Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

Reducing the Risk of Medical Error: Don’t Shy Away From Making Your Voice Heard Inside the Hospital

We’re going to start off today’s blog with an unfortunate truth… Medical centers are often just as dangerous as they are helpful. In fact, in a 2016 article, the British Medical Journal claimed that Medical Error is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. I am witness to errors all the time,...
Continue reading...  

Fall A Term: A Lot of Work, A Cold and More Fun

After three months of living in the woods I am back home for Fall break! I have officially survived the first term of my MBA program. Small victories, right? Living in Hanover has been equal parts fun, exhausting, challenging, exciting and stimulating. To say that I was nervous before starting a residential graduate program back...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #95 – Breathe In Fall

Gunnar and Tiffany welcome back the podcast after a brief (unplanned!) hiatus. Tiffany announces that she started working a new job and has begun living out her goal of working full time. Gunnar talks about fighting through a round a midterms in the first quarter MBA term. The duo chat about getting their flu shots,...
Continue reading...  

Why You Should Get Your Flu Shot (as told by a handful of .GIFs)

It’s flu shot szn! Time to get out there and do your civic duty (read: don’t be a public health menace). The flu is much more than some sneezing and coughing. It could mean time in the hospital, time away from work and time away from your friends. via GIPHY The flu shot reaches maximum...
Continue reading...  

Knowing When You’ve Reached Your Limit (Then How to Effectively Communicate It and Reset).

Last week was my first round of midterms and it took a lot out of me. Beyond the midterms I had two group projects, a lot of late nights with my study group, quite a few early mornings prepping and keeping up with treatments, and a visit from some college buddies (pictured above). The hellish...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #94 – Self Care

After a few weeks off, Gunnar and Tiffany return to the podcast with Gunnar’s girlfriend, Darcy. This time, though, Darcy puts on her social worker hat and takes the podcast through a clinical lens into the world of self care. It’s established early on in the podcast that self care is a bit of a...
Continue reading...  

My New Roommate

Yesterday Darcy gave her perspective about living together on the blog. Today, it’s my turn! Business school isn’t the only new thing in my life. My new roommate has certainly been the biggest change around here. No, Darcy isn’t exactly a new part of my life, but living together certainly is! In a way, the...
Continue reading...  

Darcy’s Blog: New Roomies

Darcy and I are writing complimentary blogs this week. We’re posting hers today and mine tomorrow! Gunnar and I have officially lived together for about a month, and I am here to report that it has felt very….. ordinary. My Mom says that if a relationship is right, living together should feel like home. Thus...
Continue reading...  

Headline About Vertex Drug is Causing a Panic Without Context, I Think We’re Going to Be Okay.

Earlier this week STAT News published a brief article entitled, “Vertex sinks on reports of deaths of patients taking cystic fibrosis drug” without providing too much context. Given the first line of the article was, “Thirty patients have died after taking a Vertex (VRTX) Pharmaceuticals treatment for cystic fibrosis, according to a government database” I...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #93 – Pregnancy With Low Lung Function

Tiffany is joined by Ashlee Terwilliger, 35, with cystic fibrosis and a double lung transplant survivor. The two talk about Ashlee’s life growing up and how becoming a teacher affected her health and how she handled all the germs. As her health declined, she became pregnant and Ashlee takes us through being pregnant and labor with...
Continue reading...  

Adapting the Routine

Hello from Hanover! I have finally found the time to do some blogging. Believe it or not, there is a lot going on in a typical grad school day. One of my big stressors ahead of the move was adapting my care routine to the changing demands of business school in a new place. Now...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #92 – Moving to a New Place

Olivia Duesterberg, 26 with cystic fibrosis, joins the podcast from Denver, Colorado. Olivia, like Gunnar, is fresh off a move to a new place, so this week on Breathe In, the team tackles what it takes to transition care, a routine, and everything in between when someone with CF needs to move to a brand...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #91 – Jack Goodwin, “Salt in My Soul”

With Tiffany off for the week, Gunnar is joined by his girlfriend, Darcy, and Jack Goodwin, who dated the late Mallory Smith. Jack talks about his relationship with Mallory and her posthumously published memoir, “Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life”. Gunnar, Darcy and Jack talk about the dynamics of what goes into a relationship...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #90 – Three Double Lung Transplants

