#CPChatNow Recap- 06-08-2022

Week in and week out those in the cerebral palsy (CP) community gather on Twitter Wednesday night for the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 proved no different. To delve into the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Come join me for your weekly recap.

One topic which seemed popular revolved around spasticity.

Participants in #CPChatNow answer if they feel their spasticity increases when they feel like they are being watched.

Spasticity arose as a subject when I asked participants if they felt like their spasticity increases when they feel like they are being watched. To clarify what I meant by the question, I recalled an example. Years ago while signing a waiver, my hand began shaking more than usual. Alessandro let me know I was not alone by enthusiastically replying, “Hell yes #cpchatnow.”

Meanwhile, Timmy stated his spasticity increases when he thinks about it. Chris offered additional insights noting she knows, “spasticity changes and is pretty sensitive to happenings.” Keep the conversation going and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you notice changes your CP’s spasticity levels?” Answer in the “Comments” section.

First though, allow me to finish recapping the discussion from June 8th, 2022. Besides spasticity, participants discussed their favorite social media platforms.

The #CPChatNow community discusses their favorite social media platforms.

Curious, I asked participants to name their favorite social media platforms. Jen said her top two are Twitter and Instagram. Replying to Jen, I explained I find Twitter, “good for getting to meet people you don’t know yet.” Continuing, I complimented Facebook as, “good for keeping in touch with people you already know.”

Sentiments Chris agreed with, mentioning thanks to Twitter she has, “met cool people and learned all kinds of things.” The fondness for Twitter showed up elsewhere in the chat too.

Stephen expresses his love for everybody in the #CPChatNow community.

Indirectly showing admiration for Twitter, Stephen expressed how much he loves everybody in the #CPChatNow community. Experience the community for yourself by joining us each and every Wednesday. The fun kicks off at 8pm ET.

In the meantime, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you notice changes your CP’s spasticity levels?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you notice changes your CP's spasticity levels?
Answer below.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-01-2022

Friendly vibes emanated from the cerebral palsy (CP) Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, June 1st, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Early in the evening participants discussed housework.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss their favorite and least favorite housework.

Housework arose as a subject after Veronica mentioned spending the day doing such work. Curious, I asked everyone about their favorite and least favorite housework. Answering my own question, I said dusting and cleaning dishes are my favorite housework. On the opposite end, putting on bedsheets is my least favorite because the corners always seem to come undone. Frustrating!

Meanwhile Stephen said his favorite housework is taking out the trash. Unlike Stephen and myself, Veronica said she had no favorite. As far as least favorites go, Veronica named dishes and laundry. She explained, “They’re never actually done.” A truth, seeing how we are always dirtying more dishes and clothes.

As the night continued, so did the friendly dialogue.

Alessandro and Zachary discuss Alessandro's Jordan's collection.

Alessandro shared he now has 100 pairs of retro Jordan’s in his collection. Looking to learn more, I asked Alessandro about his collection. When did he start his collection? What compelled him to start the collection? A big part turned out to involve the fact Alessandro grew up in Chicago in the 90s, meaning, “Jordan is everything.”

What about you though? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you collect? What made you start the collection?”

Answer below in the “Comments.” Afterwards, mark your calendar to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday on Twitter. 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 do you collect? What made you start the collection?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 05-11-2022

Each Wednesday participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gather to enjoy dialogue and community. Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. All aboard for your weekly recap!

Personally, my co-host Devin Axtman helped to kick the night off on a positive note for me.

Devin offers Zachary feedback on Zachary's new book Slow and Cerebral.

The positivity generated from Devin giving me feedback on my new book Slow and Cerebral. Specifically, Devin commented, “It’s such a good read!” Intrigued by the discussion, Stephen wanted to know where you can get a copy. Slow and Cerebral is available on Amazon in the United States, as well as internationally in countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. I mention those countries because our community includes participants living there.

Slow and Cerebral is a memoir about accomplishing the “unreasonable.” For me, that meant not letting my cerebral palsy stop me from becoming a marathoner. An accomplishment only made possible by facing challenges. Fittingly, as the chat continued, we discussed challenges.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the challenges they face due to their disabilities.

