I am a 37-year-old active male. I work out five times a week, but don’t get around to playing many sports as I did in my youth. Last year I thought I’d become a weekend warrior, change up my routine and pick-up soccer again. I joined a soccer league with games all over the GTA. On this day, it was unusually warm, the pitch was dry, with the sun beating down on us. I had minimal time to stretch, but thought I was good to go. I started play, and it brought back memories of my youth REP traveling team. As play continued I pushed my body harder, trying things I did in the past. Fifteen minutes in, it was time for a break, but not before one last offensive push. I received the ball, and tried a behind the back heel pass. All I heard was, POP!
Like I gun shot into the back of my right leg, I felt a snap. I hopped to the sidelines, and had an idea of what I did. With ice wraps and crutches, I had a friend drive me to the emergency room to confirm my worst nightmare. 95% percent Achilles rupture! Expected surgery, crutches and cast with no walking for 2 months, boot for another 1 month, and the next 1 year performing physiotherapy, and maybe there on out ill regain “most” of my function and strength.
I laid in bed, thinking about how much of a crippling blow this was to the quality of life. I am single, independent, don’t need or require help, work a lot, spend a lot of time in the gym, and don’t want to spend two days a week wasting away in physiotherapy.
Post operatively, navigating through a home unequipped for the disabled, it became apparent I needed help. Cast on, unable to navigate with crutches, I was further debilitated when my surgeon said it would be illegal for me to drive with a right lower leg injury. I was a prisoner in my own home.
Finally, when the hard cast was removed, the surgeon cleared me for physiotherapy, but still no driving. My family lived out of town, and I didn’t want to compromise my friends playing chauffeur. Safe to say, getting to physiotherapy twice a week was very difficult. As a Canadian blessed with OHIP, the surgery cost was covered. Being self-employed, a drawback was not having ancillary healthcare coverage. Although expensive, physiotherapy was an out of pocket cost that would be mandatory over the next year.
Living in a large, metropolitan, technologically savvy city such as Toronto is a double edged sword. I had many options for physiotherapy services close to home. And Uber allowed me to initially get to physiotherapy appointments without much stress. Negatively, in Toronto, traffic is a way of life. And waiting at appointments due to busy outpatient physiotherapy offices is inevitable. Not to mention I had to accommodate around the schedule of my preferred physiotherapist as he was always in demand. My round trip would consist of a 15-20 minute Uber ride, 10-minute office wait time, 45 – 60-minute session, 5 minutes’ wait for my Uber, and the 15-20-minute ride home. Outside of the cost of physiotherapy, I was saddle with travel cost, occasional parking cost, and an additional hour of lost personal time, my quality of life and wallet were bleeding.
Referred by a friend, I was introduced to Therapia. It is an online “Airbnb” type platform that brought physiotherapist to my home. I went online, picked according to “MY” availability and time, and then selected the physiotherapist of “MY” choice based on star rating and price. No travel, no parking cost, no wait time, in the comfort of my home, all for less then what I was paying for my traditional physiotherapist. It was a no brainer, I regained my autonomy as a customer, and patient. And for the first time in many months, I felt the freedom of having control of my life again.
In retrospect, as in independent individual the worst thing in my life is losing control. It has been six months since my injury, and slowly I have regained some normalcy to my life. I can walk, workout, and drive, but having home physiotherapy via Therapia is something I will not let go. Therapia goes beyond physiotherapy, when it addresses quality and convenience of my life.