Amanda Varnes, 24 with cystic fibrosis, joins Gunnar and Tiffany on the podcast for a second time. Amanda last appeared on Breathe In Podcast in November of 2018. Since then, she has been re-transplanted again, making Amanda one of the very few people in the entire world who has received three double lung transplants. Amanda...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #89 – Going Through Medical Procedures

Fresh off Gunnar’s colonoscopy last week, the Breathe In duo talks about their experiences going through various medical procedures, and how they are able to cope with the physical and emotional hurdles that come with them. Gunnar details a brief panic attack he had on the table in the endoscopy suite, which leads Tiffany to...
Continue reading...  

Risk

I am on the precipice of taking the biggest risk I have ever taken in my entire life. The fact of the matter, though, is that I am a pretty risk averse person, and there’s no hiding it. I didn’t grow up that way. I played the most violent sports I could throughout my childhood...
Continue reading...  

Vertex Submits Triple Combo to the FDA for Approval, What Happens Next?

We’re getting closer to the finish line! It was announced early this morning that Vertex submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA! Vertex also submitted for a priority review, which, if accepted, “would shorten the FDA’s review of the NDA to eight months from the time of submission, versus a standard review timeline of...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #88 – More Than Sick

Carly Klassen, 22 with cystic fibrosis from Boise, Idaho, joins the podcast to talk about her digital art platform More Than Sick. Carly’s Insagram account @MoreThanSick has been charging through the cystic fibrosis virtual community and features digital sketches of different women fight back against CF! Carly talks about her motivation to start More Than Sick,...
Continue reading...  

My Colonoscopy Wasn’t so Crappy!

Full disclosure, I had a healthy dose of Propofol about 3 hours ago, so what follows is, well… the best I can do. If you visited my page yesterday, you know that I had my first ever colonoscopy today. To recap, people with CF need to get colonoscopies younger than the general population because there...
Continue reading...  

So… I Am Getting a Colonoscopy Tomorrow

Did you know that when you have CF, you’re due for a colonoscopy much earlier than the general population? Kind of shitty, right? The reason that’s the case is because there’s an increased risk for colorectal cancer in the CF population. I know… I know… it sort of feels like we keep losing the lottery...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #87 – Late Diagnosis

Cat Kurban, 22, joins Tiff on this episode of Breathe In. Cat was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 18 years old. Cat explains to Tiff how she was diagnosed after a shoulder surgery that had been an issue for quite some time. The two talk about Cat’s life changing and how her...
Continue reading...  

A Resource Guide For When the Crippling Stress of CF is About to Take Over

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged! My move to grad school is coming (14 days, but who is counting?), so my mind has been elsewhere, but today, I’m back! Darcy sent me a link this morning to a blog post written by Tiffany Jenkins. She is the author of a popular new book that she...
Continue reading...  

Coverage Tips For Costly Drugs (and other musings on paying for medications with CF) – Part 3, Accumulator Adjustment & Third Party Assistance Programs

Amy is back with the final installment of her miniseries Coverage Tips for Costly Drugs. Today she is going to take you through the alternative cost assistance programs, which may apply to different populations. It’s important to note that what is discussed below may not apply to you depending on your coverage situation. It is...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #86 – Does it Bother Your When You See Someone Smoking?

Breathe In takes a different angle this week and responds to a current event – San Francisco’s proposed ban of e-cigarettes and the popular Juul device. Gunnar notes that he has some complex feelings when he comes across a smoker or someone who uses an e-cigarette – on one hand he recognizes addiction as an...
Continue reading...  

Coverage Tips for Costly Drugs (and other musings on paying for medications with CF) – Part 2, Medicare

Amy is back with the second installment of her miniseries Coverage Tips for Costly Drugs. Today she is going to take you through the Medicare landscape, which as you will see below can be a bit tricky. It’s important to note that what is discussed below may not apply to you depending on your coverage...
Continue reading...  

