#CPChatNow Recap- 12-26-2019

Christmas 2019 came and went Wednesday, December 25th, but the celebratory mood continued into the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow Thursday, December 26th. To officially close out the year for our community, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Recapping the year’s 52nd and final chat seems the most fitting way to do this.

Long-time chat regular, “The Positivity Princess,” Linds helped to get the dialogue off to a cheery start.

Linds shares her exciting news!

After three years patiently waiting, Linds received her “most longtime coming gift.” A paralegal job in Cedar Rapids! Once again, congratulations Linds!

Keeping the conversation personal, participants reflected on their respective 2019s.

Participants in #CPChatNow describe their 2019s in one word.

I asked people to describe their 2019 in one word. My co-host Devin Axtman answered, saying “transformative.” Devin further explained his choice in words saying 2019 saw him enjoy “lots of good life changes.” Unfortunately, not everyone could say the same.

Hannah honestly describes her 2019 as "heartbreaking."

Beloved community member Hannah replied honestly, saying she would describe 2019 as “heartbreaking.” The year brought “a downward spiral of bad things” not just for Hannah but the people she loves. At the same time, Hannah acknowledged throughout the year she did enjoy “some pretty spectacular moments.” Moments she will never forget.

Looking to keep the dialogue positive, allow me to ask as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?” Reply to this post to answer.

First though, let us finish seeing off 2019. Besides personal matters, our community conducted a year in review for cerebral palsy in general.

The #CPChatNow community recalls their most memorable cerebral palsy related stories of 2019.

Participants recalled memorable cerebral palsy related stories. Personally, I named a negative remembering Speechless‘ cancellation. Thankfully other community members offered positive memories. Jeni mentioned the little boys with CP who tag-teamed the role Tiny Tim in a Broadway production of A Christmas Carol. Meanwhile long-time chat regular Blemi highlighted Netflix’s new series Special.

Hopefully stories like the ones Jeni and Blemi reference foreshadow greater progress for the cerebral palsy community in 2020. Remember to forecast your own 2020 by answering the week’s extend-the-conversation question. “On December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?”

This week's extend-the-conversation questions asks on December 31st, 2020 when you look back on your year, what word will you use to describe it?

Answer below! Then help us kick off the New Year by joining our first #CPChatNow in 2020 Thursday, January 2nd at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12/18/2019

This past week in #CPChatNow was festive as always. As you might imagine, talk centered largely around the upcoming holidays, but other topics were also discussed. Hop in the sleigh for this week’s #CPChatNow recap led by your Co-Host, Devin Axtman.

First, we have an announcement. #CPChatNow will be changing dates to Thursday for the next two weeks due to the holidays.

Zach announcing the next #CPChatNow is Thursday instead of Wednesday

Kate joined us after graduating nursing school and shared some of her challenges of being a nurse with CP. She shared she would feel very fatigued when coming home from work:

Zach congratulates kate on graduating nursing school. kate shared cp added trouble to starting her job.

Next, not surprisingly talk to turned to the upcoming holidays. Talk turned to cooking for family and what made a kitchen accessible and CP friendly:

zach asks heather what makes a kitchen accessible. she likes prep surfaces where she can sit down and cut-proof gloves. zach tweeted he likes sitting uses knives

Zach then asked if people put up a Christmas tree and if CP impacted their ability to do so:

zach asked if people put up a christmas tree and if CP made things difficult. chris said she does not and heather tweeted she only did if she was hosting. i tweeted we have a small tree, but i need a lot of help with decorating

Finally, Zach asked what people’s favorite Christmas traditions were. People talked of getting together with family and looking at Christmas lights.

zach asked about christmas traditions. he tweeted about christmas eve at grandma's and getting in the car to look at christmas lights. kate tweets about liking christmas eve more than christmas. zach tweeted christmas eve is when his extended family got together

This brings us to our Extend-The-Conversation Question: What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Make sure to share your answers in the comments and join us on Thursday at 8 Eastern at #CPChatNow.

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 12-11-2019

The weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow proved a newsworthy one Wednesday, December 11th, 2019. For the complete story, consider me your personal reporter. I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell and I will provide my report the best way I know, your weekly recap.

News disseminating from #CPChatNow December 11th varied. I made an announcement relevant to our entire community.

Zachary announces the #CPChatNow schedule for the weeks of Christmas and New Year's Day.

With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day landing on Wednesdays, my co-host Devin Axtman and I decided to reschedule #CPChatNow those weeks. Rather than our typical Wednesday chat, #CPChatNow will happen Thursday, December 26th and Thursday, January 2nd. Start time remains the same, 8pm ET. Make sure to mark your calendars!

Currently though, let us return to recapping the December 11th chat. Participants kept the news stream flowing by sharing personal good news. Admittedly, I played a large role in that.

Zachary shares his personal good news.
Zachary continues sharing more personal good news.

