Patients worry delaying routine care during COVID-19 could have lasting impact

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Paula Orecklin wonders just how many laps around her Winnipeg apartment she has left before the wear on her body takes its toll.

The 32-year-old typically sees a team of health professionals to help keep her symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome — a chronic condition that causes unrelenting pain in her lower right leg — under control.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted access to in-person health-care services, Orecklin says her care providers are doing the best they can from afar, but phone appointments just don’t have the same depth as going into the doctor’s office.

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While her pain has abated slightly without the bumpy car rides to physiotherapy, Orecklin says she’s been trying to keep up with her exercises while confined to her apartment in an assisted-living facility, but she knows walking in circles around her room is no substitute for her regular sessions.

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As a member of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s patient and family advisory committee, Orecklin knows plenty of people like her waiting for routine tests and treatments that may not be prioritized in the face of a pandemic,

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