#CPChatNow Recap- 04-01-2020

Throughout the night Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 participants in the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow discussed various aspects related to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Here with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Sit back and enjoy your weekly recap.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how they are holding up while practicing social distancing.

As I mentioned, this marked the third week practicing social distancing. I asked how everyone was coping. My co-host Devin Axtman noted his hamstrings getting tighter. Long-time regular Blemi replied she is getting weirder by the day.

Meanwhile Tonia described things for her as “pretty much business as usual.” She did express gratitude that her sister, who also has CP, received paid medical leave from her cashier job. Not everyone proves so fortunate.

Jorge checks in with #CPChatNow.

Essential member to our community and an essential employee to his community, Jorge Oteiza remains working. Although closed to the public, interaction with co-workers still leaves Jorge at higher risk to contract Coronavirus compared to those who can work from home.

Regarding staying home, the prior week’s extend-the-conversation question asking “How is CP impacting staying at home?” kept the dialogue moving.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how CP impacts them staying home.
Devin discusses how cerebral palsy helped to prepare him for staying home.

Props to Devin who first proposed the question in his March 25th, 2020 #CPChatNow recap. Tonia’s reply offered a great perspective. She stated staying home is good for her CP, noting the alternative would involve dealing with dangerous germs and/or exhausting herself.

Additionally, Devin provided new perspective. He mentioned staying home isn’t as big of a deal for him since he is used to staying home after surgeries. Essentially, you could say Devin’s cerebral palsy served as a positive in that way. To keep the positive vibes flowing, share some good news. Consider that this week’s extend-the-conversation question.

To answer this week's extend-the-conversation question, share some good news!

I think everyone could use the good news. So go ahead and share by leaving a comment below. Then remember to join us each and every Wednesday on Twitter, starting at 8pm ET.

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


#CPChatNow Recap- 3-25-2020

This past week in #CPChatNow was interesting as always. Members discussed CP awareness, working from home, and famous people with CP. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

March 25th by coincidence happened to be Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. Members discussed whether wishing people a happy CP Awareness Day was appropriate.

zach asked whether it's ok to wish someone a happy cp awareness day. heather asked why not. zach tweeted it feels weird and you don't wish someone happy breast cancer awareness. i asked why cp was bad. shira tweeted she did not feel it was good. zach tweeted it has positives and negatives.

Hannah also popped in to wish everyone a happy CP Awareness Day:

hannah said hi and wished everyone a happy cp awareness day.

Talked turned to the effectiveness of a common strategy for raising CP awareness, wearing green.

zach asked whether green is effective to raising awareness. i asked people know CP's color is green, heather tweeted she felt it was unknown by many, zach tweeted that people might notice something was happening if enough people were wearing green

Zach and I discussed positives and negatives of wearing green:

zach tweeted the positives for wearing green are seeing community and the negatives are what is actually learned. i asked about the negatives and he tweeted about the lack of substance in awareness.

Finally, talk turned to a common topic during the COVID outbreak, working from home.

i asked if people were working from home. zach asked if i liked it, linds tweeted that she was going to regardless of the pandemic, blemi tweeted she liked it and i tweeted there seemed to be less distractions.

However, Veronica tweeted about how the recent changes with the pandemic have impacted the availability of her work of scoring standardized tests:

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation question: How is CP impacting staying at home?

an orange, blue, and green #cpchatnow logo in the upper right hand corner, extend-the-conversation question in green with 'how is cp impacting staying at home?' below and a picture of a house with #CPCHATNOW in white with a green border behind

Please share your answers in the comments, join us at #CPChatNow at 8 Eastern each Wednesday on Twitter and most importantly, stay home and stay safe!


#CPChatNow Recap- 03-18-2020

While concern over the Coronavirus continues growing, the live cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow offered participants familiarity and comfort Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Get ready for your weekly recap.

In a time involving many changes to how we interact with each other, #CPChatNow required no such changes. You could say we help to make social distancing easier.

In his reminder to others about #CPChatNow Zachary notes the chat could help make social distancing easier.

Early conversation in the night revolved around how participants are holding up during these uncertain times. Something my co-host Devin Axtman asked directly.

Everyone appears impacted by the pandemic, although to different levels. Devin exhibited positive thinking, noting he has a job and hasn’t been affected as much as others so far. Both chat regular Chris and I demonstrated appreciation for any thread of normalcy.

