#CPChatNow Recap- 09-19-2018

Various conversation topics came and went Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here with the highlights. Early on a recent news story stimulated dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss an article about 10-year old Riley Duos.Personally I found the story “10-year old proves to have ‘no limits’ despite her disability” interesting for multiple reasons. I asked what stands out first to others. Ciaróg noted how reading articles like this act as a reminder that cerebral palsy varies so much. Meanwhile my co-host Devin Axtman felt the story contained an “inspirational porn” vibe and pointed out the negative cognition related to wheelchairs. The latter gave me mixed emotions.

Devin and Zachary talk about the positives and negatives found in the Riley Duos news story.As I explained, Riley’s parents refusing to let the wheelchair inside the house caused me contradictory emotions. Yes, she ended up stronger. However, said approach would not benefit everyone. Though, Devin questioned the apparent strength.

Devin points out not using a wheelchair now could lead to damage later in life.Taking a long-term look at the situation Devin acknowledged not using a wheelchair now may cause damage down the line. He emphasized the importance to knowing limits. Better understanding CP helps to best understand where limitations lay. Instilling such an understanding into able-bodied people’s minds involves finding ways to effectively describe the condition. Another subject which surfaced Wednesday, September 19th!

#CPChatNow participants discuss the imagery they use to describe CP to able-bodied people.Originally our beloved “Resilient Wench” Rachel raised the matter, asking about how others describe CP to able-bodied individuals. Ciaróg considers CP “as every movement getting snagged by a web of invisible elastic bands.” I liked the spastic muscles to probably how you might feel if a boa-constrictor constricted around you. Risking crossing the TMI line, Rachel herself compared how her muscles feel to menstrual cramps “but all over and all the time.”

What imagery might you use to describe cerebral palsy? Do tell by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How would you describe your cerebral palsy?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Continuing to a less serious matter, participants enjoyed fun discussing what makes them feel old.

The #CPChatNow community enjoys a fun subject, reminiscing about dial-up Internet and other items that make them feel old.Rachel recounting a youngster unable to appreciate a Stevie Nicks reference led to the subject. Then I mentioned the lovely dial-up Internet days, a time multiple participants remembered well. Devin even shared a funny story from his childhood where his dad became stuck at work due to Devin’s dial-up use. Navigating between Internet and phone use certainly proved a challenge during the world wide web’s infant years. A different challenge emerged later within the chat after I asked what others find most challenging while grocery shopping.

Participants discuss what they find challenging about grocery shopping.

Ciaróg named a few challenges. Those included packing and paying quickly, plus carrying bags home. I shared the difficulty I face browsing items on low shelves. Devin also deemed lower shelves difficult. Nevertheless an area I encounter less troubles revolves around memory. Therefore let me remind you to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question.

Answer for the week's extend-the-conversation question, "How would you describe your cerebral palsy?"“How would you describe your cerebral palsy?”

Respond below!

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

-Zachary

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#CPChatNow Recap- 09-05-2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 saw members in the #CPChatNow community celebrate achievements, exchange wisdom, and much more during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap the chatter from the night. Between the weekly chats Timmy Le used the hashtag to share an impressive accomplishment.

#CPChatNow members congratulate participant Timmy Le on his hiking accomplishment.

Timmy talked about summit hiking up the highest mountain in the Northeast. You can see his pride in the accomplishment looking at his summit photo.

Timmy Le looking proud at the Mt. Washington Summit.While Timmy touted his hiking victory, others discussed how their lives mirror a metaphorical hike. Our beloved “Resilient Wench” Rachel provided advice to help handle life’s difficult terrain.

Rachel gives a reminder to try to view difficulties as virtues.Needing prisms again left Rachel bummed for awhile, but a friend recommended she try to see her difficulties as virtues. Although a lot easier said than done, I found the advice sound. To show difficulties can indeed serve as virtues, answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?” Respond in the “Comments” section.

Keeping the recap moving forward, a little later in the evening I asked a question regarding spasticity.

#CPChatNow participants discuss when they experience the most spasticity within the day.Curious, I asked if people noticed an increase in spasticity at a certain time during the day. Longtime regular Hannah Pike initially said no, but noted feeling more spastic on rainy days. I seconded the rainy day sentiments and added I feel greater spasticity in the mornings. The increase I attribute to how I sleep at night. My comments caused Hannah to rethink and realize she notices her spasticity at night more due to less distractions occupying her mind. My co-host Devin Axtman also related to Hannah’s answer.

