Diana Moore

Legislative Hearings 1999

My Story

I had never had any symptoms prior to finding out about my illness. One day, I was cleaning my house. I was sweeping around things on the floor. I reached down to move a brass iron firewood holder and when I placed it back on the floor it scraped the inside of my left ankle. The ankle wouldn’t heal for thirteen weeks. Around the 9th month or so, the doctors decided to do every test on me that they could think of, being that my mother was a diabetic. They discovered in my bloodwork that my liver counts were not right, so they decided to do a biopsy on my liver. This was in October of 1992, that’s when I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatitis C. I was very scared. Because I had lost my mother, who was my best friend, the year before, I kept drinking even though I was diagnosed with this disease. There was such a large vacant hole in my heart, I didn’t care at the time if I lived or died. This went on for four more years.

It was on Saturday afternoon in June of 1996. I was mowing the lawn and the day was very hot and humid. I was living in Biloxi, Mississippi, and I started to get dizzy and very weak. I felt like I was having a heat stroke. I went into the house, grabbed a wet towel and laid down, I felt terrible. A few minutes later I went to the bathroom and passed black stools. It continued on into the next day. Monday morning I had my friend take me to the doctors, who examined me and immediately sent me to the hospital. He told me that the blood in my stools was a sign of internal bleeding. This was my first experience with varicies bleeding. I had a weeks stay in the hospital.

During the next three months I was doing fine, and I continued drinking. Then in September of 1996, I was in the garage packing and getting things together for a yard sale, when I started feeling very weak again. I didn’t think anything of it. I, again, attributed it to the heat. A few minutes later I went to the bathroom and yep, I had passed black stools. I went to the doctors on that Monday. He got a little upset with me this time and told me if I ever go through this again, that I need to go straight to the hospital or I could bleed to death. I stayed a week in the hospital and this time I was given a blood transfusion administered to me on the 4th day and cauterized three varicies. They didn’t do banding in Mississippi.

My second bleed woke me up. That’s when I decided I didn’t want to die. This time also marked the point in my life when I quit drinking.

I moved to Reno in November of 1996. I heard about a doctor here that did banding of varicies. I made an appointment with him in January of 1997 and he ended up having to band three varicies at that time.

Since then I have had five more varicies banded. I was sent to Stanford Medical Center in October 1997 by this doctor to get listed on the transplant list. After talking to the doctors and telling the truth of how I tried to have a glass of wine with dinner one evening, but couldn’t finish it because my abdomen started aching, they decided to defer me for six months. I didn’t know about their rule on not drinking for a whole year prior to being listed. Matter of fact, I didn’t know any of their rules or laws at the time. I do know now that they are very particular about who they list and how serious that person has to be about wanting to live and take care of themselves. I finally got a letter in the mail that I had been listed with UNOS in May of 1998. Since then, till now, I have really been feeling healthy. If it wasn’t for the fatigue I have constantly I would swear there was nothing wrong with me physically. It’s true that if you smoke they won’t transplant you, so this marks the 3rd week of my not smoking after 33 years!

My company has changed insurance companies and their center of choice is Cal Pacific, so the end of this month I am going down to be listed with them. this has been my story and I would love to hear yours.

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