January 19, 2013 changed my life – but I wouldn’t know the full impact of it for nine years. That day I was in a snowboarding accident that resulted in a brain injury, causing me to go partially blind and lose hearing in one ear for several months. Over the next year I followed my treatment plan and thought I’d made a full recovery. At least I felt better enough to accept how life was.


That was until late 2022. The symptoms started slowly at first and were common ailments like dizziness and mental exhaustion. When I had my first episode of vertigo I didn't think much of it. Until it continued the next day… and the next… and while trying (and failing) to sleep…. For two weeks I was a constant motion sickness machine. Nauseated and dizzy, I battled migraines and double (or triple!) vision. Some days it looked like the world was melting. For two months I visited doctor after doctor seeking a diagnosis and relief. No one could find the root cause. My mental health began to deteriorate as badly as my physical health. Seeing no improvement – some days I could barely see anything at all – I was scared, depressed, and about to give up.

But I didn’t give up. I decided to pay more attention to my symptoms and keep track of what made it worse. I realized that visual stimulation triggered all my symptoms, so I searched for vision specialists. The Neuro-Vision Institute in Denver popped up in my search like a miracle. I read patient reviews and I could relate to all of them. I finally wasn’t alone! After a very intense evaluation, I had a diagnosis with not one but seven conditions– and a nine month long treatment plan. I learned that I had not made a full recovery from my accident like I thought. I still felt scared but I finally felt relieved, too. Dr. Talaber gave me hope that I was going to recover my vision, but most importantly, she gave me my life back!

Part of my mental deterioration came from sheer boredom and lack of anything to do. Looking for activities for the visually impaired, I stumbled on candle making. I took some candle making classes and bought candle making kits. A couple months later, The Melting Eyes opened! - Thanks to the support of my amazing sister (BN Creative Studio), who spent many hours designing the logo, color scheme, labels, and all the business graphics with the same enthusiasm as mine, and my besties for all the business photography (Castner photography).

I decided I wanted to scent the candles with the essential oils that helped me throughout the entire process: lavender and chamomile for sleeping, peppermint for nausea, and lavender and white tea for meditating. Hence the name of each candle: RECHARGE, RENEW, and REFRESH.

So that’s my crazy journey. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family who took care of me when I needed them the most, and the incredible care from Dr. Talaber, Julie, and the entire Neuro-Vision Institute team. Making candles gave me purpose in the midst of trying times and instead of feeling like giving up I’m now looking with excitement to the future. 🕯️👀