My short bio: My name is Rachelle Friedman and in 2010 I was playfully pushed into a pool by my best friend at my bachelorette party. I went in head first and sustained a c6 spinal cord injury and I am now a quadriplegic. Since that time I have been married, gotten involved with adapted sports, blogged and most recently have become the author of my new book "The Promise: a Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride and the Power of Love, Loyalty and Friendship". I've been featured on the Today Show, HLN, Vh1 and in Cosmo magazine, In Touch Magazine and Women's Heath.

It was 4 years ago today I had my bachelorette party with tomorrow being the official anniversary

I am starting my new journey and have just completed my first round of IVF treatment. We are ready to start a family! AMA about my life, my book, my journey to parenthood or whatever else you can come up with.


Read my story at Twitter: @followrachelle Facebook: Huffington Post blogs I've written: Book link:

My Proof: Https://

Comments: 2646 • Responses: 108  • Date: 

RUA_bug_Bill_Murray2343 karma

I don't have any questions, but I just want you to know that you’re really pretty for someone in a wheelchair, and that I had to use a wheelchair once when I broke my leg, so I know exactly what you’re going through. Still, you’re an inspiration.

I met you once when you were out shopping in a grocery store, I saw you drop your cell phone and I rushed over and said “Here, let me help you,” but you didn’t seem too happy about my offer. Later, we ended up leaving the store and in the parking lot at the same time and you confronted me because I parked in a handicap spot, but I want you to know I was only parked there for a minute! Regardless of our little confrontation, it was good to see you out.

I just hope you know everything happens for a reason, and with your effort and attitude, I know you’ll walk again. It helps too that you have found yourself a real stand-up guy.

Just wanted to let you know all that, because whose so pretty and inspirational in their wheelchair? You are, that's who!

Edit: For those downvoting my post.

Rollingonwheelz1218 karma

Hahaha. That was pretty damn funny. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog :)

SassyMouff1540 karma

Do you still talk to your friend?

Rollingonwheelz3291 karma

I absolutely still do. It was obviously an accident and she was devastated. I've pushed people into pools just messing around so many times so how can I be mad. What happened was awful but I lost enough. Didn't want to lose my friend too

ponscremator559 karma

You're...a very rare person.

Does your husband hold a grudge?

Rollingonwheelz710 karma

No he does not.

SpeciousArguments279 karma

Are your family and husband as forgiving as you are?

Rollingonwheelz365 karma

I'd say so

reel_big_work989 karma

My dad is a fellow quad - routine slipped-disc surgery gone wrong.

I've seen first hand how easy it is for someone to give up and just 'waste away' - Do you have any tips on how you initially kept your mind active when you were hospitalised?

Rollingonwheelz1058 karma

I'm sorry about your dad. I can't imagine going in for a routine surgery only to become paralyzed. I just tried to keep a sense of humor. To be honest I pushed my sadness down and away. Sometimes I faked being happy but I really think I kind of tricked myself into getting through that dark first year. I started sports like quad rugby ASAP and that was the best decision ever. I just stayed busy I guess

reel_big_work758 karma

When he woke up, his first words to my mum were "Fuck me Viv, I'm paralysed." :(

Thanks for the reply. My dad's also an amputee and has started to lose most of his movement in his right arm, so sports aren't really doable.

Rollingonwheelz603 karma

Writing, going to sporting events, photography. Idk but there's lots one can do with 1 good arms and a weak arm. I know it sucks and I'll never sugar coat it. But any hobby is better than none. Sitting around will allow you to think about the bad stuff

UnbredConstant675 karma

I don't know if you remember me or not, but have you been doing much T-Rex roaring lately?

EDIT: Since this appears to be confusing people, I'll copy and paste what I said explaining the story to someone: "the first time she did an AMA I asked about how she types and she said (this is from memory, too lazy to find the actual conversation) to tense the muscles in her hands and that's what they look like. Then we got into a conversation about how you could be a very awesome T-Rex and we talked about roaring and such."

Rollingonwheelz726 karma

HAHAHA I literally just LOLed. Oh I remember

LeeCarter667 karma

I am a c5 c6 quad since last july when I dove into a shallow pool on a dare. Its been so hard for me to open up to friends and family about how ive been feeling. Who were you able to talk to and how long was it until things looked up again?

