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Paramedic Nat

A Blog About My Mental Health Journey

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The Things I Miss About Paramedic Land

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I miss:

  • interpreting ECG’s;
  • the smell of tourniquets;
  • the feeling when I got to take my coat off in a warm truck after standing on the cold highway for hours;
  • getting a pulse back;
  • when I had a student and I let them sit in the front so I could sit in the back alone with my feet up on the stretcher, looking around my ‘office’, wondering how the heck I got to do the best job in the world;
  • the clang behind me of the base’s garage door when I first arrived at work;
  • patching to the hospital with a CTAS 1 knowing that everyone was listening and wanting to do a good job;
  • telling the room that I got the order for midazolam;
  • getting the tube;
  • hearing a healthy baby cry for the first time;
  • getting cancelled at 5am;
  • being a preceptor;
  • making my preceptor proud;
  • my fire guys and my police officers;
  • knowing a street address without looking it up – and knowing the patient too;
  • knowing the nurses and doctors well enough that they trusted your word;
  • being able to stand up in the back of the ambulance;
  • checking my bags and the sound of the zipper;
  • seeing the relief in a parent’s eyes;
  • new boots;
  • having a sunny day and not having to clean the truck;
  • getting the line that no one else could get;
  • lifting the patient after they said I was too small to lift them;
  • laughing so hard when my pants split that I almost peed said pants – and duct taping them back together;
  • having time to pee, have a coffee and eat on the same shift;
  • dynamic calls;
  • my partners;
  • the helicopter landing and taking off from the highway;
  • knowing the dispatcher’s voices;
  • Jugo Juice at the hospital;
  • when my partner brought extra dessert for me;
  • my EMS family.

Spring Tour!

If you are interested, send me an email at paramedicnat@hotmail.com 🤗

My presentation will include my story of recovery from PTSD, addiction, depression and anxiety and information about Wings of Change Peer Support.

Ideal for all healthcare providers, first responders, social workers, corrections, funeral services, colleges, children’s service workers, military workers, mental health workers and more!

Dan Sundahl

On this episode of BrainStorm I chat with Artist & First Responder Daniel Sundahl about his passion for art and why it is therapy for him. 

 

Books Written by Natalie Harris

Daily Lessons from Save My Life School: Here

Save My Life School: Here

This episode of BrainStorm is brought to you by The Homewood Health Clinic Mississauga 

 

BrainStorm by Natalie Harris is proudly produced by PodcastWagon.com

Just A Dinner Party…

I just came back from a dinner party. A simple sentence with a seemingly simple meaning. But let me take you on a journey through what this sentence means to someone with PTSD – that someone being me.

Logical Brain – Everyone goes to dinner parties. They are fun and a great way to meet new people.

PTSD Brain – I don’t understand why anyone wants to leave the house, let alone go to a house filled with strangers. I will have to talk to about something (who knows what), and why do people like meeting other people?

Logical Brain – Pick a nice outfit to wear and get ready. You don’t need a nap today. This is a productive day with lots of opportunity.

PTSD Brain – I don’t like clothes. Pyjamas are my wardrobe. Why would I want to have a shower? That takes at least 15 minutes. I DO need a nap – like right now! Why am I awake? Opportunity is so overrated.

Logical Brain – Ok you’re ready to go – good. Now don’t worry about how noisy the house will be. It’s only people. You are safe and really don’t need to overreact about a few strangers.

PTSD Brain – Where are my earplugs? I will definitely need them. I hope the room I find to sit in is quiet. I don’t want to be a downer. Will I have a corner to stand in? – but not too far from the front door. How many hours do I need to be there?

Logical Brain – Ok, you made it to the house. Go in and smile and make small talk with people. Eat some food and mingle like everyone else does.

PTSD Brain – I’m frozen in this car. Literally, my legs won’t work. Come on legs – don’t be embarrassing. Ok, I made it out of the car. There is a stranger at the door. I wonder if they will judge me by my tattoos? How many hours do I need to be here again? Small talk doesn’t escape my lips at all. I found a corner – that’s good. But food doesn’t sound appetizing and if I leave this corner someone may talk to me and I may lose my spot on the wall. I don’t need to eat. Eating is overrated.

Logical Brain – Act normal. It’s just a dinner party.

PTSD Brain – I can feel tears welling up in my eyes. My eyes are burning so I shouldn’t make eye contact with anyone or I will be a blubbering mess. My chest is heavy and I feel sick. Why would anyone want to go to a dinner party anyways? Especially with me. I don’t understand. It looks so weird people going up and eating like it’s normal. How are they not nervous to do that? Oh great, I just made eye contact with my daughter and she can tell I’m about to cry. How much longer do I have to be here?

Logical Brain – Run for it! You’re about to cry you crazy person!

PTSD Brain – I can’t breathe! I need to leave. I’m crying and I can’t stop. I need to run to my car and hide. I just ruined everything. I’m so embarrassed! What’s wrong with me? I used to be able to socialize and be smart and fun. Now I’m a blubbering mess in front of my kids. What the hell is wrong with me? I hate myself.

Logical Brain – Don’t forget, you have PTSD – this is your new life now.

PTSD Brain – I hate you logical brain.

Logical Brain – I miss me too.

Self-Care

Taking a wee self-care break. My podcast BrainStorm will return soon. Xo

Art By Nat

Paramedic Nat’s Evening For Mental Health – A Huge Success!

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I’m not sure how to describe the level of gratitude I feel for the success of this evening – but this photo represents that level very well. Raising money for the RVH Foundation for youth mental health and Ivegotyourback911 was a tiny dream I had a few months ago. With that dream a team of friends immediately stepped up to help in any way they could to make it come true.

Sean McCann and Michael Landsberg agreed to be a part of the night and ticket sales soared. Zach Hofer and his family agreed to be guests of honour and sponsors from all over the community donated money and gift for the silent auction almost on a daily basis. I could barely keep up with the abundance of love that was headed my way – but if there is something you need to keep up with, it’s love.

Dignitaries, CEO’s and service Chiefs attended. People travelled not only from out of province, but also from out of country to attend. Extended and close family that I haven’t seen in years attended as well. (Pictured- Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, RVH CEO Janice Skot, MP John Brassard, Chief of Staff at House of Commons Shawn T Bubel, Barrie City Councillors Arif Khan, and Andrew Prince and radio celebrity Ozz).

Zach was awarded a Community Hero Award.

And I had a room filled with 300 people sing happy birthday to me – twice! Tears were difficult to hold back. It was literally one of the most amazing nights of my life.

I couldn’t have done this without the time and dedication of so many volunteers. Heather Down, Katherine Pomerleau, Maud Revel, Andrea Logan, Nicole Pavlovic, Kim Forster, Charlene Haines, Caroline Harris, John Fraser, and Mindy and Chris Piva to name a few.

Heather and I have already started to chat about ideas for next year’s event. That’s how we roll. Lol.

I will be announcing the funds raised soon! I can’t wait to share that! But the rough estimate is $13,000!

Once again from the bottom of my heart – to a community filled with love – thank you!

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