#CPChatNow Recap- 01-11-2023

Various topics came and went during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, January 11th, 2023. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Please join me for your weekly recap.

Early on in the evening, communal vibes strongly emanated.

Hannah stops by #CPChatNow to say hi.

Long-time participant Hannah stopped in to say she missed us all, but physically she did not feel up to participating. I know I am not alone in looking forward to the next time Hannah joins us.

In the meantime, the chat went on.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow how frequently they stretch and what muscles they stretch the most.

To prompt discussion, I asked our community, “How often do you stretch? What muscles do you have to stretch the most?” My co-host Devin Axtman responded, “Not enough that’s for sure!” Admitting, “When I’m feeling tight.” Regarding what muscles he has to stretch the most, Devin said “hamstrings and Achilles mostly.”

Personally, I resonated with Devin’s experiences. Also admitting, “I know I should stretch daily but I also end up stretching when I get tight.” In retrospect stretching daily sounds like a good goal to set. Appropriate, because January 11th, 2023, talk turned to goal setting.

#CPChatNow participants offer advice on setting goals.

The goal setting subject arose after I asked our community, “Has anyone set goals for 2023 to help you be healthier?” Devin replied, “I feel like I’m not good at this. Anyone have tips for setting goals you stick with?”

Timmy and I offered similar advice. I recommended setting measurable goals. For example, in 2023 I am striving to drink two bottles of water for every cup of coffee I consume. Additionally, I suggested making your goal into a habit, noting, “Say you want to read more. Even reading 10 pages of a book a day will eventually add up.”

Simultaneously, Timmy advised, “Make it a habit or use the SMART approach.” Besides making a goal measurable, the SMART approach involves setting goals that are specific, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Another helpful tidbit emerged as the goal setting discussion progressed.

Zachary and Devin discus another key component to goal setting.

Through the dialogue, Devin revealed, “I will slip for a day and feel guilty and then not get back to it.” A temptation I know all too well. However, over time I learned, “The key is not beating yourself up over yesterday’s failures but rather focusing on righting the track today.” Put that wisdom on display and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What will you accomplish today?”

Share below! Then before going to work away on your goal, set a reminder to join us for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "What will you accomplish today?"

Answer below!

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#CPChatNow Recap- 12-28-2022

Participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered Wednesday, December 28th, 2022 for one last 2022 chat. Allow me, chat co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell, tell you more. Welcome to your weekly recap.

Discussion for the night included favorite presents received during the 2022 holiday season.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss favorite presents they received for the 2022 holiday season.

As you can see in the above screenshot, I introduced this topic. Replying to my question, Jen showed us a stuffed Gamer Stich. Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman mentioned his wife gave him a really cool Cubs shirt. Responding to Devin, I noted one of my brothers gave me a Guardians 2022 postseason shirt.

Additionally, Timmy answered the question, showcasing the Garmin InReach given to him by his grandparents. Eventually though, like the holidays themselves, time passed and we moved on to others topics.

Stephen asks #CPChatNow if they prefer wheelchairs or walkers.

Stephen sparked insightful conversation by asking people if they prefer wheelchairs or walkers. Devin explained his preference, saying, “Wheelchair, it is way faster and I feel more stable. I don’t have to worry as much about terrain.”

On the contrary, Stephen voiced his preference for walkers, detailing, “I like walkers more because people do not have to push you.” Stephen’s comments led to further dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the pros and cons of wheelchairs and walkers.

Devin expressed understanding for Stephen’s preference, stating, “There’s definitely pluses and minuses and it also depends on the situation.” I seconded Devin’s thoughts, and added, “Another factor is how long a given activity is. If you have a full day ahead of you, something requiring less energy might be preferable.”

What do you think? Keep the conversation going and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your preferred mobility device? Why?” Leave your answer in the comments section.

Afterwards, mark your calendar 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

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "What is your preferred mobility device? Why?"

Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-14-2022

Wednesday after Wednesday people in the cerebral palsy (CP) community gather on Twitter for the live weekly chat #CPChatNow. To tell you all about the chat from Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Let us get on with the recap!

An innate ability to understand each other remains one characteristic which has solidified our community. We showcased said understanding December 14th.

Timmy jokes about tripping on his way to the lab in the morning, but not spilling a drop of coffee.