Indeed, I possessed much good news relating to myself. I received a quasi-promotion at work. More directly related to cerebral palsy, Expertido named my blog among the best cerebral palsy blogs. Plus a parent with a 12-year old who has cerebral palsy wrote me some heartfelt feedback after reading my memoir Off Balanced. If not enough good news, Ideastream included me in a story about self-publishing which aired on the radio.

Besides me, long-time chat regular Linds shared good news. No, wait. Great news!

Linds shares her own exciting news.

Linds revealed her depression entered remission! Shall we keep the positive vibes flowing? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question- “What has been something positive happening in your life?” Answer in the comments below!

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What has been something positive happening in your life?"

Once you answer, double check your calendar. Do you have the upcoming #CPChatNow Twitter chats correctly marked? The upcoming schedule looks like this.

  • Wednesday, December 18th, 2019- 8pm ET
  • Thursday, December 26th, 2019- 8pm ET
  • Thursday, January 2nd, 2020- 8pm ET

I hope to tweet you soon. Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 12/4/2019

This past week in #CPChatNow was busy as always as members got ready for the holidays, discussed unique friendships, cool parts about #CPChatNow, and their doubts about CP.

The upcoming holidays were of course a topic of conversation. Zach asked whether people took disability into account when giving gifts:

Zach asks whether disability was taking into account when giving gifts. Hannah tweeted her grandma bought her shoes that often wouldn't fit and she had to tell her to stop because they wouldn't fit
Blemi tweeted disability had no impact on her gift giving. Zach said he got a baseball glove, but never did play baseball. I tweeted I was there was paralympics for baseball.

#CPChatNow recently turned 6 years old. Members talked about the coolest part of being a member:

I tweeted that the coolest part of #CPChatNow has been watching people grow up and lives change. Zach tweeted about people graduating high school, Blake and myself graduating college, and Blemi entering a long term relationship
Zach tweeted about the genuine bonds that have formed from #CPChatNow and the support system that has formed

Next, talk turned to the unique relationships that can come from online interactions and Yasmin shared that she has formed relationships from online Paramore clubs:

Yasmin tweets about making friendships through Paramore clubs that have stayed even though the forms have shut down. Zach shares that CP brought #CPChatNow together, but we have other common interests

Finally, I asked members what doubts they had as a result of their CP. It sparked some good conversation:

I ask about people's doubts about their CP. My doubt was about getting married. blemi tweeted she was unsure about holding down a full time job. zach worried about pinning his bib number for his 5k races

This leads us to our Extend-The-Conversation question: What is your biggest doubt about CP and what have you done to overcome it?

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

-Devin

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-27-2019

Before gathering with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, participants in the cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow gathered on Twitter Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 for our weekly chat. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Long-time readers could easily guess how I plan to tell you more. Yes, your weekly recap!

First though, I wish to recognize a recent community milestone.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 marked #CPChatNow's six-year anniversary!
Participants wish each other a happy anniversary.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 marked our community’s six-year anniversary. Six years! A feat only made possible thanks to all our participants over the years. Without you, #CPChatNow does not work. So thank you!

Fittingly on Wednesday, November 27th co-host Devin Axtman made a reference dating back to the chat’s early years.

References from #CPChatNow's early years continue to live on!

Devin mentioned the “CP Olympics.” In the community’s early years we designated ordinary tasks cerebral palsy makes difficult as events in the “CP Olympics.” In my response to Devin’s tweet, I alluded to another long-running #CPChatNow joke. Hannah‘s train story! That story continues to chug along. Choo-choo!

Anyways Wednesday, November 27th featured subject matters beyond community flashbacks. In-particular I asked a question.

Zachary asks #CPChatNow about their favorite CP or disability related quote.
Devin gives backstory to his favorite disability related quote.

I wanted to know what people’s favorite CP or disability related quotes are. Long-time regular Blemi shared her favorite quote “Never give up on your dreams.” The message carries personal meaning to Blemi because Rick Hansen wrote the quote down for her on a Post-it note.

Meanwhile Devin said his favorite disability related quote goes like this. “My other disability is a bad attitude.” He could not pinpoint the quote’s origin but explained the quote remains a play off the oversimplified statement “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

What about you? Answer as the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “What is your favorite CP/disability related quote?” Leave your response in the “Comments.”

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks, "What is your favorite CP/disability related quote?"

If you enjoy answering the extend-the-conversation question, come join the conversation live! #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday starting at 8pm ET. Come help us make new memories as we enter the chat’s seventh year.

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

-Zachary

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-20-2019

A certain familiarity takes over Wednesdays for those who participate in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow. Wednesday, November 20th proved no different. To tell you more, I am chat co-host Zachary Fenell. Welcome to your weekly recap.

