Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

Living With Cystic Fibrosis Gives Me Unique Skills, Here’s How I Leverage Them

Living with a chronic illness has value. The responsibility of care for CF is both active and arduous, and the condition’s aggressiveness is often debilitating, until it runs a person’s life into the ground. Despite that, though, the illness has also shaped me, hardened me and forced me to be in a constant state of...
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Setting a New Goal, 1 Year and 3 Days

A couple weeks ago I wrote about making it through a calendar year without needing to go on IVs for the first time in close to 15 years. Well… that streak was snapped a few days later. No, I didn’t jinx it and no I didn’t bring it upon myself. I had been fighting a...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: Welcome To The Team, Phages

It’s a holiday today, (which… does anyone else think it’s kind of weird that we celebrate the executive office of the federal government, especially since our entire existence as a nation is predicated on the idea that no single person should wield too much power?), so that means you get a quick Monday Morning thoughts....
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Family Building Friday: The Walker Family, Pregnancy and CF

Adam and I met the summer before my freshman year in high school and briefly dated for a few months that fall. We ended up breaking up but remained friends throughout the years. When I graduated from high school we crossed paths and started to date again and 6 years later Adam proposed and we...
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Breathe In Ep. #67 – Valentine’s Day

Two very special guests join the podcast this week, Gunnar’s girlfriend Darcy and Tiffany’s boyfriend, Jeff! Leading into the episode the duo asked the Instagram community to direct the conversation, so rather than repetitive about, “how to tell someone new about CF,” the chat turns towards diving into some of the guilt people with CF...
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A Little Poetry For Valentine’s Day

Inspired by the #HealthPolicyValentines tag, I wanted to give a shot at #CysticFibrosisValentines… Post your love letters, memes or poetry in the comments!   Roses are red Violets are blue Sugar is sweet CFRD is too   Roses are red Violets are Blue If you miss my vein I’ll stick you   Patients patients everywhere!...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: A Kind Message to the Anti-Vaxxer Movement Responsible for the Latest Measles Outbreak

What a time to be alive! Extinct illnesses are BACK. What a time to be alive, indeed. In fact, it’s quite depressing that here we are, discussing the selfishness of people who refuse to vaccinate their kids in response to a mythical fear. It’s equally depressing for all of us to feel the need to...
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Family Building Friday: The Neville Family, IVF/PGD

Megan Neville takes us through the IVF/PGD process. Our firstborn son Aidan was diagnosed with CF through newborn screening at 8 days old. The initial shock and devastation was overwhelming. I could not believe that this perfect looking baby we created out of love was facing this awful disease. As we learned the realities of...
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Breathe In Ep. #66 – Lung Story Short

Gunnar is back on the podcast after his voice has finally recovered! Rima Manomaitis (also known as @Lung_Story_Short on Instagram) joins Gunnar and Tiffany for a Feeding Tube Awareness week podcast. Rima takes the podcast through her double lung transplant process, talks about moving halfway across the country despite failing health and notes that she’s had...
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Darcy’s Blog: I Love Gunnar’s Feeding Tube

Gunnar asked me to write a blog for #feedingtubeawarenessweek, and since I mostly write about CF as it relates to dating/relationships, I thought it would make sense for me to write about how feeding tube stigma might impact dating and relationships. The thing is, I can’t, because I love his feeding tube!! Allow me to...
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Myra Giaffoglione: How Yoga Can Help our CF Families

My friends over at CF Yogi wanted to talk a little bit about what they’re doing to get the CF community up and moving! I’ll let Myra take it away… My name is Myra Giaffoglione, and I’m a parent of two young children with cystic fibrosis. My journey as a CF caregiver has developed right...
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Catya Kurban: To My Sweet Lea Marie

To my sweet Lea Marie, It’s been almost a month and a half since you gained your wings, but that also means you have been pain-free and breathing easy for a month and a half too. I went to see a CF psychologist a couple weeks ago to talk through some of my anxiety and...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: Overcoming Fear

