Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

The Gastrointestinal Side of Cystic Fibrosis

Sometimes my weight and gastrointestinal health can both be a little stubborn, or at least that’s what I like to think. Despite living with the g-tube my weight gain trends look a bit like a roller coaster. It’s a point of stress for me. There are times when I will go weeks without stepping on...
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10 Tips For Making Treatment Time Easier

If you’re living with cystic fibrosis, your life, to an extent, revolves around treatments. For 2+ hours a day, everyday, we’re doing treatments. Some of us can breeze through our treatments if our CF hasn’t progressed, while the rest of us feel like we’re getting a good workout in with each session from all the...
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Breathe In Ep. #10 – Staying Compliant with Treatments

We take a question from a CF mom who asks, “how can I convince my kid of the importance of staying compliant with his treatments?” The episode starts off with the big topic, “were we compliant as kids?” Ultimately we determine that CF treatments have evolved so much since the early 90’s that it’s tough to...
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Gunnar Esiason and The Salty Cysters’ Holiday Gift List 2017

It’s December so that means Christmastime is here! This year I’ve recruited some help for my gift list. The very lovely Salty Cysters themselves, Tiffany and Lea, have certified this year’s list suitable for people living with cystic fibrosis! 1. Salty Cysters Sweatshirt Lea: This sweatshirt is so cute & comfy. Who doesn’t love cozy sweatshirts...
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Breathe In Ep. #9 – Tiffany’s 1 year “Lungiversary”

Tiffany celebrates the first anniversary of the double lung transplant, or her “Lungiversary” as she calls it! She takes us through the day she received “the call,” which was actually her first call for transplant after several years of waiting on the transplant list, from waking up around 2am to her hospital discharge – about...
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Giving Tuesday – #FightCFwithBEF

Make this Giving Tuesday count with a donation to the Boomer Esiason Foundation, or as we like to say, #FightCFwithBEF. Here’s a quick look at some of our programs and how they have evolved over the past few years: Team Boomer Team Boomer is a program that: encourages people with cystic fibrosis to incorporate exercise...
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Preaching About Eugenics is Not the Best Way to be a Parent

As it turns out…. some people actually are unfit to be parents. Today’s example comes to us from New York Magazine. Remember Jen Gann? She’s the parenting editor for The Cut, which is an arm of New York Magazine. It’s a sick joke that her job title includes the word parent. Jen and I had...
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Breathe In Ep. #8 – Living at Home

The trio talks about something that many people living with chronic illness have to cope with… living at home. While living at home with parents brings with it many pros, there are certainly some parts of it that seem unnatural to an adult in his or her mid to late 20’s. Gunnar and Lea talk...
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We MUST Preserve the Orphan Drug Tax Credit

I’m not one for waving a political flag on my blog too often, but this is very important. With tax reform under the microscope on capital hill, one very important piece of legislation is coming to the chopping block – The Orphan Drug Act. From Investopedia: “[The Orphan Drug Credit is] A federal tax credit...
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My Running Journey 11 – 4 Workouts Left!!!!

I am quickly approaching the finish line. Well… I guess “quickly” isn’t the correct word, since I’m not moving anywhere quickly. My conditioning is definitely improving – my legs feel pretty good when I am getting through my runs. I am beyond walking at this point. If I were to constructively criticize the app, I’d...
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Breathe In Ep. #7 – Coping with Disease Progression

Tiffany tells the group about the emotional roller coaster that was waiting on the lung transplant list. It spurs the conversation about dealing with disease progression. The trio then discusses the “one moment” that generally befalls a CF patient where his or her health really takes a turn. Lea says that her “moment” was a...
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The Future is Now, Scientists Attempt Gene Editing Inside a Human Being

We may not have flying cars and real hover boards yet, but we DO have gene editing. Per the AP: Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the body in a bold attempt to permanently change a person’s DNA to try to cure a disease. The experiment was done Monday in...
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Good Job, Delta… Good Job

