Gunnar Gunnar Esiason

All articles by Gunnar

 

Can Social Media Be a Dangerous Place for People With Chronic Illness?

Is there such a thing as over sharing on social media? Yes there is. More and more frequently do we see different influencers come into the social media space and try to take our information and use it in unique ways. It’s really not too difficult of a task for someone (an employer) to paint...
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Making it Matter Ep. #36 – Cystic Fibrosis, Transplant and Motherhood

Margaret Carfora embodies the word perseverance. In honor of National Donate Life Month, Julia and I invited Marge, 34 living with cystic fibrosis, onto the podcast to talk about her life 13 years post-double lung transplant. Her second chance at life has not been without adversity as she’s had to face PTLD, Cervical Cancer and Breast...
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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

I got a question from a reader not too long ago that asked: “What do you do when you are just so sick and fed up of being sick?” Sick of being sick, isn’t that a hell of a thing? Well it’s true. I don’t care how resilient or tough you are, this feeling is...
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Making it Matter Ep. #35 – Tips for Kids with Cystic Fibrosis

Julia and I take a question from a listener this week who asks if we have a few strategies for getting kids with CF to stay compliant with their medications. We start off with a few points about taking pills (especially in bulk), then move on to the rest of CF treatments. We want to...
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Making it Matter Ep. #34 – Josh’s #24hrs4CF Fitness Challenge

Josh Llewellyn-Jones joins the podcast this week to talk about his #24hrs4CF Fitness Challenge. In July Josh, 29 living with cystic fibrosis in Cardiff, Wales, plans to complete a 100-mile cycle, 10-mile run, 10-mile row, 10 miles of cross training, two-mile swim, lifting 100 tons, 3,000 sit-ups, 1,000 push-ups and 1,000 squats in under 24...
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Making it Matter Ep. #33 – Coming to Grips With Cystic Fibrosis

In this episode, Julia and I talk about the moments that we each “realized” that we would be living with cystic fibrosis for the rest of our lives. We are able to point to a specific moment when we both felt a change occur. For Julia it was in first grade, and me when I...
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A Review of “When Breath Becomes Air” From Someone Living With Lung Disease

I just finished reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and have since felt a strong urge to write about it… so here we are. The book, which has been a New York Times Bestseller seemingly since it came out last year, is a memoir about a resident neurosurgeon’s path through a stage IV...
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Making it Matter Ep. #32 – Cystic Fibrosis and Fitness

Last week I challenged Julia to a fitness test. I wanted to know who could be the fastest to complete 500 sit-ups, and thus the Making it Matter Fitness Challenge was born. Tune in this week’s podcast not only to find out who won, but also to listen to Julia and I talk about why exercise is...
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“A Little Blood Makes a Big Cloud”

If you’ve seen Get Him to The Greek then you understand the reference I’m making in the title here. If not then well…. I guess you have to see the movie – it’s hilarious. A couple hours ago I had just thrown on some sweats, packed my hockey bag and was about to hit the...
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Cystic Fibrosis Step-by-Step: Building a Treatment Routine

In this Cystic Fibrosis Step-By-Step video, I talk about the importance of building a daily treatment routine. CF care can be very complex so it is important to simply it as much as possible – my favorite strategy is to build a routine. Check out the video to learn a little bit about my routine...
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Making it Matter Ep. #31 – Julia Recovers From the Stomach Flu

The past few days for Julia have been rough! She was dealing with the stomach flu, but now she’s better (yay!). So in order to get her back on her feet, we decide to launch the first ever Making it Matter Fitness Challenge. Our fitness challenge finds its roots in this week’s Making it Matter...
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Cystic Fibrosis Survival Rates in the United States vs. Canada

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that “the median age of survival [is] 10 years higher [for CF patients] in Canada than the United States.” If you’re wrapped up in the world of cystic fibrosis news like I am then you’ve probably seen this study floating around the Internet for the past 18 hours....
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Making it Matter Ep. #30 – Living with a Roommate

When people with cystic fibrosis head off to college the big decision is whether or not to live with a roommate. If we choose to live with roommates, for many of us it will be the first time we are very much sharing our cystic fibrosis with someone else. The need to perform treatments complicates...
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Cystic Fibrosis Step by Step: What is Cystic Fibrosis?

