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Thanksgiving in the ER

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Every Thursday we're entertained with a fantastic view of the ER consisting of ridiculously attractive doctors with egos the size of small volcanoes. On Thanksgiving, this particular LAist editor saw the less glamorous reality: a group of everyday people pulling an unenviable holiday shift, with nary a complaint from the bunch.

For the sake of making the story more readable, I'll dispense with the editorial "we" for the remainder of this article.

As Murphy's Law would have it, holidays and vacations often coincide with getting sick. [Apparently in that spirit] I contracted the flu on Wednesday. By Thanksgiving, I was suffering from dehydration, nausea and a 102-degree fever. After "toughing it out" for a day, I'd reached a recursive cycle: I couldn't keep any fluids down and my temperature was rising. At 7 PM I entered the Cedars-Sinai ER.

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I was admitted quickly and greeted with a friendly staff. No egos. No flashy camera transitions. Everyone was calm and collected. Admittedly, I came on one of the quietest nights of the year. Nonetheless, the "mundane" factor is what struck me as impressive. Everyone was working on a holiday, yet nobody complained. Some people were happy for the overtime. Others didn't celebrate the holiday. And perhaps a few really preferred to be elsewhere, but I was none the wiser. After five hours of treatment, the staff brought all my vital signs back to normal.

This Thanksgiving I didn't give thanks for friends, family or world peace. I'm simply grateful for the dedicated folks working the graveyard shift at the ER. Whether or not they realized it, these professionals were observing the holiday. They gave their time, skills and knowledge to those in need. We should all be so generous.

photo courtesy of Flickr user JacobW