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A Creative Way to Pay for LASIK

LASIK is a life-changing experience for many people, giving them new clarity for their vision and a lifestyle free of glasses and contacts. But let’s face it—LASIK is also a large financial investment that can be a barrier for many people. That’s why we’re always excited to learn and share creative ways our patients are finding to help save money for LASIK in order to invest in one of the most valuable things in life—clear vision.

Today, we’re excited to share a bit about the story and experience of one of our recent LASIK patients—Jason Szafranski. His story is inspiring to us both because of how LASIK is benefitting his life and vision, but also because of how he worked and saved to make this investment in himself and make LASIK a reality.

Like many of our patients, Jason wore glasses for nearly his entire life. “I’ve worn glasses since 3rd grade, and contacts never really worked for me. In my 20s and early 30s, I always thought about LASIK, but due to other things in life, LASIK was always pushed to the back burner,” Jason says. Like many people, the cost of LASIK was one reason Jason continued to push it off to a later time.

A few years ago, Jason began finding time to regularly donate plasma as a simple way to save some extra money. “My schedule allowed me to donate plasma regularly, twice a week. I thought it would be a great way to save up and afford some extra things in life,” he says. At the start of his donations, Jason didn’t have a specific plan to use his savings for LASIK. But the way the savings grew helped him consider larger possibilities. “They paid me for each donation by putting the money on a debit card. I didn’t check the balance for about 9 months, and when I finally looked at how much I had saved, I was pleasantly surprised.”

The payoff? Jason has found that he’s consistently able to save over $1,000 every 6 months through plasma donations. By saving up consistently for 1-2 years, Jason was able to consider a lot of choices for how to use his savings.

“I actually donate plasma right across the street from St. Cloud Eye Clinic, so I see the sign every time I drive by,” he says. When he realized how much he had saved up, Jason decided to get his free LASIK screening and see if he was a candidate. “Everything about St. Cloud Eye Clinic has been incredible. The education, the medical exams, the recommendations, getting scheduled. Everything has been great. I knew right after my screening that the absolute best possible investment of my plasma savings was to get rid of my glasses and get LASIK.”

Jason’s LASIK procedure was a huge success, and he was able to make it happen through creative, consistent savings from plasma donation. He has some specific advice for people thinking about LASIK.

“We’re all on different budgets, and LASIK seems expensive. I get it, and that’s what held me back for a long time,” he says. “But glasses and contacts are not cheap! LASIK is basically the same cost as a couple years of glasses or contacts. But with LASIK, you eliminate the vision problem and save money over time. My advice? Do it, find a way to make it work. LASIK should be a priority over buying a boat or a vacation. It’s changed my life.”

We’re thankful for the chance to help Jason see the world more clearly with LASIK, and stories like his continue to inspire us. Creative ideas like plasma donation savings are another way to make LASIK an option for any budget, and we hope it inspires more people to consider LASIK rather than waiting months or years. Because, as Jason says, he has only one regret:

“My only regret with my LASIK procedure is waiting so long to make it happen. Don’t wait until you’re in your 40s like I did. I took so much for granted with my vision, but not anymore. My LASIK experience ranks up there as one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.”

If you’re ready to change your life through LASIK, call us to schedule your free LASIK screening and see if you’re a candidate.

Congratulations, Lori Mensinger: Winner of the 5th Annual Gift of Vision Giveaway

Lori’s Life After LASIK

Today, we’re thrilled to be checking in with our 2017 Gift of Vision winner, Lori Messinger! After receiving her free LASIK procedure from St. Cloud LASIK, she can now share her overall experience with us and her hopes for the coming years.

“I’m just very excited to not have glasses—it’s so freeing. After wearing glasses for so long, it still catches me by surprise sometimes that I don’t have to deal with them anymore!”

In working with the St. Cloud LASIK team, Lori elected to utilize an approach to the LASIK procedure known as “blended vision.” For blended vision, the doctor uses the advanced technology options and measurements within LASIK to give patients the widest range of clear vision, so the patient can see things at both near distance and far distance as clearly as possible.