Rollingonwheelz429 karma

I'm so sorry to hear that. Hearing about new injuries always sucks because I know how you feel. Opening up will make you feel better. I was pretty close and open with my friends and family. But obviously the first year is going to be the most difficult. My advice is to find other people in your situation to talk to preferably in your area. But if that's not possible I would at least hit up some message boards of other people with spinal cord injury. Try And look into programs even if you have to travel. Where are you located

LeeCarter335 karma

I live in central ohio with my mom and brother. Being 21 and requiring the same care as an infant is something im often ashamed to talk to my friends about

Rollingonwheelz317 karma

Well I need help with all of those things too. If you can find any kind of sports in your area it will totally change your perspective. Have you ever seen the movie murderball?

BeenTaken110 karma


Rollingonwheelz95 karma

Best movie ever!

karmanaut464 karma

How is your sex life now?

Rollingonwheelz845 karma

Different obviously. We have to consider a few logistics but it's really not AS different as you might think. I don't feel anything below my chest but I still enjoy it. There's actually been some research done where a nerve associated with sexual pleasure completely bypasses the spinal cord. Interesting stuff

karmanaut225 karma

Had you two planned to have children? If so, are you considering adopting, surrogacy, or anything like that?

Rollingonwheelz530 karma

We just decided it was the right time! Paralysis does not keep me from carrying my own child. I know many quadriplegics and paraplegics who have conceived and carried their own children. But I am personally on meds that'd be harmful. I have dangerously low blood pressure that I take medication for to keep it up. So we decided that surrogacy was the route we wanted to go. I just completed my IVF treatment last week

HideInYourShell166 karma

Is the low blood pressure related to the paralysis?

Rollingonwheelz287 karma

Yes. The cervical injury affected my central nervous system which includes blood pressure regulation as well as temperature regulation. Most people get used to their low blood pressure and don't need medication, but mine was a severe case and I take the max amount of medication allowed by a doctor to keep my blood pressure at 90/50. Otherwise it would most likely drop below 50/30

gatorly43 karma

If you were unmedicated, would you die from such a low bp?

Rollingonwheelz113 karma

Well if I'm completely lying down in bed I don't need the medication. I guess you could say I'd be totally bedbound

RagdollFizzixx216 karma

Are your positions severely limited? Im sorry if this is an offensive or embarassing question, but frankly its something I have always wondered.

Rollingonwheelz331 karma

It's totally okay. I'm pretty open about this because I want others to understand the possibilities. People are never going to think that someone with paralysis can be sexy if they don't think that they can have sex. I love the positions are limited but there are multiple positions that can be done. Pretty much any position that doesn't involve me standing or sitting up straight is a go

shokunin0194 karma

So you can't feel anything below your chest but you do? Are you able to orgasm?

Rollingonwheelz224 karma

I can't feel it in a normal sense and I don't orgasm. But pleasure messages are sent to my brain

okayfineyeah60 karma

But pleasure messages are sent to my brain

Is there any way to describe that to a person who isn't paralyzed? Is is like, an emotional sensation? I'm sorry if that's an inappropriate question, I'm just curious so please feel free to tell me to fuck off if it's not okay to ask.

I remember hearing about your story in the news right after it happened. It's so cool to see you on here and see that you're doing well in life. I think your story is incredibly inspiring - you are a fighter, and that's so awesome. Thanks for doing this AMA.

Rollingonwheelz124 karma

Well dopamine goes to the brain the same it would for an able bodied person. When you receive physical pleasure. Your brain is what's telling you that physically feels good. Best I can explain. It's complicated

typicalphilly414 karma

You said you were a quadriplegic, but in your photos it seems you have use of your arms? Does someone pose them for you?

Rollingonwheelz853 karma

Lol no. There's a big misconception that quadriplegics are paralyzed from the neck down. The definition of a quadriplegic is someone who has impairment in all four of their limbs. Obviously mine is in my legs and in my upper limbs I have no dexterity and paralyzed triceps

Poopstock53 karma

This may seem like a stupid question than, but do you have use of your hands?

Rollingonwheelz121 karma

Nu I have use of my wrists which are helpful but my fingers don't move

DrivingBlind353 karma

Did you used to work at Optimist pool as a lifeguard in north Raleigh? Because I'm pretty sure we worked together! Glad to see you managed to take such a horribly life-changing event and flip it into something positive (:

Rollingonwheelz267 karma

I totally did! Thanks :)

7456398521852456320 karma


Rollingonwheelz381 karma

I was caught off guard obviously and instinct-fully tried to dive instead of taking a painful bellyflop. My arms were out in front of me which I think protected my head from physically hitting the bottom, but I went in at a very awkward angle. I think I overextended my chin to my chest but it wasn't the impact that caused the spinal cord injury. It can happen a lot easier than people think

fuweike113 karma

Sounds like your impact was a lot like this rugby incident. Like you said, it can happen easily, especially if a front impact hits someone moving forward and he or she instinctively ducks the head in, chin towards the chest.

