August 30, 2020
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In this podcast, Suze shares with us why she needed to have surgery and the consequences of what happened when she didn’t stand in her truth with her health. You’ll hear a very powerful story.
Suze Orman’s Women and Money podcast is proudly sponsored by credit unions; a safe home for your money, rain or shine. August 30, 2020. Suze O. here and welcome to the Women and Money podcast as well as the men smart enough to listen. I'm back. I'm back after five weeks of something that I totally never expected that I would go through. But before I talk about that a little bit and say what I want to say about that, I first just want to thank, really, Robert and Sarah because, man, what a great job they did. They stepped in so quickly it's not even funny, like none of us thought that I was going to have to have surgery and that it would be the type of surgery that it was. It was the furthest thing from any of our minds, and so they did such a great job. So Robert and Sarah, really, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, I thank you, I thank you. And I also thank all of you who sent emails and prayers and well wishes and cards and flowers and all kinds of things. Thank you so much, they were all felt so deeply, really, seriously. And again, thank you so, so very much. But most of all, really, most of all, I have to thank KT. KT really went beyond the call of duty for the past five weeks. She's always been there for me in every possible way, but when I say that KT gave it her all for the past five weeks, she gave it her all. She did everything above and beyond, really. So KT, I never thought I could love you more than I love you, but what can I say? I'm such a lucky girl. I have to tell you, I've learned a lot from these past five or six weeks. I've learned a lot about me and I've learned a lot about how I was making the mistake that I tell all of you not to make when it comes to your money. How many years have I sat here and I said, you have got to trust your gut more than you trust others. You have got to stand in your truth. You have got to face it to erase it. So on today's podcast, I'm going to bring you up to date on my health and the experience that I went through and what I learned from it. And I am going to directly relay that to wealth and really hope that you don't make the mistake that I made. You know, I always talk about health and wealth as if they're one because they are. Without your wealth, it's very hard if something happens to your health. Without your health, it really doesn't matter how much wealth you have, you need both of those things. It's like the right hand and the left hand, you need both of your hands, health and wealth, to grab onto life to the fullest. To the fullest of what you can be and what you want to be and how you want to live. And if one of those isn't there, then you don't have a firm grip on what you really want to see happen in your life. And while I had and still have an incredibly firm grip on my wealth, I wasn't paying attention, and I wasn't even reaching out on any level when it came to my health. I wasn't grabbing it tightly, I was just letting it flow through my hands and dribble away. And so today's podcast is all about when you do not stand in your truth, when you do not do with that which you know is true for you, oh, you will face the consequences big time. So, obviously, today's podcast is called "Truth or Consequences." Now, I am going to talk about what happened to me but I'm also going to tell all of you that today will really be the last time that I'm going to talk about it because I want to move on now. I want to move on to the future, I don't want to dwell in the past. I want to look at what I have, not at what I had. I want to put all the elements, all the teachings that I've lived my life by, into practice at this point in time. And so I'm going to be moving on, which means we're all going to be moving on. And come Thursday, I'm going to go back to talking about the economy, the stock market, what does it mean? Where are we? What should we be doing? You know, what truth should we be facing in our own lives right now? And we'll just continue on with the Women and Money podcast like it was before this happened to me. So, I briefly want to tell you, although we don't seem to really do anything very briefly, do I, everybody? But anyway, I just want to tell you, number one, how am I doing? I'm doing pretty good, all right? I have my voice, I have my mind, I have the ability to write again in my hands back so I can feed myself and do everything, all right? My left side is giving me a little problem, just so you know, it's like the nerves are all waking up, but, um, in time, that should be OK. It might take a month or two or so, even longer possibly, but that's OK because I'm going to make it there, and everything is going to be exactly how it is meant to be. No matter how it is, I'm going to tell you this right now, I am going to be grateful, I am going to be happy, and I am going to still be exactly who I am. But I'm expecting a 100% recovery, so are the doctors, it's just going to take a matter of months. But I most