Wendy’s Journey: Adventures In The Financially Unexpected

This is the fourth part of our five part series following MindShift.money member Wendy Priester as she goes through Financially Fit Bootcamp. If you’re just joining us, you can start your journey with her here.

I sat in the doctor’s office, not quite understanding what I was hearing.

The neurologist sat across from me, with a very kind expression on his face. He gently explained the results of my tests again because I couldn’t quite take it all in. I had to ask him to write my condition down because I wasn’t sure how to spell it.

I walked out of his office with my head spinning and a piece of paper in my hand that showed the words that would change my life: Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome

What’s Happening To Me?

Five months before my diagnosis, I was running three days a week and walking up to four miles a day. Then one morning, I woke up feeling like I had the flu. With body aches and extreme fatigue, I had a vague feeling I’d been run over by a truck while sleeping.

I went to see the doctor but was told it was “just a virus” and to go home to get some rest. I did, but my symptoms never improved. In fact, they only got worse.

Fast forward to my current appointment. That morning, I had to force myself out of bed after sleeping for more than 11 hours the night before. I walked like I was drunk, weaving from side to side. The only thing keeping me upright was the cane I was now using. I was so exhausted, I was barely able to dress myself and then drive to the neurologist’s office.

Now What?


Heading back to work, I tried to process the events of the morning. The neurologist had explained that while my condition wasn’t fatal, it was generally progressive.

The good news? There was medication to treat some of my symptoms and help me regain some mobility.

The bad news? My condition was so rare, only two neurologists in the entire state of Colorado could treat me. And he wasn’t one of them.

I had started my current job a mere six weeks before my symptoms started. I was only able to last another two months after my diagnosis before my condition made doing my job impossible. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I had worked my entire life for this. I followed the classic advice and went to school, got a Master’s degree, worked hard to become a tax auditor and had a job I loved in a small town in Colorado.

And now, it was over. I was 32, and I would never work full time again.

Protecting Myself

There was one choice I made when I started my new job that would prove to be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I sign up for health insurance, but I also signed up for long-term disability insurance. This meant that should I become unable to work, the insurance would cover a portion of my salary for the rest of my life.

So, while I was attending endless appointments with my neurologist and undergoing some intense diagnostic testing, I wasn’t worried about my bills. Because of the insurance I had in place, as well as the savings I had built up, my personal disaster didn’t become a financial disaster.

My focus was on my health, where it needed to be.

Preparing For The Unexpected

In telling you my story, I hope you understand why I’m so passionate about you getting your Security Buffer in place and reviewing your insurance coverage. You need to make sure you’re following the third Money Principle: Protect Yourself.

I can’t predict what will happen to you in life. Honestly, I hope you never have to go through something like this. But I do know that no matter what happens, you can be prepared financially to handle whatever life throws at you.

Take the time now to review the insurance coverage you have for yourself and for your family. Make a plan so you’re protected financially and can focus on what’s important during the tough times.

Life Is Still Good

My life is nothing like I had planned when I was younger, but it’s certainly been an adventure!

Since my diagnosis, I’ve taken the opportunity to reinvent myself. While I can never return to the career I had before, I’m now a certified Financially Fit Bootcamp Coach. It’s so rewarding to be able to work with people to achieve their financial goals and get them on the path to Financial Freedom

What steps can you take today to protect your family? Share your thoughts on building your Security Buffer in the Financial Foundations Facebook community. I can’t wait to hear your story.


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