Rollingonwheelz80 karma

Yup. Easier than people think

SarieJoy319 karma

I've been following your story for some time now, and I remember you guys having to wait to get married because your (future) husbands income and yours combined would be over the limit for Medicaid/Medicare - how did y'all end up handling this? And are you on private insurance now?

Rollingonwheelz523 karma

Well things have very recently changed even since the book was printed. We would never qualify for Medicaid but apparently my paperwork was done incorrectly while I was in rehab and I should have been getting Social Security disability all along. Now it's not the money I cared about because really I just have to hand it over to my long-term disability insurance. But if you're on SS DI for two years you get Medicare. Medicare gets you a caregiver which is what I need and insurance doesn't cover. We are getting that straight now

ArthurDigbyS282 karma

Do you ever fantasize of a "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" situation in which there is no such thing as shoes, and the entire ground is covered in loose legos, and you are queen?

Rollingonwheelz298 karma

I know nothing about any of this. But I don't like wearing shoes well before the accident) and I'm all about being queen

sovietskaya241 karma

what kind if challenges do you encounter when you travel around the country or abroad?

Rollingonwheelz434 karma

Travel is difficult because airlines don't know what they are doing. Many places aren't accessible and it's hard to find a good hotel. It takes lots of planning

Liv-Julia99 karma

I'm out on Nantucket and we recently had an occasion where a paraplegic man had to crawl out of his seat, down the aisle, down the stairs and across the tarmac because the airline screwed up, didn't know what they were doing and no one would try to transfer him. I was mortified and sick when I found out. Our hospital's literally 10 min away-you think someone would have called a nurse or something.

Rollingonwheelz129 karma

Holy crap. Ok my dream job would be to educate airlines on how to properly deal with people in my situation!

Astrosomnia204 karma

If you could change that moment and stop it from ever happening, would you?

Rollingonwheelz915 karma

100% yes. I don't by into the whole "everything happens for a reason" thing. What happened sucked and I'd never wish it on anybody.

strikerintel57 karma

Ive never heard of some getting paralized from being pushed into the pool before. Your story will be shared with others I meet in the future, thanx for doing this AMA!

Rollingonwheelz111 karma

Well diving accidents happen like everyday. Mine just happened this way. But share away! People need to be safe!

Emperor_Nihilist193 karma

Can't imagine what it is like dealing with a condition like this in a time where stem cell research is stifled by very narrow minded people.

How do you feel about stem cell research? Did you feel differently before the accident?

Is there anything you still have a problem adjusting to?

Rollingonwheelz453 karma

I am 100% for stem cell research. I was before the accident and always will be. It's extremely frustrating when people shootdown the idea saying it's wrong. But if it was their wife or daughter or themselves, they would change their mind. Well I'm someone's wife and daughter too. Any one can be paralyzed at any time. I wonder how some of these politicians would feel if they had spent years fighting against research, only to become paralyzed.

It's still difficult to adjust to being dependent in many ways. I'm sure it always will be

Nipsy_russel171 karma

When I had my son they asked if I wanted to donate the cells from his umbilical cord and I said yes. I can't imagine anyone NOT wanting to! We need a stem cell awareness month haha.

Rollingonwheelz98 karma

Yes we do!

squigglecakes130 karma

Clearly, we should paralyze them so we can find out and get things done :)

Rollingonwheelz97 karma

Totally :)

Emperor_Nihilist56 karma

Anything in particular the hardest to deal with?

I hurt myself badly when I was younger and actually was temporarily immobile (do not want to use the word paralyzed) for a few months were I couldn't move my legs and sensation was almost non existent.

I found it odd that of all things, what bothered me most was movement while generally sitting still. Trying to reach for something while on the couch watching tv or trying to move something next to you. I got used to the other stuff, never did get used to the little things.

Rollingonwheelz114 karma

There's a lot of very personal things I need help with and that's the hardest part. It makes you feel kind of dehumanized but it's part of the deal.

slyder56548 karma

Just wanted to say that if anything those things make you more human, and not in the gross ew we're 10% bacteria way, but in the fluffy humans are vessels way. Not trying to contradict your feelings at all, just some perspective from the care giver side.

