First of all, there are many, many things going on in a breastfeeding relationship. The person helping you needs to ask a LOT of questions to get a feel for what is really going on. There may be things going on with the mother's health, the baby's, general breastfeeding misunderstanding, or other lifestyle issues that complicate the situation. Unless you want to go back and forth over email or PM all day, this conversation is usually much easier in real time.
Any lactation consultant worth her salt understands the need to do a physical assessment of both the mother and baby. While a description of mother's pain, baby's latch, or baby's behavior is helpful, seeing it in person is totally different. I would be looking for several things at once in an assessment, both what seems to be the problem and what doesn't. SEEING a baby breastfeeding is going to tell me so much about what is really going on. One of the most important ways to determine how well breastfeeding is going is to monitor the baby's weight and/or amount baby drank in a feeding on a very sensitive scale. Your bathroom scale at home can't give you that information.
A thorough history is also really important. What you have already tried can help me narrow down what may be the cause of your discomfort. For example, if you've been having symptoms of mastitis for 6 hours I'm going to give you completely different advice than if it's been going on for 6 days. There are also clues from your medical history that may be impacting breastfeeding that you've never thought were related.
In short, the internet is an awesome place for getting ideas from other moms and learning about breastfeeding, but it's really not the best when you have a serious issue that you need help for. I have seen some awful advice online. Some that could seriously harm a mother or baby. Often. There's also often conflicting advice in forums. Who are you going to listen to? Please, get help in person from a professional when you need help. Your breastfeeding relationship with your baby is worth it!
I make home visits in the San Angelo, TX area. You can contact me here to make an appointment or get referrals to the other breastfeeding professionals in the area.