Yesterday afternoon, as I hopped in my car and headed towards the elementary school to pick up my son, I realized the right side of my neck was sore when I moved my head. I hadn’t noticed any pain earlier in the day. But at that moment, I realized it was painful even when I barely touched the area with my hand. As I felt around, I noticed that the lymph node on that side of my neck was noticeably enlarged.
I told my husband about it several hours later when he arrived home from work. I had no other symptoms, no sore throat, no cold or sinus symptoms and no fever…just a very sore neck. My self-diagnosis was that it must be something to do with the sinus/cold symptoms I had a couple of weeks ago. Yet, I found it bizarre. I felt perfectly fine aside from the discomfort in my neck. After a little coaxing from my husband, I decided to head to urgent care to find out what might be going on.
The doctor’s diagnosis: Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Well alrighty then. Nearly 90 minutes of waiting and a mere 10 minutes with the doctor and I had a professional opinion.
I felt a little silly paying my $15.00 co-pay only for someone to arrive at the same diagnosis I arrived at while I drove along in my car several hours earlier.
The doctor went on to explain that the pain and swelling in my lymph nodes was a good sign that they were doing what they were designed to do, to fight whatever infection was still lingering in my body, most likely from the cold/sinus issues I previously had experienced.
Although it didn’t feel like a good thing at the time, the pain I was having meant everything was working properly. The temporary pain was necessary for complete healing to ultimately take place.
Yesterday was a reminder to me that sometimes walking through pain is the only way for healing and restoration to take place. Pain is sometimes an indicator that healing is around the corner.
Last night, I thought about the first few months I was in recovery. When I finally made the choice to face life instead of numb or run from it, there was lots of pain that came with that choice. I had to feel things and face things about myself that I had avoided for years. Yet, just like my lymph node issue, the pain meant things were working exactly the way they were designed to work.
I wasn’t designed to hide from my life…I was designed to live my life. Pain taught me that.
What about you?
Has pain ever led you someplace good?
Are you avoiding pain that might ultimately help you heal?
After writing this post, I couldn’t help but think of the significance of Easter and Good Friday. Good Friday…talk about a necessary pain that led to restoration and healing.