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Happy 40th, Cameron\!

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 

So, some of you may have noticed I was gone this week.

 

My shunt, uh. kind of exploded. Well, part of it disintegrated and got infected.

 

Week before last, my shunt site got really swollen and red. I didn't think much of it because I didn't have any of the symptoms for a malfunction, which I had 20 years ago and it's a pain you don't forget. I didn't even have a fever! So, the following week I wake up with my pillow soaked and my head weeping pus and fluid. I had a CT Scan scheduled for that day. and as soon as they were done. I was told to go the ER where a neurosurgeon decided I needed to be admitted right away. His plan was to externalize the shunt through my chest, but there was no usable spinal fluid because the shunt was so old. So I went into surgery the next night to get it out of me so they could test if the spinal fluid was infected or if it the infection was still skin-level.  Oh, and since they couldn't externalize it through my chest? Pulled it out through my head, hence going under.

 

They tested it for three days and decided my fluid was healthy enough, so the next day (Monday) I get a whole new shunt back in, but for variety, on the other side of my head. I came home yesterday. I think I slept, maybe, 12 hours in the hospital. One time I was kept up because my nurse was elderly and couldn't figure out how to work the system for the blood pressure cuff. I got to hear about her adult sons in Hollyweird(Her words, not mine). At 2 A.M.

 

So, that was my week and the story of my 39th and 40th surgery. I would seriously advise against having two in one week.


Edited by Cameron Hughes - 5/28/12 at 6:54pm
post #2 of 101

Glad things seem to be looking up, and I am so sorry you have to deal with these hardships. Be well, Cameron

post #3 of 101

Cameron, thanks for sharing. My heart goes out to you. It's admirable you handle life with a witty and logical attitude all things considered. We could all take a lesson from you. 

post #4 of 101

Jesus brother. I noticed you had dropped off. Figured something was up, but not that. Get better man.

post #5 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Moore View Post

Jesus brother. I noticed you had dropped off. Figured something was up, but not that. Get better man.



Worst part was the headaches, which I had for a week at the beginning of the month. Again, shunt migraines are very distinct and do not stop and  you have major light and sound sensitivity and and the headaches went away and my doctor thought it was just tension headaches. They went away shortly after I saw a chiropractor and he manipulated my neck and shoulders.

post #6 of 101

God DAMN man. 

 

We love you, Cameron.  Wish the best for the recovery.

post #7 of 101

Christ.  I really hope you're doing well.  That sounds horrific.

post #8 of 101

Oh god... even with your description, I have no idea what you went through.  I'm glad to hear you're doing ok.

post #9 of 101

Holy fuck, man. Stuff like that put things like freaking out about late credit card bills in their proper perspective.

post #10 of 101

Totally.

 

Seriously I'm just gonna copy what everybody else is saying and wish you nothing but the best of health! You happen to be so awesome you deserve it.

post #11 of 101

I know you've been through a lot of shit, Cameron and I'm constantly amazed by how well you handle it. Hope this shunt stuff is over and done with now.

post #12 of 101

Goddamn, man. Just reading about it sends me into a fetal position. But you, you're a stud, sir, you're a bad ass. Get well, be well.

post #13 of 101

Feel better Cameron!  This place can't survive without our resident Don Winslow hook-up.  By the way, great piece of writing describing all that horrible stuff.  If you get sick of crime I suggest trying your hand at horror.

post #14 of 101

Can you drink? I would drink. Feel better, brother.

post #15 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisTheCheese View Post

Feel better Cameron!  This place can't survive without our resident Don Winslow hook-up.  By the way, great piece of writing describing all that horrible stuff.  If you get sick of crime I suggest trying your hand at horror.



Fun fact: The site where they externalized the shunt is still an open wound. It's very small, but they want it to heal on its own. I've never actually experienced a wound staying open that I could feel!

post #16 of 101

Don't pick at it!

 

I was coming in here to admonish you for wishing yourself a happy birthday. I felt immediate shame.

 

Get better, Cameron.

post #17 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

Don't pick at it!

 

I was coming in here to admonish you for wishing yourself a happy birthday. I felt immediate shame.