Rollingonwheelz36 karma

Lol well thanks :)

Excalionar138 karma

What's the top 5 worst things you've ever been told that someone was trying to say to cheer you up, but ended up just being offensive?

Rollingonwheelz466 karma

Everything happens for a reason, It was meant to be, God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, If you just try you'll walk again, Your husbands a hero

PsykoticMidget127 karma

How did your future husband react to the accident.

Rollingonwheelz210 karma

He was house away camping when he got the call. He was devastated but just wanted to get to me as quickly as possible.

amacken1119 karma

You mentioned that you were not mad with your friend who pushed you (kuudos), but how did your husband react towards her?

Rollingonwheelz277 karma

He was never angry at her. Like I said about myself, he has pushed people into the lake or into a pool before. I think we all would have been angry if she wasn't sorry or regretful but She was traumatized and so sorry. It was everyday horseplay gone wrong. We all realized that

bw200261 karma

I feel bad asking, but what about a push into the pool injured you? Did you hit the side?

Rollingonwheelz103 karma

Lost balance, dove and bad angle at bottom of the pool

BluDavid48 karma

i never thought that could happen, one would think water would slow you down a lot, when did they realize you werent coming out? who rescued you? also, nice username, glad you can keep a sense of humor.

Rollingonwheelz89 karma

In like 5 seconds they were in. 2 girls got in

rufan104120 karma

aside from starting a family, what else is in your future?

Rollingonwheelz236 karma

I've thought about going back to college, Chris and I have talked about moving closer to the mountains. Idk. In a perfect world I'd find a career where my disability wouldn't be a factor (anyone hiring? :)). I'm sure mommy hood will keep me busy for now

chancesarent35 karma

You mentioned you wrote a book. Does that mean you have enough hand control to type? If so, you should check out working home based phone support. is a decent company that offers this type of employment. They even provide a computer to use for work.

Rollingonwheelz124 karma

I type with my pinkie knuckle on an ipad

Nipsy_russel12 karma

I'm a stay at home mom and it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done!

Rollingonwheelz10 karma


rufan104120 karma

do you still see progress in limb movement or sensations since your accident?

Rollingonwheelz236 karma

Maybe sensation but nothing significant. I experience a lot of nerve pain and the more sensation I gain the more it hurts. Kind of a bummer

thewhat113 karma

I read your first AMA, follow you on Facebook and was so happy when I saw this! Not for any particular reason really, except for the thing where I constantly think you're my personal friend whenever I see you in pictures. You don't even look like someone I know, it's just that everytime I see you on Facebook my brain goes "Hey that's her, she's so nice! She's R... Rachelle from Reddit. You don't actually know her. Right."

So, eh... are you a good friend?

Rollingonwheelz97 karma

I'm a freaking awesome friend!

Rollingonwheelz57 karma

And thanks for following my story btw :)

apolloandlacuna100 karma

What kind of career path were you on before the accident? And also, besides writing a book, what things do you do to work or entertain yourself?

Rollingonwheelz172 karma

I was a program coordinator at a senior center teaching aerobics, line dancing and planning all of the events. I was also a part-time lifeguard. I often blog and but beyond that I just try to stay active. I don't know how to explain how my days get filled but it always seems like we have stuff going on.

levade8897 karma

Have you ever wanted your husband to leave for his own benefit? (Not trying to offend)

Rollingonwheelz311 karma

Never because I know it wouldn't benefit him to leave. If the troubles were turned I'd emotionally die if he tried to push me away. There's no benefit to 2 people splitting up who are madly in love. Our lives are different but I don't hold him back

bw200277 karma

It's a question that I thought about and would have asked, but if that happened to my fiance and I, neither of us would go. I would rather have her in tough times than not at all.

Rollingonwheelz65 karma

Exactly :)

Lebronjamesyeah81 karma

is all of your treatment and monthly medicines covered by insurance? How do you generate income for yourself? Sorry if that is too personal.

Rollingonwheelz136 karma

Not at all. Physical therapy would be a luxury actually. And adapted workout quip wnt is sooooo expensive. There's a few things that could be life changers because working out= independence and a better quality of life. I try to have fundraisers here and there for medical luxuries that aren't covered. We just try to be smart with our money and I make a little here and there blogging or speaking

lumpsthecat177 karma

The concept of medical luxuries makes me so sad. Physical therapy isn't a goddamned trip to Hawaii. Improving quality of life should be part of medical care, and covered by insurance.