Happy #FeedingTubeAwarenessWeek to all my tubies out there! Whenever I write about my feeding tube, I generally talk about how amazing it has been for me. My g-tube has helped me accomplish so much, and for that reason it’s always easy to write about. I want to kick off Feeding Tube Awareness Week with something...
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Family Building Fridays: The Bell Family, IVF

My wife, Megan, and I always knew we wanted kids. We also knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew there was going to have to be medical intervention—and we were OK with that. We’d known for quite some time that IVF was going to be our route. That’s the beauty of science. It...
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Breathe In Ep. #65 – Auburn Stevens, Sinuses

Tiffany is joined by a fellow double lung transplant recipient, Auburn Stevens, who has had over 30 sinus surgeries due to cystic fibrosis. The two chat about how Auburn has had 2 lobectomies before her transplant, which is a new concept for Tiffany. Auburn shares reasons for her surgeries of sinuses and a major scary...
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For The First Time in 15 Years, I Didn’t Suffer a Pulmonary Exacerbation

This has been a long time coming, folks. For the first time in close to 15 years, really since starting high school, I went a FULL calendar year without a pulmonary exacerbation. For most of my life, I was the kind of person who went on IV’s once a year with the occasional exception. It’s...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: My CF Voice

The CF voice… it’s the raspy deep voice that so many of us have thanks to inflamed airways, inflamed vocal chords, medication use and a number of other reasons. In fact, it’s actually something that has been studied. Interestingly enough, it was found to be more “pronounced” (I appreciate the pun from the authors) in...
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Family Building Fridays: The Oneto Family, Adoption

We are the Oneto Family: Ben, Beth and Tyler. Since before we got married, we always knew we wanted to be parents, but when CF is a part of your life, tough questions have to be asked and difficult conversations need to be had. Being that Ben is the one who has CF in our...
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Darcy: Announcing a New Blog Series, Family Building

I am thrilled to be introducing a new series on Gunnar’s blog, called Family Building Fridays. Family Building Fridays will be a series of blog posts, each authored by a different family impacted by CF, that will address a lot of meaningful topics within the CF community. We’re going to be highlighting families built through...
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My Feeding Tube is at its Best When I’m Feeling My Worst

Day four with my cold and I can see the faintest light at the end of the tunnel. I pull out all the tricks when I’m sick, but none more important than hammering away with my feeding tube. I’m the kind of person who hates eating when I get sick. I just have absolutely no...
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Tiffany Rich: Dear Lea

Tiffany Rich writes a letter to her best friend and soul cyster, Lea Faraone. To My Best Friend and Salty Cyster, I miss and love you. Since the beginning of December when you weren’t feeling well, I never thought that this would be the end. My heart hurts and I have no words that can...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: I Have a Cold

It’s that time of year, I guess, and I have a cold. A little while ago, Darcy also had her turn with a cold (for those of you keeping score at home, we avoided seeing each other to prevent transmission, but alas, this is what I get for working with high school kids), and she...
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Breathe In Ep. #64 – Elsie Tellier, 65PinkRoses

With Tiffany away on vacation, Elsie Tellier, 21 with cystic fibrosis and a senior at Harvard joins the podcast this week. Elsie is a passionate disabilities advocate and fashion blogger. She talks to us about some of her work within the Harvard disabilities association and how she had to fight uphill to advocate for proper...
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Strength or Vulnerability in the Face of Cystic Fibrosis?

Back in December, Darcy, in a blog post, asked the question, “Is it more important to be vulnerable or to be strong?” When confronted with the ultimate challenge of illness and difficult situations, what’s the appropriate way to attack them? For people in our support systems (like Darcy’s role in mine), is it better to...
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4 Times I Have Prevented Medical Mistakes

I came across this tweet yesterday and thought… Wow that’s happened to me! I’m going to write about it… A family member prevented a medical error today by telling her surgical team that the antibiotic they were about to give her was incorrect. They told her it was right. She persisted. They double checked. They...
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Breathe In Ep. #63 – New Year’s Goals

