Yes, I Traveled to Florida (But not for THAT Reason)

January 22, 2019

Yes, I Traveled to Florida (But not for THAT Reason)

I did it. After several years of being restricted by a disobedient bowel program, I traveled solo for the first time after the BCIR procedure.

With a spinal cord injury, everything is planned around a schedule. And when part of that schedule cannot be managed, it throws all of life off.

Am I Ready?

After having surgery in 2018 to be able to manage my bowel program with a continent ostomy, I was wondering if I had actually lost my life rather than regaining it. Slowly I’ve been getting back my pre-surgery strength and endurance.

But when the president of the organization I work for asked me to attend a conference, I was hesitant to say yes. All of the “What ifs” came to mind.

Could I empty my new pouch in an unfamiliar setting? Would I be able to eat food that wouldn’t complicate things (since my diet isn’t quite back to normal)?

The Decision

I decided to live up to my motto: If I’m not living outside my comfort zone, then I’m not really living.

So I signed up for the conference and booked my plane tickets. Of all places for this conference to be, it was in Orlando, Florida: the state I was in for my 15-week stay in the hospital. God certainly has a sense of humor.

I Did It

Even with my concerns, everything went smoothly. As always, I had to modify my surroundings to make it work. I still don’t feel comfortable intubating (emptying the pouch with a catheter) in a public restroom. Thankfully, the hotel was very close, so I simply ran over and back before dinner. (Okay, I rolled over, if you want to be technical.)

I’ve proven to myself I can get back to traveling.

I was free from worry about “accidents.” Eating the food served was not a concern – I simply skipped a few side dishes to be safe.

Although I was exhausted upon my return, I put into practice some good self-care. And after some introvert time, I was back in the office.

Hopefully, this is just a glimpse of more great things to come.


A gifted athlete. An unthinkable accident. Will a wheelchair crush her adventurous spirit?

More to explore

Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith

After a spinal cord injury at 16, I discovered that a wheelchair could take me places I never dared to imagined.

Follow Me


Get The Latest Updates

Don't Miss A Post!

Sign up to receive an email when I post new content.



Get notified when I post new content by signing up below. You can also help me reach my goal of 1000 subscribers by subscribing to my YouTube channel. Subscribing to YouTube is easy just click the YouTube icon.