Me and my wife (/user/LindsBecker) are both full time wheelchair users. We met 7 years ago, started dating 5.5 years ago, and got married 3 years ago. IAmA former Marine turned computer programmer that was injured in a motorcycle accident 8 years ago. She is a housewife and was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida. We are totally independent and loving our life together. Ask us anything. (SFW)

Comments: 446 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

Fruitfi127 karma

Do you.. Race..?

beckerwp92 karma

We both participated in the Murfreesboro Middle Half Marathon ( a couple of years ago. Not a race against each-other per-se. But when we're going places, we don't like to race any more than you would with your SO.

Citymike101 karma

Who's faster?

beckerwp146 karma

I have larger wheels on my wheechair (26") than hers (25") with much longer arms.. so me :)

iAmReynolds84 karma

Can you explain your physical relationship?

beckerwp112 karma

Our physical relationship is basically normal. We're not afraid hold hands and kiss in public. We're very affectionate people. If you're curious how our sexual relationship is, again, basically normal with a little help from Sildenafil citrate on my side. But she can stand and walk a little, so we don't have much trouble getting into position(s).

Chafez27 karma


beckerwp73 karma

Yeah, Sildenafil citrate is Viagra. I need it to get things going. After that, the act is the same as everyone else. As compared to sex before my accident, I can't feel anything down there but that just means that my senses are heightened around areas that I can feel. Sex, as some of you know, isn't JUST about the feeling in your penis - it's about being intiment with your partner and enjoying each other.

TheOneTrueCripple25 karma

I've been trying to explain this to others for most of my adult life. You've done it in a few sentences. Bravo!

beckerwp21 karma

That's something most people don't learn until they are in their late 20's - the difference between sex and making love

2XChromosomes14 karma

So Viagra works even though you can't feel anything there? How do you pee then?

You guys look great! And very happy!

beckerwp16 karma

sure does! It's kind of a brute force approach, but you can't argue with results. and I need to use a catheter to help me pee

Joelsaurus6 karma

Are you able to have kids? Do you want to have kids? I'm guessing there would be a lot of challenges with raising a kids when you are both in wheelchairs.


beckerwp16 karma

We are pretty sure we are able to have kids. We've been trying for a bit and doctors don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to. It's just a matter of timing. There will be some challenges, but every parent has their own specific set of challenges, ours will just be a little more obvious

Blix3r73 karma

Jesus stop asking about their sex lives.

Is your entire house a skateboarding heaven? Also what kind of bike was it?

beckerwp83 karma

Yes, we have all Hardwood/Tile in our house. When it's raining outside and my wheels get wet I can get some speed up and do a pretty mean power slide into my living room.

The bike was a 2003 Yamaha R1 black with red flames. Got into trouble on a back road I didn't know very well following some other bikers that knew it better than me.

Cabana17 karma

Slowest driver should always lead, sorry about your accident

beckerwp12 karma

No worries man. I like where it's led me.

nionvox57 karma

Do y'all do wheelies and pretend to fall over just to scare the bejesus out of people?

beckerwp127 karma

Usually when I'm rolling along and need to do a small wheelie over a small bump people think that I'm going over backwards and try to save me. It's a good time. And sometimes something will happen to make me actually flip over backwards in a public place, everybody freaks and nobody knows what to do except LindsBecker, which laughs

MeNicolesta51 karma

I have spina bifida, not too bad but I wear braces, have no feeling in certain places, and my body doesnt look like other girls. anyway, im 21 years old and I still can not be comfortable with myself. I have not had a feeling of acceptance or being at peace with it. which is weird because I was born with it. so can you give me some tips on how to steer toward that acceptance and being at peace with myself? I admire yours and your wife's attitude of life. Also, since your wife is a woman, can she ALSO give me advice? Thanks!

lindsbecker48 karma

I would love to talk to you and help you in any way. :) If you're more comfortable with it, you are more than welcome to message me privately. I understand that not everyone is as open as we are & there is nothing wrong with keeping certain things private. I will say that as far as my having SB, I've accepted it and I'm at peace with it, but that doesn't mean that I don't at times struggle with things like comparing myself to other women (but I think most women do that) or wishing I didn't have certain medical issues.

