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Tanya Wick, 36

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Social media handles:

Facebook: Tanya Wick, Tiktok: @tanyalynn85, and Instagram: tanzbonz

Where are you from? Wisconsin

Where do you live now? Wisconsin and still in my hometown

Tell us a little about yourself: Wife of 15 years to Gary, mom to 3: Kasydee, Braydyn, and Jeyse.

What’s your eye story?

When I was 15 my retina detached in my right eye. I figured this out while on a family vacation in July when I went to take a picture with my old school camera (the one where you had to look through the little window) and I could not see a thing!

My parents made no big deal of it. So it was not addressed until November when I went in for my annual eye exam. With a retina detachment, you usually need to catch it within 24 hours to save it, but my Dr. sent me to a retina specialist anyway.

I underwent two unsuccessful retinal detachment surgeries. Thus, I learned to drive, and live with one eye. Both my balance and depth perception is off, which makes it more difficult.

I also developed cataracts, but it never bothered me. Eventually, I did have my eye removed just as a cosmetic thing. Fast forward to the beginning of the Covid pandemic. I started working from home and my eyes started to tear up and burn.

It almost felt like I was cutting up an onion 24/7. It got so bad I wouldn’t dare walk out of the house without sunglasses on, and even wear them inside at times. Even with this strategy, I could barely even drive.

I went to my regular eye Dr. a few times and who would prescribe me drops for dry eyes. I always swore I did not have dry eyes, but she insisted I did. I ended up going to see a new retina specialist since mine had retired and he tossed the idea of having the eye removed because the oil from my retina surgery was starting to leak.

I freaked out and was like there is no way, no how I'm doing that! Even my regular eye Dr. said she would hold off too! So for 2 years, I suffered. It got so bad I ended up getting FMLA at work because I could not do my job most days.

Fast forward to starting to never want to leave the house. I decided it was time to call and see the surgeon for eye removal. She was amazing and super sweet. She said it was completely up to me and asked if I wanted someone to contact me to schedule surgery.

This was in September of 2021. I said sure. Scheduling called twice and I wouldn’t answer. Finally, I made the call at the end of October. They gave me a date of December 30, 2021! I said to myself it is just a date, I can still cancel it if I want.

The day came and we were out of the house by 4 am and in Milwaukee by 6 am. I kept asking myself over and over, ‘why are you doing this doing this!?’. At one point I asked my husband to turn the car around....he didn't.

We got placed in a room and the nurse walked in and informed me that my surgery had been delayed 2 hours! I damn near lost it. Surgery finally came and I started crying as they rolled me away from my husband.

When I got to the OR I asked all the questions, like what if I woke up mid-surgery, etc., and then, just like that, I woke up from surgery 3 hours later. I spent the night in the hospital and then traveled back home.

By the time I got back, I could watch TV again and it felt like a freaking miracle! I had barely any pain or downtime from surgery. I started walking outside without sunglasses again! Ultimately I found my eye removal to be the BEST decision!

I had to wait about 8 weeks to get my prosthetic. I just wore a patch on my glasses in the meantime. As scared and nervous as I was, this has become the best thing ever. I have yet to conquer my last fear of removing/ adjusting my prosthetic back in, but I’m working on it!

What has been the most challenging thing mentally? I try not to let anything bother me, but sometimes, randomly I will have a breakdown, but I always pull through!

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

Not wearing contacts or not seeing out of the right side is difficult.

Where are you now in your recovery?

Living with a prosthetic

What piece of advice would you give to someone going through their eye impairment journey?

Hang in there! It WILL get better and easier.

Who is your eye surgeon and ocularist?

Surgeon Dr. Esmaili at the Eye Institute of Wisconsin Froedert

The ocularist was Carrie artist Sara at Eye Prosthetic of Wisconsin in Brookfield

How did you find EYEHESIVE?

Scrolling TikTok! I found Shelby before my surgery and started following TikTok and Instagram, and before I knew it your page turned into EYEHESIVE!

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