In the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s new educational program, Cystic Fibrosis Step by Step with Gunnar Esiason, some of the BEF cystic fibrosis advocates explain what CF means to them…. outside the scientific definition.  ...
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Making it Matter Ep. #29 – Top Do’s and Don’ts of College With Cystic Fibrosis

In a question to Julia and I, a mother whose daughter, with CF, is headed off to college asks for a few tips to help the transition. More specifically, she asks for the top 10 things Julia and I wish we each had or had not done during our first year of college. We discuss...
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Celebrating What it Means to Live a Life

Well the Oscars certainly didn’t disappoint. I’ll get to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in a second, but first I want to talk about Viola Davis’ acceptance speech. For those of you keeping score at home Ms. Davis won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part in Fences. I haven’t...
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Making it Matter Ep. #28 – The Chronic Side of Cystic Fibrosis

From CF sinus surgeries to hemoptysis, Julia and I discuss a few reoccurring challenges that can pop up. Julia is a veteran of two sinus surgeries, so she explains how she was able to overcome her fear of anesthesia and accept the mission of the procedure. She has learned how to weigh the predicted benefits against any reservations...
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Making it Matter Ep. #27 – Can Drug Development be a Stress Point?

  Drug discovery and development in the cystic fibrosis community is moving at an incredible pace. With that, though, comes a feel of stress or anxiety as the science behind all of this is both complex and constantly moving through seemingly never ending clinical trials. For people on the outside looking in, me included, it’s...
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Do People With Cystic Fibrosis Experience FOMO?

Full disclosure here; I’m writing this while doing my treatments. In fact, I just stuck a syringe into a vial of sterile water, drew some out and then injected it into vial containing powdered medicine. Chemistry. I was snowed in last Thursday, so I found myself involved in a live Twitter Q&A with the Dana-Farber...
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Making it Matter Ep. #26 – How Chronic Illness May Limit a Vacation

Julia and I talk about some of our experiences with taking “social” vacations with our other 20-something friends. Sometimes trips are not designed to be relaxing, rather they go full speed with little time for treatments and rest, like a bachelor party or a trip to a music festival, for example, so we talk about a...
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Making it Matter Ep. #25 – Salty Cysters

Lea Faraone, from the Salty Cysters, joins the podcast today to talk about her life with cystic fibrosis. Yesterday was my every 3 month CF research appointment 🤗💊🏩 For the past 3 years I've been traveling to Boston every 3 months to receive a research medication that has been life changing for me (this is...
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Did Science Find an Answer to the Lack of Organ Donors?

As it turns out the future is now. From National Geographic: In a remarkable—if likely controversial—feat, scientists announced today that they have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs.   This...
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Making it Matter Ep. #24 – Dealing with Disease Progression

Julia and I take a question from my most recent Facebook Live on the Boomer Esiason Foundation page, which asks about the progression of cystic fibrosis and how we deal with it. Since cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease, it can take an emotional toll over time as symptoms sometimes get worse and harder to...
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Perseverance, Resiliency and Erin Andrews

This morning I came across a story on MMQB about unbelievable year Erin Andrews is having. As many may know, Erin Andrews, NFL on Fox’s lead sideline reporter, had been dealing with a crazed stalker in court. I cannot even imagine the stress that must have come along with that, but it was finally settled...
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Making it Matter Ep. #23 – How Are You Feeling?