Rollingonwheelz56 karma

Tell me about it!

Bakingsomecake81 karma

I love your cute style. Do you do anything to make your wheelchair cute? Special ordered pink one with flowers?

Rollingonwheelz283 karma

My wheelchair has spinners!

1800BOTLANE78 karma

If you could be a tree and live any-where in the world, where would you want to spend your years?

Rollingonwheelz157 karma

I'd want to be a palm tree in Fiji. Beautiful panda relaxing.

MartinVanBallin77 karma


Rollingonwheelz119 karma

It was instantly. I could not move or feel the water immediately after the snap in my neck

DrPeril26 karma

Condolences eh, you're a champ!

I vaguely recall a Christopher Reeves interview in which he said that immediately following his accident breathing was intensely difficult. Given that your accident happened in the water (trying to be delicate here, sorry), how did you manage to prevent yourself from drowning?

Rollingonwheelz77 karma

My friends were in the water super fast

just_somebody74 karma

What do you like about Reddit?

Rollingonwheelz189 karma

People are really open, nice and I love the curiosity. I'm all about showing what my life is like and I can be really honest here. But I do get lost in reading other threads when I should be doing something productive but hey..whatever :)

spratlas50 karma

I saw your post the other day about having several embryos... Does surrogacy work like they implant a bunch and you could possibly end up with a whole herd of babies? Have you thought of the reality show potential there? But seriously, could there be multiples and would that be ok?

Rollingonwheelz90 karma

We decided to do genetic testing which gives the 75% chance that one embryo will take. 2 embryos only make that stat go to 80%. So we are doing 1 at a time. Multiples will NOT work for us. Lol. But we are all about a reality show. Could be fun

rinzler69tea49 karma

Any advice you can give about the steps you and your friend have taken to get through this? I admire your will to stay positive with that situation and it shows you really are a true friend.

Rollingonwheelz101 karma

Well it definitely started out hard because every single conversation was about the accident. It would be her apologizing and me saying everything is okay. We started forcing other conversations just to get off the topic and eventually it became natural to talk about other things. Now we are finally in a place where we just joke and laugh like girlfriends do

beetus_wrangler44 karma

Do people who have heard your story ever send you any weird mail?

Rollingonwheelz96 karma

I've gotten a few weird ones. Telling me about some miracle cure or that if I just believe and pray I'll walk again. Those freak me out a little but mostly I get awesome emails or messages to my fb. I love hearing from people

MashCaster44 karma

If the technology was available to get fully working limbs like this guy, would you accept it?

Rollingonwheelz74 karma

Hell yea

mydevilsride40 karma

How did you move past your setback? Has the accident changed your plans in life?

Rollingonwheelz139 karma

Well it certainly changed my career path. But in my situation. 99% of us push through somehow because really the only other alternative is to die. Having a sense of humor helps

tawwat136 karma

Don't really have a question, just commenting to say how awesome it is that you didn't let this mishap get you down and are living your life in a way many folks dream of living, and I wish you the best of luck with your journey into parenthood. I'm sure you'll be a fantastic inspiration and role model for your child.

Rollingonwheelz23 karma

Thanks you!

J3urke33 karma

You mentioned somewhere that you can't feel anything below your chest, but that you still enjoy sex. Can you elaborate on that a little? Do you feel any sensation, or is it purely an emotional satisfaction?

Rollingonwheelz84 karma

It's very difficult to explain. I do feel physical satisfaction but it's not how you would feel it. No I don't feel the actual sex, but my brain is stimulated by something which makes me feel like I'm aroused. There's a nerve called the vagus nerve and research has shown that this nerd is associated with sexual pleasure but that it completely bypasses the spinal cord

J3urke28 karma

Really interesting, thank you for sharing! It's been said a ton, but I'll say it anyway. The way you are handling your tragedy is really inspiring. I can only hope that should my life be changed in a similar way, I am able to handle it with half the grace that you have.

Rollingonwheelz22 karma

Thank you :)

Caucks1228 karma

I messaged you on FB but you never answered. I hope you don't mind but I have a question for you. How do you do catheter being a quad ? I do catheter every couple of hours but I need assisting devices and since I can't pull my pants up I need to wear modified pants or skirts . I notice you always wear normal clothings Thanks

Rollingonwheelz56 karma

I had a supra pubic catheter so I have a leg bag and I just put it under my skirt or down my pants. I don't ever cath. Sorry, I never saw your message

Caucks1212 karma

May I ask whats the difference between supra and foley? why did you choose supra? wont u carry a bag anyway? how long was surrgery and recovery?

