Where did you grow up? Born in Detroit and raised in its suburbs, I have lived with and around the economically challenged population most of my life; there is a unique perception of the world when you grow up poor. Fortunately, Mama was an Italian-American, Dad a US Marine, so the influences of my family (famiglia) taught responsibility, patriotism, and pride. The Midwest contributed a sense of connectedness and belonging, and the combination of com-munity, culture, and ethics planted the seed of desire to become a patient advocate and agent for social change. Why you are uniquely qualified to write this book I can tell these stories because I have lived them and know the difference between dramatic representations and real life. Like many, I grew up watching the EMS and ER shows on television that focused on the hero aspect, providing predictable outcomes, and an unrealistic percentage of happy endings. Although television and movie depictions are more factual these days, the truth about how the emergency worker feels remains mostly hidden. My slant is in telling another side of the story: what responders think and feel during calls, how they internalize tragedy, what happens after the call, and how our world turns upside down when the patient is someone we love. Why did you write this book? When I tell people what I do, they focus on the gory side of life, like those who cannot look away from the scene of a bad accident. What they do not realize until it happens to them is that trauma affects someone who is loved and cherished, and lives are forever changed. I want people to see the world for a moment through my eyes, to walk with me through the broken glass, to sit next to me and hold the hand of the injured or dying, to fight against death thinking that sometimes we just might have the power to win those battles. And then I want them to see the complete lunacy of it all and laugh. What do you think readers will get out of it? I am hoping that readers will see emergency service workers in a new light and realize we are human, too. We have our own challenges, pains, and sorrows. We have had surgeries, major illnesses, broken bones, and our share of emotional scars. We have been in accidents, our backs are killing us from lifting, and our feet ache after shifts that last from 12 to 24 hours, often without a break. We also realize the importance of last words, how sometimes the sound of an I love you has to last a lifetime. One misperception I hear in the ER is that you don't understand what I'm going through. Perhaps not, but folks may be surprised. Some may appreciate knowing what we think about after the call is over as we strip off our uniforms and profes-sionalism, scrub off the bacterial and emotional accumulations of the day, and settle into an easy chair at home. What will you do next in your life? Things have changed dramatically in the past year. I work from home, and speaking engagements have been through video. CISM moved into teleconferencing, which is beyond me, so training is on hold. Despite heightened precautions in 2020, COVID-19 found me and left its mark; I am a fortunate and blessed survivor. I am writing and editing for the Michigan Crisis Response Association (MCRA), and editing into American English microbiology studies from a group in Italy (through Giovanni di Bonaventura, Ph.D., Professore at Universita degli Studi G D'Annunzio di Chieti - Pescara). The future is uncertain. I put one foot in front of the other, live an attitude of gratitude, watch, and improvise. Maybe this is how one eases into retirement, and in retirement, I hope to write.
Following the layout of the superbly written Confessions of a Trauma Junkie, the sequel More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie continues to showcase the author's skillful writing talent. If you are considering a career in the medical field or law enforcement, particularly as a first responder, you must read both of these books. You'll either dig in for the long haul of a serious life-changing career or you'll run off to the local florist to learn to make flower arrangements. These traumatic stories are no joke, told from front and center, no holding back except for out of respect, with the gallows humor needed to continue the work and to allow the reader relief from such unimaginable situations the human body, mind, and spirit experiences. These are stories of trauma and tragedy experienced by everyday people and the heroism of the first responders who dedicate their lives to saving lives. The books are a behind-the-scenes view of reality. Highly recommend for family members of first responders as these stories will give you an idea of what it is the first responder in your life cannot tell you about their day at work. --Bonnie McKeegan, LCSW Sherry's first book Confessions of a Trauma Junkie opened my eyes to the realities of being an emergency services worker, especially as an EMT and a nurse paramedic. But Sherry has had a lifetime of experiences, and one book just wasn't enough to say everything, so now, More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie fulfills that need. This 'sequel' offers humor to anyone needing a laugh, insight into emergency services for anyone considering such a career, and I think for Sherry's colleagues, a comic and truthful look at the work they do every day to save lives. But More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie is more than a compilation of funny stories. It gets at the very heart of what it is to be an EMT, a paramedic, a nurse, or a doctor. It is a heroic, exhausting, and emotionally traumatic calling. Other people's trauma can become the emergency worker's trauma, even though the workers try very hard not to let these situations affect them. As Sherry points out, 'Rule #1: People Die. Rule #2: Medics cannot change rule #1. (But boy, do we try!'). - Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., author of the award-winning Narrow Lives Emergency Service Superheroes? Yes, I do appreciate their services. Patients says the funniest things as well noted in this book. There are so many hilarious exchange of words between the patients and the EMS. Its no laughing matter when you are in need of medical attention but I must confess: )quite amusing. Serious drama unfolds, EMS feels the hurt and pain just as much but they need to put on their brave faces and help stabilize the patient so a family can have more time with them. As far as I'm concern EMS the guardian angles on Earth, it takes special kind of people to operate whether minor to full blown life or death situation and function like, 'Hey I got it, don't worry it will be okay.' --Darlene Cruz, Goodreads Never before has anyone depicted in such vivid detail the real life experiences of a street medic. EMS is a profession that at times can be extremely rewarding and other times painfully tragic. Thank you for telling our story through your eyes! -Diane F. Fojt, CEO, Corporate Crisis Management, Inc., Former Flight Paramedic