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The big lesson Suze Orman learned from her recent health scare

Suze Orman leaving the hospital in July 2020, after surgery to remove a tumor from her spine.

Source: Kathy Travis

Suze Orman didn’t take her own advice, at least when it came to her health.

The New York Times best-selling author and personal finance expert had emergency surgery in July for a tumor on her spinal cord, after ignoring some troubling signs for several months prior.

“With money, the reason we don’t do the things we know we need to do is because we are afraid,” Orman said. “We are afraid of making mistakes.

“I was in that mode, but with my health,” added Orman,  who is 69 and said she “should have known better.”

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“But it is hard to face your greatest fears in life.”

Orman’s medical issues actually started with a nagging cough several years ago. After being treated for reflux and having surgery, she thought she was in the clear. Yet her coughing and esophageal spasms came back.

Then, last October, she had trouble walking up five steps onto the stage for a PBS special in Miami.

“I notice when I’m walking up the steps, I can’t walk up the steps without pulling myself up,” said Orman, who hosts the podcast, “Women and Money.”

“My right leg was too weak to hold myself going up steps.”

Suze Orman spoke with her doctors before heading into the operating room for spinal surgery in July 2020.

Source: Kathy Travis

After she had more trouble with her leg, she went to a doctor, who told her she just overextended her knee. When the problems persisted, she was told to go for an MRI. But life got busy. In February, her latest book, “The Ultimate Retirement Guide” came out and she went on her book tour.

“I’m barreling through it and I’m not paying a lot of attention, although when I walk up a lot of stairs, I have to pull myself up,” she said.

Then, the tour wrapped up and the coronavirus pandemic hit. Orman was at her home in the Bahamas with her wife, Kathy “KT” Travis, and wasn’t going to travel back to Florida for the MRI.

I knew something was wrong and I wanted to believe the doctors that didn’t give me the correct advice.

Suze Orman

personal finance expert

“I notice that my right leg is getting thinner than my left leg,” Orman said. “Then my thumb and my index finger on the right hand start to go numb.”

Her doctors told her it was likely carpal tunnel syndrome, she said.

When she had trouble writing, and eating — even dropping her fork, she reached out to her general practitioner. He looked at all of her problems, which she had addressed with various specialists, and insisted she come back to Florida for MRIs of her