#CPChatNow Recap- 01-13-2021

As the years pass, the bonds formed during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow continue to flourish. A fact evident by the chat Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. Evidence I, #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell, will present today via your weekly recap. Shall we start chugging along?

#CPChatNow participants reflect on conversations about dating held early in the chat's history.

Conversation between my co-host Devin Axtman and long-time chat regular Blemi caused me to reflect. Leaving me remembering discussions from our chat’s early years when we discussed the dating troubles a disability can cause. Dialogue Devin and Blemi actively engaged in. Now seven years later both remain engaged to their respective significant others! Proof everything comes down to meeting the right person. As Devin stated, “It sounds like a BS clichĂ© but it’s true.”

Another participant who experienced much change and growth since our community started in December 2013, stopped by to update us on his life happenings.

Jorge Oteiza updates #CPChatNow on his life happenings.

Yes! Jorge Oteiza tweeted to update us on his graduate school adventures. An ambitious high school student when our community came into existence, Jorge has come a long way with his studies. Nevertheless, he still remains a young man who possesses a bright future.

Speaking of the future, any discussion in 2021 about the future should involve COVID vaccinations. A subject which arose during our chat January 13th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss availability of COVID vaccines.

Devin raised the topic, mentioning he received his first vaccination shot over the weekend. Others meanwhile lacked a timetable regarding when they would receive their vaccinations.

Elsewhere in the chat, I also asked a pandemic related question.

#CPChatNow participants discuss sports continuing while COVID spreads.

Upon Devin and Blemi starting to discuss hockey season, I asked if they were happy sports are going on or if they feel sports create unnecessary risk of COVID spread. Blemi answered with mixed emotions, noting she does enjoy having the distraction. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Are you happy sports are going on or do you feel that creates unnecessary risk of spread?”

Answer below in the “Comments.” Then mark your calendars 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, "Are you happy sports are going on or do you feel that creates unnecessary risk of spread?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-30-2020

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered one last time for the year. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Join me in saying farewell to the past year, with the final 2020 chat recap.

Recap feels like quite the appropriate word too because in many ways the December 30th chat served as a recap for the year. Chat regular Chris asked others to name the best parts of their 2020, pre-COVID or under our current pandemic situation. Answers covered both periods.

Devin recalls the best part of 2020 for him.
Zachary gives a highlight from his 2020.

My co-host Devin Axtman found a positive within the pandemic, answering he and his fiancĂ©e grew closer together during quarantine. Meanwhile my answer to Chris’ question dated back to before the pandemic. In February, I finally released my CP memoir Off Balanced in paperback form!

Devin responded to my tweet with a ringing endorsement, saying “I read it! 10/10 recommend.” If you would like to make your own opinion, checkout Off Balanced for yourself.

Enough shameless plugging from me, though. Let us talk about you. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What was the best part of your 2020?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Besides sharing our 2020 highlights, participants discussed how having a disability prepared them to handle 2020’s bizarreness.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how having a disability helped prepared them for 2020.

The subject arose when I asked the group how their disability prepared them for the bizarre year that was 2020. Devin said he was use to staying home. Long-time chat regular Blemi also answered, saying having a disability means we are already use to being told what we can and can’t do. Adding to Blemi’s thought, I stated we are more use to adapting to situations. So, all the changes 2020 brought felt less drastic to us. Or, at least that remains my opinion.

Although 2020 has ended, we can keep the conversation going! First, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What was the best part of your 2020?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What was the best part of your 2020?"
Answer in the “Comments” section!

Next, mark your calendar and 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- 12-16-2020

Judging by the conversation Wednesday, December 16th, 2020, those who participate in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow had various topics on their mind. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

With the holiday season in full gear, the discussion turned to shopping for gifts.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they are doing their holiday shopping.

The topic emerged when I asked participants how they are going about their holiday shopping, in-person or online. Overwhelmingly the answer proved online. Both Tonia and my co-host Devin Axtman saying they have shopped exclusively online. Erin meanwhile did sneak out one day to pick up an order at Michael’s and drop by Kirkland’s. Besides that though, she has also stuck to online shopping.

Changing focus, I asked participants what ads show up on their #CPChatNow feeds.

Devin and Zachary share what ads they see in their #CPChatNow feeds.

