The Okay Door

Whilst undergoing treatment, I have found myself questioning and contemplating what the word ‘Okay’ means.  Its adjective definition is to mean “satisfactory but not especially good” according to the Oxford dictionary.  It is a term that I have heard so many times as a healthcare professional and have said even more.  But what does it truly mean?

Often the term okay is accepted and interpreted by the individual in their own way.  A recent experience while undergoing treatment led me to question this word.  One of my chemotherapy nurses informed me that their colleague was under the assumption that my chemotherapy had gone without a hitch because I had said it had gone okay.   However, the reality had been very different but I was proud of myself for having got through it and because of this had stated it had gone okay.  With no follow-up question to examine what was meant by ‘Okay’ the judgements on this were very different from the reality.

I can guarantee that I too have made assumptions on patients, friends, family and everyone in-between when they have told me that they are okay, without the follow-up questions to inquire further.  So once again what is meant by the word Okay?  The following is a poem that I have written to share what I see is behind ‘the Okay door.’


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