Utilizing our hashtag, Timmy shared some humorous bad news and good news. The bad news, he tripped on his way to the lab in the morning. For the good news, Timmy revealed he did not spill a drop of his coffee! His comedic tweet received eight likes.

Transitioning to a more serious note, Stephen sparked dialogue with a question.

#CPChatNow participants answer Stephen's question, "What is the one thing that you (are) proud of this year?"

Stephen asked the chat, “What is the one thing you (are) proud of this year?” Veronica answered, “My youngest graduated from ASU.” Meanwhile, I stated, “The release of Slow and Cerebral, and the five five-star reviews Amazon readers have given the book.” Replying himself, Stephen shared his pride for, “going back to the exceptional foundation and my involvement in CPChatNow.”

As the night continued, discussion turned to seeing differences positively.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss how being different has been a good thing for them.

Admittedly, I brought up the topic when sharing a cartoon my uncle sent my way. Within the cartoon a single lopsided Christmas tree stands in a field alongside many tree stumps. A thought bubble with the words, “Hey! Maybe being different is a good thing!” hangs above the lopsided tree. Inspired by the comic, I asked, “How has being different been a good thing for you?”

Answering myself, I explained, “My differences have taught me the importance of representation. Plus CP and my physical inabilities led me to writing and where I am now.” AcquiDis also answered, saying, “Difference causes the individual to reflect of their own norms whether they be in relation to disability, gender, race.”

How about you? Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “How has being different been a good thing for you?”

Answer below in the comments. Afterwards, set a reminder to join us every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

The extend-the-conversation question asks, "How has being different been a good thing for you?"

Celebrating Nine Years of Community!

Happy birthday to everyone in the #CPChatNow community! Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 marked nine years since our first ever Twitter chat. Hence my, #CPChatNow co-founder and co-host Zachary Fenell, reference to December 3rd as our chat’s, “birthday.” Somebody else might prefer the traditional term, “anniversary.” No matter the terminology used, you will probably agree nine years together remains an occasion to celebrate.

Such a celebration has occurred over the last month too. Despite my co-host Devin Axtman and I not getting out our weekly recaps, the chat continues to meet each Wednesday on Twitter, 8pm ET. On Wednesday, November 23rd I mentioned the upcoming nine-year milestone.

Zachary and Chris are wowed by the fact #CPChatNow has been around for nine years.

The fact nine years has passed since our community’s first chat, wowed an enthusiastic fixture in our community, Chris. Reacting to the milestone, Chris tweeted, “9!?!?! Omg! I guess it has been, but wow!” Retweeting Chris’s response, I thanked everyone who has given our community staying power. Those individuals include both long-time community members and new faces. One new face in-particular shared his own #CPChatNow milestone.

#CPChatNow celebrates Stephen's one year anniversary as part of the community.

During the chat Wednesday, November 16th Stephen reminisced about being a part of #CPChatNow for one year. Belonging to our community can prove transformative. A notion supported by conversation held during our weekly chat Wednesday, November 30th.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants to fill in the blank and answer, "Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more (blank)."
Zachary and Devin discuss further ways #CPChatNow has impacted their lives.

With December 3rd approaching, I asked the community to fill in the blank and answer, “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more _____.” Devin replied, saying our community has made him more, “confident in my disability identity.” Devin would go on to discuss how #CPChatNow has allowed us to meet, “super cool people that have done stuff with CP,” and “meet people (with CP) all over the country and even the world.”

What about you? Keep the conversation going, and fill in the blank. “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ________.” Even if you do not participate in the actual Twitter chat, feel free to answer. If you read the recaps, you are part of our community. Let us know what about the recaps keeps bringing you back.

Beyond celebrating the past nine years, our community took time to contemplate our future.

Zachary asks participants if they have any concerns about Twitter's future.

Jen answers if she has any concerns about Twitter's new ownership.

Considering Twitter serves as our main platform and 2022 saw a big change in Twitter’s ownership, on Wednesday, November 9th I asked members if anyone had concerns about the platform’s future. Both Chris and Jen expressed concern Twitter will cost money to use. Chris added he, “joined Mastodon just in case Twitter stops being free to use.”