racin36er20 karma

judging by your attitude and the pictures i've seen of you and your husband in this thread - you, my dear, have nothing to compare yourself to. you are beautiful, and you both have amazing attitudes towards what life has handed you.

i know this has been said many times here already, but you are both inspirations, and this is one of the best AMA's i've ever seen here. thank you both, and good luck with your attempts at children!!!

beckerwp16 karma

Thanks, that means a lot to us :)

kittersplat45 karma

If that's how you roll, cool.

Badwolf58239 karma

I bet she wheely loves him.

lindsbecker88 karma

Why yes, yes I wheely do... :)

lindsbecker71 karma

See, we can roll with the punches. :)

angry_dave30 karma

You both seem like real stand-up folks

lindsbecker60 karma

Thanks! Now if we could just stand up. :-P

beckerwp26 karma

I'm definitely not slim shady.

Leiryn32 karma

Do you find that people react a certain way when they find out you are in a wheelchair

beckerwp59 karma

I'd say that it generally makes it easier for people to come up and start a conversation that basically sounds like "My brother knows a guy who broke his foot and used a wheelchair once, so I get it". Mostly I don't think the wheelchair intimidates people from talking to me much. It was barely even brought up when I went for my job interview. Society, in general, is surprisingly accepting and accommodating.

Northern-Canadian9 karma

I spent a year in a wheelchair after a work accident. And holy shit do I ever have respect for you two.

I found it extremely hard to get around, and physically draining. However the power sliding and the odd sloped street/sidewalk made for some small victories.

Rolling down a hill at 25km is pretty damn fun but more of a nice break from having to use your arms constantly.

Hope you guys have a wonderful life together!

beckerwp24 karma

I'm going to assume you used the chair they gave you at the hospital. They are extremely heavy, awkward, and inefficient. I have respect for YOU if you could go a year in that thing. For most people, I say it's like driving a run down school bus on city streets.. yeah, it'll do the job, but you're not going to like it.

totaldominasian27 karma

Sorry for these possibly really stupid questions... but they popped into my head.

  1. I suppose this means you can't feel your penis. How do you know when you're about to "release"? Same with having to hold in your pee or crap if you're not near a bathroom.

  2. Would it be difficult for you two to have a baby? Or raise an adopted baby?

  3. Is it easy to travel internationally via airplane? Do you sit in your wheelchairs or are there handicap accessible seats? Any trouble with managing to obtain two of them on each flight?

  4. You guys look like a great couple! How do you guys stay healthy? What's your weekly exercise/diet look like?

  5. What are y'all's favorite hobbies?

beckerwp13 karma

1) It's strange, but my legs spasm in a very specific way when something is happening down there. More specifically, they will spread out just before something happens.. it's my job to get to the bathroom FAST! but generally I my body won't pee or poo without using a catheter or suppository.

2) I don't think so, and we are definitely trying to have one :)

3) I LOVE Southwest for this. Every Southwest plane is the same, and there is just enough room that we can get our wheelchairs in the front door and close enough to the front seat to transfer, then they take our chairs and put them under the plane. Then bring them to us again when we arrive at our destination.

4) Thanks! I try to stay healthy by staying active just like anyone else would. That's the main reason I wouldn't even consider getting a power wheelchair. Weekly exercise is just pushing around wherever we go, so just going out downtown or something can be a pretty good exercise. And our diet could be better.. WAY better.

5) We like to shop, and watch movies, hang out with friends, shoot guns, go to shows (especially comedy shows) that kind of stuff

Badwolf58222 karma

How do you go about cooking your meals and using shelves?

lindsbecker27 karma

Cooking is the same as for anyone else, except we bought a front dial stove. I can only reach the bottom 2 shelves of our cabinets, so everything we use regularly is on those. Other than that, I can stand long enough to reach something higher if I need to & he's tall enough in his chair that he can reach everything.