  Today’s topic comes from a listener whose boyfriend has cystic fibrosis and she wants Julia and I to discuss the “How are you feeling?” question. “How are you feeling?” That’s a question we with chronic illness hear quite frequently, but how does it make us feel? Are people being sincere when they ask? Is...
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Making it Matter Ep. #22 – Cystic Fibrosis in the Workplace

Julia and I take a question from a listener whose son has CF. She wants to know what Julia and I think about telling a potential employer about CF, and how to go about doing it. There are a few ways to handle this, so we draw on a few past experiences when we have, and...
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Making it Matter Ep. #21 – Cystic Fibrosis as an Invisible Illness

Julia and I continue the conversation from our last podcast about cystic fibrosis as an invisible illness in the newest episode of the Making it Matter Podcast. What is an invisible illness, why is it such a challenge and how do we deal with it? People learn how to deal with this part of CF...
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France’s New Organ Donation Policy is Awesome

On Sunday France’s new organ donation policy went into effect, which essentially flips the conventional way people had been agreeing to be donors (via The Guardian): France has reversed its policy on organ donations so that all people could become donors on their death unless they join an official register to opt out.   The new...
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My Wish List for the New Year

I’m not naïve enough to think that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and find that my life is moving forward with cystic fibrosis in the rearview mirror. We’re still a little bit away from that moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have high expectations for treatment development. In many ways, my life with...
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Making it Matter Ep. #20 – Julia and Gunnar’s Mailbox

In a special New Year’s edition of Making it Matter, Julia and I take a few questions from our listeners. First, we respond to a question about our last podcast, which asks where people can turn to get help about anxiety. Second, we answer an interesting question about facial hair, in particular mine (I apologize...
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Making it Matter Ep. #19 – Psychological Impact of Hospital Stays

  Julia and I take a question from a listener on Twitter for this episode of Making it Matter: @itsjuliarae & @G17Esiason! I'd be interested to learn about coping & psychosocial effects of long term hospital stays on Making It Matter! — Ruth Hochberg (@Ruth_Hochberg) December 15, 2016 To answer, Julia and I go back into...
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Making it Matter Ep. #18 – Cystic Fibrosis and Long Term Relationships

Julia and I answer an email from a listener who asks about long term relationships, marriage and kids. Admittedly, neither Julia nor I are even close to that point in our lives, but we do discuss some of the things that are important to carry into a relationship over time. People with cystic fibrosis are...
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My 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is just around the corner, so it is time to start working on those lists to send to Santa! Here’s my holiday season gift guide for that special someone with cystic fibrosis in your life… or maybe someone without CF (if you somehow find this blog), these gifts will work just fine for anyone else too....
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Making it Matter Ep. #17 – Giving Back During the Holidays

  This week on Making it Matter, Julia and I talk about the importance of giving back during the holiday season. It is important to recognize important causes in your life, whether that is cystic fibrosis or not, and help where help is duly needed. To that point, Julia and I also discuss the NFL...
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Making it Matter Ep. #16 – Football and Cystic Fibrosis

Making it Matter this week is Matt Mitchell, a freshman in college with cystic fibrosis, who joins the podcast today to talk about his career as a football player. Matt was a stand out player in high school at Joy Christian in Arizona and now plays at Phoenix College. Listen to Matt discuss what it...
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Own it Audio Podcast Ep. #10 – Transplant Success with CF

In this episode of the Own It Audio Podcast Series, you’ll meet Lauren Guidry, 27 with cystic fibrosis and 6 months post double lung transplant. Her transplant story is one that is incredibly unique. Over the course of 10 days, Lauren was diagnosed with the flu, placed on the transplant list and then finally transplanted....
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Making it Matter Ep. #15 – Dating with Cystic Fibrosis

Julia and I received an email from a mom whose daughter has CF. She asked how might cystic fibrosis impact her daughter’s dating life as she gets older. It’s a great question, and certainly one that is fairly common, so we did our best Dr. Phil impressions in an effort to explain what dating with...
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Making it Matter Ep. #14 – Advocacy and Other Things