Initiating the challenges discussion, I asked participants, “What do you find most challenging about having cerebral palsy (or whatever disability you have)? How do you handle this challenge?” Answers varied. For instance, Chris mentioned as a CP based challenge, how much her spasticity varies day to day. To handle this Chris stretches, uses heat, trigger point release, and massages her sore spots.

Meanwhile AcquiDis replied, “Living with and doing well with a medically acquired disability.” AcquiDis continued, noting doing well with a medically acquired disability, “is a contradiction to that which is expected for this condition throughout history.” Adding, “It (cerebral palsy) is often ‘feared’ and misunderstood because of its difference.”

AcquiDis’s sentiments resonated with me. I suggested that fears and misunderstandings about cerebral palsy are based off misconceptions and stereotypes. What do you think? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you think causes people to be fearful and misunderstanding of disabilities?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you think causes people to be fearful and misunderstanding of disabilities?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

To let us end on a positive note, also add “How could we help dispel the fear and misunderstanding surrounding disability?” Leave your ideas in the “Comments.”

Afterwards, mark your calendar for #CPChatNow. Our Twitter chat happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-27-2022

Accomplishment remained a key theme during the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, April 27th, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Come and join me for your weekly recap.

The accomplishment theme began with members in our community helping me celebrate an achievement.

Participants in #CPChatNow congratulate Zachary on the release of his new book Slow and Cerebral.

My achievement I teased in the chat’s opening minutes, saying “I’ve had an exciting week.” Although, Blemi and Veronica had already seen the news. They both sent congratulatory messages my way. For those who had not seen my news, I quickly shared the reason for my excitement.

Zachary announces his new book, Slow and Cerebral, is now available.

Prior to April 27th I announced through my social media outlets that I had released my new memoir, Slow and Cerebral. The book details how I did not let my CP stop me from becoming a marathoner. Thanks to Amazon, Slow and Cerebral is available in multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.

Thank you for tolerating my cheap plug. Now let me resume recapping the April 27th chat. Stephen kept the conversation focused on accomplishments by asking a question.

#CPChatNow participants answer Stephen's question, "Do you think that when you have something that able people have that is a big accomplishment?"

Specifically, Stephen asked, “Do you think that when you have something that able people have that is a big accomplishment?” I answered, offering my opinion on accomplishments. In my opinion, “Big accomplishments should be measured in context with the person achieving them, not in comparison to who else has accomplished the same thing.”

Additionally, my co-host Devin Axtman responded to Stephen’s question. Devin said, “Depends on what it is.” Chris would share similar sentiments.

Chris gives her insights on accomplishments and how they can be perceived as inspiring.

As Chris noted, “There are things that are universally big accomplishments.” She continued, correlating how feats achieved by people with disabilities get praised as “inspiring.” Nonetheless, Chris specified “But getting up and going to work or having a relationship… Those things are not inspiring, because they are expected.”

Said discussion progressed to highlight how setting goals to coincide with societal expectations could end up damaging. Let us stay positive though, and keep the conversation going by answering for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

After answering, make sure to mark your calendar for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 04-20-2022

Each and every Wednesday those in the cerebral palsy (CP) community learn from each other thanks to the live Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Today I, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, will highlight the lessons learned during the chat Wednesday, April 20th, 2022. Welcome to your weekly recap!

Before I start recapping, I acknowledge I am late posting this. The reason for the tardiness I explained to my co-host Devin Axtman during our Twitter chat Wednesday, April 27th, 2022.

Zachary explains to his co-host Devin why the April 20th recap is running late.

Earlier in the week I finally released my new book Slow and Cerebral. The memoir details how I did not let my cerebral palsy stop me from becoming a marathoner. Spreading word about Slow and Cerebral‘s release led to the day getting away from me.

Enough dwelling on why I am late with the recap, though. Instead, let me actually get to recapping. Through general discussion Wednesday, April 20th the subject of medications arose.

#CPChatNow participants discuss their experiences with baclofen.

After I mentioned I take baclofen to relieve my spasticity, Casey asked me if I still find the medication helpful. Noting her body grew use to the medicine, causing her to need to take something else.