Coverage Tips for Costly Drugs (and other musings on paying for medications with CF) – Part 1, Private Insurance

Amy, who generously penned our Drug Development Wednesday series, is back to discuss coverage options and payment strategies in the United States. This guest column will include three blogs and discuss different ways people may face easy access to medications or challenging and costly hurdles. It’s important to note that what is discussed below may...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #85 – Milestones

Somer Love joins Tiff this week where the two talk about “reinventing” themselves after they both hit significant birthdays in the past month of May. Somer and Tiff talk about how they have this sense of wanting to take a new journey and start over in a way. Somer talks about going to her favorite...
Continue reading...  

What I Want (and Need) From My Support System

I know I am incredibly fortunate to have such a great support system behind me. It is not a universal trait, but I think it’s something that all people with CF deserve. I hold my support system to a very high standard. I have a short fuse for people in my life who are generally...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #84 – Summer!

After a long stretch of featuring guests on the podcast, Gunnar and Tiffany return to the show’s roots and have a chat with each other. Tiffany, who just returned from Hawaii with her boyfriend, Jeff, talks about being able to enjoy an active vacation after years on the transplant list. Now that she’s post transplant,...
Continue reading...  

Navigating Disabilities Services and Transitioning to College

Last week I blogged about applying to college, but what happens when you get in? The short answer… a lot. You likely have experience with the disabilities process throughout high school and standardized testing via a 504 plan, but college can be a different animal entirely. Most universities have a disabilities office, which serves to...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #83 – CF Yogi

Chelsea Spruance rejoins the podcast along with Katie Malik, executive director of CF Yogi, to talk about their organization’s free virtual yoga classes for the CF community! Katie talks about the origins of CF Yogi, and where it’s headed thanks to a grant from the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Gunnar shares that he went to his...
Continue reading...  

Applying to School? Own Your Cystic Fibrosis

I think it’s quite common for kids with cystic fibrosis to dedicate part of their college applications to their lives with CF. I think it’s a great subtopic because it’s who we are! So, as the next wave of kids with cystic fibrosis closes up their junior years of high school, prepares for senior year...
Continue reading...  

Address the Unseen Scars: Mental Health and Cystic Fibrosis

I am reblogging this article that I wrote for Emily’s Entourage, which originally appeared HERE. What is Emily’s Entourage? “Emily’s Entourage accelerates research and drug development for nonsense mutations of Cystic Fibrosis. By providing critical leadership and coordination, Emily’s Entourage drives high-impact research, cultivates multi-stakeholder collaboration, and facilitates information exchange to speed breakthroughs. [Their] goal...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #82 – The College Days & CF and Pregnancy

As May comes to a close, Breathe In wraps up CF Awareness Month with two final sprint interviews. Lise-Courtney D’Amico rejoins the podcast to chat with Gunnar about how their college experiences differed despite going to the same university – Boston College. They also talk about their next chapters in life as both Gunnar and...
Continue reading...  

Parents, It’s Okay to Let Your Kid Grow Up

Shifting age appropriate responsibilities from the parent to the child always seems to be a difficult task for cystic fibrosis families. It’s a slow methodical process that seems to work at a snail’s pace. I think it’s due in large part to the dreaded drop that many young adults are forecasted to face. This week...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #81 – Marriage & CF, and Different Ways of Coping with CF

Gunnar and Tiffany continue May with another week of spring interviews! Tiffany talks with Tyler Smith, 23, who is living with cystic fibrosis and almost a year out from his double lung transplant, Tyler talks about his life growing up with CF and how sport was something that kept him healthy. He played golf and...
Continue reading...  

The 5 Greatest Achievements in Cystic Fibrosis

The story of cystic fibrosis is quickly becoming one of the greatest success stories in medical history. That is a hell of a statement given not so long ago, a lot of what we have today would have only been a mere pipedream. We still have a long way to go, but if the recent...
Continue reading...  

My Message to the St. Louis University School of Medicine Class of 2019: Listen to Your Patients!

This past weekend I was honored to deliver the 2019 St. Louis University School of Medicine Pre-Commencement address. My very first pediatric doctor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Robert Wilmott MD, is now the acting dean at the SLU School of Medicine and extended the invite to me not long ago. I so very much appreciate...
Continue reading...  

