Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

Life Without “Sleep”

This has kind of been weighing on me for a while. I fall into cycles where I feel like I haven’t had a good night of sleep in who knows how long. Sure, I fall asleep each night, but when I wake, I do so without feeling rested. My health has be ehhhhhh lately. I’m...
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Breathe In Ep. #21 – Valentine’s Special, Gunnar’s Girlfriend Darcy

Gunnar’s girlfriend Darcy joins the podcast to give her perspective on dating someone with cystic fibrosis. Darcy shares how it took Gunnar well over a year to allow her to “help” out with his fight against CF – the couple has been dating for 2 and a half years now. Gunnar laughingly remembers that Darcy...
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#CFRelationship – Sabrina’s Husband Adam

where/how did you guys meet? We first met when I was in 10th grade and Sabrina was in 8th grade and we were trick-or-treating in the same neighborhood (I know, everything about that statement sounds ridiculous).  Several months later, I was with my younger brother waiting in line at a movie theater when I felt...
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#CFRelationship – Tiffany’s Boyfriend Jeff

Where/how did you guys meet? We met at my friends get together. I had a craving for cereal and struck up a conversation with Tiffany, turns out she is super in to cereal as well. What is your favorite activity to do together? Eating! Mostly eating things that aren’t good for us. Some couples go...
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Breathe In Ep. #20 – Valentine’s Special, Tiffany’s Boyfriend Jeff

Tiffany’s boyfriend Jeff joins the podcast at the Valentine’s Week series continues. Tiffany and Jeff have been dating well over 6 years and have been through quite a lot together, most notably Tiffany’s double lung transplant. Jeff shares the the experience of Tiffany’s life saving surgery and the time leading up to it through his...
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#CFRelationship – Shawn’s Wife Jill

Where/how did you guys meet? We met through a mutual friend—he lived at the beach (in his hometown of Orange Beach, AL) and I was on spring break. I was still in school at Auburn and he was working in his hometown about 4 hours away. We dated long-distance for about a year and a...
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#CFRelationship – Lea’s Boyfriend Paul

Where/how did you guys meet? Dating App – Coffee Meets Bagel What is your favorite activity to do together? Eating, relaxing and hanging out with friends What is one of your SO’s funny habits? She has pretty poor balance so she’s always running into things and falling over. What do you like best about your...
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Breathe In Ep. #19 – Valentine’s Special, Lea’s Boyfriend Paul

Breathe In Starts up the 3-episode Valentine’s Special as Lea’s boyfriend Paul joins the podcast to talk about dating a person with CF. Lea and Paul have been dating since the Spring of last year. Paul shares a bunch of “firsts” – the first time he saw Lea do treatments, the first them he and...
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#CFRelationship – My Girlfriend Darcy

Here’s a cool series for Valentine’s Week! Each day I’ll post a new blog written by the significant other of a person with CF. We’re also going to run 3 episodes of Breathe In – Today, Wednesday and Friday – each will feature Lea’s boyfriend, Tiffany’s boyfriend and my girlfriend respectively. I wanted to explore...
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Breathe In Ep. #18 – Coughing in Public

The CF cough. It’s very distinct, it’s very violent and it certainly sounds a little gross. The trio takes a question from a listener, who asks how they deal with the CF cough in public. Coughing in public is a bit of a faux pas, especially during cold and flu season (for anyone), so Gunnar...
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Yes, Cystic Fibrosis, a Chronic Health Condition, is a Defining Characteristic

I used to be in the crowd that says, “CF may be a part of me, but it doesn’t define me!” I was young. I was naïve. I was failing to realize what I was actually dealing with. The moment something influences decisions, that something is a defining quality. Some people use the word identity....
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Breathe In Ep. #17 – Buy or Sell: PICC vs Port, VogMask vs Surgical Mask & more!

The trio jumps into a Buy or Sell episode. Gunnar, Lea and Tiff debate common topics in the CF and chronic illness worlds. Are PICC lines or Ports better? Why do Tiffany and Lea love the VogMask, while Gunnar hates it? Is Chest PT better than the Vest? Reusable neb-cups or disposable neb-cups? Listen to...
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President Trump Mentioned “Right-to-Try” in his SOTU, What is it?

Admittedly I wasn’t watching the State of the Union address last night… I was playing Fortnite, but such is life when we live in the era of recorded TV. The president mentioned “Right-to-Try” in his address to the nation and members of Congress. From CNBC: We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have...
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CFF Awards $25 Million to Corbus Pharmaceuticals

Today is a good day in the world of cystic fibrosis…. Drug development rings through the streets! I have been critical of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for a little while, but now it’s time to give credit where credit is due. Fire up the venture philanthropy machine because this is a big one (from CFF): The...
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Does Living With Chronic Illness Make It Difficult to Maintain Friendships?

Yes. It’s been a few years since I’ve written extensively about friendships as they relate to chronic illness – 3 or 4 years to be exact. I’ve always felt that friendships outside of the illness are incredibly important. I have my CF Friends (some of the people I value most in my life), as I’ve said...
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Are Healthcare Technologies Really Trying to Prevent Your Death?