Casey would go on to name tizanidine as what she takes now. Another participant, Chris, recognized tizanidine as zanaflex. Chris recalled “I was on max oral baclofen, zanaflex AND Clonazepam. It barely put a dent in the spasticity and pain.” However, Chris eventually found relief with the baclofen pump. She described the pump as “magical.”

Altogether the medication conversation allowed us to learn about the different options which exist for managing spasticity. The learning continued when I asked a question about assistive equipment.

Zachary's question about assistive technology leads to Chris giving him a recommendation for orthotics.

Curious, I asked participants “Is there any piece of assistive equipment which you feel would improve your life?” My curiosity stemming from contemplation over purchasing an adult trike. The trike conversation parlayed into Chris mentioning her podiatrist. In response I said, “Speaking of podiatry, I need to get new inserts for my shoes.”

Refreshing my memory on a past recommendation, Chris commented, “I think I suggested Hanger Orthotics?” Indeed Chris had made that recommendation to the group in the past. Calling Hanger Clinic (who provide services nationally), “Great to work with.” Adding, “It was so awesome to be able to get shoes there, know they would work, and be accessible with insurance.”

What recommendations do you have for others with cerebral palsy? Keep the conversation going and answer for the extend-the-conversation question, “What company or product would you recommend to your peers with CP?”

Answer for the extend-the-conversation question, "What company or product would you recommend to your peers with CP?"
Answer in the “Comments.”

As you sort through any recommendations in the “Comments” section, please remember cerebral palsy’s varying impact on us. What works for somebody else might not work for you. If a suggestion intrigues you, check with a medical professional and discuss the option with them.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-30-2022

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various topics Wednesday, March 30th, 2022. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

An enthusiastic member of our community, Stephen, helped to get the conversation started.

Stephen asks #CPChatNow participants about their thoughts on the phrase "differently abled."
Chris gives her opinion on the "differently abled" phrase.

Stephen asked how people feel about the phrase “differently able.” I replied, saying I find attitudes more important than any one phrase. In particular noting, “You can use the ‘right’ words but have a patronizing attitude.” Personally, I do not have time for people who want to patronize me.

Meanwhile my co-host, Devin Axtman, called language “a personal thing.” A fact Chris also demonstrated in her answer to Stephen’s question. Chris explained she used differently able a long time ago, but now she prefers disabled. A preference she gained through experience over the years.

Though, along with age, comes other impact. A topic which arose as the chat continued March 30th.

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss cerebral palsy and premature aging.

This subject came to the surface after Stephen asked participants if they found CP harder to cope with when you were younger or older. Both Chris and Veronica mentioned cerebral palsy becoming more difficult to cope with as they grew older. Veronica specifically saying, “No one informed me all CP levels can affect aging though and I’d have to deal with premature aging.”

As the evening progressed, discussion drifted to other subjects. For example, challenging surfaces to walk on.

Devin asks participants what they think the hardest surface to walk on is.

Devin sparked the hardest surface to walk on subject by asking everyone what they think the hardest surface to walk on is. He himself said the ocean floor. Blemi answered saying cobblestone sidewalks. I replied saying sand. What do you think? Keep the conversation going and answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What do you think is the hardest surface to walk on?”

Answer below in the “Comments.” Then 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 do you think is the hardest surface to walk on?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 03-02-2022

On Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022 participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed an important conversation. Join me, chat co-host Zachary Fenell, as I do my best to recap the discussion. Shall we get started?

Participants in #CPChatNow discuss bone issues and cerebral palsy.

The important conversation I referred to above revolved around cerebral palsy and aging. A topic raised by chat regular Chris when she shared a Science Direct article “Incidence of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases in adults with cerebral palsy: A population-based cohort study.” Chris explained the article remains relevant to her right now and she wondered if others had any experiences or thoughts on the matter.

Veronica chimed in saying she gets the early aging part of the article. Adding humidity makes her arthritis act up. Although, Veronica expressed uncertainty about whether her CP has anything to do with her arthritis and osteoporosis seeing how those conditions run in her family.

Chris responded, saying arthritis and osteoporosis also run in her family. She went on, curious if any of us were told growing up about bone issues and CP. My co-host Devin Axtman weighed in with his experiences.

