Interview with Temple Emmet Williams

Can you briefly describe Warrior Patient?
It's a shocking, and surprisingly funny story of someone who recovers completely from a bunch of really serious medical problems. And a lot of the problems resulted from the system designed to prevent them.
That doesn't necessarily sound like a fun read.
I know. Most survivor memoirs sort of fail as entertainment. This book does not. A lot of it makes people smile, even laugh. I sat next to someone reading the paperback once, and she did not know I wrote it. She laughed and I pumped my fist. "Yes!" I said. She glared at me. "I wrote it." I pointed at the book. We had a great conversation. She was a little embarassed because she knew a lot more about me than I did about her, or ever will. It was a classic "writer's moment" for me.
What's the purpose of Warrior Patient. What does it really mean?
People go to the hospital. People die. "Warrior Patient" tries to put as much distance as possible between those two sentences. It does it with a smile.
A lot of people go to the hospital and don’t die. Are you suggesting people don’t go to the hospital?
Of course not. Today we have the best doctors and the greatest medical system civilization has ever known. But every year one hundred thousand patients die and nine million suffer injury because of medical mistakes. That's from the Reuters news wire service. If "medical mistake" was a disease, it would be the Number Six killer of people in America. We all know or have heard about someone who checked in for “normal” surgery and their doctors ended up referring them to a Much Higher Authority ... the patient died.
Don't we live in an age of medical miracles?
Yes, we do. Today's patients remain the lab rats of the most advanced medical system in the history of civilization. How else can you get a hundred thousand dead and nine million injured people every year? There's an old joke about a research doctor with a bright light bulb over his head telling his colleagues: "We don't need better medicine. We need stronger lab rats." It's a joke, and like a lot of jokes it's also true.
So "Warrior Patient" is all about medical mistakes and human lab rats?
It's about SURVIVING medical mistakes and becoming very strong lab rats in the process. This won't sound like a lot of fun, but it actually contains a lot of wit and humor: my own "Warrior Patient" journey included cancer, kidney failure, dialysis, deadly infections, partial blindness, shingles, large open wounds, a hernia and a little amputation. Sounds gruesome. But it was the best thing that every happened to me. Because it created a Warrior Patient and it taught me lessons of survival and laughter and love and hope and joy that I will take to my grave. I live because I almost died. I play tennis practically every day, I walk normally, and I feel a lot younger than my 72 years. People I meet for the first time have no idea what I went through, and that's the greatest compliment I ever receive. They don't even know they are giving it to me.
You're surprisingly upbeat about all this, aren't you?
There are 17 rules in the book, one for each chapter. The rules create and define a Warrior Patient. My favorite is Warrior Patient Rule 17: Laughter relieves stress, boosts immune systems, releases feel-good chemicals in your body, dissolves conflicts, prevents heart disease, and turns threats into a joke. Humor is the best doctor you will ever know.
What do you want people to get out of reading "Warrior Patient?"
The whole book is written in the 2nd person, "you" instead of "me". I want readers to walk in my shoes, to become Warrior Patients. I want them to understand that Warrior Patients do not win medals. They win extra sunrises and sunsets. I want my readers to survive, to hope, to love, and to laugh. I know it works. I'm still here. And my next book is not a sequel in which I drop dead. It's a thriller about real estate. Life goes on.
Published 2016-10-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Poison Heartbeats: A Novel
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,340. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Poison Heartbeats is a love story, a war-torn romance, written like a thriller. It follows the life of a girl born in Afghanistan during the Russian occupation, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She leaves a twin brother behind.
Wrinkled Heartbeats: A Novel
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 78,090. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A Korean War hero stumbles into a web of money-laundering, lies, and deadly secrets. A very generous offer to buy the hero’s luxury home includes an expiration date on his life. The only person who can save him is the person hired to kill him.
Warrior Patient: How to Beat Deadly Diseases With Laughter, Good Doctors, Love, and Guts.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,160. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Medicine, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Medicine
Warrior Heartbeats is an upbeat story of recovery from problems created by today's medical system, supposedly designed to prevent them. It is also a romantic love story between a husband and a wife who saves him, physically as well as mentally. The book is filled with humor, because the author knows, and shows, that laughter is the best medicine.