Rollingonwheelz27 karma

I'm not totally aware of the difference except a foley would be through my urethra. This goes through my stomach into my bladder. 10 minute surgery. 1 day recovery

xXhazekillaXx27 karma

I dont want to seem rude at all, this isn't aimed to be rude. Im simply curious. How are you answering these? Do you dictate it? Or voice to text? Please dont be offended

Rollingonwheelz51 karma

Not expensive at all to ask that. I use an iPad and just tap the screen with my knuckle. Due to the paralysis, my joints have become tight and my hands are in kind of a loose fist so I use my pinky knuckle to tap the screen. Every now and then I use Siri for long messages

trowawayatwork24 karma

whats your best life advice?

Rollingonwheelz75 karma

Oh wow. I have a lot of advice!!

Don't expect your life to go as planned and never assume tomorrow is guaranteed. Super cliche I know. But Chris and I never leave the house without an I love you because you just never know. This accident reminded me of that. Whenever I think I need to something or whenever I need to talk to someone about something I just do it because I don't know if I'll ever get the chance

AdClemson22 karma

Rachelle, you are gorgeous not just in your physical appearance but in your spirit as well :) thats all, i have no question just admiration =]

Rollingonwheelz16 karma

Thank you :)

TanHeezy22 karma

On your blog you refer to yourself and other people in wheel chairs as "rollers". Do you have a slang word for people who can walk?

Rollingonwheelz44 karma

We say ABs. Or able bodied :)

reedit_reedit18 karma

What is your hope for recovery? Do you have support for when you do have a family?

I put my hat down to your husband, he must be one of the true greats.

Rollingonwheelz59 karma

I have more hope than i used to. They've actually just discovered that battery powered spinal cord stimulates implanted into a patient have allowed 4 out of 4 people in the study to voluntarily move limbs among other returns.

My mother and his parents will be around a lot!

He's really great but he's no hero for staying with me. We just simply love each other :)

yourwordsalloverme18 karma

How did the accident affect your friendship with the girl who pushed you? Were you angry at all? Are you still friends? How did you move past that?

Rollingonwheelz31 karma

It was obviously very difficult but we are still best friends. It's taken a while but things are getting back to normal. I book gets really in-depth about this

Slave_to_Logic16 karma

You are incredibly sexy.

That is all.

Rollingonwheelz27 karma

Compliment accepted :)

kars4kidz15 karma

Looking back on it, is it worse for you that this accident needed to happen on your wedding day rather than another day?

Rollingonwheelz30 karma

Well it was my bachelorette party 4 weeks before the date. Bad timing for sure

dildodon13 karma

Did the wedding date move?

Rollingonwheelz26 karma

Yes because I was in rehab for the original date. It sucked because all of my invitations were out and they were perfect. We got married the following year

ongoingrevolution15 karma

You're awesome!!

Rollingonwheelz16 karma

Lol. Well thanks :)

HasLotsOfFriends14 karma

Are you at all worried by the fact that the title of your book is WAAAY too long? Just kidding. Youre awesome and a huge inspiration. Thanks for doings another ama!

Rollingonwheelz8 karma

Lol thank!

spratlas13 karma

In the book you talk a lot about your love for ECU and wanting to move closer to that environment. Are you still involved with your school, and they with you? I especially wonder about rec therapy and how mutually beneficial your relationship could be... And how much your training helped you build such amazing mental health so you could handle all this so well!

Rollingonwheelz14 karma

We are both die hard ECU fans and we never miss a football game! We are like an hour west so it's not too bad. But yes, I go back yearly and talk to the recreation classes. The same classes I once took before I was hurt. I'm so grateful for that education in adapted sports before I was hurt. It totally saved me

name_is_arbitrary13 karma

How do you type?

Rollingonwheelz21 karma

On an iPad. My hands are kind of in loose fists now because the joints have tightened so I use my pinkie knuckle to tap the screen.

MashCaster10 karma

You may want to look into text-to-speech software. Pretty sure it's built into iPad.

Rollingonwheelz10 karma

I use that too :)

big_boy_pants10 karma

Would you ever pose for Playboy?

Rollingonwheelz23 karma

Heck ya


How long does it take for you to get ready for your day Rachael?

