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Cooking Up Confusion

, , , , , | Healthy | May 11, 2022

I’m switching my primary care physician due to insurance issues, so I decided for my most recent appointment to have a more thorough physical checkup. My usual doctor was unavailable at the time, but one of his assistants could look me over in his stead. I decided a fresh point of view was not a bad idea, so I went ahead and scheduled the checkup.

It all started off relatively uneventfully, with the doctor’s assistant confirming my medical history, medications, symptoms of depression, etc.

Assistant: “And what about your diet? What’s that like?”

Me: “Since I moved out and am now living with a few roommates, we’re all taking turns doing home cooking.”

Thanks to a wonderful combination of social anxiety and ADHD, I have difficulty making eye contact with someone while talking unless I’m very familiar with them or making a significant effort. I was fairly relaxed, so I was just gazing over at the opposite wall while I mentioned that my roommates and I do cooking for ourselves every night. When I looked back over at the assistant, her expression was serious and concerned. I recognized I had to have said something to have caused that change, given she was quite cheerful and chatty only a minute before.

Assistant: “You do this every night?”

Me: “Between my roommates and I, we take turns. And if I get up early enough, I do it for myself in the morning.”

Her expression of concern just grew more intense.

Assistant: “Are you aware of the health risks of what you’re doing?”

I spent a few moments trying to figure out what she could mean.

Me: “I don’t know if there are any risks associated with cooking meals, other than maybe excessive use of salt or oils.”

At that, she burst out laughing! I was even more confused.

Me: “What did you think I said?”

Turns out, she thought I’d said I was doing cocaine every night and sometimes in the morning. It wasn’t until I’d said the word “meals” that she’d figured out I was talking about something completely different! Both the assistant and I couldn’t stop laughing for several minutes straight after that, and the rest of the checkup was perfectly fine.

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