Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Rare Complications

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My sister Diane had health issues for a good part of the last ten years. Starting with a heart attack in 2010. Previous to that, she had Carpal Tunnel Surgery and also Rheumatoid Arthritis. Separate instances. This is the story of how RA can turn things around and why we need to find a cure.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Left to Right in 1995: My brother Ray, Me, my Mom, my sister Char and my sister Diane (RIP), the day Diane was married.

In 2017, she was having issues walking and steps were a challenge. She went to wait outside for her son-in-law to take her to a Dr’s appointment, but, had fallen down the steps. She had a sore in her tailbone area from this fall. At this time, she was diagnosed with Lymphedema. This causes swelling in legs and/or arms. She didn’t have her lymph nodes removed, which is one of the main causes of Lymphedema.

They were saying she had this for over a year. However, upon other instances that she was taken to the ER with her blood pressure bottoming out. Her magnesium was too high, and a few other things, I’ll be honest in saying, I cannot remember. The hospital did further tests after my niece demanded that these issues be looked into. That her mother was not to be released from the hospital until there were answers.

They found that she had a rare disorder called Pyroderma Gangrenosum. From the Mayo Clinic:

The exact causes of pyoderma gangrenosum are unknown, but it appears to be a disorder of the immune system. People who have certain underlying conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or arthritis, are at higher risk of pyoderma gangrenosum.

Mayo Clinic Dec 2018.

My sister had Rheumatoid Arthritis, one of the causes. She just couldn’t catch a break and it caught up to her. By the time they discovered that Diane had Pyroderma Gangrenosum, she had a tendon exposed in her leg and had to have dressings changed daily. The sore she had from when she fell in 2017 became an open wound. Her Dr said in all his years of practice, he had never seen anything like it. In January 2019, my sister unfortunately developed sepsis and passed away.

There is no cure for Pyoderma Gangrenosum. Just the daily dressing changes that can be devastatingly painful to the one with the condition. Some complications are infections and loss of mobility. Unfortunately, Diane had become bedridden in the last few months of her life.

While there may be no cure or chance of a cure for Pyoderma Gangrenosum, we can try to eliminate some of the root causes. I had posted on my jewelry business Facebook page that I was doing a fundraiser in Diane’s memory. She loved to order jewelry from me and her favorite was turquoise and silver. I designed a Memorial bracelet in her memory with proceeds being donated to Arthritis Research in Diane’s memory. Turquoise and Silver that she loved. The heart was one that she wanted me to use in making her a new bracelet, but, I didn’t get the piece in before she passed away, and the feather in honor of her Native American heritage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Diane’s Memorial Bracelet with proceeds going to Arthritis Research

Rheumatoid Arthritis

These bracelets are on sale in my Etsy Shop for $15.00. $5.90 per bracelet (in honor of her young age of 59 when she passed) will be donated to Arthritis Research. I will be making my first donation in her honor this week in the amount of $135.70. These bracelets will be on sale always and I will make a donation quarterly to Arthritis Research. Let’s see if we can make this disease obsolete and save lives!

If you are interested in purchasing a bracelet and have proceeds donated to Arthritis Research, please visit my Etsy shop or send me a message directly. I am more than happy to work with you!

Have you had anyone affected by Rhuematoid Arthritis? Or, do you have it yourself? Share on my Facebook page or in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. John Gatesby

    This is the best homage to the loved ones. Designing a special bracelet in her memory and seeking to fight the ailment she suffered from. Kudos!
    John Gatesby recently posted…Do I Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)?My Profile


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