Two women speaking to each other intentionally and kindly about their chronic illness.

Are You OK?

"Are you OK?" This is a simple enough question to most people. However, for someone fighting hepatitis C or a chronic illness, someone struggling may hesitate to answer this. For myself, I have this bubble around me that I carry all the time. It is my protective layer when dealing with others and those in our society.

People don't always want to know

Through the years, I have learned that saying you are OK varies from person to person. It also opens or shuts doors if your answer is too short or not detailed enough. Or better yet, people will cut you off mid-sentence, not wanting to really hear the truth in it.

Those of us usually get caught off guard with this question and are afraid to really answer, as if we are searching in the eyes of the person asking as to what version or story they really want to hear. It is sad. It is sad that in today’s times, people are so busy that we limit time with communicating with others. We merely say things out of casual contact in passing, but not to REALLY want to know a person’s wellbeing.

With that said, we wonder why so many are struggling with depression, isolation, and anxiety. With COVID, this really truly added to the downhill means of society communicating with others.

My experiences

I find myself at work, sitting and welcoming patients into the office. I can tell from the faces behind the mask (as we still have to wear them in hospital settings) the people who are longing to converse and make contact and the ones that simple grunt their names and turn quickly to avoid contact.

After speaking to an older lady today, I was called upon to write this as I think we spent all of her 10 mins waiting for the therapist to come out talk about how she was doing.  I welcomed her conversation and she added and gave me much back in return. We laughed and giggled about life and how things used to be. Both of us seemed to enjoy the human conversation and felted comforted in the communication between us.

I loved knowing that by me asking and truly wanting to know how this woman was that she accepted and responded by asking me the same. What a refreshing conversation and we both said goodbye with smiles on our faces (as you could imagine them through our masks).

Be kind, be genuine, be true, and be caring. You never know whose heart and life you will touch by just being kind.

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