoyed the article. He and I noted what resonated with our respective selves. Devin liked how Carlos seemed “like he’s one of the guys.” Personally, the coach working with Carlos’ psychologist and physical therapist impressed me.

Speaking about physical therapists, physical therapy arose as a conversation generator.

Chris finds PT should stand for physical torture!Chat regular Chris made mention her neurologist ordered “physical torture.”  Physical torture meaning physical therapy (PT). I recalled other participants vocalizing similar sentiments towards PT in past chats.

Want to add in your opinion? You can by answering this week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How would you describe physical therapy?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Also worth mentioning from our chat Wednesday, April 4th, we announced the date for our April 2018 Google Hangout.

#CPChatNow will hold their monthly Google Hangout for April 2018 Thursday, April 26th.If you like joining the monthly video chat, mark your calendars for Thursday, April 26th. To maintain a safe environment, we do not send out the Hangout link publicly. To get added to the invite list, contact Devin or myself. Before reaching out though, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks, "How would you describe physical therapy?"“How would you describe physical therapy?”

Respond via commenting below.

Until next time!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-14-2018

Much meaningful conversation occurred Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell and guess what? Correct! I am in recapping mode.

With the date March 14th, 3-14, the mood proved extra festive.

With the date March 14th, PiDay, the mood for #CPChatNow proved extra festive.March 14th aka Pi Day gave participants an additional reason to celebrate the Wednesday. Heather DeYoe shared she celebrated Pi Day by eating wild blueberry pie. Meanwhile the closest I came to pie involved a GIF I tweeted earlier in the day.

Although the dialogue began on a lighthearted note, topics soon turned serious. Shira sought comfort related to a frustrating family situation. This led me to pose a reflective question.

#CPChatNow participants reflect back on what they wished their parents did differently.My question asked what you wish or wished your parents did differently. Hailey Hughes expressed a desire for her father to understand some movements happen unconsciously. For example, motions like irregular arm positioning and walking flat-footed.

Elsewhere in the chatter, challenges long-time regular Hannah Pike continues facing led to a taboo subject surfacing.

Hannah and Zachary discuss the importance of talking about suicide. Hannah mentioned not seeing herself as a fighter because no other option exist. I commended her mindset, voicing an uncomfortable truth. Others might contemplate suicide as an alternative.

“It (suicide) only transfers the pain to your family and friends” Hannah reasoned. We agreed, recognizing the need to discuss suicide. Increased discussion could convince someone to reach out to find help.

Helping to lighten the chatter, I proposed a question designed to spark creative thinking.

Zachary and Shira discuss analogies that accurately describe living with cerebral palsy.Shira and I went back and forth answering my query, “If you were to use an analogy to describe to someone what living with cerebral palsy is like, what analogy would you use?” Responding, Shira likened cerebral palsy to a robot with a rusty central system. Her response triggered me to say a computer who only replies to 0s or 1s but not both binary code elements.

Do you want to add to the conversation with your own analogy? Go ahead! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Also double check your calendars. Our next focus chat approaches fast!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 our very own Rachel Folly will lead a focus chat on the last year in CP. Our very own Rachel will lead the chat, focusing on the past year in CP. Reflection analyzing the positives and negatives related to the CP community from March 2017 to March 2018. Contact Rachel if you would like to see anything particular addressed Wednesday, March 28th.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?"Prior to contacting Rachel though, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What analogy would you use to describe living with cerebral palsy?” Respond in the “Comments” section below. Then countdown the hours to our next Twitter chat. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday at 8pm ET.

Tweet you later,

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 02-28-2018

Participants in our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed many topics Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, taking on the challenge to recap the lively discussion. Before recapping the many subjects visited, I wish to emphasize a reminder given during the chat.

#CPChatNow has a new shirt for sale, but the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2017 at midnight ET.Currently we at #CPChatNow remain in shirt sale mode, with a shirt featuring a lime green #CPChatNow logo and a line underneath, also in lime green, reading “Established December 2013.” You can pick up the shirt in either navy, forest green, and/or sapphire. However, the sale ENDS Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 when the clock strikes midnight in the eastern time zone. So order today!

Proceeds from the sale will go to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On (KOKO). KOKO assists those with severe disabilities through helping families fund physical therapy and other medical expenses. Help us help them make a difference by either purchasing a shirt or making a monetary donation.

Truly, the shirt sale concludes at a fitting time. After all, March marks Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Said topic left our community buzzing Wednesday, February 28th.