Additionally, Devin announced our September 2018 Google Hangout date.

Mark your calendars! The September 2018 #CPChatNow Google Hangout will be Thursday, September 20th.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?"Google Hangouts allow us to enjoy face-to-face dialogue via Google’s video chat platform. For privacy reasons, we do not distribute the link to the Hangout publicly. Please contact us through the #CPChatNow Facebook fan page to inquire about getting added to the Hangout invite list. Plus remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is a difficulty you have come to see as a virtue?”

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-22-2018

Participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow had much on their minds Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018, a fact apparent by the conversation’s flow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, tasked to arrange the various topics discussed into one concise recap. A question asked during the previous week’s chat resurfaced sparking early dialogue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss when they realized they were different from their siblings.

New #CPChatNow participant Molly Adamson asked about others’ experiences with able-bodied siblings. Heather DeYoe recalled noticing her disability for the first time when she needed surgery but her sister did not. Meanwhile my answer rerouted the chatter.

#CPChatNow participants discover a common bond, going to preschool for multiple years.Blemi and Jen related to my reply. I explained I noticed my CP because I went to AM kindergarten while my two brothers attended PM kindergarten. I attended AM kindergarten so in the afternoon I could go to preschool to receive physical therapy. My third year in preschool! Blemi mentioned spending three years in kindergarten and Jen spent three years between kindergarten and early childhood. All while my brothers enjoyed sleeping in before their PM kindergarten classes! Sleep actually surfaced as another subject matter.

Members in the #CPChatNow community discuss sleeping, pain, and mattresses.Recently I changed how I sleep on my bed because I kept waking up with back pain. Switching where I lay my head proved easier than trying to flip my mattress. My remarks intrigued co-host Devin Axtman who also sometimes has back pain after sleeping. I said a worn mattress could cause those problems but the best mattresses end up costing more money. Blemi anticipated the day she can get a bed where each side can move based on the person’s preference.

Later in the chat Devin raised an important issue.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the crucial topic of emergency and disaster preparedness.Devin retweeted Texas Tribune’s story covering disaster and emergency preparedness. I admitted to not planning, although I know I should. Knowledge I gained years ago when I connected disability advocate Anita Cameron with Handicap This, leading to a three-part guest blog examining emergency preparedness. You can still read those posts.

Unlike Devin and I, participant Jake Jordan said he makes an effort to stay prepared. How about you? If like Devin and myself, due yourself a favor and answer today’s extend-the-conversation question. “How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?” Leave your reply in the comments.

Make sure to join the conversation on Twitter too! We welcome both new faces like Molly and ones from past #CPChatNows. That includes MIA co-host Jorge Otezia who happened to drop in on the 22nd.

Zachary warmly greets a familiar face back to #CPChatNow, Jorge!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?"Come say hi too, Wednesday at 8pm ET on Twitter. Just use the hashtag in your tweet to enter our community. Or, you can partake by answering the extend-the-conversation questions asked here in the recaps. Again, this week’s question asks “How can you get started with your emergency preparedness planning today?” Respond below.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 08-08-2018

A serious tone emerged during the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Wednesday, August 8th, 2018. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, hopeful you will forgive me for the tardy recap. You continuing to read I will interpret as forgiveness. Thank you.

Going into the evening I personally felt rather exhilarated.

#CPChatNow participants differing attitudes towards disabilities.Towpath Marathon’s Facebook page sharing a post I shared fueled my elation. Particularly, their comment “We’re looking forward to seeing Zach in two months!” Like I explained to our community, I feared the staff might adopt a different attitude, “Not again!” After all, I needed almost 12 hours to complete the 26.2 miles the previous year.

My fellow #CPChatNow co-host Devin Axtman remarked how life would prove easier if everyone demonstrated Towpath’s welcoming attitude. I asked “What do we have to do to make that happen?” Devin thinks the answer relies in educating children. Adding to his point I emphasized the importance behind consistent education, oppose to a special assembly here and there. What do you think? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?” Leave your answer in the “Comments” section.

Regarding answering extend-the-conversation questions, I raised the prior week’s question.