certainly have my voice, everybody, and I am going to use it, especially on this podcast. So, why didn't I stand in my truth? How didn't I stand in my truth and what were the consequences because I did not? To make a very long story short, I knew about a year ago something was going wrong, but I didn't want it to be true. I just wanted to think it was not a big deal that what was happening was just normal, I could fix it. And it started with me having my knee start to collapse as I would walk and when I would go upstairs. I didn't have the strength to pull myself without my arm helping me upstairs. And so, after this going on for quite a while, I finally go to the doctor and the doctor says, well, let's take an X-ray. And we take an X-ray and he says, well, no, Suze, you know, it's not your meniscus. It's not your hip, I don't think so, I don't know, maybe it's just your quad is really weak and you need to do quad exercises. I'm like, OK, and then I think, oh, I'll check it out with another doctor. And this time I physically can't go to the doctor, but I'm on the phone with him. He says, you know, it sounds like that you've probably overextended your knee, so you need to get a brace and just wear a brace and you'll be fine. I wanted to believe these doctors so much over what I knew in my gut was a very different reason that I stood in their truth and not my own. So I got a brace. I started to do really heavy-duty quad exercises to make my legs stronger, and somehow, it just wasn't getting stronger. So, I started to notice in my right hand that my thumb and my index finger started to get you know, those pins and needles in it, and they were going numb. But everybody was telling me well, what do you expect, Suze, you're on your cell phone all the time answering all these emails. And at the time, I was. You would be writing in emails and asking questions, and at that time, I was answering every single one of them because I wanted to be able to answer your questions and to help you. And so all right, it's like, now what do I do about that? Stop holding your phone, stop answering emails, and it will come back. And then I go to another doctor and they go, well, you probably have carpal tunnel syndrome, Suze, that's what's going on. You should get a brace. I go, OK, and now I'm believing them because I want to believe them. So now, I have a brace on my knee, I have a brace on my wrist, and still, things just don't seem like it's right. And then, as time went on, all the symptoms started to get worse. And then one day, KT looked at me, she said, Suze, all the muscles in the back of your leg are gone. If you look at your right leg, Suze, you've totally atrophied there in comparison to your left leg. And then KT started to get afraid. And so, we call up my general practitioner and we tell him everything that now is going on and his name is Dr. Alan Saitowitz. I love this doctor and he says, Suze, listen to me, this is not your leg, this is not carpal tunnel syndrome. I need you to come back to Florida from the island that you live on, and I need you to get three MRIs. One of your brain, one of your thoracic, and one of your upper body, I forgot what he said. And I'm like but Alan, I don't want to come back to Florida, you've got COVID is rampant there. There's no COVID where I am. So, I have to do this right away, and he says, I'm just telling you, I need to see three MRIs on you. And now I'm like, really? And then I call the leg doctor up because I didn't want to go and get MRI's on my brain because I didn't want there to be a possibility that he was going to find something. But in my gut, I knew that something wasn't right, and that's what I needed to do, but I didn't want to be right. You know everybody, it's like you don't want to believe you're going to lose your job. You don't want to believe that you're not going to be able to pay your bills. You don't want to believe that your relationship really is bad and you need to leave it. You don't want to believe certain things so you just keep doing it. You don't stand in the truth of what you know, and that's what I was doing. Yes, Suze Orman was doing that with her own health, and I had all these excuses that were just so stupid. It was like, COVID was going on, I had my new PBS special that was releasing, I had a new book that was releasing, I had to do a book tour. I had to do this, I had to do that, I couldn't just stop it for all this stuff, I had to keep doing all of this. Really, Suze? Really? Yeah, that's how I was thinking. All right OK. So, now what happens is I don't want those three MRIs and I call the leg doctor back and he said, well, Suze, you know, maybe you should go and get an MRI on your legs so we can see what's going on with your leg. Because I wanted this really just to be my leg, I didn't want it to be anything else. So, both doctors happened to order the MRIs at the same MRI lab. So now we go back, this is probably in June of this year, we go back to Florida and we go back there and I go to the MRI place and they say to me, Suze, the two doctors have ordered altogether five MRI's and we can't give you five MRIs all in one day because each one is like 40 minutes or an hour, and