Participants in #CPChatNow express varying opinions about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.Rachel asked what people planned to do for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, quipping that her leg and hand “have been making me all too aware of CP as of late.” I replied I work to raise CP awareness year round through my blog, memoir Off Balanced, and public speaking. Nonetheless I plan to become extra focused in March.

Meanwhile my co-host Devin shared some skepticism. He wants to see meaningful activity oppose to”mindless awareness with no real impact.” Those comments lead us to this week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Answer in the “Comments” section.

The CP Awareness Month dialogue eventually transitioned, based off Rachel’s hand and leg quip.

Heather expresses empathy for Rachel's hand and leg issues, leading to a conversation about hand surgeries. Participant Heather DeYoe noted her birthday occurs during CP Awareness Month. She also empathized with the hand issues Rachel mentioned. Although Heather also indicated feeling relief from such issues after recent surgery. That left Wum Gin wondering the operation Heather underwent.

Elsewhere I discussed with longtime regular Linds a matter Linds blogged about recently, weird dreams.

Zachary and Linds discuss if their cerebral palsy is present in their dreams.Amidst the aforementioned post “My Weird Dream Lately…#1” Linds recalled a dream where she proved free from cerebral palsy. I found the fact Linds didn’t have CP in her dream fascinating and pondered what a dream expert might deem the significance. Offering her non-expert opinion, Linds suggested the fact could relate to not knowing she had something called CP until fourth grade.

Her speculation caused other participants to reflect back on growing up with CP. A direction evolving into chatter centering around math class!

#CPChatNow participants think back to their performances in math class.Rachel, Devin, and I went back and forth recalling our differing experiences in math class. Rachel described her math class as “sketchy.” I touted my good performance in the subject, at least until I reached pre-calculus. Devin possessed a relatively opposite experience. Geometry presenting the only math class leaving him to struggle.  Rachel added many with CP find difficulty with math.

Perchance the math keeps you hesitant towards purchasing a “#CPChatNow Established December 2013” shirt, I will crunch the numbers for you. Each shirt costs $24 and then another $4.99 in shipping, bringing the total to $28.99. The sale ends Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at midnight ET, meaning upon this recap’s initial publication you hold less than 30 hours to order. Proceeds will go directly to the non-profit foundation Keep On Keeping On.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?"With that one final plug done, one task lingers. For you to answer the extend-the-conversation question! Again, this week’s question asks “How do you feel about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?” Respond in the “Comments” below.

Until next time!

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 02-14-2018

February 2018 coincidentally saw Valentine’s Day and the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow fall on the same day. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, ready to recap the dialogue from February 14th. Participants’ attitudes towards Valentine’s Day emerged early in the chat.

#CPChatNow community members share a disinterest in Valentine's Day.Participants Jen and Rachel‘s responses to my Valentine’s Day greeting showed a disapproval for the holiday. Jen wished a “Happy Single made up holiday.” Meanwhile Rachel pulled a Scrooge, saying “Bah humbug!”

Chatter remained Valentine’s Day related via participants sharing their experiences with online dating. Unfortunately, the tales skewed more negative than positive. Disclosing your disability proving a key topic. However, I will avoid specifics since the recap rules deem “Tweets focus on sensitive life events, such as relationship matters” not recap appropriate.

Eventually discourse moved beyond a love theme. I announced the date for our February 2018 Google Hangout.

#CPChatNow will hold their monthly Google Hangout for February 2018 Thursday, February 22nd. Google Hangouts offer the chance for us to talk face to face and share stories harder to tell with Twitter’s character limits. Distributing the Hangout link happens privately to ensure a safe environment. Please contact either my co-hosts Jorge Otezia, Devin Axtman, or myself by Twitter or through the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to inquire about joining the Hangout.

Mentioning Devin, he added input to a question I asked.

Devin and Zachary discuss falling.Devin answered my question, “How often do you fall?” He said he falls maybe once a month. I explained the reason I asked, feedback I received on a recent Youtube video discussing falls.

The user commented he never falls because he catches himself. Devin and I both found the ability to catch yourself all the time impressive. Long-time community member Jocelyn also added to the falling talk.

Jocelyn answers the question how often she falls.Jocelyn possessed a more precise answer to the question “How often do you fall?” She noted tracking how often she falls and trips. Within the information she logs she includes the situation’s circumstances. Probably very helpful data!

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How often do you fall?"Your turn now. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How often  do you fall?” Estimate if you do not know the exact amount. Leave your answer by commenting below.

Until next time,

Zachary