Badwolf58219 karma

What would you say is the bane of your existence? And before some jackass says stairs, I'll remove the opportunity.

lindsbecker44 karma

Small bathrooms and people using the only handicap stall, when they don't necessarily NEED to.

Badwolf58213 karma

Oh, I never thought of that. That must be terrible out in public.

lindsbecker16 karma

That is part of why we created this AMA. Also, to clear up misconceptions of what it's really like.

AreYouDreaming27 karma

But the handicap stall is so clean and spacious. . . Do you mean for the rest of us to use the common stalls?

beckerwp82 karma

Yes, citizen.

0hmybadd21 karma

I Love the AmA, I am a Para from a dirt bike accident 6 years ago (i was 18) in April... not sure i really have a question for you two...

im glad you're both happy, i hope to one day find that special someone.

The gimpsgonewild link was an eye opener LOL... i had no idea...

beckerwp13 karma

I just looked at your pics man, your back looks a lot like mine, except my break was a complete separation between T-11 and T-12. I can't seem to find the xray right now but you could see the 2 pieces right next to each other. I hope our AMA can give you a positive outlook about finding someone. I, honestly, did not think I could ever be with someone else in a chair. But when you find someone as beautiful, funny, and independent as her you can't let her go (sorry for the mushy stuff)

spaceritual15 karma


beckerwp33 karma

Honestly, I never went through the shock of finding out and acceptance. I found out when I was pretty doped up on morphine and the like for the first week. I can't remember exactly being told, but I knew it. It's a strange feeling. But I'm a very patient and level headed person, I almost never get upset stressed or depressed about anything, so acceptance was more like "Ok, what do I need to do next". And I really can't say I feel any bitterness toward the accident. It's led to me a really good place in my life that I honestly can't imagine without the accident. TL;DR If I had to do all over again, I would.

spaceritual17 karma


beckerwp18 karma

Thanks! (she's blushing a little). The only changes that we'd like to see is more options for vehicles. The RX8 is perfect, but discontinued in 2012. Other than that there are a FEW cars with suicide doors but none that work as well for us. They are either too high (trucks), too ugly (Element), or too lame (minivans). I'd also like to see more cars with factory options for hand controls. I think the Gov't could help with that. The gov't has been pretty good for me because I was active duty, so I got a lot of VA benefits that are life changing. I think LindsBecker will have more to say about the other Gov't programs available.

lindsbecker14 karma

I will say I'm very thankful for the VA benefits he gets (as well as what I get for being his dependent). The VA Disability & military pay takes care of us. My only complaint is that once we got married, I went from 100% medical coverage and a small paycheck, to now only being able to get 80% coverage (thanks to his insurance) and no paycheck. We're lucky his military pay & a job he loves is more than enough money to live on though & I'm actually a housewife. Overall, we're pretty happy with services. We are both independent enough and capable enough that we don't have to take advantage of most services provided out there & we are able to work if we want/need.

spaceritual6 karma


lindsbecker10 karma

They're decent. They pay is basically slightly below minimum wage & I had 100% medical coverage. School & almost all expenses were also 100% paid for in college, so I can't really complain about what they offer. Also, they have Vocational Rehabilitation that offers services (like help finding job placement or training for jobs). Overall, I think they did plenty (for me anyway).

beckerwp10 karma

Social Security is a "needs based program". So when you get married they determine your needs based on BOTH of your incomes. So if your total income is greater than some ludicrously low level, you don't qualify for SS. If you don't qualify for SS you don't qualify for Medicare. If you don't qualify for medicare, but aren't lucky enough to be covered by some other insurance through your job or anything then you are kinda SOL.

spaceritual8 karma


beckerwp12 karma

It's all about attitude and understanding that being a victim of something you cannot change doesn't help anything. If you want to bring them to Nashville we'll show them that there is nothing to be down about.