Additionally, a blast from #CPChatNow past Jorge Oteiza popped in to share as essential personnel, he must continue working. Plus Jorge reminded us to thank mail carriers, doctors, nurses, and first responders next time we are safely six feet away.

Fittingly, Jorge called the six-feet distancing a “new reality.” Let us know how you are holding up in our new reality. Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

The Coronavirus pandemic influenced our dialogue a little longer as participant Tonia detailed a predicament Coronavirus has created for her.

Tonia and Zachary discuss Tonia's laundry predicament, a situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Between a shelter-in-place notice and no access to more quarters, Tonia only possesses the means to do laundry one more time. Higher ups at her building declined suspending the quarter requirement because a separate company owns the machines. I recommended Tonia and her neighbors contact the other company and voice their concerns.

After awhile the chat’s focus turned away from the Coronavirus pandemic. Much thanks to last week’s extend-the-conversation question!

#CPChatNow participants discuss what cerebral palsy related advice they wished their parents had.

Within the March 11th, 2020 recap, Devin posed the question “What piece of advice do you wish your parent would have known about CP or having a disability?” I answered “It is not about what you ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do, but rather asking how could we do this?”

Devin on the other hand admitted not knowing how to best word his answer in a tweet. However, that his advice would entail the fact he felt his parents were a bit overprotective. This led to further discussion regarding parenting a child with cerebral palsy.

#CPChatNow participants discuss the different approaches of parenting a child with cerebral palsy.

As Devin and I discussed the parent’s perspective, Tonia reminded us not all parents overprotect. Some not knowing how else to interact, push their child to be non-disabled. An impossibility! Tonia noting both extremes cause harm.

Time to keep the dialogue chugging forward. Remember to answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?” Let us know!

Let us know! How are you holding up during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Answer in the “Comments” section.

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


#CPChatNow Recap- 3-11-2020

This past week in #CPChatNow was intriguing as always. Members discussed desires for stylish adaptive equipment, actors and actresses with CP, and advice for parents. This is #CPChatNow co-host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

Zach and Blemi tweeted about their desire for adaptive equipment to be stylish and why attention may not be paid to that:

blemi tweets about using her grandpa's walker and needing to make it stylish with a desire that companies take note. zach tweets that he feels it is due to society not viewing disability as a life. blemi tweets she would have adaptive equipment for every outfit

Next, attention turned to people’s favorite actors and actresses with CP:

toni says asked about favorite disabled actors. she tweeted alice kina diehl and gavin mchugh
zach tweets about micah fowler from speechless. i tweet about aj murray from becoming bulletproof. emily tweeted alice kina diehl and micah fowler

Finally, Zach asked what advice people would give to parents of someone with CP. Members offered a variety of advice, but most centered around connecting with community and exposing their children to people with disabilities:

zach asks what advice people would give to parents with cp. tonia and zach talked about connecting with their child's community with cp. zach tweets that community is vital for building self-confidence
blemi tweets that she would tell parents she is not lazy, just tired. chris tweeted that she wishes parents should help kids find opportunities to be around disabled people and adults

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What piece of advice do you wish your parent would have known about CP or having a disability?

Please share your answers in the comments and join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter.


#CPChatNow Recap- 03-04-2020

On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed an energized night. Participants shared exciting news, discussed cerebral palsy awareness, and more! Here to fill you in with the details, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Prepare for your weekly recap!

Zachary shares some cool personal news.

As previously mentioned, participants shared exciting news. Including me! Recently Wiki Ezvid created a video highlighting five inspiring writers advocating for those with disabilities. The list featured me. What an honor!

Additionally, our beloved “Positivity Princess” Linds revealed her own exciting news.

Linds shares exciting news with #CPChatNow.

A glee sparkled from Linds’ tweets as she shared she received a transfer at work and will soon return to her home in Ames. Join me in congratulating Linds. Respond to this post and leave her a congratulatory comment.

Elsewhere in the chat participants found inspiration for conversation in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

#CPChatNow participants discuss what they wish more people knew about cerebral palsy.

I asked #CPChatNow what they wish people were more aware of regarding CP. Long-time regular Blemi said she wished more people realized the condition results from brain damage and is not as simple as fixing a limb. My co-host Devin Axtman offered two answers. He wants people to know cerebral palsy does not make you unattractive.

Furthermore Devin noted the condition does not go away at 18 years old. Chat newcomer Tonia also expressed similar sentiments, saying “in spite of it (cerebral palsy) being a ‘childhood disability’ we do grow up.” Tonia added many invisible aspects connected to CP go ignored. Aspects she thoroughly covers in a blog post “Parenting Kids with Disabilities: What You Can’t See (Invisible Aspects of CP).”