An interesting trend is sweeping the world of healthcare – the rise of the machines technology. CRISPR is the one I talk about on here quite a bit because, well… it’s genetic. Two other pieces of tech that have caught my eye recently are the “Smart” pill bottle and an A.I. Death Predictor (colloquially called WAVE)....
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Breathe In Ep. #16 – Working, Disability and Healthcare

The trio discusses their different working lifestyles. In response to the changes in her health, Lea has had to find a balance between working full and part time, while also considering her healthcare options from forgoing full time employment. Tiffany, since transplant, has been on disability, and while she mentions that it’s not exactly where...
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The Pros and Cons of Enrolling in a Clinical Trial

On a recent Breathe In podcast episode, Lea and I discussed some of our experiences with clinical drug studies. I’ve done a few throughout the years, some achieving their goals and others ending in failure. Since the episode aired I’ve gotten a few questions about the up’s and down’s of enrolling in clinical studies. For...
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Breathe In Ep. #15 – Social Situations and Peer Pressure

Tiffany talks about living up to Gunnar’s challenge and goes ice skating with her boyfriend. The trio then takes a question from a listener about alcohol and how it may interact with their lives. They discuss peer pressure, managing their health and ultimately how their drinking habits have changed over time. Tiffany notes that she’s...
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Don’t Be a Hero

If you’re sick, you need stay home from work or school. Don’t be a hero. Influenza is spreading rapidly. The CDC says we are now in an epidemic here in the US. That sort of happens every year, but we’ve reached that point quicker than usual. It doesn’t really seem like there is a reason...
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Breathe In Ep. #14 – The Clinic

Tiffany talks about knocking an item off her bucket list as well as her annual transplant appointment, specifically a bronchoscopy from earlier in the week. The trio then discuss the differences between CF clinic visits and Tiffany’s transplant visits as well as the vast differences that exist between all CF clinics around the country –...
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Am I Angry?

Maybe. Over the course of the past few years I’ve noticed that I have been called angry, or confrontational, more and more frequently. Confrontational is a fun one, I think. I suspect confrontation is the behavior I show as a result of being angry, an emotion. In a way I think being angry is a...
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Another Case for Weaponizing Our Immune Systems

Two blogs from me in the same day! Lucky you… Earlier I spoke about how our immune systems could be a potential roadblock to some gene editing practices. Here we’re going to chat about one study that is trying to stimulate the immune system to treat illnesses that it normally wouldn’t be able to go...
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Turns Out Our Bodies May Be Putting Up Roadblocks to Gene-Editing

Here’s some humbling news this morning. I came across an article that points out we may not be quite as close to wide use of CRISPR-Cas9 as we sort of think we are. A recently released scientific paper “that is yet to be peer-reviewed” says that CRISPR-Cas9 may be running into some roadblocks inside our very...
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Breathe In Ep. #13 – CF in The Winter, Good or Bad?

Breathe In is back after the Christmas break! The trio talks about Tiffany’s first holiday season home from transplant… something she hasn’t quite grasped yet. The conversation moves into precautions the three take during cold and flu season, and Gunnar’s love of the winter. Gunnar has long been on team winter, over summer…and works to...
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FDA Approvals Hit “21-Year High”

According to a Reuters article out yesterday, 2017 was a good year for the FDA and drug approvals, “with 46 novel medicines winning a green light — more than double the previous year.” Also of note is this number of approvals “does not include the first of a new wave of cell and gene therapies...
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Embrace the Cold

I’m going to start off 2018 with an unpopular opinion: I prefer the winter cold to the summer heat. I love the cold, well, because I grew up playing hockey. #tbt to when I was 11 years old, had terrible hand position on the stick and rocked the jersey tuck… still found a way to...
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Dealing with Prednisone Mood Swings

Prednisone is a commonly used medication in cystic fibrosis. The pill is about half the size of a fingernail. It is a “corticosteroid” (not the kind of steroids baseball players use to hit home runs), that we use at different doses in different scenarios. It primarily serves as an anti-inflammatory by telling the immune system...
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It’s Okay to Poke Fun at Your Terminal Illness

It’s okay for other people to do it too… I think one of the most humanizing things we can do is destigmatize chronic/terminal illness. Everything surrounding CF is so goddamn serious ALL the time. It’s almost like some people look at us as if we are fragile beings incapable of free human life. For example,...
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What Do You Want For Christmas?

It’s such a simple question, “What do you want for Christmas?” My mom asks me every year. When I was younger I’d ask “Santa” for the classic gifts any young boy would want, toy soldiers, video games, model trains or a new hockey stick. As I got older, the trains lost their flair, video games...
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Breathe In Ep. #12 – Finding Positivity in Cystic Fibrosis

Gunnar, Tiff and Lea talk about finding positivity in illness. Cystic fibrosis is a constant uphill battle, and the stress of constant adversity certainly is taxing, but the trio discussing points of motivation throughout their paths with chronic illness. Tiffany talks about her “weekly events” that she planned for herself when she was in end-stage...
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“Ghosts” is an Incredibly Accurate Fictional Representation of CF

Book reviews aren’t something that I do quite often on here unless I find a something worth discussing. My girlfriend brought the graphic novel Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier to my attention a couple weeks ago. Ghosts is a children’s book centered around a young girl whose younger sister is living with cystic fibrosis. Generally I...
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Breathe In Ep. #11 – Nutritional Care

The trio talks about the evolution of cystic fibrosis nutrition. The podcast starts with the group talking about the “old days” of CF nutrition when any and all high calorie diets were pushed on patients. Tiffany talks about daily trips to In-N-Out burger, while Gunnar and Lea talk about after school milkshakes. The trio then...
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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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