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Local women diagnosed with Vestibular Disorder spreads awareness

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WESTON, Wis. (WAOW) -- Sue Waldman, a wife, a mother and an athlete of Wausau.

But her life changed after just one day of biking.

"We were in Door County and I thought I was having a stroke," Waldman said.

After a few falls she thought, it had to be vertigo. Come to find out her dizziness was a symptom of an even bigger disorder.

"They (doctors) did this test called VNG (videonystagmography) and what it checks for is inner ear issues," Waldman said. "They discovered that I lost 56 percent of my balance in my left ear and it wasn't going to come back so I needed to retrain my brain to compensate for it."

She was diagnosed with Vestibular Disorder in October 2019, and Dr. Tony Friese a Physical Therapist says there are certain symptoms you should look for.

"People who have problems with balance may have a variety of symptoms including dizziness balance difficulties hearing problems which we don't address in our therapy but they can be a part of the overall problem," said Friese.

Waldman says, Dr. Friese is her life saver.

"I was sitting in a chair at home I couldn't do anything my daily life was totally gone huge tennis player I couldn't play tennis anymore because I'd tip over on the court," Waldman said.

After weeks of physical therapy, she started to feel like herself. Dr. Friese says, she worked diligently and harder than anyone else he's worked with.

Now she's stepping back into where her physical therapy began to put things into perspective for others.

"It was amazing how quickly she was not only able to get back to those everyday tasks but she was playing tennis again and I think she's very happy about that," said Dr. Friese.

A reminder, that just like Sue Waldman, an inner ear disorder may be present even when there are no obvious symptoms. If you suspect you fit in this category, you should consult your doctor.

For more information, click here.

Amanda Lojewski

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