Devin recounts what doctors told him or didn't tell him about problems he would have as an adult with CP.

Devin summarized his experiences saying, “I feel like I was basically told of no problems I would have as an adult with CP.” Continuing he described the attitude from medical professionals as “Just like ‘WELP we did all the regular surgeries. Good luck!'”

A sentiment which resonated with Chris. She stated “This was a big reason why I brought this up.” Challenging everyone to “Be aware. Do your research, ask questions, take calcium!” Chris then offered a follow-up the next day.

Chris shares with #CPChatNow an article from cpresource.org about preventive care for adults with cerebral palsy.

In her follow-up tweet Chris shared an article from cpresource.org about “Preventive Care for Adults with Cerebral Palsy.” Let us keep the preventive care discussion going. Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is something you do for preventive care?” Answer below in the “Comments.”

Afterwards, mark your calendars for #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. 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 is something you do for preventive care?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 02-16-2022

Communal vibes emanated from the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, February 16th, 2022. Here to tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Let us get to recapping!

Admittedly, I am a bit hesitant in compiling this recap. My hesitancy rooted in concerns I will come across too self-promotional. As you might know, I had remained hard at work on a new book over the last two years. Well, on Wednesday, February 16th I revealed my upcoming book’s cover and title.

I first posted the reveal in #CPChatNow to show my gratitude for all the support the community has given me throughout the process. Count on me to continue to provide updates as Slow and Cerebral nears release (most likely late March).

Elsewhere in the chat, I also supplied an update on a long-time community member.

Zachary offers an update on long-time #CPChatNow participant Hannah.

Hannah asked me to share some bad news regarding her health. Those in our community rallied around Hannah and sent well wishes her way. Personally, I noticed a parallel between us rallying around Hannah and celebrating Slow and Cerebral‘s reveal.

Zachary compares the February 16th, 2022 #CPChatNow to a roller coaster.

Essentially, I compared the night’s chat to a roller coaster. Commenting that amidst the highs and lows, one constant remained. Community!

Throughout the ride, we enjoyed other lively discussion. Stephen, an enthusiastic chat participant, helped spark this dialogue.

Stephen asks #CPChatNow, "What is one thing you like about cerebral palsy?"

Stephen asked the group what is one thing they like about CP. I answered saying CP has acted as a filter, letting me know what friends I can count on. Overall though, responses varied.

Devin shares what he likes about cerebral palsy.
Jessica discusses what she likes about CP.

My co-host Devin Axtman credited CP for making him more adaptable and less upset by setbacks. Meanwhile Jessica replied, saying CP has helped her to show empathy and compassion to others. What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer as the extend-the-conversation question, “What do you like about cerebral palsy?”

Answer in the “Comments.” Afterwards, set a reminder 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 do you like about cerebral palsy?"
Respond below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-08-2021

On Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed a lively conversation. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Shall we get to recapping?

Several topics came and went throughout the evening Wednesday, December 8th. Thus why I described the night as “lively.” Early in the evening Alessandro brought life to the chat, asking a question.

Alessandro asks #CPChatNow if they have moments where they are so deep into whatever they're doing, that they forget they have CP.

Alessandro explained recently he has experienced moments where he has been so deep into whatever he was doing, that for a split second he forgets he has CP. Curious, he wanted to know if others encountered similar experiences. Both my co-host Devin Axtman and I said no, even noting dealing with cerebral palsy in our dreams. Meanwhile, Jen said sometimes. However, she could not pinpoint an exact moment. Jen and Alessandro were not alone either.

Blemi shares her experiences about forgetting she has cerebral palsy and what jolts her to remember.

Blemi stated she tends to forget she has CP until she trips over something. Or, until she leaves the house and people stare at her. Stares which sometimes lead to ridiculous comments. Another subject our community discussed December 8th. A discussion prompted by Blemi.

Blemi asks #CPChatNow "What is the most ridiculous question someone has ever asked you?"

In asking participants what the most ridiculous question they have ever been asked, Blemi triggered our participants to recall some truly dumbfounding inquiries. Devin remembered getting asked “How do you go to college?” His tale reminded Blemi of a similar situation. Blemi recounted for us people always asked if she had different admission requirements.