 

Get better, Cameron.



I'm only 28!

post #18 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

Fun fact: The site where they externalized the shunt is still an open wound. It's very small, but they want it to heal on its own. I've never actually experienced a wound staying open that I could feel!


 

Holy cow.

 

Hope the mend is short dude, I wish you didn't have to deal with this stuff but how you deal is very admirable.

post #19 of 101

shit a brick, hope you get better tout suite, sounds very nasty.

post #20 of 101

Take requests for things to be stuck into the wound via Formspring, stick stuff in the wound, take pictures, upload to tumblr and Twitter, become minor internet celebrity, enjoy the money and women.

 

Seriously though, Cameron, Godspeed toward your recovery.

 

*EDITED to not offend*


Edited by TzuDohNihm - 10/13/11 at 4:24pm
post #21 of 101
Thread Starter 

Honestly, it's not big or wide enough to stick things in.

 

And don't take this personally, but I hate being called Cam. My closest friends aren't even allowed to call me that. The fanfic in my head for Modern Family is Cameron seething inside whenever somebody calls him Cam, but is too polite to say anything.

post #22 of 101

be well man, you deal with this stuff way better than I think I could

post #23 of 101

Awful stuff. Glad you're okay, though!

 

My first thought was also "lol he's old" until I remembered that you weren't 40 and then I opened the thread!

post #24 of 101
Thread Starter 

Got my stitches and staples yanked out. I was surprised at how painless it was(Not my first time getting this stuff out, but I never had staples on my head). I've been feeling great since the surgery. Before the surgery, when I was having the symptoms for an infected shunt, I was lucky if I got 3 hours of sleep a night and then I'd have to sit up because lying down seemed to bring the headaches. This lasted 3 weeks. And then my body temperature started going nuts, but frustratingly, never a fever. (I was PRAYING for a fever, because that would have told me something).

 

No real recovery, just waiting for my hair to grow back where the incisions were made. The worst part after it was how stiff the left side of my neck was because of the tube part of the shunt on the side of my throat. That stiffness lasted a little over a week.

post #25 of 101

Glad to hear you're improving, Cameron. I hope these trends continue, and you no longer have to deal with these superfluous difficulties

post #26 of 101

Seriously dude. And I complain about stubbing my toe in the door.

post #27 of 101
Thread Starter 

I guess I forgot to tell this story.

 

(This is darkly funny after my story is done)

 

At least my head didn't explode this time.

 

No, that would be far too nice. March got mean.

 

I lost my mind for a couple weeks.

 

It started on my birthday. I had a doctor's appointment that morning (later I would find out I kept asking my mother where my wallet was and even the doctor thought I was acting odd, but figured I was just worn out.) and afterwards I went to my favorite cafe. Everything was fine.

 

I don't remember a damn thing after I was picked up. Don't remember getting my cake or that I ate very little dinner that night and barely kept it down.

 

And for the next couple weeks...I didn't read.
 

I couldn't hold my eyes up on people and I kept repeating myself. It was like I had Alzheimer's. Friends would later report that I left them extremely odd texts and voice-mails.  Mostly on the same subject over again. Don Winslow told me I had called him 15 times in one night about a birthday lunch we had planned.

 

Finally it got so bad I was taken to the ER where I guess they diagnosed that a pressure sore got infected and that infection spread to my shunt, and the liquid that was stuck in my head explained my dementia.

 

I thought I was at camp. I had full on hallucinations about this. I thought I had gotten sick at camp and I was moved to a camp-owned hospital.

 

One night my wound vac was beeping and the nurses had trouble fixing it. I mumbled that they should call my dad because he was good at fixing the vac. They told me it was too far and late just for this.

 

I nodded knowingly and said "That's right. We're on a boat at sea."

 

That's right, I went from being at a camp, to a hospital, to a hospital on a boat.

 

I was in the hospital for a couple weeks because the neurosurgeon needed my spinal fluid healthy and so he had it draining for a couple weeks. Finally I had my surgery and I felt great afterwards, but I still had the infection, so I recovered for a couple weeks and then a doctor inserted a pick-line into my arm so I could get fluids through an IV at home. I only wore the IV for a week at home, but when they inserted it, I got an obscenely large amount of morphine and that made the procedure quite pleasant.