As it turns out… the friendly skies are, in fact, friendly. This past weekend I was in Cincinnati for a Cystic Fibrosis Education Day, and since I didn’t feel like walking there from New York, I flew. If you follow my blog, you know that flying with cystic fibrosis isn’t the most fun thing in...
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Breathe In Ep. #6 – Cystic Fibrosis Friendships

In response to my blog about friendships between people living with cystic fibrosis the trio discusses some of the pros and cons of such relationships. Tiffany and Lea dive into the start of the Salty Cysters, how they met and why they’ve decided to share their stories on social media, as well as all of the...
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My Running Journey 10 – Catching Up

I missed my running blog post last week. It was kind of a crazy week, I just started my high school hockey season, so I haven’t had as much time to write as I normally do. For those of you who are on the edge of your seats waiting for my weekly running post, I’m...
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It’s Time to Start Targeting Smokers

Smoking is a problem. Cigarettes are disgusting and smoking them is a habit that doesn’t benefit anyone. It’s not surprising that cigarettes really bother me. In fact I’ve blogged about the topic before, but I think it’s time to revisit the subject especially since cigarette smoking is back in the news. The National Health Service...
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The Iowa Hawkeyes Children’s Hospital Wave is the Greatest Thing Ever

If you’re a college football fan then you know about the newest tradition that is taking over the University of Iowa’s football program during home games. If not… let me tell you about it. Perhaps the most brilliant person in the history of mankind decided that the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital would...
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Cystic Fibrosis Life Expectancy Just Took a Huge Step Forward, What Does that Mean For You?

Something extraordinary happened yesterday at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference – the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced that the median life expectancy in cystic fibrosis leaped from 41 to 47 years. It’s nothing short of remarkable, but what does that mean for you? What does that mean for me? Not a whole lot. I’m still...
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Breathe In Ep. #5 – Relationships

Gunnar, Tiffany and Lea talk about relationships! Cystic Fibrosis can complicate committed relationships, and force a significant other to make sacrifices. The trio chat about their experiences with relationships and some of the things boyfriends or girlfriends have done to boost their support systems. They also talk about milestones and vulnerability, like doing treatments in...
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Some of the Most Valuable Friendships You’ll Ever Have

Some of my most valuable friendships are with other people who have cystic fibrosis. I don’t think it’s surprising that people going through the same thing are capable of such relationships. We see the similar friendships blossom with people who complete AA or attend cancer support groups. Often times we are able to forge everlasting bonds between...
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Breathe In Ep. #4 – Dating

Dating! The trio talks about how cystic fibrosis may complicate things in a person’s dating life. From social acceptability, telling someone new about the disease to the visual appearance of g-tube or medi-port, dating with CF can bring about some awkward moments. Gunnar tells the story of a time when his feeding tube exploded in...
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Cystic Fibrosis Around the World – Brazil

Cystic Fibrosis Around the World continues with a stop in Brazil. Today you’ll meet Verônica Stasiak Bednarczuk de Oliveira. She is 30 years old living with cystic fibrosis and a very important advocate for people living with CF in Brazil. I’d like to thank Verônica, her organization, Unidos pela Vida, and Cristiano Silveira (a CF parent from Rio de...
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My Running Journey #9 – Progress

Progress…. I guess it’s sort of ironic that I’m talking about progress in my 9th blog post when this was supposed to be an 8-blog series, but alas such is life with cystic fibrosis. I know I’m a couple days late with this post, but I’ve had some other stuff going on. The blog life...
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It Takes Real Courage To Go Through a Medical Procedure

I noticed the hashtag #ItTakesRealCourageTo trending on Twitter this morning. The hashtag follows quite a few heartwarming tweets. People were talking about overcoming cancer, addiction, or any number of physical or emotional issues. Aside from the classic Internet trolls or people who love to force politics into everything, it was a really inspiring Twitter thread...
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Breathe In Ep. #3 – Cystic Fibrosis Related Procedures