that's too long for you to lie there. So, which MRI's do you want to do? So, of course, I say the leg MRIs because I don't want to do the others because I'm afraid of what they might show, which would be the truth, and I'm afraid of the truth. So I do the MRIs on my leg and they show nothing. There's nothing there. And so, then what do KT and I do? Oh, we go back to the island because I want to go back to the island, I don't want to do the other three. We go back to the island, and in those two weeks, things started to go south very quickly where I couldn't hold a pen, I couldn't hold a fork, it would drop when I was eating, I couldn't write, I couldn't do a lot of things. So, KT and I turned around again and we go back to Florida and this is now July 20 and I go in to get the three MRIs that Dr. Alan Saitowtiz has ordered, the ones that he had ordered a long time ago before that. Anyway, I go in and the nurses say the doctor has ordered these MRIs with contrast, and contrast means they give you an IV, they inject you with something, and it makes the image more vivid so they can see everything they need to see. And I'm reading the release about contrast, and it talks about how you could have an allergic reaction to it and this and that, and I go, you know what? I'm not doing contrast. I'll do the MRI's, but I'm not doing contrast. If we find something, I'll do the MRIs again with contrast, but I don't want to put those chemicals in my body if I don't have to and the nurses say OK. So, now I'm on the table and they complete the first MRI, and I'm waiting for them to start the second MRI, and all of a sudden, I hear the voice of Dr. Alan and he says to me, Suze, I need to talk to you. And he says, listen, we found something and it is not good, and I need you to do these MRIs with contrast. So, obviously, the nurses had called him in his office, he left his office, came to the MRI lab, into the MRI room to tell me that that's what we're going to do. And as soon as I heard his voice in this MRI lab, I knew I was already in trouble. So, I said, of course, doc, if that's what you want to do, let's do it. So, they hooked me up, I do the MRIs now with contrast, and then we leave. And a few hours later, I get a call from Dr. Alan Saitowitz, and he says, all right, we really have a problem here. And he said, you have a tumor on your thoracic between C-3 and C-6, I believe is what he said. And he said, and it's cutting off about 80% of your spinal cord and we have got to operate right away. So, we're going to have to find a neurologist, you're going to have to decide where you should go, what you should do, and how it should be. And he said, if you have what it takes to go anywhere in the United States, you should go to a Center of Excellence to check it out because this will be a special surgery. So, I said all right. I called my friend Ron Walls, Dr. Ron Walls, who's the COO of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who is just so extraordinary, I can't even tell you. And I say to him, I need help in finding the best surgeons and things like that, and I send him the MRIs. I get an email back from him saying, can you call me tomorrow morning between 6:30 and 7:30? And I said, oh, you bet I can. And with that, we spend the night thinking, all right, what are we going to do? Oh, my God, now KT and I are totally freaked out. In the morning, I call Dr. Ron Walls and he has with him the head of neurology, Dr. Nino Chiocca of Brigham and Women's Hospital. And he is on the phone with me, they both are now, and they tell me this seriousness of what's going on with me and Dr. Nino says to me, how soon can you be here? And KT and I said, well, we could be there tomorrow. He said, good, we're scheduling surgery for Thursday, July 23. So, think about this, July 20 we get the MRIs, we're in surgery on July 23, and Nino selected Dr. Mike Groff as the head surgeon that would do this surgery. And on the 22nd, we met with Mike, really, for quite a long time. We asked him how difficult of a surgery is this, and he said, Suze, really, on a scale of 1 to 10 it's probably, a seven or an eight, it's not a joke, and he explains to me everything that could happen. So, that's what happened, and it was a serious surgery. It lasted 10 hours, 12 hours, something like that, and they were able to get all of the tumor, which they did not think they were going to be able to do, number one. It had been growing for 15 years and they had to take out two of my discs, I believe, grind them down and put in a steel shaft. Actually, it was a titanium shaft. And here I am, sitting with you today. So, the reason that this is so important is if I had let this go just a little longer, I would be paralyzed today, probably a quadriplegic. And all because I didn't listen to my gut. All because I didn't want what I knew in my gut something was wrong, really wrong. Because of how I felt, I didn't want to face that truth, I chose to believe other people's truth of what it could possibly be. And I almost ended up paralyzed because of that. And I am not exaggerating here people, really, over 80% of my spinal cord was not receiving fluids. Um, and it was very close, we were very close to