#CPChatNow regular Rachel discusses what goes into her decision on whether to use a mobility aid or not.Amidst the August 1st, 2018 #CPChatNow recap Devin posed the question, “What goes into your decision when deciding to use a mobility aid?” #CPChatNow regular Rachel explained her decision making process, saying sometimes she benefits from not using a cane. but remains tempted to use one to visually show others a need for space with her movement. I replied saying a cane seems to make other people more accepting. Otherwise they tend to stare and think you are just a drunk. Sentiments Rachel related to.

#CPChatNow participants talk about their experiences with falls.Rachel echoed the idea people mistaken individuals with cerebral palsy as drunks. She suspects others avoid helping her up due to this. Jeni Briere noted the danger in said scenario.

Jeni wonders how many people have suffered because bystanders mistake the individual for being intoxicated.

Jeni recalled a famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas who died in a diabetic coma because others mistook him for a drunk.The thought left Jeni pondering how many more suffer because they appear intoxicated. Let us not end on such a somber note, though. During the August 8th chat, we announced our August 2018 Google Hangout date.

#CPChatNow's August 2018 Google Hangout will happen Thursday, August 23rd.This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, how can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?Besides marking your calendar, also remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How can we help others obtain a more welcoming attitude towards disabilities?” Respond in the comments below.

Until next time,

-Zach

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 07-18-2018

Spasticity held a tight grip on the conversation Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 during the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, filling in for my co-host Devin Axtman who missed the July 18th chat. Before delving into the night’s discussion, I made a couple housekeeping announcements.

Zachary gives #CPChatNow an update on the then not finished July 11th recap.Due to increased hours at work I proved unable to finish the previous week’s recap prior to the 18th. That recap now remains ready to read, “#CPChatNow Recap- 07-11-2018.” Our other announcement related to our monthly Google Hangouts.

Due to busy schedules there will be no #CPChatNow Google Hangout for July 2018.

Unfortunately due to my and Devin’s schedules this month, NO July 2018 Hangout will take place. You could say our schedules remain tight. Literal tightness surfaced as a subject a short while later.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how increased spasticity impacts them physically.Recently encountering increased tightness, I asked the group what changes to their bodies they notice when their spasticity increases. Hailey Hughes mentioned experiencing more trigger spots in her back and tighter hamstrings. Heather DeYoe added fatigue and tension headaches to the list. Wum said her arm starts to curl. Plus her facial muscles tighten, causing her to smirk. These physical reactions can cause additional challenges.

Hailey and Zachary discuss hamstring tightness causing trouble concentrating.Hailey and I both find tighter hamstrings leads to difficulty concentrating. Pain and discomfort distract our minds. Stretching helps to remedy the situation. However, another participant pointed out stretching does possess flaws.

#CPChatNow participants compare stretching and yoga.Chat regular, the self-proclaimed “Resilient Wench,” Rachel noted stretching may shock the body and leave movements feeling strange. She instead prefers yoga triangle poses. Hailey also vouched for yoga. I recalled hearing others with CP previously praising yoga too. I admitted though, I would not know where to begin. Thankfully Rachel offered her insights.

Rachel shares her yoga experiences.

Rachel shared her history with yoga, which dates back to her childhood. She explained due to her asymmetrical body and inability to form good muscle groups she will never surpass an amateur level. Therefore she does yoga on her own, guided by Adriene Mischler’s (Yoga with Adriene) Youtube videos.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How do you relieve hamstring tightness?"

Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How do you relieve hamstring tightness?” 

Yoga? Stretching? Something else? Leave your response by commenting below.

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

-Zachary

 

#CPChatNow Recap- 7-11-2018

A frustrated tone proved present Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 throughout the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. I am co-host Zachary Fenell, here to recap said frustration. A current event triggered the early irritation.

#CPChatNow participant Seth raises a controversy news item, banning straws.

Regular #CPChatNow participant Seth made a humorous remark insinuating environmentalists do not care about disabled people. Recently up to date on disability related news, I offered context for Seth’s tweet.

#CPChatNow participants give their thoughts on states and countries banning plastic straws.Hot topic news stemmed from Seattle banning plastic straws. Such a decision remains controversial because many with disabilities need the object my co-host Devin called a “vital tool.” I shared an article discussing the aforementioned plastic straw ban, which led to insightful conversation.

Personally, the news piece stimulated my curiosity. The coverage mentioned alternative straws, an item drawing my intrigue. Participant Wum Gin echoed sentiments that such options cannot compare to how plastic straws perform.