My curiosity about ads sparked as I refreshed my feed. I would see ads alternating between Robitussin and Lay potato chips. On the other hand, Devin replied, noting he was seeing ads for Logitech. Although, apparently not everyone saw ads.

Some #CPChatNow participants report not seeing any ads in their chat feed.

Jen and Erin responded, saying they see no ads. Further conversation revealed they both use apps for participating in our chat. Erin using TweetDeck on her laptop and Jen joining us via the iPhone Twitter app. Based off their input, I theorized they might not see ads because they use apps.

Help prove or disprove my theory! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you access Twitter? Do you see ads?”

Okay, I know! Technically that is two questions. However, let us not get too hung up on said detail. Just answer below in the “Comments” section.

If you feel like getting caught up in some details, focus on this. Our Twitter chat happens each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Mark your calendars to join us!

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

-Zachary

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question "How do you access Twitter? Do you see ads?
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-02-2020

Just like a Christmas ale or brew, the conversation Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow remained inspired by the holidays. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Early conversation revolved around how participants spent their Thanksgiving.

Devin tells #CPChatNow about his socially distant Thanksgiving.

My co-host Devin Axtman and his family had a socially distant Thanksgiving gathering. This included his brother and girlfriend sitting at the kid’s table, wiping down highly touched surfaces, and everyone getting their own food. Meanwhile, other chat participants took different precautions.

Jen talks about how she spent her Thanksgiving.

Long-time chat regular Jen mentioned her family also enjoyed a small gathering. However, Jen chose to keep to herself and eat in her room. A decision her family understood and respected.

Continuing the holiday inspired dialogue, Devin asked if anyone has trouble thinking what they want for Christmas. Interestingly enough, that question led to a conversation regarding sleep and weighted blankets.

Timmy talks about weighted blankets.

Responding to Devin’s initial inquiry, Timmy responded he wanted sleep. As the conversation kept going, Timmy revealed he recently started using a weighted blanket. He went as far as to describe the item as “amazing!”

Overtaken by curiosity, I asked Timmy some questions. For example, what triggered him to try a weighted blanket. He answered, saying he noticed he liked being wrapped up tightly in his non-weighted blanket. Overall, our back and forth might help others contemplating whether to try a weighted blanket make a decision.

Nevertheless, let us refocus on the original question Devin posed. In fact, answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you have trouble thinking what you want for the holidays?” Comment below to let us know!

Then if possible for you, plan to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter for #CPChatNow. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversations asks, "Do you have trouble thinking what you want for the holidays?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-18-2020

Conversation during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 proved as busy as a cook in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Here to stuff you with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. First, I apologize for the late recap. I guess I am testing the “better late than never” philosophy.

Anyway, the dialogue’s busyness showed within the various subjects discussed. Long-time chat regular Blemi helped to get the chatter going.

Devin and Blemi discuss adjusting to new glasses.

Blemi shared with us she recently received her new glasses. She and my co-host Devin Axtman discussed the challenges involved with adjusting to new glasses. An adjustment especially challenging to Blemi this time around due to her new glasses being quad focals.

Keeping our sights on the glasses topic, I asked participants a question.

Devin and Zachary discuss attitude towards wearing glasses.

Curious, I asked others if wearing glasses ever made them self-conscious. Devin replied no. He theorized his acceptance for wearing glasses could relate to his best friend also wearing them.

Changing focus, discussion moved onto the holiday season.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how their holiday celebrations will be different in 2020.

In-particular I wondered how our current global pandemic would impact people’s holiday traditions. Devin mentioned he would miss seeing his grandparents during the holiday season and he doubted he would do much in-person shopping. Regarding the latter, Blemi expressed similar sentiments.

Due to the global pandemic Blemi does not plan to partake in Boxing Day sales this year.

Usually Blemi and her mother go Boxing Day shopping. Although, this year they plan to stay home. Reasoning the deals are not worth risking their health.

What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “Are there any holiday traditions you will be missing out on this year due to the pandemic?”

Comment below to answer! To engage in the conversation even further, join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

Keep the conversation going! Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question "Are there any holiday traditions you will be missing out on this year due to the pandemic?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-04-2020

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed a lively conversation Wednesday, November 4th, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Sparks igniting the dialogue began before our scheduled 8pm ET start time.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how many hours of sleep they need to function properly.