Badwolf58214 karma

I apologize for flooding you with questions, but I am rather curious. I have a friend who suffers from spina bifida from his ankles down which he says feels like both feet are permanently asleep.

However he isn't in a relationship with a wheelchair user so I an using this opportunity as intended.

Now, enough with the babble and to the two questions.

1) Travel and shopping? How do you go about it? 2) What is the nicest and alternatively the rudest someone has been?

beckerwp31 karma

We appreciate the questions for the sake of helping others to answer: 1a) Travel is somewhat limited, but thanks to the ADA ( most travel places in the US are wheelchair friendly. But I'd have to say that cruises are always awesome! If you're talking about just local travel, we both drive Mazda RX8's, which is great for wheelchairs because of the suicide opening rear doors. And 1b) Shopping is a little more tedious in the wheechair, but most major grocery stores have smaller shopping "kid" carts that make it easier. But I can push a regular sized cart with no trouble. 2a) Basically I can easily ask anyone for assistance for anything without any trouble, and we do appreciate when people say "I know you don't need help, but is there anything I can do to help you?" 2b) Alternatively when they assume we NEED help and take it upon themselves to grab things out of our hands or try to help us take our wheelchairs apart to get in the car without me giving permission.

lindsbecker51 karma

Also, there is a comment we get quite often, which is along the lines of "You are so inspirational"... and it baffles me. I know they mean it to be a compliment, because I know there are a lot of people that think life sucks if you're in a chair. I don't necessarily think that it's "inspirational" that we're out shopping without assistance.. To us, it's normal.. just like everyone else.

englad5 karma

Where you shop do your shops have these? and if so what do you think of them are they easy to use for you?

beckerwp3 karma

We don't go anywhere special or different for shopping. I don't think they are designed for us per-se. My thought is those are for elderly people and people that can walk some, but not enough to walk. I am not going to get out of my car into my wheelchair to go into the store to get into a much crappier wheelchair to shop. I usually just grab on of the small baskets to put on my lap, or grab and push a cart depending on how much shopping I have to do.

blondeandbeyond13 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. Do either or both of you undergo any type of therapy/exercise with the goal of walking in the future? What is spina bifida?

beckerwp36 karma

You're welcome! For me, I only did my initial rehab, which was 2-3 months. My spinal cord injury is a T-12 complete, which means I have no feeling below the belly button with 0 chance of walking again.. but walking is over rated anyways. I enjoy my life much more in the chair than I did before.

Leiryn12 karma

Do you have more than one wheelchair?

beckerwp16 karma

I do have a backup in case of emergencies.. but it just stays in the shed. When we lived in an apartment with a rented garage, I was able to use the backup as my "home chair" and leave the other chair in the car. Which gave me one less load/unload the chair per day.

Leiryn11 karma

How often do you encounter situations when you go out that disrupt what you are doing, stairs, height issues like counters, etc

beckerwp7 karma

The biggest height "issue" is that a lot of bars and resaraunts, like Hooters, has mainly high top tables or booth with only 1 or 2 low top regular tables, making it difficult to get a table in a busy restaurant. And stair issues are fairly rare, but almost always comes up when we want to go to a friends party on the 3rd floor of an apartment building.

Matingas10 karma

ever played wheelchair basketball?

it looks like fun! (btw. do you get offended whenever someone that is not on a wheelchair says "that looks like fun!"?)

beckerwp29 karma

I've tried wheelchair basketball, it is fun, but despite being in a titanium wheeled device designed for speed and agility, I'm still to white and uncoordinated to be any good. I do like wheelchair softball/water skiing/biking/skydiving though.

englad8 karma

Have you tried Murderball? (wheelchair rugby)

beckerwp3 karma

WANT WANT WANT. But as Murderball rules require you to be a quadriplegic to play (citation needed), So I don't qualify, but I could go practice with the local team.

beckerwp15 karma

and no, I don't mind that at all, because it is fun. Next time you come to Nashville, I'll take you to a practice, strap you into a chair, and let you give it a go. We don't mind letting people experience something different. But, after you get hit 2 or 3 good times, you'll have a whole new appreciation for the sport

Matingas9 karma

wheelchair waterskiiing also sounds amazing!! (skydiving and the rest!! shit you are badass!)

