Life Learnings

Sore throat? Maybe it’s time to change your air filter.

Okay, so it looks like we were lazy homeowners and just didn’t bother to change the filter but in our defense, we had accidentally installed a closet organizer which blocked the filter. In order to even check the filter we needed to move the closet organizer. And it was a big project. You know how when something is going to take a lot of effort and time, it doesn’t get put to the top of the priority list until the pain is bad enough? This was one of those. Once it started to get cold and we turned on the heat, I started getting a sore throat that just wouldn’t go away. After weeks of thinking I had a bug, my husband Kevin decided it was time to move the closet organizer and take a look at that filter. 

On the left is what we found. Yuck, yuck and yuck. As you can see from the date on the box, it hadn’t been changed since September of 2016… After seeing what we were breathing in, we went straight to Home Depot and came home with two clean filters. 

I wish I could say that I remembered that we had changed the filter when my sore throat went away but to be honest, the day or two after we changed the filter, my sore throat went away and I totally forgot about it. It wasn’t until about a week later when Kevin asked, “How is your sore throat doing?” that I realized it had been gone for awhile. It’s amazing how much we are annoyed by pain when it’s present and how quickly we forget about the pain when it’s gone! 

I’ve had this experience many times with the weird pain that comes (and goes) with Crohn’s Disease. It’s important to work towards finding a long-term solution for pain when it is persistent. When continued for long enough, chronic pain can lead your nervous system to continue sending pain receptors even after the injury is healed.

All the more reason to make taking care and supporting your body a priority. The moral of this story is check your filter and save yourself from a sore throat!

With love,

Annelise Bretthauer

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