Earlier in the day chat regular Chris tweeted using the hashtag to inform us she would miss the night’s chat, in-part due to lacking sleep. Timmy responded empathetically, saying he would also be a mess on just two hours of sleep. Quote tweeting Timmy I asked others what is the minimum hours of sleep they need in order to function properly.

My co-host Devin Axtman answered, saying he needs at least six hours of sleep. Other answers varied.

Participants discuss the importance of sleep when you have cerebral palsy.

Karen said she usually needs eight hours of sleep, also mentioning that cerebral palsy causes us to need more sleep compared to able-bodied individuals. A notion which makes sense to me as we with cerebral palsy use more energy when performing ordinary tasks. Three times as much energy actually, according to what Devin has heard in the past.

Keeping the chatter rest related, I brought up a subject helpful for staying rested. Naps!

Zachary and Tonia talk about the importance of napping.

Tonia enthusiastically retweeted my tweet about naps. She proving a big proponent of guilt-free napping, noting rest is productive and especially important these days. What about you? Where do you stand on the napping issue? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you take naps during the day?”

Tell us about your napping rituals down below in the “Comments.” Then do what you need to do to get rest so you remain alert for tonight’s Twitter chat. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Come join us!

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "Do you take naps during the day?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 10-21-2020

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed a timely conversation Wednesday, October 21st, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

The dialogue October 21st proved timely in multiple ways. For instance, individuals discussed Halloween.

Tonia and Zachary discuss the movie Hocus Pocus.

Admittedly, I initiated the Halloween chatter. In-part I mentioned recently seeing Hocus Pocus for the first time. This led to Tonia and I sharing our favorite lines from the movie. Plus, segued to further Halloween movie discussion.

#CPChatNow participants share their favorite Halloween movies.

When I asked others in our community to name their favorite Halloween themed movie, long-time chat regular Blemi replied naming Halloweentown and Double Double Toil and Trouble. What about you? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your favorite Halloween themed movie?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Another occasion participants showed anticipation for begins the day after Halloween.

Tonia and Zachary chat in anticipation for NaNoWriMo.

In the writing community November has the distinction as NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Throughout the month writers task themselves to write 1,667 words a day. If successful, a writer will end up with a completed novel. Tonia and I both reminisced about partaking in NaNoWriMo previously.

Personally, I in past years commemorated NaNoWriMo by writing in the window at Appletree Books. The “Writer in the Window” program serving as an annual NaNoWriMo tradition for the local bookstore. Although, due to the COVID pandemic such in-person NaNoWriMo events will not take place this year.

COVID actually represents a third way the conversation October 21st proved timely as members talked life in a pandemic.

#CPChatNow participants discuss life in a pandemic,.

Regarding COVID, Blemi and I contemplated why some people remain dismissive of mask laws. Within our conversation Blemi theorized we with disabilities are use to not having much control over our bodies and as result are more accepting to listen to health authorities. A sentiment my co-host Devin Axtman completely agreed with.

Let us not end the recap on such a serious topic though. Rather, I remind you to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “What is your favorite Halloween themed movie?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is your favorite Halloween themed movie?"

Answer below! Then plan 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- 10-07-2020

Every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET, our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow takes place. Yet an extra excitement surrounded the chat Wednesday, October 7th, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Now the extra excitement referenced above sparked from the week proving a big one for cerebral palsy advocacy. The previous day (Tuesday, October 6th) individuals around the world commemorated World CP Day. Appropriate for us given our community’s worldwide reach.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how the COVID pandemic continues to impact civil liberties in Australia.

That worldwide reach including AcquiDis, who calls Australia home. We discussed how the COVID19 pandemic continues to impact Australians’ civil liberties. Just in case you remain fatigued over talking about the pandemic, I will avoid delving into details.

Instead let us refocus on World CP Day. I asked how participants commemorated the occasion.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they spent World CP Day.

Personally, I posted to social media using the hashtags designated for World CP Day (#WorldCPDay and #CPMakeYourMark). Chris also did the same. Initially he was going to do more, but Eddie Van Halen’s death left him feeling too shocked.

Nonetheless, Chris did play a big role in another cerebral palsy event hosted that week.