“Dr. Rice’s recommendations were wonderful,” says Lori when reflecting on the decision she made for her procedure. “They explained my options really well, and now I can not only see more clearly overall, but I do have the ability to focus on things both near me and a long ways away. It took a bit of getting used to, but it’s amazing how well I can see!”

Lori notes that she was a little nervous the day of her procedure, but everything went well and she was very comfortable thanks to the staff. “The entire procedure only took 20 minutes, and the team talked me through the entire process,” she says. “What was really helpful is that they knew everything I was experiencing and told me what to expect. That made it really easy.”

After a quick nap following her procedure, she was able to get back to most of her normal daily activities that evening, only four hours after her procedure. “After that first day, I will say that there was some eye dryness that was a little difficult, but the doctors told me exactly what to do about it, and it’s much better now. My vision was so much better just four hours after my procedure, and now every week I notice it’s still improving.”

Lori is glad about the timing of her procedure as well. “Winter was a good time to get the procedure done – now I’m ready for the spring and summer seasons, riding my motorcycle with just my goggles (and no glasses), camping, and all the things I love to do outdoors. My husband is going to be so jealous!”

As we often hear, Lori only has one real regret about her LASIK procedure: “You know, I just kick myself for not getting LASIK years ago. 20 years ago when people my age were first getting LASIK, I just didn’t think it would make a difference in my life. Boy was I wrong.”

“All these years, my life and self-image were defined by my glasses and my vision. In thinking about my experience, I wonder how I would have viewed myself, my self-image, if I had gotten LASIK 20 years ago. I think it would have been even more wonderful.”

As far as the team at St. Cloud LASIK, Lori had a great experience: “I would highly recommend the entire team, everyone that worked with me. They were professional, very thorough, and very quick to respond to any of my concerns. Being local here in St. Cloud is a big deal for me, and it could not have been a better experience.”

“LASIK is a big investment,” Lori says. “I feel blessed to have won the Gift of Vision, but now having experienced my new vision through LASIK, I am amazed at how valuable it really is to me. LASIK is worth every penny, it’s a life-changing moment.”

We’re happy that the Gift of Vision has given Lori the vision of her dreams, and we know her clear vision will be a blessing for years to come. Again, thanks to everyone who signed up for the Gift of Vision, and we’ll plan to connect with Lori again in the fall to hear about her first summer of clear LASIK vision.

Read our first blog about Lori here.

Lori Mesinger

Meet Lori, Winner of the 2017 Gift of Vision Giveaway!

At St. Cloud Eye Clinic and St. Cloud LASIK, we are blessed to help create clearer vision for many of our patients. Clear vision is an incredible gift, and for people suffering from blurry, cloudy vision or the limitations of glasses and contacts, that gift can be priceless. For 2017 Gift of Vision winner Lori Mensinger, glasses and contacts have been part of her daily experience for her entire life.

“I’ve had pretty bad vision since elementary school,” Lori explains. “It got progressively worse after I finished school and entered the workforce. I tried contacts for a while, but they just didn’t work for me.”

Although she had heard about LASIK years ago, Lori reached an age where she assumed she was “too old” for LASIK. One day at work, she was talking with her coworkers, and one of them told her, “you’re never too old for LASIK!” The coworker recommended St. Cloud LASIK, so Lori gave us a call.

Lori’s coworker was correct, and we are grateful for the recommendation! Lori came in for a free screening with our team at St. Cloud LASIK, and after a medical examination and discussion with the doctor, we were thrilled to tell Lori she was a candidate for LASIK. She was very excited, and even more excited to enter the Gift of Vision Giveaway.

“I’m a person who never wins anything,” Lori says, laughing. “I had already decided to move ahead with LASIK whether I won or not, and I was very surprised when I received the call that I had won free LASIK. I was actually a little skeptical—is this really happening? Is this a joke?”

Lori quickly realized it wasn’t a joke, and she would be receiving a complimentary LASIK procedure from St. Cloud LASIK. “I was excited, but I had to be quiet at work. I just kind of snuck around to the other offices to tell my coworkers I had won!”

“It was really great working with Missy and Dr. Rice to get ready for my LASIK procedure. I had a lot of questions, and they took the time to answer all of them. They were also very accommodating of my schedule in getting everything set up.”

