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TryNot2Blink explores Castellano’s Eye Candy Eyewear and Ken DauSchmidt’s TearRestore. This episode is exciting, discussing COVID-19, dry eye health, and more! Now, you can enjoy the podcast right here on this blog.

Welcome to try not to Blink a podcast about the ups and downs, ins and outs, news, tips and tricks of those who live the optometry lifestyle. We'd like to thank the amazing people at Valley contacts who have made this podcast possible by making incredible custom stable scleral lens. In case you're wondering, I'm on the East Coast. My name is Doctor James Diem, and I am joined by my talented cohost reppin the West Coast Dr Roya Habibi. What is, uh, Roya?

Nothing exciting at all, Jimmy living, it's spring break.

Relaxing and chilling outside with your open eye warm compress from TearRestore, is that what you're doing?

I mean, I might as well. Isn't it unfair that as adults we don't get holidays like we used to like spring break, summer break?

I took a holiday a little while ago and I didn't say anything about it because, you know, you can't go anywhere right now and be happy about it. You can't share it with people, you can't put pictures on Facebook and show other people where you went. It's this big secret. Anyway, I took a little holiday. I went somewhere nice and it was warm and tropical and we had an absolute blast. It was, it was absolutely fantastic and so yeah, it is sad you can't even take a holiday and experience it, you know. You can't even shove it in other people's faces. It's really sad.

True, though it is a little shameful. I'd say first of all, you and I and your family have been vaccinated, so I think that's contributing to what is allowing the economy to reopen and preventing the spread of the C word (Covid-19), but I think there is a point where we need to say that I respect what's happening, but I also want to a have peace of mind, be relaxed and encourage our economy.

Yeah, you can't just be afraid all the time, and that doesn't mean you don't respect the rules, but I don't think you should be afraid to travel. So long as you're safe and you know following social distancing guidelines, do what you want to.

I want to be normal or adapt to this “new normal” doesn't mean be afraid and stay inside your house all time, right?

No, no it doesn't. But things are moving in the right direction we've talked about, you know, vaccines, and new vaccines, and numbers going down, so life is good. It's spring, birds are chirping.

Can you believe what a year it's been?

Total panic. We didn’t talk to people and didn't even look at people. I mean we live in a little neighborhood with like 10 houses. And you wouldn't even like, you know.

I remember we just moved in to our development, our house. We just built this House and we literally just moved in. We were here for like a week and I remember my neighbor like came over. They wanted to give us something. And I thought, did they throw it at me there? You know, they didn’t want to get too close. They threw me this bottle of wine. They set it on the ground, and then walked away you know like yeah this is for you. It was so nice of them, but as you know, there are just things I'll never forget.

Never ever, ever, ever and feelings I'll never forget it. It'll and I, I hope it never happens again, but.

You know those feelings I think are so unique that I'll never forget them.

I agree, it is a really weird feeling to think about. I was laid off from my job that I thought was secure. I thought being in healthcare was a secure job that I would never lose and I had no job and no idea on what to do next even though I know I have built myself a little reputation. I know I'm a good doctor, but it was a really weird situation.

Also, it was weird to think that you were scared and I was sanitizing, how much? I mean, I still now sanitize. I was thinking about this the other day, how much I cleaned the room between patients. And I was thinking like, why didn't I do that before? It’s really not that bad. I always wiped the phoropter down. I always wiped the slit lamp down, but I didn't wipe the chair.

I didn't always wipe everything down, but now I'm kind of like, why wouldn’t I? Now it's not that bad. It's not that hard, kind of makes sense, right?

It's not that hard.

I don't get sick anymore, like why didn't I wipe down the airplane chair, and all the stuff on airplanes. We all know the airplanes were always gross. Now it's just obvious why wouldn't we?

A really exciting conversation you know, moving forward, thinking about new things, thinking about the things that we like, and we've got some special guests here too.

Be normal. Talk to us about it. There are very few things that come in wrappers or little tiny boxes, or that don't have warnings from my local dentist that I don't like and so we were of course talking about some of these things.

Roy and I talked offline about our favorite candy and knew of someone who knew someone who took all of the worlds of candy and sweets and all things eyes and put them together. We are of course talking about Doctor Castellanoz and she is in practice in Florida and we are really excited to have her here tonight along with Ken DauSchmidt, and I probably said that wrong even though I’ve said his name several times before, and he's been on the podcast several times, also representing TearRestore. A fantastic new product that we are going to talk a little bit more about this evening helping with meibomian gland dysfunction.

You ready to bring these two guys and gals?

What do you think?

So, Jimmy made a stretch of a correlation here. But there is a reason for everything he said.

I tried.

Makes sense. And we're about to let you know why.

So, as Jimmy mentioned, GYN Doctor Cassiano is joining us tonight as our extra honorable guest. She's pretty awesome in that she's done some pretty cool unique outside of the box. Things such as, not only starting a practice infinite vision eyecare five years ago, but also launched another unique practice eye candy, as he mentioned, where she pairs eyewear with sweets.

I love it. And I have like 17 sweet teeth, so I really appreciate this and so we want to go into this more.

She is also in the process of starting another project called the Chiasm, that we are going to go into as well.

I want to know and so do all of our guests a little bit more about you.

And Ken, Ken, you're here.

Kens here too.

Again, he is the leader, the owner, the thought, the brains and the brawn behind TearRestore. Of course, you know revolutionary meibomian gland dysfunction treatment. The open eye warm compress if you will, and so we're going to circle back to Ken, but Doctor Castiano's, where did you go to school? Where did you go to optometry school?

I went to Nova Southeastern University. I didn't want to leave Florida; I like the weather.

Most Floridians never leave Florida, I feel.

Also, the great culture and Hispanic population.


Most Pennsylvanians never leave Florida.

That's I mean, we're trying to keep people out and people keep coming in.

Oh my gosh. So, what part of Florida are you originally from?

I'm from Hialeah, FL. It's like little Cuba.

It's really close to Miami

OK. So, you said about the Hispanic culture and so forth. So can you expand upon that a little? What is your connection to Hispanic culture? What is your ethnicity?

Well, my parents are both Cuban. They came here at a very young age 13 and seven and I do have some Spaniard blood, but I grew up pretty much in a Hispanic community where people, maybe I would say 80% only speak Spanish. So, I am fluent. I think I do an eye exam better in Spanish than I do in English, honestly. One of the things about my culture is that we love sweets. I will take a strudel at any time, and so I think that that's where some of my passion and love for candy and chocolate came out.

Oh yes.

Maybe I'm maybe I'm Hispanic too.

Maybe we all have a little Hispanic inside of us. I feel like I have that problem also.

Do 23andme, you might. You might find out.

Cool, so this is something that's been bred within you if you will, that's just always been part of your culture. Part of how you celebrate. Part of how you do things.

Right, but people always ask things like how did I come up with this idea like, Uhm, the reason why I came up with I candy was because I wanted a unique office.

There is an optometry practice in every corner. I wanted people to pass by my store and be intrigued. I mean, who doesn't like candy? And if they don't like candy, they're not my patient, they need to go somewhere else. I was talking to