Gunnar and Tiffany return to Breathe In after a brief hiatus to talk about New Year’s “goals” since Gunnar doesn’t like the term, “resolutions.” The pair go through some health related goals to begin. For Gunnar, he wants to try out yoga after taking advice from another person living with cystic fibrosis. Tiffany wants to...
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Cystic Fibrosis Life Hacks

It’s been awhile since I’ve listed a few “life hacks” I use to make my daily routine with CF a bit easier. I originally wrote about this a long, long time ago… so we’re in need of an update! The solo cup Plastic cups are how I stay organized while I’m doing treatments. I use...
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Drug Development Update: January 2019

The ongoing JP Morgan Healtcare Conference is sure to yield a lot of drug development news this week, but I want to take a look at some of the recent CF news. Aside from JPM2019, the start of the New Year is when the pharma and biotech industry likes to make some juicy announcements as...
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Disaster Ahead: Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) – The complication that’s impacting your lungs more than you realize

Our friend Amy, from Drug Development Wednesday, is back talking about CFRD. This article was originally published in CF Roundtable®, Summer 2018 newsletter. Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) is the CF complication that I feared my whole life. I love sugary foods and I hate needles, so CFRD was definitely something I always wanted to avoid no...
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Darcy’s Blog: Your Care Team Might Accidentally be Overlooking your Mental Health Needs

Darcy writes a guest blog post following up on her call for a cystic fibrosis disease-specific mental health screening tool. I first wrote about the need for new mental health screening tools for CF patients last spring. My recommendation to create new screening tools was based on numerous conversations with CF patients and families. Now...
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Is 2019 FINALLY Going To Be The Year We Write “cystic fibrosis” Correctly?

Folks…. Happy Freakin’ New YEAR!!!!! It’s 2019! If you’ve been following along with my social media accounts, then you already know my New Year’s resolution, so I apologize for the redundancy, but for those of you who don’t here it is… My New Years resolution is to make sure the world knows the C and...
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Darcy’s Blog: What I’ve Learned About CF Families

A few short weeks into dating Gunnar, I went over to his parents’ house and noticed that the kitchen was suddenly stocked with gluten free snacks. Gunnar won’t touch gluten free food with a ten foot pole, but I have celiac disease and have to avoid all gluten. I remember feeling so cared for and...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: My Cystic Fibrosis Christmas List

Merry Christmas, folks!!! This year I am writing to Santa about some of the things I want for the CF Community in the near future… if you have anything you’d like to add, let me know in the comments, and we’ll see how we can address them! Open up the Cystic Fibrosis Patient Registry We’re...
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Paul Widmeyer: LEA – Love Endures All, a Tribute

This post was written by Paul Widmeyer, Lea’s loving boyfriend. Over the past week, I have been learning to grieve on the fly. I have never experienced a loss anywhere remotely close to this one. Every action that I’ve taken over the last few days has been prefaced by the question and directed by the...
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Do We ‘Fight’ Chronic Illnesses, or ‘Live’ With Them?

Are we fighting against cystic fibrosis, or merely living with a medical condition? I’ve thought about that question a lot over the past few days. There’s no right or wrong answer. The prevailing notion is to militarize someone’s experience with chronic illness. We’re brave in the face of terminal illness, we approach the unknown with...
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Breathe In Ep. #62 – Lea

Join Gunnar and Tiffany in celebrating the life of Lea Faraone as told by Lea’s voice! Tiffany and Gunnar remember Lea, one half of the Salty Cysters and the pulse of the Breathe In trio, in this very special episode that goes back and pulls clips from past episodes. Laugh, cry, but most importantly share...
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Monday Morning Thoughts: Revolutionary Study in Patient Safety, Lea

Happy Monday Folks… Here’s a nice video to show you how (I think) all of us are feeling on the final Monday before the holidays… Just trying to go to this store and than this happens pic.twitter.com/5aymAQEvhl — Tyler Bisson (@BissonTyler) December 16, 2018 Revolutionary Study Proves Talking to Patients is Helpful You can make...
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Darcy’s Blog: I Know What I’d Do Without You

People say, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I can’t relate to that line. You see, I know exactly what I’d do if the unthinkable happened to Gunnar. I would listen to every episode of Breathe In: A Cystic Fibrosis Podcast over and over to hear his voice. I would try to read...
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Lea Faraone Was an Amazing Person

