Paramedic Nat

A Blog About a Paramedic's Mental Health Journey

Happy Paramedic Services Week

Happy Paramedic Services Week! Thank you for everything you do to keep our community safe and healthy. During this pandemic, you have continued to demonstrate strength and and integrity in the face of extreme adversity. You are amazing.

Wearing Red For Nova Scotia

In memory of the lives lost in Nova Scotia 🇨🇦

Ontario Loves Nova Scotia

Ontarians sent messages of love and support to me to compile into a video so that we could share our deepest condolences with the people of Nova Scotia.

We are here for you Nova Scotia. ❤️

Quarantine Cupcakes On A Midnight Open Highway

You never know where your night can lead during quarantine 😂 After posting about my impromptu baking at 11pm, I had a couple of requests that I share the sugary results. So I made a few treat boxes, hung one on the door for pick-up, and Adam and I took the other one and jumped in the car for a quick delivery to Caroline and Dan’s porch.

The highway was bare. I have never seen it like that before. I get that it was midnight by then, but for the majority of our drive it was more bare than I had ever seen it; we kind of had it to ourselves. The moon was huge and bright, and suddenly Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock’n’Roll” came on the radio. Adam looked at me…we knew what we had to do! He got out my sunglasses, popped up his jacket collar and I cranked the volume. Midnight on a Friday with my 14 year old son on a cupcake delivery trip, on a bare highway playing air guitar and singing at the top of our lungs! That’s pretty damn awesome.

And if we weren’t in quarantine, it would never have happened. Why? Well, I normally don’t have the time to bake – but now I do. I normally wouldn’t have let Adam stay awake so late – but now I could. The highway would not have been so goosebumpingly empty – but tonight it sure was.

We had no plans. Just time, an empty road and a playlist of AC/DC, ABBA, Queen and … Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys (don’t ask 🤦🏻‍♀️😂).

Some of the songs referenced a dance floor and I imagined back when we could go on one whenever we wanted, and I wondered for a brief moment when that will happen again? But I didn’t dwell on that, I changed my mind to gratitude as I watched Adam tiptoe with a container of cupcakes to a porch (that originally wasn’t the right one … it was dark and I was parked on the road – so that was funny) so that the dog wouldn’t bark and wake up Beckham, and smiled.

Of course it would be much better if we weren’t in this position in the world. But we are, and we must do our best to keep our children smiling. And tonight was a pretty fun night.

The Zoom-Mullet

Good thing: Barrie City Council can meet via Zoom during the pandemic.

Bad thing: (Normally this is a good thing) ALL of my animals follow me wherever I go in the house.

Good thing: Most of the time my microphone is muted during the on-line meeting so you can’t hear barking and scratching on the office door.

Bad thing: Sometimes I just have to open the door and let them in because they are relentless.

Good thing: They make for interesting TV.

Bad thing: Pepsi insists on walking on the desk and knocked the lamp over while on live television.

Good thing: Adam was home and heard the ruckus so he came to the rescue… with a bottle of Advil 👍 He knows me well.

Bad thing: He saw what I was wearing.

Good thing: I was comfy.

Bad thing: He snapped a pic.

Good thing: We need a little happiness so I’m sharing the pic with you. I now call professional zoom-attire the “mullet of Zoom”. Business on the top. Party on the bottom.

I know I’m not the only one 😙😜I dare YOU to share a pic of your Zoom-Mullet.

When You Want To Help But You Can’t

On this episode I share the new emotions I’m dealing with as a retired paramedic during a pandemic. 

Check Out These Books by Natalie Harris

📚 Brainstorm Revolution: Here

📚 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

Home Has Beckoned You And Me – A Poem

The time has come to turn the key;

For home has beckoned you and me.

A gift to quiet restless souls;

To balance out our human roles.

The heroes once who did it all;

Have help from many hands on-call.

Despair finds ease when streets are calm;

There’s time to pause when clocks are gone.

You may be asking why? Why now? 

A virus breaks our last strong bow?

Well, mortal strength can’t last that long;

No human words could right this wrong.

While fire, storms and endless rain;

Foreshadowed earth’s exhausted pain.

We marched together voices loud;

But couldst displace pollution’s cloud.

We needed force beyond belief;

To call us home for some relief.

For when we have no choice but time;

Souls and nature will align.

Our creatures now explore new places;

Revelling in open spaces.

Murky waters start to clear; 

And dolphins beautifully appear.

Music drifts down empty streets;

Where people used to always meet.

A balcony becomes a row;

Of seats to mankind’s newest show. 

This won’t be easy heaven knows;

A seed does break before it grows.

But earth deserves some me-time too,

It’s not just about me and you.

She battled hard for far too long,

So please go home and right this wrong.

For those who can’t we’ve got your back,

Grateful to pick up the slack.

So rest your heart’s with family,

And celebrate resiliency.

….For home has beckoned you and me. 

So Much More Than Just “Ambulance Drivers”

The Vast Lessons SARS Taught Us As Paramedics Are In Practice; Let’s Keep The Lessons Low This Time Around. Not Just For The Public, But For Paramedic’s Sake Too

I was hired in 2003 as a paramedic, during SARS.

Before SARS (while I was a student), these were normal practices:

  • Cleaning stretchers with water from a hose or paper towels when we KNEW they were dirty. (There were no Virox Wipes).
  • Washed and reused: airways (some were metal, some were plastic), BVMs, suction canisters (and we just poured “it” down the sink), head rolls (most were just rolled up towels, but were used many times before washing), and there are so many more examples.
  • Gloves? Well, if you were delivering a baby those kits had gloves, so you (hopefully) wore them then. We did have other gloves on the trucks, but you barely saw anyone wear them unless they knew they had to. (And when SARS began, we double-gloved…in the summer…with sweaty hands. Not an easy task. We double-gowned too).
  • I don’t even think we had hand sanitizer back then…
  • There were no mask fit tests for N-95 masks. We wore any mask really. And because they didn’t fit properly, glasses would fog up immediately…so medics would have no choice but to take the mask off. (Now first responders and healthcare providers are tested (these tests even improved rapidly as time went on) and have proper fitting masks).

Those are a few examples of changes since just 2003. What will the changes be after this virus? I’m interested to see.

It’s sad that in these difficult times we learn the most from experience; that experience in these pandemic situations often equals loss of life.

I want to say loud and clear, THANK YOU to ALL of you in the hot zones. In this great time of change, I admire you more than I ever have. And the best thing we (those who are not in these zones) can do is to listen to, and act as directed by our healthcare leaders. Our frontline workers are in the direct line of fire. Give respect to these individuals by lessening their load. More patients equals more chances of transmission to them.

Think of others first and don’t naively believe that it can’t happen to you. It definitely can. The less experience required during this pandemic, the better.


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