Two exciting events today. First one doesn’t use the good form of “exciting” but it did get the blood pumping. Liza and Syd were roaming the streets of Nassau with some friends when Syd blacked out for a few seconds prompting them to make a beeline to the hospital. Before I go into detail, Syd appears to be fine. Absolutely nothing wrong with any of her tests and I’m hoping a visit to her pediatrician tomorrow will confirm that.

I was at home when Liza called from the waiting room and I was out the door before she hung up, pausing just long enough to grab Sydney’s favorite teddy bear since he would probably hold up under pressure better than I would. One of the main thoughts racing through my head at almost the same speed I was driving was what to expect at the hospital, which I’ve never patronized. Well, dear readers, if today’s experience is indicative of health care in the Bahamas, I plan to sign up for at least a dozen high-risk activities tomorrow. By the time I arrived at the ER, Syd had already been assigned to a room. I had time to put on a brave smile and ask how she was when the doctor (yes, an actual real live doctor; not an orderly, not a med student, not a janitor with delusions of grandeur) came in to examine her. Asked her questions about the incident, put some cool looking stickers with metal fasteners on her chest, and gave her a fairly thorough physical exam.

Shortly after that, a nurse showed up and hooked up an IV attachment thingy to her wrist (“just in case”). Syd’s only comment during the ordeal was “Ow”. On a more humbling note, I had to leave the area twice during this procedure (once on orders from the nurse based on the colour of my skin) for fear of fainting. Shortly after that, they wheeled Syd to the radiologist area and she was given her first ultrasound. Then they took a blood sample where Syd’s bravery disappeared in a flurry of screams (that’s my girl!). Then they called our regular pediatrician to let him know what was going on. And they gave us the actual results of the blood analysis and urine sample (which they took before I had even arrived). Total elapsed time: just shy of four hours (which, from what I understand, is the actual wait time just to get directions to a hospital in Calgary these days). And the doctor and nurse were both fantastic, each stopping in regularly to let us know what we were waiting for (and to try to get back on Syd’s good side after taking blood). End result: She’s healthy as can be except for a little emotional trauma from the needles (that’s my girl!).

Side note: I was singing the praises of the hospital to Liza later and she just said, “Yeah, well, money talks.” Sounds ominously capitalistic but we’re talking about my child here!

But that’s not the most exciting thing that happened today. After she got ready for bed, we both laid down for a bedtime story. In this case, Down by the Cool of the Pool, a book she got from the library (and a really fun one, too, if you’re looking for a book for five-year-olds). So a couple of pages in, I turned the page, and before I could get a word out, she starting READING! That’s right, she was spitting out words with the same staccato emotion of HAL but it was awesome! Sounded out some words, recognized others, made educated guesses at others (lot of repetition in kids’ books), and outright butchered her fair share. But dammit, she was reading!

And in between these two episodes, she still found time to ask, “Daddy, what does ‘fate’ mean?”