Though, as long as Twitter stays free, you can count on joining us each and every Wednesday on the platform. The fun starts at 8pm ET. Before then, remember to answer the extend-the-conversation question, “Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ______.” Fill in the blank below!

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

-Zachary

Fill in the blank to answer the extend-the-conversation question, "Thanks to #CPChatNow, I am more ______."

#CPChatNow Recap- 10-26-2022

Like trick-or-treaters going door to door Halloween night, various topics came and went Wednesday, October 26th, 2022 during the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Please join me for your weekly recap.

Early in the evening participants discussed Halloween.

Hannah shares Halloween memories with the #CPChatNow community.

Beloved community member Hannah did not let a painful week stop her from popping into the chat and sharing Halloween memories. Such memories included dressing up one year as Tigger, using a red wagon to make Halloween accessible, and being a “voter” for Halloween in 2014.

Continuing the Halloween theme, participants discussed their plans for October 31st this year (2022).

Devin and Zachary discuss any plans for Halloween 2022.

This conversation I initiated by asking if anyone had Halloween plans. My co-host Devin Axtman replied, “Can’t say I do.” Meanwhile I expressed my contemplation to dress up as Bryan Cranston’s Breaking Bad character as a low key costume for work. Between my recently shaved head and goatee, I could easily pull off the character. At least, if I did not wear a face mask at work. Since I do though, the visual would get messed up. My explanation intrigued Devin.

#CPChatNow participants go from discussing costumes to another type of mask, face masks.

Curious, Devin asked me if people still wore face masks, noting, “Nobody wears them in Texas.”

Veronica responded, saying, “Very few wear them in AZ (Arizona) except doctor offices.”

Chris and I also piped up, stating in our respective areas some still wear face masks.

Additionally, we all weighed in on another subject.

Discussion turns to falls, fall alert systems, and phones.

Planning for her own wellbeing, Chris admitted, “I also clearly need a fall alert thing.” The comment segued to us discussing emergency features on phones. Veronica recalled seeing a news story recently about new iPhones accidently having their emergency feature tripped on roller coasters, wondering if she too will set it off. Devin shared that happened to him once, leading him to frantically reach out to his emergency contacts to ensure them he was fine.

What about you? Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “Have you ever accidently set off the emergency feature on your phone? If so, what happened?” Respond below in the comments.

Afterwards, mark your calendar to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun starts at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

The extend-the-conversation question asks, "Have you ever accidently set off the emergency feature on your phone? If so, what happened?"

#CPChatNow Recap- 10-12-2022

Participants who joined the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, October 12th, 2022 enjoyed an engaging night of conversation. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Early in the evening our community bonded over different interests.

Participants in the #CPChatNow community bond over mascot Gritty appearing at WWE Extreme Rules.

My co-host Devin Axtman asked long-time regular and mascot enthusiast Jen, if she saw that Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty appeared at WWE Extreme Rules. Knowing Devin and I like wrestling Jen replied, “That’s what I was gonna show y’all.”

Such an ability to connect over interests outside CP helps reinforce our community’s roots. Although, the conversation did naturally transition to CP-related matters.

Those in the #CPChatNow community discuss a current events article about brothers Pierce and Leo Olsen.

Cerebral palsy centered dialogue sparked after I shared a recent story from patch.com, “NJ Teen Got His Little Brother, With Cerebral Palsy, On Football Team.” Devin related to the story, recalling, “That’s exactly what I did, help with film!”

Meanwhile, Chris approached the article skeptically. Her skepticism revolving around the headline’s “inspirational porn” feel. This concern left me posing a question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow participants to come up with a better title for the article about the Olsen brothers.

In the spirit of fun I asked everyone, “What headline would you have given the story?” Devin suggested, “A Team Adds to a Brotherhood.” Then Devin put the pressure on me, pointing out, “You’re the writer Zach.”

Zachary shares his headline for the article about the Olsen brothers.

For a suggested headline, I recommended, “Teen Brothers Become Unlikely Teammates.” What about you though? Checkout the piece about Pierce and Leo Olsen and then answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What headline would you give the news story about the Olsen brothers?

Leave your answer in the “Comments.” Afterwards, make sure you set a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The chat begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

For this week's extend-the-conversation question, let us know, "What headline would you give the news story about the Olsen brothers?"
Answer below!

#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