Rollingonwheelz14 karma

With help 15 minutes. I'm working on being able to do this on my own consistently. It's been done but it needs to be more of a normal thing instead of a miraculous thing when I do it. Right now it takes me a little over an hour if I do it by myself

IAmMrBojangles6 karma

Have you hit the $$ jackpot with all that media coverage?

Rollingonwheelz15 karma

Absolutely not. I don't get paid for any of it. Chris is a teacher and I get long term disability. Add the medical expenses and things get kind of tight. But luckily we are smart with our finances and we make it work

Blizzity5 karma

You are awesome Rachelle...and I love your username. Is there something on your "new" bucket list that will require a medical breakthrough, or do you keep your sights set on things in the current realm of reality?

Rollingonwheelz13 karma

Hmmm. I have 2 bucket lists. One incase there's a cure. I would love to go skydiving which I can totally do and my current situation. But my second list... That bucket list has things on it that I've already done that would give anything to do again

Blizzity5 karma

I hope you get a chance to go skydiving soon -- that is on my list as well. That is such an interesting perspective that I hadn't considered...what is on the top of your list of things to do again?

Rollingonwheelz10 karma

Really simple stuff. I want to throw a football again, do a cart wheel, and salsa dance

Blizzity5 karma

Thanks for the replies - I wish you the best! When that day comes...if you are ever in Utah...I'll play catch with you anytime!

Rollingonwheelz5 karma

I had a mean spiral!

Blizzity3 karma

Pre-spinal spiral!

Rollingonwheelz4 karma



You must miss your life before the accident.....Do you every think about it.

Rollingonwheelz7 karma

All the time. But I try not to harp on it. Some days I do

ADillPickle4 karma

What's your favorite thing to do?

Rollingonwheelz7 karma

I love going to sporting events. Chris and I get kinda crazy especially over East Carolina Football

ADillPickle1 karma

Cool! What sports do you like to watch?

Rollingonwheelz3 karma

Football, hockey, basketball in that order :)

eeyorez3 karma

Wow, a bunch of clueless and/or offensive questions here, especially regarding your husband!

I've talked to a bunch of quads and most agree that the biggest hurdle in SCI isn't the not-walking but other related issues (bladder stuff, hand function, etc). If you could get just one function that you lost back, what would it be?

Rollingonwheelz15 karma

I'm not offended, people just don't get it. My husband didn't stay with me for charity!

Man, this is a difficult question. Hand function, orgasms and bladder/bowel function Are definitely things that I would want back before I walked. I think id have to choose hand function. Hand function means full independence

peetee323 karma

I don't understand how you go from being pushed to diving in head first. It would seem to me you were pushed, got off balance, started to tip, then decided to dive in, not knowing the depth. In all my years off poolside shenanigans ive never seen someone get pushed in and end up in a head down position

Rollingonwheelz4 karma

How you explained it is exactly how it happened. Got off balance started to tip and then decided to die then. It was obviously a split-second instinctful decision.

NYstate3 karma

You are amazing! I tell my children that they shouldn't take anything for granted. That they are healthy and people would kill to be able to have the things that you don't even like.

One question: Do you think that things happen for a reason or do you think that you're just using what happened to you to educate and inspire people?

Rollingonwheelz16 karma

A part from a blog I wrote about this

"I think people desperately want an answer for why something terrible has happened in their lives so they can more easily come to terms with it. But I refuse to believe any higher power has this plan for who gets attacked, violated, murdered or paralyzed for the good of humanity. If this were the case then you couldn't hate criminals who may have wreaked havoc on someone's life. They are just carrying out history that's already been written right? I don't think so. It's OK to hate a tragic event and wish that it had never happened."

I believe we have choices to put a meaning to a tragic event or to just be sad about it which is ok too. Here is the full blog I wrote on six cliché phrases I don't believe in.


Rachael how do you stay so positive in this journey that you are on.... You have been an inspiration to so many.... !!!!!!

Rollingonwheelz7 karma

I get this a lot but I'm positive because the alternative is being miserable. Everyone always says that there's no way they could handle it like I do, but you really don't know that. Before the accident if you had asked me how Id handle it Id say no way that I ever could. I be so depressed. But somehow you get through. Some days are depressing. But I do my best to push sadness aside and move on


The word "paralyzed bride" is all over the place, I bet this makes your friend feel like real shit, everyday.