Chat newcomer Tonia shares a blog post she wrote about the invisible aspects of CP.

Reading through Tonia’s post, I had a question come to mind. So, I asked #CPChatNow.

#CPChatNow participants discuss going barefoot.

In her post Tonia mentioned her spasticity being more intense when barefoot. Curious to see if others experienced the same, I asked if you feel your spasticity is more intense when barefoot. Devin said he has less support and balance when barefoot. Blemi agreed her feet are very sensitive and as such she does not like to go barefoot. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “Do you feel your spasticity is more intense when you are barefoot?” Comment below to answer!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "Do you feel your spasticity is more intense when you are barefoot?"

After answering, make your plans to join #CPChatNow each and every Wednesday. The fun begins at 8pm ET.

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


#CPChatNow Recap- 02-19-2020

On Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow enjoyed an assorted conversational spread. Keeping to the food analogy, that makes me co-caterer (oppose to co-host) Zachary Fenell. I invite you to come sample the discussion via our weekly recap.

Travis Davis, a returning newcomer to our community, asked a question about self-employment.

In-particular Travis wanted to know if anyone has experience with self-employment. I offered my honest feedback, mentioning I have dabbled in self-employment albeit not quite successfully. As I explained further, not knowing how much to charge for my freelance writing services and lacking the confidence to charge said prices proved my downfall.

Nonetheless downfalls and failure do not need to define us. Through additional back and forth I revealed I still describe myself as an entrepreneur. However, I treat entrepreneurship more like a hobby. This takes pressure off converting sales.

What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is a lesson you have learned from failure?” Leave your reply in the “Comments” section.

Elsewhere in the chat, getting a new wheelchair came up.

Casey and Devin talk about the process of getting a new wheelchair.

The topic arose when Casey mentioned she should be getting a new wheelchair soon. My co-host Devin Axtman and Casey began discussing different details involved in the process. Details like getting the prescription written and going through the wheelchair evaluation. All information peaking my interest since I never experienced the process myself. Fueled by my curiosity, I asked a question about getting a new wheelchair.

#CPChatNow participants discuss how often they get new wheelchairs.

Casey, Devin, and chat regular Seth each replied to my question asking how often they get a new wheelchair. Five years appeared the common time frame for getting a new one. In that time frame you could answer the week’s extend-the-conversation question over and over and over! To refresh you, this week’s question asks “What is a lesson you have learned from failure?”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is a lesson you have learned from failure?"
Comment below to answer!

After answering double check your calendar and ensure you have each Wednesday marked for #CPChatNow. Each week the fun starts at 8pm ET.

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


#CPChatNow Recap- 2/12/20

This past week in #CPChatNow was insightful as always. Members discussed things they had done to accommodate their CP, canes, and shoes. This is #CPChatNow Co-Host, Devin Axtman, taking you along for the ride on this week’s recap.

First, I would like to make a recommendation. Go buy Zachary Fennell’s book, Off Balanced. I bought it and I’m loving it so far:

I tweet about buying Zach's book with a picture of the cover of the book

Next, Zach brought up last week’s Extend-The-Conversation question about accommodating your Cerebral Palsy.

zach asks what people have done to accommodate their cerebral palsy. the extend-the-conversation graphic is below the tweet

Chris tweeted about being selective about her shoes while I shared I moved to using a wheelchair at school in high school.

chris tweets she pays close attention to the shoes she wears with brands like keens and sketchers. they don't wear holes in sole. she also has keen rainboots and uses elastic laces. i tweet about using a wheelchair in high school.

Zach and Chris tweeted about their past use of canes and adventures with them.

zach tweeted that his cane tip was worn out after completing his second marathon. chris asks if he uses a quad tip. zach said he did when recovering from surgery. chris tweets she prefers a quad tip because it stands up by itself. zach tweets a traditional cane can easily get knocked if propped against the wall

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: Have you worn a special type of shoe due to your CP?

the extend-the-conversation question graphic. the multicolored #CPChatNow logo is in the upper right hand corner, extend-the-conversation question in green with "Have you worn a special type of shoe due to your CP?' and green chuck taylor high top in the lower left hand corner. there is #cpchatnow in green

Thanks for reading! Please join us each Wednesday at 8 Eastern on Twitter at #CPChatNow.