The American Pain Foundation (APF) today announced the release of Iraq War Veteran and Pain Advocate Derek McGinnis' first book, Exit Wounds: A Survival Guide to Pain Management for Returning Veterans and Their Families. Written in collaboration with nationally renowned pain experts, the release date for Exit Wounds coincides with September's designation as Pain Awareness Month.
McGinnis, who sustained a traumatic brain injury, extensive shrapnel wounds, damage to his eye and amputation of his left leg above the knee from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while serving in the U.S. Navy in Iraq, said, "I wrote Exit Wounds because when I was struggling with horrific pain caused by my injuries, there was no guide, no map, no mentor to steer me through the minefield I was navigating. Exit Wounds contains the information my family and I desperately needed back in 2004."
Exit Wounds is both a guide to pain management for veterans and their family members, and also the inspiring story of how one man, with the support of his family and fellow veterans, fought to survive and even thrive despite his traumatic injuries and painful path to recovery. Exit Wounds and its companion website offer veterans and family members information about:
• Acute and chronic pain syndromes afflicting veterans
• Treatment options, including medications, procedures, complementary therapies and other interventions
• Strategies for self-advocating for optimal pain care
• Medical resources inside and outside the Veterans Administration (VA) system
• Caregiver needs, perspectives and resources
"With hundreds of thousands of military personnel expected to return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next few years, many of them will struggle with acute pain and face the possibility of a lifetime of chronic pain," said McGinnis. "They and their families deserve a resource to help them navigate through the barriers and obstacles that can prevent effective pain care."
McGinnis now serves as the Military/Veterans Initiative Amputee Outreach Advocate with APF and travels the country advocating for the pain management needs of veterans, military personnel and their caregivers. He has spoken to many influential groups and individuals within the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Veterans Service Organizations and Congress to bring military and veterans' pain issues to the forefront. McGinnis provides information, education, outreach, support and resources to those who are affected by pain.