To the Seattle ban credit, they incorporated an exemption for disability and medical conditions. The question arose though, how do you enforce the exemption? No real answers surfaced. Instead the dialogue unraveled, leading to further disheartening issues.

A ban on straws is far from the only issue concerning to the disability community. #CPChatNow participants talk troubling disability employment statistics.

Our beloved “Resilient Wench,” Rachel, thought in some cities you can receive a $250 fine if found using a plastic straw. Devin believed those fines applied to businesses, oppose to individuals. He even commented “I don’t see how they can stop an individual person from using a straw, but who knows.” I can confirm courtesy a CNBC report the $250 fine does indeed apply to businesses, NOT the individual. Information I obtained while researching the plastic straw ban prior to publishing today’s recap.

Within the moment July 11th however, I made a joke based off South Park‘s reoccurring one liner “They took our jobs!” The quip refocused our attention to the unfunny troubles people with disabilities encounter when seeking employment. Devin provided a specific example featuring a potential job applicant and Pacific Sunwear of California. You can read the story yourself, “EEOC Sues Pacific Sunwear of California, LLC.”

Unfair employment practices especially impact women with disabilities, a factor Rachel highlighted.

Rachel notes women with disabilities confront many injustices when seeking employment.

Between the gender pay gap and employers discriminating against disabled job applicants, women with disabilities sadly confront multiple injustices in their job seeking efforts. Truly infuriating! So upsetting you might find yourself angrily shaking. Both Rachel and I recounted personal experiences where an aggravating situation left us shaking.

Rachel and Zachary discuss experiences when they became so angry, their bodies started shaking. This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "How does getting angry affect you physically?"Do you relate? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How does getting angry affect you physically?” Share in the “Comments” section below.

Well, looking back I realize July 11th’s chat contained a highly negative focus. Nevertheless we talked over important matters. I think #CPChatNow thrives because we don’t let the tough subjects intimidate us. Make sure to join us every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET. Tweet you then!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 06-27-2018

Within the evening Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 during the live weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow an overarching theme emerged. I am co-host Zachary Fenell here to tell you about said theme. The most fitting way to do so appears obvious, via your weekly recap!

A sky blue background with a person rolling a boulder up a hill outlined in black. Extend-The-Conversation Question centered in white text at the top. What has been your toughest form of disability related adjustment? in the middle and #CPChatNow logo in bottom left hand cornerActually, last week’s recap generated early discussion. Specifically, my co-host Devin Axtman sharing the June 20th recap extend-the-conversation question, “What has been your toughest form of disability related adjustment?” Answers varied but all involved issues you encounter growing older.

Zachary names making friends after college a difficult adjustment.Long-time regular Blemi’s answer triggered me to make comments about the difficult but vital task involved with making new friends. A task Devin called “an underrated hard part of being an adult.” I noted how major life events like moves and having kids naturally causes friendships to grow distant. To avoid becoming isolated, you need to make new friends. Sentiments fellow tenured #CPChatNow participant Hannah Pike found true.

Another reply to the adjustment question entailed finding available services. Hannah and I meanwhile explored a connected subject, picking a doctor.

Hannah and Zachary discuss the many factors involved in picking a doctor.We contemplated the various factors important towards deciding what doctor to get treated by. Details like location, bedside manner, knowledge, willingness to listen, and more! Add to the list by answering for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What attributes do you look for in a doctor?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Keeping the focus to growing up, I asked a question related to beginning college.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow about what made them nervous about entering college for the first time.Devin remembered worrying about handling everything. However, eventually he proved himself capable. Bullying also stood out as a concern.

Martin shared entering college he worried about bullies.Newcomer to #CPChatNow Martin Wylie indicated he worried bullies might target him in college due to his disability. Sadly he faced such bullying. Yet thankfully Martin added over time he finally made friends.

If you need a friend, consider joining #CPChatnow sometime. We love when new people join us, a fact hopefully evident by how Devin and I greeted Martin.

Zachary welcomes Martin to #CPChatNow.Devin happily greets #CPChatNow newcomer Martin.Typically #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, going from 8pm to 10pm ET. Please know #CPChatNow will NOT take place tonight. Due to the July 4th holiday, we moved the July 4th chat to yesterday. Devin will provide you that recap soon. Stay tuned for that. Until then, take a moment to answer the extend-the-conversation question.

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "What attributes do you look for in a doctor?"“What attributes do you look for in a doctor?”

Respond via a comment below.

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

-Zachary