If you haven’t signed up for “Patients Like Me” this post will give you more in-depth information about this unique website. As a patient with chronic back pain, Fibromyalgia, and joint inflammation and pain I have found Patients Like Me (PLM) offers a way to track my daily symptoms, conditions, and treatments. Let me explain.
The goal of PLM is to help patients become involved in the care of their conditions – Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Bipolar, or any health condition that involves symptoms that the patient may be dealing with. You (the patient) gives data to PLM and they (PLM) gets that data and processes it into information for You.
You (the patient) give data (your conditions, symptoms, treatments) to PLM and (PLM) gets your data, processing your information into “data points” These data points are combined with all the conditions, symptoms, and treatments of patients in their system. This information is then available for YOU to see and explore.
If you have chronic back pain you can look up how many patients have your chronic back pain, their symptoms of chronic back pain, what medications they take for chronic back pain, and how they cope.
- Click on CONDITIONS at the top of your dashboard
- If you have listed chronic back pain in the system you can find your condition from “My Conditions” at the right of the form. Or you can “look up” chronic back pain in the space provided.
- Type in Chronic Back Pain.
- You will find Chronic Idiopathic Back Pain which is pain that lasts for 3 months or more.
- Below Chronic Idiopathic Back Pain are an Overview of the patients in PLM by age, sex, and the start date of this condition.
- Look at the table on the left and you’ll find sections on “How it affects people,” “How people treat it,” and “Compare treatments.”
- Click on “how people treat it”
- As of the date of this post, there are 79 treatments for Chronic Idiopathic Back Pain listed by patients.
- You can shorten the list by the “Top 10 treatments”
- Click on Hydrocodone (for example) and you’ll find an overview of the drug. Below is a chart of the reported purpose and perceived effectiveness
- 1166 patients take Hydrocodone for pain. As you scan through the chart you’ll see the other conditions Hydrocodone is taken and how effective it is for patients
You can look up your conditions and symptoms in the same manner. This information may not seem relevant, but once you are able to compare the evaluations of other patients you find you aren’t alone is this battle to cope with your condition. You can even find info about how other patients take a medication, with food or without food.
Explore the site to see if it is the right fit for you. I’ve found it’s a great way to track my progress by submitting my daily info. Charts show me if a medication is working, how my symptoms change, and a detailed chart I can take to my next appointment with my pain management doctor.
I was amazed that she wanted the info to put in my chart. She found it interesting and a great tool for her to see how I progress. Take a moment to check out PLM. It might be a good fit for you or you may feel you just don’t have the time to submit your information. But look at it this way. If you submit your information you are contributing to PLM’s research and their commitment to sharing people’s information to clinical trials, the FDA, AstraZenaca, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and M2GEN (cancer patients research team.)
Thanks for reading and let me know if you join PLM. I wish you a day with very little pain so you can enjoy doing the things you love to do!