 

So I got home after a month in the hospital and I'm feeling quite fit now.

post #28 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

I guess I forgot to tell this story.

(This is darkly funny after my story is done)

At least my head didn't explode this time.

No, that would be far too nice. March got mean.

I lost my mind for a couple weeks.

It started on my birthday. I had a doctor's appointment that morning (later I would find out I kept asking my mother where my wallet was and even the doctor thought I was acting odd, but figured I was just worn out.) and afterwards I went to my favorite cafe. Everything was fine.

I don't remember a damn thing after I was picked up. Don't remember getting my cake or that I ate very little dinner that night and barely kept it down.

And for the next couple weeks...I didn't read.

 
I couldn't hold my eyes up on people and I kept repeating myself. It was like I had Alzheimer's. Friends would later report that I left them extremely odd texts and voice-mails.  Mostly on the same subject over again. Don Winslow told me I had called him 15 times in one night about a birthday lunch we had planned.

Finally it got so bad I was taken to the ER where I guess they diagnosed that a pressure sore got infected and that infection spread to my shunt, and the liquid that was stuck in my head explained my dementia.

I thought I was at camp. I had full on hallucinations about this. I thought I had gotten sick at camp and I was moved to a camp-owned hospital.

One night my wound vac was beeping and the nurses had trouble fixing it. I mumbled that they should call my dad because he was good at fixing the vac. They told me it was too far and late just for this.

I nodded knowingly and said "That's right. We're on a boat at sea."

That's right, I went from being at a camp, to a hospital, to a hospital on a boat.

I was in the hospital for a couple weeks because the neurosurgeon needed my spinal fluid healthy and so he had it draining for a couple weeks. Finally I had my surgery and I felt great afterwards, but I still had the infection, so I recovered for a couple weeks and then a doctor inserted a pick-line into my arm so I could get fluids through an IV at home. I only wore the IV for a week at home, but when they inserted it, I got an obscenely large amount of morphine and that made the procedure quite pleasant.

So I got home after a month in the hospital and I'm feeling quite fit now.

Good grief, what a nightmare. Your attitude is an inspiration. Stay strong.
post #29 of 101

Jesus christ, Cameron. Glad you're better.

post #30 of 101

God damn, Cameron.  Hang in there.  Don't forget how many people love you.

post #31 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

God damn, Cameron.  Hang in there.  Don't forget how many people love you.


Believe me, that thought made me fight it as well as I could

post #32 of 101

Fuckin' hell dude. Glad you're better!

post #33 of 101

Holy cow Cameron, that's a horrendous state of affairs. So happy to hear you came through it.

post #34 of 101

Seriously, I can't stress that ENOUGH, mostly because you rock too much for any of that shit Cameron!

post #35 of 101
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the well wishes so far. It really was terrifying. I can handle just about anything physical, but losing my mind was something new and it could have been worse or even permanent.

post #36 of 101
Thread Starter 

Word of advice: When in pain in a hospital, the drug NORCO is your best friend.
 

Also, being high as a kite with access to Amazon is a BAD THING. I bought about a dozen Ed McBain books.


Edited by Cameron Hughes - 5/28/12 at 7:58pm
post #37 of 101

Glad you're feeling better Cameron.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

Word of advice: When in pain in a hospital, the drug NORCO is your best friend.
 

Also, being high as a kite with access to Amazon is a BAD THING. I bought about a dozen Ed McBain books.

 

Hell, being sober with access to Amazon is bad enough.

post #38 of 101

Holy crap! So glad you're through the other side of that, man.

