Being homebound is a good thing nowadays. If you suffer chronic pain, it is a little challenging as tele-consultation can only do so much. With this, Pfizer’s GM for Upjohn Philippines Ms. Melissa Comia says “Under the new normal, it is important to still talk to our doctors and manage the condition, so it does not get us away from life.”
Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan the Chief of UP Medical Informatics Unit says “I have a low pain threshold and it is one of the reason I am in this profession. Today, people suffer from delayed procedures, but telemedicine will have to stay until the dust settles. It offers hope, patients should prepare, find the teleclinic, get accompaniment and inform your doctor, prepare your gadgets and make sure devices are charged. Prepare your medical records, list down your questions, sign the consent form. It can be done via Video consultations or Audio Calls. You can describe the pain and rate it, tell them episodes, location, medical treatments you have tried and what activities trigger the pain. Follow directions and clear things by asking the right questions, also when to have follow up care and the next consultation. Make sure you also give feedback if you are satisfied with the doctors consultation.”
Rheumatologist Dr. Lisa Teaboco says “Joint pains are nothing new but telemedicine is a new strategy. Knowledge, Indoor Lifestyle and Teleconsultation is KIT. Languages are complex and what is important is to ask further clarification is needed. It can’t be just “basta masakit” or “may rayuma” as it is too broad. Males 30-50yo with history and high alcohol intake are prone to gout. Osteoporosis usually happen to older females but pain can have many causes. Staying at home is still done under these conditions, weight reduction and exercise is important. That is 30-150 minute physical activity per week and can be done in many ways. If you have kids with game consoles, there are activities with active games available even for elder generation. Reduce on simple sugars and cut back on salt. It is also important to note if after diagnosis, you still need further consultation, then doctors can recommend face to face consultation.”
Teleconsultation is in its infancy in the country, but hopefully, taking care of patients will be easy and a hybrid approach can be adopted to make sure of accuracy. We also have to have internet connection that is capable of making this possible for all, no matter what socio economic condition we have in the country.
Follow doctors advise, hopefully this would inspire and make all of us keep moving to take charge of chronic pain. Thanks to Upjohn for holding this virtual press conference. I learned a lot!