Family Building Friday: The Corr Family – Two Children with CF

I was one of those children who when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up said a mommy. I wanted three children from pretty much day one. When I had my second baby I couldn’t have been happier. I remember so clearly nearly 25 years ago now walking down the street with...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #80 – Living Donor Transplant, Lifelong Friends

Breathe In features two more interviews this week as we continue charging through CF Awareness Month. Danielle Mandella, 32 with CF, joins Gunnar to talk about her very unique path through transplant. As one of the very few people with cystic fibrosis to have ever received a living donor lobe transplant, in lieu of a...
Continue reading...  

Paul Widmeyer: A Life Changing Relationship

Today we have a very special guest post from Paul Widmeyer, boyfriend of the late Lea Faraone. On December 13, 2018, I lost my soulmate, best friend, and hero – Lea Faraone. In the months gone by, the question I sense her wanting me to answer is, was it all worth it? Knowing she had...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #79 – Straight From the Lungs, Priceless Breaths

In keeping with the theme for May, Breathe In features two interviews this week! Gunnar chats with Will Marler, 24 with cystic fibrosis from the UK. Will is the producer of ‘Straight From the Lungs’ podcast, which features Gunnar and 22 other people with cystic fibrosis! Will talks about the project, which began in 2016,...
Continue reading...  

My New Fitness Journey: Orangetheory

If you remember way back (like a year and a half ago) I did the Couch-to-5k running program to improve my airway clearance. I hated running, but I did it anyway because I wanted to feel better! I wrote about it to keep it me consistent, and because I wanted to invite YOU to join...
Continue reading...  

Today I Checked My Measles Immunity Because of Selfish #AntiVaxxers

I was a senior in college when I learned that, while incredibly unlikely, the vaccines we received when we were children can wear off. Why did I learn that weird fact, you may ask? Well, because we had a mumps outbreak at Boston College, and one of my friends learned the hard way that she...
Continue reading...  

Getting Comfortable with a New CF Clinic

All throughout my life, I have sought CF care from a number of clinics simply because I have lived in a bunch of different places. Experience tells me that transitioning from clinic to clinic is equal parts awkward, uneasy, exciting, refreshing and hopeful. When I was little, I started my CF journey at Cincinnati Children’s...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #78 – The Salty Yogi, Physical Therapy for CF

It’s May… CF Awareness Month! Throughout the entire month, Breathe In will be featuring several people with CF or people who play a role in improving patient health and wellness in each episode. This week’s episode features Chelsea Spruance, 26 with cystic fibrosis, and Karen von Berg, a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins who works...
Continue reading...  

Tiffany Rich: Hey Cyster!

Tiffany Rich writes a response to my blog post that appeared on the site last week! Last week Gunnar wrote a blog post following our Buy or Sell podcast! We had the topic of labels; CFer, cyster, and fibro vs person with CF, and, of course, Gunnar and I find ourselves on opposite sides of...
Continue reading...  

We’re Expanding BEF Scholarship Eligibility Criteria!

In 2018 we awarded over $400,000 total in scholarships to almost 100 students! That mark has been our annual goal for a while, and it will continue to be for years to come. As the cystic fibrosis population ages, though, our scholarship program must adapt! People with CF are truly living longer than ever, and...
Continue reading...  

Stop Calling Me a “Fibro”

Today, folks, we’re going to talk about labels and why they’re bad.  The terms “fibro” “cyster” and “CFer” are all labels that get tossed around the CF community. I don’t like them. In fact, I feel second hand embarrassment when someone uses any of the above to describe other people with CF. In a world...
Continue reading...  

Breathe In Ep. #77 – Buy or Sell: Person with CF vs. CFer, Cyster/Fibro, CFRD, and more

Marge Carfora is back with the Breathe In duo for her the final episode of her April residency. This time the group tackles a Buy or Sell episode. Slippers vs Socks in the hospital, CFer vs person with CF, a debate over the use of Cyster/Fibro, CFRD topics, mobile vests, mobile nebuilzers, nebulizer cups and...
Continue reading...