The trio discusses some of the smaller medical procedures that come along with cystic fibrosis. From PICC line placement, embolizations, bronchoscopies, g-tube placements and everything in between, Gunnar, Tiffany and Lea chat about some of the anxieties that they share before getting wheeled into a room with a very bright light. No one loves getting...
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How I Deal With Genetic Discrimination and Bullying

This past weekend my CF Family Day circuit continued with a talk in Boston at the Boston Children’s Hospital’s CF Family Education Day. One of the recurring themes of questions at the end of my talk was something to the effect of, “how do you deal with genetic discrimination and bullying?” I was really happy...
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My Running Journey #8 – A Little Blood and Sweat, But No Tears

Good news first… I’m finally back where I left off before I got sick in September. Finally. That doesn’t mean today was easy at all, though. My workout took me about two miles through the autumn air, but I felt some chest discomfort for the first time throughout this whole running thing. It’s nothing to be concerned...
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Breathe In Ep. #2 – College and Cystic Fibrosis

Tiffany, Lea and I head back to college in this episode of Breathe In. We debate the differences between going away to college vs being a commuter student with CF. Tiffany, who commuted to college, talks about being reliant on friends when it came to moving around campus with her oxygen concentrator, and why commuting...
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Your PFT is Just a Number

Last week I read Somer Love’s blog about PFT, or Pulmonary Function Test, Anxiety. The PFT is the gold standard of gauging lung health I respiratory illness. In many ways a patient’s visit to CF clinic revolves around the PFT. From CFF: An important result of your PFT is the FEV1 (forced expiratory volume). This measures...
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My Running Journey #7 – Getting My Fitness Back

After a long 4-5 weeks (including 3 weeks of IV), I’m finally feeling myself again. That means it’s time to start pushing this running program to reach the week 8 finish line (running pun). I’m a weekend warrior, so I haven’t had a chance to write, but my PICC line was pulled yesterday!! FREEEEDOM! via GIPHY Now...
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Breathe In Ep. #1 – Back to School

Introducing the brand new Boomer Esiason Foundation program, Breathe In: A Cystic Fibrosis Podcast! The Salty Cysters, Lea Faraone and Tiffany Rich, will be cohosting the show with me as we dive into different CF related topics from three different perspectives. Separating this program from the ones of years past, Lea, Tiffany and I are...
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Here’s a Good Headline For You, “Relief Progress”

For some reason it seems like good news is few and far between these days. We really do need some positivity, including me. I’ve been with annoying recurring health issues since May – really just a bad bounce, nothing more – but they pale in comparison to some of the larger problems that CF families have been...
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My Running Journey – Back at it

After three weeks on the shelf I finally got back out there. I’m definitely starting to feel better, though not quite back to baseline. In fact I’ve sort of been itching to try and do SOMETHING for the past week. I’m about 10 or 11 days into IV’s and around this time in the course...
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Relationship Firsts with Cystic Fibrosis

Over the weekend, my girlfriend brought up the fact that we’ve been dating for about 2 years, which is pretty cool. Here’s a wonderful picture of us: Another great Saturday with the girlfriend! This time at the Greek Festival! A post shared by Gunnar Esiason (@esiason17g) on Sep 23, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT She’s (obviously)...
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Quality of Life Can Serve as the Ultimate Motivator

So if you’ve been following the blog for the past couple of weeks, you’d know that I haven’t been feeling well. In fact I feel HORRENDOUS right now. I’ve definitely got some brain fog going, so this should be an interesting post. My little running journey was off to a GREAT start. I was feeling...
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My Running Journey – A Bump in the Road

As it turns out I am not invincible. I caught the old strep throat or some sort of virus. I guess it also turns out that I might be 11 years old. Who the hell gets strep throat after 6th grade? When things like this happen, I immediately go into crisis mode. For some reason,...
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Some of My Embarrassing #CFproblems

Everything has been so serious lately, so I want to write a blog post about some of the lighter things that we deal with in CF. Here are some typical #CFproblems I deal with on a daily basis – most of them can be pretty embarrassing, so I hope you enjoy this one at my...
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Disaster Preparedness Tips for People Living with Chronic Illness