 

Now just, you know, stop having any more of this shit go down? I'm addressing the universe, here.

post #39 of 101
Thread Starter 

Out of all the ailments and surgeries and troubles over the years, the worst and most annoying is that my right shoulder has gotten worn out as I entered my early to mid-twenties. It's like I'm a veteran pitcher who finally wore his arm down too much, except it's from the constant motion of pushing my wheelchair. I'm nowhere addicted to it and am very careful, but vicodin has become my friend and every four months or so my doctor gives me a Cortisone shot. The first time it went out, I was doing over-head throws with a basketball with a personal trainer when I was around 22 and suddenly I was in a fetal position crying in pain. My left shoulder has been mostly okay because it's my stronger side.

post #40 of 101
Glad you are better dude, be well.
post #41 of 101
Thread Starter 

What's scary is that almost a year later I clearly remember my extremely detailed camp hallucinations. They've replaced whatever really happened in my memory banks.

 

( I also posted to see if I could give anyone a heart attack when they saw I updated the thread. I love you all though!)

post #42 of 101

No one ever accused you of not a little bit of an asshole. ;)

post #43 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post

No one ever accused you of not a little bit of an asshole. ;)


2013 isn't here yet. God might get really creative with me next year.

post #44 of 101
You nearly did give me a heart attack.

By the way (since this thread seems to be as good as any to ask you a question). For some reason you're avatar, more than any other Chewer on these boards, has become indelibly linked to your name in my head. Whenever I see Donald Glover on TV, I don't think Donald Glover, I think Cameron Hughes.

The only other chewer that comes close to this is Art Decade's Roger Moore avatar, but since his avatar has most of the face hidden by a martini glass the thing that seems to stick for me there is that I always picture Art Decade as some guy wearing a white suit and black bow tie.

So while I was reading that year old post of yours I pictured Donal Glover going through what you described, and then had to second guess myself because I really have no idea what you look like.

So if you don't mind me asking a silly question. How far off is this strange image I have of you in my mind?
post #45 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim K View Post

You nearly did give me a heart attack.
By the way (since this thread seems to be as good as any to ask you a question). For some reason you're avatar, more than any other Chewer on these boards, has become indelibly linked to your name in my head. Whenever I see Donald Glover on TV, I don't think Donald Glover, I think Cameron Hughes.
The only other chewer that comes close to this is Art Decade's Roger Moore avatar, but since his avatar has most of the face hidden by a martini glass the thing that seems to stick for me there is that I always picture Art Decade as some guy wearing a white suit and black bow tie.
So while I was reading that year old post of yours I pictured Donal Glover going through what you described, and then had to second guess myself because I really have no idea what you look like.
So if you don't mind me asking a silly question. How far off is this strange image I have of you in my mind?

There's a picture of me in San Diego Noir. Rath once said I looked somewhat like Saracen on FNL.

post #46 of 101

I'm pretty sure your avatar predates my discovering Community, so imagine my gasp on first seeing Glover's Forrest Whitaker Crazy Eyes.

 

And, yeah, no more stress attempts! Fucking hell, dude. My stomach lurched out of my asshole, a little.

post #47 of 101
Thread Starter 

2011 made my head burst open and leak spinal fluid.

 

2012 made me lose my fucking mind.

 

Tonight when 2013 hits, pray to whatever power you like, God, The Buddha, Allah, Zuul and the Stay-Puft Marshallow Man, that I'm not killed this year. I'd really like it if the worst thing that happens to me is that I turn 30 on March 1st and am officially old.
 

post #48 of 101
Cheers, Cameron, I will certainly drink to that. I hope 2013 is as trouble free for you as possible.
post #49 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Hughes View Post

2011 made my head burst open and leak spinal fluid.

 

2012 made me lose my fucking mind.

 

Tonight when 2013 hits, pray to whatever power you like, God, The Buddha, Allah, Zuul and the Stay-Puft Marshallow Man, that I'm not killed this year. I'd really like it if the worst thing that happens to me is that I turn 30 on March 1st and am officially old.
 

 

Best of luck to you on a better year.

 

And the kit when you get when you're officially old is pretty cool. The Mentalist DVDs kind of suck, of course, but the high pants are really comfortable, and the hard candies are delicious.

post #50 of 101
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post

 

Best of luck to you on a better year.

 

And the kit when you get when you're officially old is pretty cool. The Mentalist DVDs kind of suck, of course, but the high pants are really comfortable, and the hard candies are delicious.


I'm already in the wheelchair, can't wait for the adult diapers! It'll save me so much time!

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