Ted had been dating the woman who is now his fiancée for seven months when he crashed his ATV almost two years ago and broke his neck.
One of his earliest worries was, "If I'm in a wheelchair, how can she really love me?
"One thing he did for me that was really helpful was give me some materials to read that talked about sex after SCI, the actual bladder and bowel stuff and how that works," she said.
Reading it helped her come to terms with it on her own, and gave her specific questions to ask him later.
I was so scared to date and explain everything, all the bowel and bladder stuff-I hadn't gotten that under control yet. It was really hard." Most people don't get through life without experiencing a bad date or rejection at some point, and people with SCI are no different, except they can be left wondering-was it me or the disability?
Sometimes you'll never know for sure, but Tricia painfully recalled the guy she dated in college who broke things off abruptly, admitting he couldn't handle dating someone in a wheelchair.
He agreed that honest and open communication has been a key element in the success of this relationship.
"I didn't know how to react to myself, let alone how to react to somebody who was reacting to me," he remembered."If you're afraid of something, talk about it," he advised."People are afraid of what they don't know." Amy admitted she didn't know anything about paralysis when she met Brad."We talked about everything; there was no taboo," he said.This helped them get through the early awkward times as well as later when they decided to have children (they now have twin babies, a boy and a girl, from in vitro fertilization ).