After our week off, Julia and I come back with lots to talk about. Right after her NYC marathon effort, Julia shipped off to Europe to tour a children’s CF center in the Netherlands. She talks about how much different care is than it is in the US. I go on to talk about my...
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I Want Us to Stop Using the ‘Life Expectancy’ Statistic

Cystic fibrosis life expectancy gets tossed around like any number of statistics in the medical world. It’s something that people love to talk about, or use to show success and progress. It really is remarkable; the amount of progress that has been made in cystic fibrosis is unlike any other chronic illness in the world,...
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Making it Matter Ep. # 13 – Julia Heads into the Marathon

We’re only a few days away from the New York City Marathon, so Julia talks about her emotions heading into the big weekend, including an unexpected hurdle. On the other hand I talk about heading off to the dedication of the Gunnar H. Esiason Cystic Fibrosis Center at Morristown Medical Center. The episode wraps up with...
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My Five Takeaways from #NACFC

I had a dream last night, and in that dream the Limp Bizkit classic song, Nookie was on repeat for some reason. I have no idea why; I haven’t heard that song in about 12 years. Needless to say I woke up pretty jacked up and motivated to get sh*t done before the Packers game...
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Own It Audio Podcast Ep. #9 – Feeling Great When You’re Sick

In this episode of the Own It Audio Podcast, you will meet Kate Arian. She’s 27 with cystic fibrosis, and just about to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of her double lung transplant. Since being transplanted, Kate has grown to become incredibly successful starting up her own business ManiCare. Kate says: As the recipient of...
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Making it Matter Ep. #12 – Cystic Fibrosis Siblings

Each month we are going to invite a guest with cystic fibrosis to join the program to share how he or she is Making it Matter. This week, Julia invites her brother Will, 26 with cystic fibrosis, onto the podcast to discuss growing up together and their training for the New York City Marathon. Both Julia...
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Making it Matter Ep. #11 – This Past Week

Julia and I catch up with each other about the last week. I had an encounter with a security guard at a concert over my pill case, Julia talks about her New York City Marathon training and then we both give our opinion on my blog post about cigarette smoke. This is a bit of...
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Making it Matter Ep. #10 – CF Nutrition

Nutrition is something I love to talk about (well…. ever since I got my feeding tube placed in 2011). It is a vital part of CF care, something that Julia and I approach differently. While my pancreas doesn’t seem to work, Julia knows she is pancreatic sufficient, something that isn’t unheard of, but not typical....
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How Do I Feel When You Light Up a Cigarette?

F*cking angry. It wasn’t until college that I realized how widespread smoking was (still is). The thing that was probably more shocking than the people who did it every day on the walk to class or in their daily routine, was the people who thought it was a cool social activity. It’s not cool and...
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Making it Matter Podcast Ep. #9 – Flu Season

Flu season is just about here so Julia and I talk about the important fine line between being prepared and making sure we don’t find ourselves living in a bubble. We also discuss our incredibly different experiences with the flu shot (I really have no excuse for being totally terrified of it), and how we...
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Making it Matter Podcast Ep. #8 – Cystic Fibrosis Infection Control

Julia and I continue the conversation about infection control and cross infection in cystic fibrosis with our latest podcast. Last week I touched on the topic and gave my thoughts on the CNN story about “The real life ‘Fault in Our Stars’ Couple” in a blog post. It’s a pretty volatile subject, so needless to say...
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Cystic Fibrosis and “The Fault in Our Stars”

About a year ago CNN brought us the story of Dalton and Katie Prager, two young adults with cystic fibrosis who met on the Internet and went on to get married. Their story, drawing plenty of similarities from the book and movie The Fault in Our Stars, has captivated a nationwide audience thanks to several...
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Making it Matter Cystic Fibrosis Podcast Ep. #7 – How to Stay Busy When You’re Sick

I’ve been dealing with a bit of bug for the past week, so Julia and I decided to podcast about being sick, and what we do to keep ourselves occupied when things get tough. Unfortunately the sick days do add up, so I definitely feel like a pro when it comes to killing time, and...
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