I haven't visited the east/south coast yet in my life, but I do intend too. Hopefully when I do visit I'll remember that I went on reddit and I got that awesome offer.

also curious, in high school I had a teacher in a wheelchair as well, but she had the electric one, she kept claiming to have a turbo button for emergencies.

do you guys have an electric wheelchair? and if so, is the turbo button legit/possible? (but it sounds like you guys are badass and are faster by hand)

beckerwp9 karma

We don't have a power chair, although I've considered getting a power assist devicefor when we visit hilly/offroad places ( We don't "need" an electric wheelchair. Power chairs limit mobility a lot because they are hard to transport in a car and aren't as maneuverable in public places. We simply don't have a need for one. But yes, most power chairs are generally speed limited for decency and battery life/motor heat purposes. So some crafty engineers can install a button to disable the limiter and I've seen a regular power chair do 20MPH on a sidewalk, but you wouldn't want to do that all the time.

DforDrew8 karma

If someone were to break into either of your RX8's, would they be able to figure it out the controls and steal it? Also, what is the best way to ask someone using a wheelchair if they need help? I don't want to be rude when its a menial task to them or something they are surprisingly (to me) able to accomplish.

beckerwp16 karma

I think that the hand controls may intimidate a would-be thief, but I'm not counting on that. The hand controls simply move the pedals and they can still be driven like normal (which is good for valet / mechanics). The best way I've ever been asked was "I know you probably don't need any help, but is there anything I can do to help you?" To which you will 99% of the time get "No, thanks. I've got it" but it's way better to hear it like that instead of assuming that we need help even when it really looks like we do.

Ghost138 karma

Do you go through shoes regularly? Serious question. My dad comes home with new shoes every 6 months or so. Do you think this is for aesthetic reasons only? My dad is a quadriplegic btw, and I'm thinking the old ones aren't getting worn out

beckerwp17 karma

I go through shoes fairly regularly. A little slower than usual but they do get pretty rough from rubbing on the sides of my footplate and they get worn a lot more without taking them off because I don't think about them, so they can get a little funky in the summertime. And who doesn't like new shoes?

Chafez7 karma


beckerwp6 karma

I used to go to the gym a lot. But not since I've got a full time job. My max bench when not working out is 205. I got up to a little over 300 once.

The worst times for regular day to do is going up long steep hills, doesn't take long before that gets old. And also go straight on a road or sidewalk that slopes down the side, it causes your chair to want to turn in the direction of the slope, so you basically have to push the entire distance with the arm on the side of the slope.

RangerGord7 karma

If I were to spark a conversation with someone in a wheelchair, do you think I should go eye level, like kind of kneeling down, or stand straight and kind of look down to make eye contact?

Also, cute couple!

beckerwp6 karma

Yeah, grab a chair.. nothing is more natural than 2 people sitting down and having a conversation. And I might get LindsBecker started on a rant here but: do NOT grab someone wheelchair to move them closer or push them out of the way.

WNW36 karma

Dost thou joust?

beckerwp6 karma

no, but I think this is as close as you're going to get Murderball

Leiryn5 karma

Do you have a special car/van/whatever?

beckerwp18 karma

We both drive Mazda RX8's. The suicide opening rear doors with no B pillar makes it easy to get in the front seat, take the chair apart and throw it in the back seat. It's easy for both of us to get in the car and put our chairs on our respective sides in the back. I'd say it take less than 90 seconds to get completely in/out of the car.

The cars have hand controls for the gas and brake. Mine is a bar that comes out from behind the left side of the steering wheel. Push it forward for brake and twist like a motorcycle for gas. The hand controls just move the pedals on the car so anyone else could get in a drive it like normal.