Your safety should be the number 1 priority during a disaster. Mother Nature is no laughing matter. We are taught that lesson time and again, most recently with hurricane Harvey, and we’re about to see it again with Hurricane Irma barreling towards the Florida coast. Hurricanes and other disasters can be especially hard on people...
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My Running Journey – Week 4, Not So Bad Today

Don’t think I gave up on you! I know success never sleeps, but I think I’m allowed to take a day off from the runner’s life for Labor Day. It was also hot as shit today, so I did my running while the sun was on its final approach to setting. Today was the longest workout...
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Hurricane Harvey Cystic Fibrosis Relief Fund

Update 9/8/17 3:45pm: A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far. We’ve come a long way since we started the Hurricane Harvey Cystic Fibrosis Relief Fund last week. Thanks to your generous contributions we are putting the finishing touches on sending out our 2nd shipment to Houston today! I just got word from...
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A Few Things I’d Tell My Freshman Self

It’s that time of year when all of us old folk feel nostalgic for a moment, then carry on with our days – the rush to college is here. College was a real turning point in my life. Cliché, I know, but I think that’s because it was such a major triumph. At the same...
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My Running Journey – Week 3

I am still searching for this elusive runner’s high that everyone talks about… I’ve got 7 workouts in the bag, though! I’m pretty pumped about that. ~~Also sorry if the website seems a little weird, I’m going through a bit of a rebuild. Hopefully that will be resolved by the end of the week~~ As...
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Abortion is Not The Answer to Genetic Disability, and It Has Nothing to Do With Politics

I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be throwing my hat into the abortion debate, but I sort of feel like I’m being dragged into it… so here we are. Last night I found out that one of my blogs about CRISPR was featured in an article on The Cut – kind of a cool...
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Running Still Isn’t Fun, Especially When You Get Lost – Week 2 of My Journey

Welp… I’ve completed 4 running workouts so far. I did 3 runs last week, then started week 2 today with a nice little jog through the neighborhood. It actually hasn’t been so bad just yet. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it has been fun, but it certainly hasn’t been as horrible as...
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Making it Matter Ep. #50 – Claire’s Place

Claire Wineland, 20 with cystic fibrosis from California, joins the podcast to talk about her life with CF. After some significant health issues, Claire found that her calling in life was to do all she could to help people, so she started Claire’s Place Foundation in the hopes of helping people with CF directly. Since...
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Supplements and Alternative Remedies are not Substitutes for Medications

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday…. And to the surprise of no one, it infuriated quite a few people, especially the medical marijuana people, so here I am writing about it! The article I was sharing was an IFL Science post about the results of a study that showed cancer patients are significantly...
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My Running Journey – Day 1

So I went for a run today, and let me tell you….. I f*cking hate running. If you know me, then you know running is the bane of my existence, probably to the point where I’d rather stab my eyeballs out than go running. But I went for a run, and I actually kind of...
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My Response to Some Gene-Editing Naysayers

As I sat in my “treatment” chair this morning, sucking down some medication and shaking in my Vest, I came across an article that shows us the debate over the ethics surrounding CRISPR-Cas9 has not only begun, but is also alive and well. I wrote about CRISPR last week, albeit in a satirical tone, and praised...
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Making it Matter Ep. #49 – #24hrs4cf

Josh Lewellyn-Jones, 30 with cystic fibrosis, joins the podcast again, this time to recap his #24hrs4cf fitness challenge, which was a massive success. Josh mentions that while he was able to fundraise quite a bit for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK, it was nothing compared to the awareness raised around the event. Over...
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Time Management Tips For Home IV

So some good news – I came off IV’s yesterday. It looks like I will be free to enjoy the rest of my summer. Coincidentally, I’ve gotten a few questions about how I am able to manage my time while I’m on IV. So I figured we can tackle that topic in a blog post...
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