“After my LASIK procedure, I’ll be able to go outside this winter without my glasses getting all fogged up. I’m excited to go camping this spring, and to be able to garden this summer without constantly having to push my glasses up with my shoulder. It will be amazing to be free of my glasses after all these years.”

We’re excited to see how LASIK changes Lori’s life! St. Cloud LASIK has helped thousands of patients see more clearly with LASIK, and our 2017 Gift of Vision winner Lori Mensinger will soon join that list.

Thanks to all of our 2017 Gift of Vision entrants, and be sure to check back in the coming weeks to hear about Lori’s vision after her LASIK procedure.


Excited, Nervous and Now Enjoying Life without Glasses

Contacts were no longer the best fit for Andrea, who works in IT, is a mother of a toddler and loves living life to the fullest. Her LASIK story: 

My experience with St. Cloud Eye Clinic was great! The welcome service I received when I made my appointment was wonderful. I was nervous going in for my consult as I didn’t know if I would be a candidate, but Missy clearly walked me through everything. She showed me around the facility and walked me through exactly what to expect as part of my procedure. As a result of my consult, I felt very safe booking my procedure, and I was very excited!

The day of my procedure I was really nervous. I kept wondering if I was making the right decision. Missy and the other nurses helped calm my nerves. They explained everything in a way I could understand. Then Dr. Rice would explain what he was doing with each eye and what the next step in the process was going to be. When they say LASIK only takes 15-20 seconds per eye—they aren’t kidding. I don’t even think I had enough time for my nerves to process what was going on and I was already done.

After LASIK, I have enjoyed putting on regular sunglasses, being able to get up in the middle of the night with my 20 month old and see everything that he needs. I like that my eyes are not dry like they were with contacts and overall just that I can see clear!

I have had co-workers ask about LASIK and I always say it’s the best thing I could have done. My life has changed for the better because of LASIK. I can enjoy riding four-wheelers with my sunglasses and not having to worry about wearing glasses or contacts to see where I’m going. I don’t have to worry about losing or breaking glasses. LASIK has been a blessing as it was nice to be in Mexico shortly after the procedure and be able to swim and see without glasses!

Coaching Simplified: Nico’s LASIK Story

For Nico Velazquez, LASIK was easy.

As a CrossFit trainer and gymnastics coach, Nico has experienced the freedom of LASIK from St. Cloud Eye Clinic.

Nico was an active athlete throughout high school and college, and he didn’t seem to have problems with his glasses or contacts. When he finished competing and began focusing on his studies, he could not tolerate his contacts anymore. “They always left a dry feeling in my eye and even when I wasn’t wearing them it felt like they were in,” Nico says.

When Nico began doing CrossFit and coaching gymnastics, he started to have trouble with his glasses. They would frequently get sweat on them or get knocked off his face and broken. “Let’s just say my glasses spent more time on the ground than they did my face,” Nico says.

After over three years of consideration, Nico decided to get LASIK so he wouldn’t need to keep replacing his glasses. With as frequently as he needed to replace his glasses, LASIK was a worthwhile solution.

Nico came to St. Cloud Eye Clinic for his vision correction procedure, and he says his experience was great. Dr. Bradley Anderson and the St. Cloud Eye Clinic team was straight-forward and gave him all the information he needed for the procedure. Nico says he had clear instructions that were easy to follow. The procedure ran smoothly, and the recovery was quick. Nico says getting LASIK was one of the easiest things he has ever done.

After his procedure, Nico has enjoyed not needing to find his glasses when he wakes up in the morning. “Before LASIK my first instinct every day was to reach for my glasses and put them on,” Nico says. “Now that isn’t something I have to worry about.”

Nico has enjoyed how LASIK has benefited his workouts and coaching because he does not need to worry about what he should do with his glasses. He can spot during his athletes’ workouts without anything happening to his glasses. He says his glasses always got in the way, and now he doesn’t need to worry about them.

Since getting LASIK, Nico says he feels like he is no longer holding back. The team at St. Cloud Eye Clinic is honored that Nico came to us to give him clear and natural vision that allows him to coach and train without the hassle of contacts or glasses.