Back on Her Feet – Lisa’s Story
When Lisa Normal says that she wants her life to go back to the way it was, she’s not talking about feeling the “empty-nest syndrome” and wanting her kids back in the house because she misses them, she’s talking about the chronic, physical pain she’s felt for the past three years.
Before Health Services of North Texas
“I’ve only had it for probably three years, but this last year, last spring, I’ve noticed a tremendous difference in my body,” Lisa says. “I can’t move trash cans, I can’t mop my floor more than twice a week, everyday stuff.”
Lisa thought that it was a back issue at first, given how her condition acted. Repetitive movements were a trigger, as was lifting things or bending down. But an episode two years ago left little doubt in her mind that the problem was something bigger.
“What broke the camel’s back was the three days I was alone at work. A lot of people called out [sick] which meant I had to stand at the register until 1 o’clock. I literally went to my car and could barely move. I woke up the next morning and then I couldn’t move at all, for six weeks.”
Lisa’s daughter had to take care of her for those two weeks, juggling the responsibilities of her final year of high school while also making sure her mother was okay. Lisa didn’t want to have to leave her job if it was just going to continue making her pain worse, but she couldn’t afford to take off any more from work and neither could she afford to pay for healthcare herself.
“I make more than $10,000 a year, I’m in between the cracks. I make too much for this, I don’t qualify for that. I was on a pretty good schedule; I’m going on three years working there. I’m motivated internally to do stuff, but I have a hard time doing it because of my physical stuff.”
After Health Services of North Texas
Then, a friend referred her to HSNT in Denton, Texas.
“I’m very grateful for this clinic,” Lisa says. “They have done nothing but help me. I didn’t have anywhere to turn to.”
Lisa has visited HSNT’s women’s clinic at Medical City Denton, the medical center on Mesa Drive, and the HSNT’s new location on Loop 288 at the Serve Denton Center. Everywhere she went, Lisa says she met nothing but helpful staff and attentive providers who listened to her when she spoke.
“Every office I’ve been to, the receptionists, they’re sweethearts. I don’t know where y’all got these people! When I went in [to the OB/GYN], we did a biopsy, we were going to do a CT scan…she’s been amazing. Janice Adams. She’s listened to me. She genuinely believes me.”
With her health problems also having taken an emotional toll on her, Janice Adams suggested that Lisa see one of HSNT’s licensed social workers. Seeing that the Loop 288 office was right around the corner from her apartment, she decided to schedule an appointment with HSNT’s Elizabeth Demoret.
“I was like ‘ok, I’ll go a couple of times, maybe I just need to vent.’ And then I started getting into it and I realized maybe I don’t need to vent, maybe I’ve got a lot going on besides, I’ve got work, my kids, I’m just internalizing everything. I keep a lot of it inside, that’s hard for me. I’ve done that my whole life, but I don’t want to do that anymore.”
“I was so touched by you guys opening up another clinic here [at the Loop]. When I told the lady at the front desk up there, I cried. Even if they can’t help me as far as they can with this issue, they can get me to a point where at least I know I’m not going crazy, that it’s not in my head.”
Contact Health Services of North Texas if you need additional information about managing chronic physical pain, need to speak to a social worker, and more.