Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Secret Burrito


High potassium?

How did this happen so fast?

Secret burrito.


I was inspired to write this haiku after encountering a middle-aged male with a past medical history of end stage renal disease. The patient was admitted to our service from the emergency department for symptomatic hyperkalemia and was promptly treated with emergent hemodialysis. The patient’s potassium levels subsequently returned to baseline, and discharge was planned for the following day. When the patient’s electrolyte panel returned the next morning, he was hyperkalemic. This was both concerning and unexpected. During rounds, our team later discovered that the patient clandestinely consumed a burrito after dinner during the overnight hours, thereby explaining the hyperkalemia. After appropriate patient education and further hemodialysis, the patient’s labs returned to baseline and he was discharged the following day.

How the patient procured said burrito remains a mystery to this day.


Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.


Alex Grosinger (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine


Alex Grosinger is a fourth year medical student at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota class of 2021. In 2008, he graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in history. He is concurrently earning a Masters in the Science of Healthcare Delivery. He enjoys skiing, playing guitar, and working on his car in his free time. After graduating medical school, Alex would like to pursue a career in ophthalmology or anesthesiology.