Nevertheless, the most ridiculous question received arguably goes to Hannah. She told us about being told she must have some other palsy because she has not “OUTGROWN IT YET?” Although, for argument sake, you could debate the question’s ridiculousness level.

Veronica offers an explanation for why some people think you outgrow cerebral palsy.

Like Veronica pointed out, many people don’t realize you don’t outgrow CP because CP gets advertised as the biggest birth defect in children. Veronica mentioning “using the word children makes it sound like it can be outgrown.”

A sentiment I agreed with 100%. To keep the conversation going, answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What are other ways we can debunk the myth you ‘outgrow cerebral palsy’?” Leave your ideas in the “Comments” section.

Afterwards, mark your calendars 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

Answer the extend-the-conversation question, "What are other ways we can debunk the myth you 'outgrow cerebral palsy'?"
Answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-24-2021

The weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow lives! Or, for accuracy I, co-host Zachary Fenell, should say thrives! Yes. Despite the lull in recaps throughout November, our community has been going strong. Do not simply take my word though. Let me show you by recapping our chat from Wednesday, November 24th, 2021.

Enthusiastic newcomer Stephen has helped our community garner a thriving atmosphere.

On the eve of Thanksgiving #CPChatNow participants discussed what they are thankful for. A question raised by chat newcomer Stephen Commander.

Stephen learned about our chat from long-time #CPChatNow regular and “Life with Blemi” Youtube personality Blemi. In the few weeks since joining our family Stephen has grown thankful for our community, saying “I look forward to this every week.” Sentiments Stephen shared after asking participants what they are thankful for.

Other answers included Blemi saying she is thankful for everything she currently has. Plus, my co-host Devin Axtman said he is thankful for finally being married after COVID postponed his wedding in 2020. Marriage and relationships in general would continue as a discussion topic.

#CPChatNow participants offer dating advice.

Both Devin and Blemi offered Stephen dating wisdom. Devin noting that although meeting someone is tough, it is possible. Touting as evidence the fact multiple people in our community are married or are in relationships. Bottom line, Devin advised “Try and have fun!”

Meanwhile Blemi provided similar advice. Seconding how dating is tough and can seem even harder with cerebral palsy. Nonetheless, you could still find someone. She recommended keeping an “open mind and putting yourself out there.”

Participants’ open minds remained apparent throughout the night November 24th. In addition to dating and what we are thankful for, various topics arose.

Blemi asks #CPChatNow if anyone in the group has sleep apnea.
The sleep apnea discussion continues.

Amongst the assorted topics, Blemi asked if anyone has sleep apnea. A question spurred by a doctor telling her sleep apnea is very common in the CP community. News to many in the chat! Long-time chat regular Jen and I each responded negatively, at least stipulating we do not think so. What about you? Keep the conversation going and answer for the extend-the-conversation question “Do you have sleep apnea?” Reply in the “Comments” section.

Maybe your reaction to the sleep apnea-cerebral palsy news echoes Sean who stated “Is it?! That would explain a few things…” However you reacted, do not let the news cause you to fall over in surprise. Anyway, speaking of falling,

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they react to seeing others fall.

After watching my co-worker fall and hurt herself earlier in the week, I asked the chat if anyone else finds seeing others fall to be unsettling. This diverged into further dialogue about reactions when we ourselves fall. Sean mentioning his mother’s reaction to when she hears a thud. She yells “Scream or bang on something if you need me.” Otherwise, she resumes whatever she was doing.

A similar reaction to how the people in Blemi’s life respond. Blemi sharing those close to her will just carry on when she falls. Unless Blemi starts laughing. The laughter an indicator she hurt herself.

Now, we all know better then to tell someone “Don’t fall.” Nevertheless, let me suggest avoiding falling in with a forgetful crowd. Instead, remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “Do you have sleep apnea?”

Answer below! Afterwards set a reminder to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter. The fun starts at 8pm ET. In the meantime I will return within the week to recap our chat from Wednesday, December 1st, 2021.

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

-Zachary

Answer the extend-the-conversation question- "Do you have sleep apnea?"
Respond below!