In this episode, we talk with Gunnar Esiason, a 21-year old senior at Boston College about the daily use of a feeding tube as part of CF treatment. While Gunnar continues to remain compliant and use the feeding tube, among other treatments, he has been living independently and has been enjoying college life for the past three years.
• Gunnar was diagnosed with CF at the age of two. He is now 21 years old and a senior at Boston College.
• Gunnar made the decision to use the feeding tube during his sophomore year in college, shortly after enduring a serious lung infection and losing significant weight.
• The surgical process of inserting the tube culminated with the placement of a “button”, an external port allowing Gunnar to receive the nutrients he needs in liquid form.
• When the tube is initially put in, doctors gave Gunnar a “goal weight”, which is the ideal weight they would like to see him reach and maintain. Before the feeding tube Gunnar’s weight was at 142 pounds. Now, he is weighing 175 pounds. His goal is 185 pounds.
• During the day, the feeding tube provides Gunnar with anywhere from 500 to 1,500 calories. At night, Gunnar may ingest upwards of 2,000 calories and sometimes totals nearly 5,000 calories per day.
• Gunnar says the feeding tube hasn’t stopped him from leading a full life and enjoying college with his friends.
• Gunnar washes his feeding tube with warm or hot water in an effort to sterilize it.
• The only adjustment Gunnar says he has had to make is learning how to sleep at night while using the feeding tube.
Big thanks to Genentech for their support and for making this CF Podcast possible.
For more CF Podcasts, visit www.jerrycahill.com