Meet Will and Katie Dickey
Will and Katie are newlyweds—married about four months ago. While they met online, as things turned out their paths could have easily crossed: She is the admissions counselor at the college he was attending, and she grew up knowing some of his cousins.
A Balancing Act
I’m very big on schedules and regimen. Before I met Katie, it was a juggling act to do all the things I needed to do to maintain my health but also find time to be social. There were many times I didn’t feel social at all because of the bowel and bladder issues.
Maintaining Good Health and the Relationship
Now that I’m married, it’s still a juggling act. I’ve learned in a relationship doing the little things are so important. I try to make time to do those things and to spend enough time together. Sometimes surgery can cut in on that time. But even then, if I can’t be out doing things, we have similar hobbies and will spend time watching college basketball together.
Open and Honest
Katie: Will told me about his Spina Bifida within the first 30 minutes of our first online chat. The way he presented it was reassuring, and I researched Spina Bifida online right away. My parents and friends had some concerns when they saw our relationship was getting serious: How long will he live? Can he have children? But Will was very open, honest, and patient in explaining things. He provided them literature and made them see that his Spina Bifida didn’t define him.
Will: I learned from past relationships that it’s best to be honest from the beginning. This “honesty is the best policy” approach to life took some time for me to figure out. During my college years and into my 20s, it was easy to fall into the trap of trying to fit in and hide my medical problems. I view the world very differently now.