Lea slid into my DMs about two and a half years ago asking if I’d be willing to help her with a video she was making for Tiffany Rich’s transplant recovery. Lea’s best friend was in a dire situation and all she wanted to do was help. Little did I know that would be the...
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Darcy’s Blog: Being Vulnerable vs. Being Strong

It took me a long time to realize that my parents are humans. As a kid, I never saw either of my parents cry. I never really saw them argue, either. They seemed impervious to the roller coaster of emotions I experienced as a typical child. When my Dad’s grandmother died when I was 12,...
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Breathe In Ep. #61 – Holiday Season

Somer Lover is back on the podcast to talk about her open letter to family and friends about the holidays and cold/flu season. Gunnar, Tiffany and Somer chat about some of the precautions they take when it comes to health and safety during family gatherings and how they communicate their needs to their family and...
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Saying, “Well my doctor said…” Diminishes Your Role as an Empowered Patient

As empowered patients, it is our jobs to work with our care teams, not blindly take their word as fact. The very best doctors in CF are the ones who listen to their patients and create plans with them. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was in pediatrics. My final year as...
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Are Phages the Answer to Debilitating Cystic Fibrosis Infectious Disease?

Happy Monday, folks! It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a Monday Morning Thoughts blog post, but it happens. What can I say? Chronic infection is a killer in cystic fibrosis. It’s widely accepted that although infection rates are slowly decreasing across the community (maybe thanks to kids getting on CFTR modulators before their...
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Breathe In Ep. #60 – Tiffany’s 2nd Lungiversary

Tiffany’s lifelong best friend, Kelsey Sleek, joins the podcast to celebrate Tiffany’s 2nd lungiversary! On November 30, 2016, Tiffany was wheeled into the operating room for a life saving double lung transplant, and her life has changed for the better ever since. Kelsey talks about the support system side of cystic fibrosis and what it...
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You’re Right To Be Frustrated With Inpatient Care

Inpatient care is like the bane of my existence. I’ve landed myself in the slammer for a number of different reasons over the years – from emergencies, like flulike viruses and pancreatitis, to planned stays for observation. Each experience sheds a new light on the inadequacies of inpatient life for people living with cystic fibrosis....
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Darcy’s Blog: Chronic Illness Gift Guide

Darcy takes over the annual gift guide this year! Make sure you select the BOOMER ESIASON FOUNDATION if you’re using Amazon Smile. Amazon will donate a portion of their revenue from each Amazon Smile sale to BEF! Do you have a loved one on your holiday shopping list who has a chronic illness? This gift...
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Breathe In Ep. #59 – Miss Los Gatos 2019

Tiffany and Lea chat with Miss Los Gatos 2019, Camille Hunziker, a 22 year old pageant queen who has dedicated her time raising awareness for cystic fibrosis as a “Queen for a Cure.” The girls ask about how Camille got into pageants. She explains how the pageants work and how it’s been such a positive...
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Breathe In Ep. #58 – NYC Marathon, “Breathing on Everest”

Meredith Gaito, 26 with cystic fibrosis, joins the podcast to talk about her experience with running the NYC Marathon with Team Boomer just a few weeks ago! Meredith mentions that uses exercise and physical fitness as a way to actively treat her CF, she talks about her training routine and overcoming an infection in the...
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Demand an End to Accumulator Adjustment Programs and Federal Healthcare Anti-Kickback Laws

Believe it or not, drug manufacturers want us to use their medications. It’s how we get healthy, and it’s how they make money, which keeps them in the business of making medications for us. If that’s not a circular symbiotic relationship, then I don’t know what is. Of course, we don’t actually pay the drug...
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Breathe In Ep. #57 – “Five Feet Apart” Trailer Reaction

The trailer for “Five Feet Apart” dropped last weekend, so the trio shares their initial thoughts about cystic fibrosis on the Silver Screen. Gunnar has been outspoken about some of the issues he has with the film as seen through the lens of the trailer, from portraying people with CF as being consumed by death...
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