Monday, June 4, 2012

Ready Students?

The [hardly there, but growing daily :)] teacher in me is just busting at the seams to teach what we have learned through our experience with Dawson.

Pencils everyone, pencils.

Where is our pituitary gland?
pituitary: the master gland of the endocrine system; located at the base of the brain.

What is Diabetes Insipidus?

di·a·be·tes in·sip·i·dus/inˈsipidəs/

A rare form of diabetes caused by a deficiency of the pituitary hormone vasopressin, which regulates kidney function

In laymen terms?  When the pituitary (the back half) quits telling (via hormone) the kidneys to hold or concentrate urine.

Interesting bit of history from our Neurosurgeon:  way back when….. Dr.'s would taste the urine to diagnose between diabetes millitus: tasting sweet, sugar and diabetes insipidus: lack of taste.

Big round of applause for those dedicated Dr.'s!  Another round of applause for new testing methods!  

Why did Dawson's pituitary do that?

We still do not know exactly.  What we do know is that the stalk of the pituitary gland is thickened, along with a visible bump on it [but remember!  it has DEcreased, beu.ti.fully REduced, thank you Jesus].  His pituitary gland also lacks the "bright spot" revealing the lack of hormone (therefore DI). 

What does living with DI mean?

It means, we give him a hormone (DDAVP) replacement morning and night.  It also means as long as he has DI, he will have an Endocrinologist. 

What is an Endocrinologist? 

These are our new best friends or better known as:

physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the endocrine system.

Ours are really nice and I am pretty sure they are the best in the west, literally. :)

What's next?

MRI on July 3rd.

What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging.

Dawson will go "under" again, and they will take pictures of the inside of his brain.  It's there - lots of brain (I saw it!) and I am pretty sure we will print a few images out for review in the midst of the teen years, j/k [maybe]. ;)

Why do we have to go to Stanford for an MRI?

Here, the images are 3 mm thick - Our Dr. wants 1 mm thick.

Now I will teach you 3 big words/phrases [that gave me instant diarrhea but now I am AOK to chat about them :)]:

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis:

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is the most common of the histiocytic disorders and occurs when the body accumulates too many immature Langerhans cells, a subset of the larger family of cells known as histiocytes.  Langerhans cells are a type of white blood cell that normally help the body fight infection.  In LCH, too many Langerhans cells are produced and build up in certain parts of the body where they can form tumors or damage organs.

My definition :  Bad.  A disease that goes around and does bad things - all over.  Treatment is similar to that of cancer patients.  Large spectrum tho.

Lymphocytic Hypophysitis:

Lymphocytic hypophysitis is a rare inflammatory condition affecting the front portion of the pituitary gland and the pituitary stalk, or the connection between the back of the gland and the brain. ~UCLA Health System

My definition:  Naughty but fairly friendly.  We do nothing and basically, it's weird inflammation that causes trouble.


Brain Tumor: Germ Cell Tumors (Brain)

Alternate Names: Germinoma, embryonal carcinoma, endodermal sinus tumor, teratoma


These tumors arise from various types of "germ cells" found in the brain. Different types of germ cells give rise to different types of tumors, including germinoma, embryonal carcinoma, endodermal sinus tumor and teratoma. These tumors arise primarily in two locations in the center of the brain, the suprasellar and pineal regions. Germ cell tumors can spread to other areas of the brain and spinal cord.
These tumors are very rare, accounting less than 4 percent of all newly diagnosed brain tumors in children. They are commonly diagnosed during adolescence, and boys are affected more often than girls.  ~ St. Jude Children Hospital 

My definition:  Bad.  Cancer.  Treatable.

These were/are the three possible diagnosis.  The reason I say "were" is because the LCH and Germinoma do not typically reduce, on its own.  We have not been given the inflammation diagnosis … yet.

One last phrase for you:


What we got last Saturday from OUR Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God!   

Class dismissed.


  1. Good class... Hot teacher! (:

    1. Totally inappropriate. You are going to get me fired. ;)

    2. I LOVE you Justin!! The love you have for your wife is awesome!!

  2. Thanks teach!! Loved the class....all my brain comprehended though was...BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH....ANSWERED PRAYER! PRAISE GOD. Off to recess. whoop whoop.

    1. lol - Sister, I dumbed it down to our level. I used words like "bad" and "good" - come on!!!

  3. I've had five MRI's now, three of which were brain, I think. I have white matter disease (no biggy). Ask the radiologist if you can get a CD with the brain images on them for Dawson to look at later. From a homeschooling perspective, it is fascinating. I am so sorry you guys have to go through all of this, and I am CONTINUING to pray for your family, Shauna. We love you guys.

    1. We have the first one but for some reason I can not open it. Hmmm….

      What is white matter disease? Thank you for praying!

  4. God is sooo good :) love you guys much and miss your beautiful family! So thankful to be able to read and get updates!

    1. Bring that pregger belly over soon!! Miss you!

  5. I am kind of giggling....not because of what the subject matter is but because I'm so impressed with your teaching skills. Way to go sister, you really do have it in you.

    And yes, that last part? Will be the 'project' we do after the teaching, thank you, and loved it!

    Naughty little Justin, he needs to stay in at recess.

    1. Thank you Sister. You know the teacher in me is certainly not natural. :) See you SOOOON!


Love to hear from you!