Rollingonwheelz4 karma

She'd feel like shit either way. Not everyday anymore. We are working past that

NerakanDrac1 karma

No questions. Just wanted to say that you are beautiful and awesome, staying positive and realistic at once. Good luck with motherhood!

Rollingonwheelz1 karma


zcektor011 karma

are you still friends with your best friend that pushed you?

Rollingonwheelz2 karma

Absolutely. It was an accident and I horseplayed by the pool pushing people in before. Who am I to be mad at someone for doing something I've done before

SWaspMale1 karma

Will you try stem cell therapy?

Rollingonwheelz1 karma

I'd like to see more research and more evidence before I personally go through with it. Anyways, I have to leave the country with tens of thousands of dollars to get it now. But one day I hope it is FDA approved here in the USA

MsSgtPepper421 karma

The few pictures I saw of your wedding were incredibly GORGEOUS!! You are very photogenic! I sit here, in tears, laughter and shock. I am amazed at the perseverance of people who won't let life get in the way of their happiness. I admire you for that. I cry because as I read through, I think about all the petty, ridiculous things that "take over" people's lives. (my own included at times). That even when I am having a horrible terrible no good very bad day, someone else has got it just a little bit worse (or a lot). I laugh at the things I thought were bad. I laugh because I imagine your mantra being, "Goonies NEVER say die!"

I love your person, your soul, and your spirit. I cannot wait until you post your first sonogram! Much love and respect to you and your family!

Edit: Also, I read you were thinking of going the surrogacy route. I don't mean to get too personal, or tell you what to do, BUT, I suggest maybe starting a fundraiser to help pay for that. I know I would donate!!

Rollingonwheelz1 karma

Thank you!! I hope to do so in a few months!

self_defeating-1 karma

Can't believe no one has asked this yet.

Was the moment captured on video? Can we see it?

Rollingonwheelz1 karma

No video available. That'd be weird!

quad_ca-8 karma

Hello, I have the following questions: 1- If you cant afford your medical care or your fertility treatment how can you afford raising a kid? are you gonna raise money for the rest of your and kids life for every little thing?

Rollingonwheelz2 karma

I'm happy to answer that. We can afford my basic needs medically. Do I wish I had therapy? Sure! But I don't have $3,000 a month to throw at that. Fertility treatments = over $15,000 lawyer $5,000 add thousands for surrogates fertility meds and bills. I'm not familiar with the average American family that has $30,000 in their back pocket. But yet many familiars can afford to raise happy healthy children despite this fact.

softbeard2 karma

Thanks for throwing the question in his face in the most polite way possible. Your hardship reminds me of the plight most middle-class families would go through for an extreme medical emergency. I hope in our lifetime we are able to dedicate more resources to assist people with medical needs.

I do not consider physical therapy a medical luxury for you. It is a medical need that could increase your independence. That's an investment, not a handout (besides which, I don't care if it's a handout).

Rollingonwheelz0 karma

Lol thanks :). This person is actually a girl who has been quite rude on other message boards and throughout this one. But hey. If someone's talking about you, you're doing something right eh? :)

And I agree with the therapy. I would love my own equipment a so that I could do continuous therapy. That'd be awesome

johnnynoname12-9 karma

Your story is inspiring with the drive home moral to all women being DONT GET MARRIED.

god bless you

Rollingonwheelz8 karma

Or just DONT HORSEPLAY BY THE POOL! but absolutely get married :)

quad_ca-13 karma

why didnt your friend become surrogate? its her fault you got injured why dont you get a job like rest of us quadriplegics and pay for your own thing rather than living on freebies?

Rollingonwheelz4 karma

  1. I'd rather my child not be carried out of guilt
  2. I often can't sit up in the morning do to crazy low blood pressure but if an employer would like to employ me I'm ready to go if they can accept my set backs. You are unaware of my efforts to be employed in a job a qualify for. Also I'm a writer. That's a job

  3. I'll answer any more questions you may have if you'd like to ask them with a little less judgement, bitterness and negativity. Otherwise no need to waste any more of your day on this AMA

rogerklotz473 karma

Not sure if /u/quad_ca is actually a quadriplegic, but it's pretty obvious he's definitely an asshole.

Rollingonwheelz1 karma

If it's who I think, it's a chick and she's expressed her dislike for me in multiple ways on the internet. Can't please em all!

HanSolosHammer1 karma

I'm sorry you're getting rude people like this.

Rollingonwheelz1 karma

Just rude person. Doesn't phase me.