ThatsWat_SHE_Said7 karma

How were you able to acquire these vehicles with those special add ons for you two? Insurance?

beckerwp10 karma

My first set of hand controls were covered by the VA, but since then I've had to pay out of pocket. They aren't exactly cheap (about $750) but it's much better than a dedicated van with a lift (10k+ in modifications). The cars are pretty much perfect for us except for the addition of the hand controls.

whatthefuckguys5 karma

Do y'all have any sweet "alternative" wheelchairs? I'm thinking of the ones I saw on Bill Nye's show where they had racing rigs, skiing rigs, etc.

beckerwp14 karma

I have a "sports chair" for general sports (Basketball, softball, tennis) and I REALLY want a good handcycle to ride around on nice days. But for specific sports like water / snow skiing the people that organize the events have a large collection of loaner/community equipment

Bunchofbees5 karma

What is the market of wheelchairs like? Are there any exciting developments going on, better wheels and constructions?

beckerwp3 karma

there are some really cool things happening in the wheelchair world now. As technology is increasing and cost is coming down there are some REALLY cool things you can get. We were just at an abilities expo recently where they were demoing a wheelchair that had tank tracks instead of regular wheels like this and I saw a carbon fiber framed wheelchair that weighs only 4.5 LBS without the rear wheels and seat cushion (most normal chairs would weigh about 15 in the same setup)

manbearpigfoxwhale4 karma

Do you ever fantasize about strapping a supercharged engine onto your chair and turning it into a road-worthy vehicle?

But on a more serious note, do you plan on having kids? If so, would your wife be able to birth a child given her condition?

beckerwp3 karma

I'll save the supercharged engines for cars :)

and yes, as far as we know we can have kids (and are trying). We don't expect that LindsBecker will be able to give birth naturally, but she's accepted the fact we would have to do a C-Section

omniscientclown4 karma


beckerwp12 karma

Ask and you shall receive (SFW)

kampfy33 karma

Dayum, you two make a good looking couple.

Do you think your being in a wheelchair served as a sort of icebreaker when you met and facilitated the relationship? Or was it just chance that you both happen to use wheelchairs?

beckerwp3 karma

We say it's not WHY we are together, but it did break the ice. It's nice to be with someone who can really understand and identify with all of your tiny struggles and successes in life.

HowlandReedsButthole3 karma

I met a guy last year who went down escalators backwards on his wheelchair. It was badass. Do you do the same? If so, mad props.

beckerwp6 karma

I do that :) especially when I can't find the friggin elevator. But LindsBecker doesn't like to, so I don't do it when I'm with her.

awkwardsilencefetish3 karma

First off, you two are adorable :) Secondly, I'd like to give you two a fist bump for living in Nashville. Wonderful city

and for the question... Do you guys ever want to have pets? I'd imagine having a hamster or something might be manageable, but I don't think caring for a dog would be very easy

beckerwp3 karma

actually we have 2 dogs their names are Abrahm and Jackson. Abrahm is a 80lbs Boxer mix and Jackson is a 30 lbs terrier mix. They are both very well behaved and try not to get in our way and stuff. We don't have to keep them on leashes now that we have a house with a back yard, but when we lived in our apartment we had to leash them a lot more. It's a little more trouble pushing with dogs, but with a little practice, it's do-able

Putin_Wrassles_Bears0 karma

I don't want to sound crude, but I've always been curious as to how the sex life for wheelchair users is. Would you two say it's normal?

beckerwp3 karma

see the reply to iAmReynolds

Leiryn9 karma

TIL reddit is full of horny people

beckerwp8 karma

I don't think you're learning that for the first time. But we did expect that to be the first question.

Leiryn7 karma

True, though I think the masses were hoping you would expand on your description... or is that just me

beckerwp16 karma

we'll save the submission to /r/GoneWild for another night

ultracanery0 karma

How do the sexual relations go about?

beckerwp3 karma

see the reply to iAmReynolds

Ditcka-3 karma

What kind of lube do you guys use?

beckerwp12 karma

Not sure how this relates to the AMA, but I use 3 in 1 Multi-Purpose Oil on our wheelchairs.