having that be a reality, and that could have been a reality even with this surgery. So, that would have been a really big consequence for me to have to face, especially for KT to have faced, knowing that as I went into surgery. And what's interesting to me is Suze Orman, how could you, of all people, not have stood in your truth? I don't really have an answer to that, a good one, because I have to tell you there isn't a good answer. But I share this experience with you, really, from my heart with you, because it's not just about health, it's also about wealth. And we are facing a time in history, we really are, everybody, where we have to face the truth about health right now when it comes to the virus as well as our wealth and how the wealth of this world, especially the United States of America, especially your wealth, has been affected because of health, because of the virus, and what we need to do about it. And again, we will talk about that in future podcasts. But if we don't stand in our truths in both of those elements, health and wealth, I am here to tell you, that the consequences that I almost faced and, really, I'm still facing right now to tell you the truth. And the consequences that you will face for no reason, for no reason because we could have done something about it. That's just so ridiculous it's not even funny. So that's my story, that's what I've gone through. Um, and I want the story to also help all of you. You know, the other day I was talking to a very good friend of mine who's this incredible athlete. Like, she swims for miles in the ocean, she runs, she can run forever. And over the past few months, she hasn't been feeling well, something's been wrong, but everybody's been telling her, no, no, it's OK, it's all right, it's whatever. And she hasn't believed it. And now she's been going for MRI after MRI, and it's very possible that she may have now MS. And so many doctors told her no way that you could have MS, it doesn't happen when you're older, things like that, but she is not going to stop until she finds out why she doesn't feel right. And when I was talking to her, she said to me, you know, Suze, standing in my truth when it comes to my health has also helped me stand in my truth in every other area of my life. So for me, I've stood in the truth of my wealth and every area of my wealth. And now, I will never again not stand in my truth in every possible area of my health. And that is my wish for all of you. Is that this one podcast here, this one podcast, maybe my experience that I went through, I don't know. But whatever it is, that today is the day that every one of you vows to stand in your truth when it comes to your health and to your wealth. It doesn't matter what one doctor says to you, it doesn't matter what one financial advisor says to you, it doesn't matter what one friend says to you. It doesn't matter. All that matters is how you feel inside on what your gut is telling you because you have got to trust your gut more than you trust others. Even if you want to trust others more than you trusting your gut because if you don't, if you don't stand in your truth, your own truth, I promise you you will face the consequences. Now, we are in the midst of The Eight Qualities of a Wealthy Woman course. And tomorrow is the seventh quality, and I am back for it, I recorded it. So, all of you should be taking this course, it is fabulous by the way. The way that you take it is you just go to the Women and Money app that you can find on Apple Apps or Google Play. Just search for Suze Orman and download the Women and Money app and you can take the Eight Qualities of a Wealthy Woman course. Fabulous. You should do it. All right, everybody, Thursday we're going back to regular programming where we're going to talk about the things you need to know. But until then, really, thanks everybody for being there with me. And the main lesson here is what? Stand in your truth. See you on Thursday. Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm Robert, and we're from Suze Orman's Women and Money podcast team here to tell you that Alloya's member credit unions are so proud to have brought you this episode. You know, Robert, credit unions live by people helping people philosophy. Absolutely, Sarah. And that means when you bank with a credit union, you can trust that they have your best interest at heart. The fact is, regardless of circumstance, a credit union will have your back and keep your money safe, that's the credit union promise. Go to www.MyCreditUnion.gov to find a credit union that fits your needs. That's MyCreditUnion.gov. In providing answers neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman is acting as a Certified Financial Planner, advisor, a Certified Financial Analyst, an economist, CPA, accountant, or lawyer. Neither Suze Orman Media nor Suze Orman makes any recommendations as to any specific securities or investments. All content is for informational and general purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting or legal advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and financial advisors regarding your particular situation. 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