In addition to our usual weekly chat, November 20th marked co-host Devin Axtman’s birthday. Although quite exhausted, long-time chat regular Hannah made sure to stop by to wish Devin a happy birthday.

Participants enjoy a certain sense of familiarity every Wednesday night.

Fellow long-time regular Blemi, along with Devin and I all responded mentioning we miss Hannah. Furthermore Blemi suggested, if possible, Hannah try acupuncture. Blemi discussed recently starting acupuncture and as a result enjoying more energy.

Besides renewed energy levels, Blemi discussed a second newfound discovery. Breaking Bad!

#CPChatNow participants discuss RJ Mitte's character on Breaking Bad.

Naturally the Breaking Bad discussion led to talk about RJ Mitte’s character, Walter White Jr. Blemi liked how the show incorporated cerebral palsy without making the condition a big deal. Her comments interested me since earlier this year I read Zach Anner’s book If At Birth You Don’t Succeed. Within Anner critiqued Breaking Bad, feeling the show did not develop the Walter White Jr. character enough. Personally, I hold no opinion because I never watched an episode.

The Breaking Bad conversation also left Devin remembering the time he met RJ Mitte at a school event. In-particular Devin recalled talking orthotics with Mitte.

Speaking of talking to a cerebral palsy celebrity, I brought up a known name who possesses ties to our community.

Zachary and Devin discuss Maysoon's recently released audiobook Find Another Dream.

Back on Thursday, October 31st Maysoon Zayid released her audiobook Find Another Dream. I asked if anyone read the book yet. Devin shared Find Another Dream remains next on his list.

In addition to Zayid’s book release, another current event arose during the night’s dialogue.

Zachary brings up the #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign.

AtaxiaUK’s #DisorderedNotDrunk campaign received a boost in attention when onlookers mistook Emmrdale actor James Moore’s cerebral palsy for drunkenness. The campaign asks people to share their stories about being mistaken for being drunk. I asked if anyone had a similar story. Grace said she had that happen all the time to her in college. What about you? Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question “When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?”

Comment below to answer. Additionally post your answers to your various social media accounts. Remember to use the hashtag #DisorderedNotDrunk too.

While remembering hashtags, remember to use our hashtag “#CPChatNow” to join the fun on Twitter. #CPChatNow happens every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "When was a time somebody mistook your cerebral palsy for drunkenness?"
Leave your answer below!

#CPChatNow Recap- 11-06-2019

Election Day in the United States came and went, but Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow maintained focus on issues. To tell you more I am #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell. Like always, I will do that via your weekly recap.

Voting accessibility arose in conversation when I asked participants what their accessibility needs for voting are.

#CPChatNow participants discuss voting accessibility.

As my co-host Devin Axtman pointed out, accessibility at polling places is a huge problem. This left our own “Positivity Princess” Linds to ask if there were assistance signs outside where you can call for help. Devin answered yes, but still noted the problematic nature. Too many polling places are located in non-accessible buildings. You cannot help someone unable to enter the building.

Devin’s comments left me wondering how such buildings could be chosen as voting locations. Swiftly the dialogue transitioned to another important subject.

Voting accessibility conversation transitions to talk about the importance of representation.

Using a single hashtag Linds summarized the problem, #ThingsNoOneThinksAbout. Devin furthered her point, giving a real life example he recently experienced. His apartment built a new sidewalk out to the train station, but without a curb cut.

In my opinion Devin and Linds’ comments emphasizes the importance of representation. The decision making process needs to feature diverse voices. Such voices will ensure items like curb cuts no longer go overlooked.

Meanwhile on an encouraging note long-time chat regular Hannah gave a glowing review for her polling place.

Hannah was genuinely impressed with her polling place's accessibility.

Hannah stated her polling place’s accessibility genuinely impressed her. What about your voting experience? Keep the conversation going! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.

Maybe concerns over your polling place’s accessibility led you to speak out, teaching you to advocate for yourself. Similar learning moments highlighted our chat November 6th.

#CPChatNow participants share the moment they learned to advocate for themselves.
Hannah talks about the moment she learned to advocate for herself.

Moments when participants learned to advocate for themselves varied. Both Devin and long-time chat regular Blemi recalled their first real self-advocacy moments happening in high school. Linds remembered connecting with someone locally from Easter Seals and realizing she was already advocating for herself. Elsewhere Hannah learned to advocate for herself quite young, needing to persist that her bus driver drop her off at her house, not the end of the street.

If the highlights above intrigued you, consider joining the conversation live. Our Twitter chat takes place every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Simply include the hashtag “#CPChatNow” in your tweets. Anyone not on Twitter can enjoy our community by following our Facebook fan page and/or answering the weekly extend-the-conversation question. Again, this week’s question asks “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Comment below with your answer.

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

-Zachary

This week's extend-the-conversation question asks "How is the accessibility at your polling place?"
Leave your answer in the “Comments.”