Chris talks preparing for his Cerebral Palsy Conference breakout session.

New England’s fifth annual Cerebral Palsy Conference happened virtually Thursday, October 8th and Friday, October 9th. Chris remained on the schedule to give a breakout session for Thursday, October 8th. He shared a bit with us about how he prepared for the presentation.

Did you attend any of the Cerebral Palsy Conference? Do let us know by commenting below. While discussing attendance, my co-host Devin Axtman and I would love to have you attend our weekly Twitter chat. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-16-2020

In 2020 a lot has changed, but for those in the #CPChatNow community one constant remains. Our weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat, (Wednesdays, 8pm ET)! To tell you about what we discussed Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Fittingly, much discussion throughout the night revolved around the issue causing the previously mentioned changes.

AcquiDis tells the #CPChatNow community about Australia's COVID protocols.

Just in case I need to clarify, yes. I am referring to the global COVID pandemic. Relative newcomer to the chat, AcquiDis, helped us gain a global outlook on the pandemic by sharing how Australia continues to respond. Thanks to AcquiDis, we learned Australia and the United States maintain similar protocols. For example, dining venues reopening in a limited way and allowing small gatherings.

While countries continue restoring civil liberties, remember. The COVID threat still lingers. A reality evident during our discussion September 16th.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how having a disability has helped prepare them for the pandemic.

Chat OG Erin offered this stark reminder when sharing a CP sister tested positive for COVID. Furthermore, my co-host Devin Axtman recalled a recent close call.

Devin shares a close call his brother had with someone who tested positive for COVID.

Devin encouraged mask wearing, noting his brother tested negative for COVID after sitting for hours next to someone who tested positive. A result Devin attributed to his brother wearing a face mask. Unfortunately, not everyone seems so convinced to wear face coverings.

#CPChatNow participants discuss wearing face masks.

In-particular Devin noted seeing more and more people without masks. Personally, my employer requires mask wearing. A policy most customers understand.

Besides protecting your health, face masks additionally offer the chance to display your personality. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What does your favorite face mask look like?” Answer below in the “Comments” section.

Once you finish answering, mark your calendar as a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter for #CPChatNow. 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 does your favorite face mask look like?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 09-02-2020

A strong communal vibe resonated within the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020. Here to delve into details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Consider me your conductor for the train ride that is the September 2nd, 2020 recap. All aboard!

Discussion early in the night included long-time participants sharing interesting developments going on in their own lives.

Timmy tells #CPChatNow about his current scientific research.

Our “resident scientist” Timmy made an appearance. Prompted by my co-host Devin Axtman, Timmy updated us on his current research. Currently Timmy remains at work investigating binge drinking and the executive and emotional input to the reward circuit. Overall, he explained, the study hopes to understand the neural circuitry involved with addiction and addiction-like behavior.

Besides Timmy, the recently returning Erin provided us an update. Erin joined us after handing in a big term paper the night prior. In our chat’s early years, Erin played a pivotal role in our community. To the point she received the moniker “Mama Bear!”

Beyond enjoying familiar faces like Erin and Timmy, we also welcomed a newcomer.

#CPChatNow participants welcome a newcomer.

AcquiDis joined our chat for the first time September 2nd, 2020. Personally, I found a quote included in a press release AcquiDis shared intriguing. “…urges disabled individuals to embrace their condition and look beyond it.” The quote led to further dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the difference between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability.

Devin pondered whether a fine line exists between looking beyond your disability and disliking your disability. Furthermore, Devin stated he doesn’t believe there stands a final stage where you “overcome” your disability. Instead Devin said there will always be things thrown back your way.

Both Erin and I added our separate input to the topic. Erin emphasizing the need to embrace and own your disability. Meanwhile I distinguished looking beyond and disliking your disability, stating looking beyond your disability entails accepting your disability and just doing what you need to do to be you. Alternatively, disliking your disability entails an active conflict where you battle negative thoughts. An idea Devin paraphrased well, summarizing the negative thoughts as “battling internalized ableism.”

Enough though regarding what we think! What do you think? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your attitude towards your disability?” Comment below to answer!

Answer as the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your attitude towards your disability?"

Then make your plans to join us on Twitter each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET!

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

-Zachary