Law student finally asking for help

In the past month I have been diagnosed with disseminated histoplasmosis, chronic granulomatous disease and meningitis. I am a full time law student, and have worked hard every day of my life. Now I find myself in a crazy situation. It's the end of my second year of law school, and all of a sudden I am contracting numerous rare diseases.  The disseminated histoplasmosis has caused me to become legally blind in my left eye, and because of the intense histo scars on both of my eyes, I will have to see a retina specialist for the remainder of my life. Because of the chronic granulomatous disease, that life could be significantly shorter.

In the middle of my second year law school finals, my face began to numb in certain spots. I called the doctor, and was told to rush to the hospital. My family does not live here, so I drove myself. Once there, I thought they would give me some medicine to fix it quickly so that I could return to my finals, but they didn't. They kept me for an entire week in a "holding room" due to hospital fullness. This holding room had no shower or private bath, and incidentally, I believe I have contracted a couple more infections. I came home, excited about finally getting to take a hot shower, or more accurately, a bath (because I have trouble standing for long), and discovered that my gas had been cut off. I couldn't even take a shower once I got home. As I sat under the cold sprinkles from the shower, I slumped down and cried. You see, the cold water showers could  make me sick, which I can't fight off, and taking no showers could also make me sick.

Because my body is neglecting to properly fight off infections, everything is dangerous to me. The doctors are still trying to figure out all of the problems and underlying causes as my liver, spleen, pancreas, lungs, lymphnodes, muscles, arteries and spine are all affected. I currently see 6 specialists, which costs $20 per visit in co-pays. My medicine is through the roof. Now that I got out of the hospital yesterday evening, I have more procedures and tests to look forward to. I have to have a biopsy of my lung and muscles, a complete nerve and muscular work  up, and I'm sure numerous other tests. Because I suffer from numbness in my legs now, I have to see a physical therapist as I cannot walk or function properly as of late. 

The good news is that when this struck, I was in the prime of my life. I have a full scholarship to a boutique law school, that I have continued to earn since the first day I walked in the door. I had been Student Bar President of the school, competed regularly on the Competition Team for the traveling trial team, garnering great reviews at every place in which I represented my school. I was a peer mentor and mentored the trial team at a local high school as well. My grades were great, and I was chasing my dream. In a crappy legal job market, I was even fortunate enough to be offered a wonderful job. My family was proud of me, and I was fulfilling my dream to my highest standards.

Now, I honestly don't know what I'm going to do. I'm scared. I'm scared about my health, I'm scared about what I know and what I don't know about my illnesses, and I'm scared about how I'm going to pay these people to treat my problems. My doctor will not allow me to go back to work until July 1st at the earliest. This means one thing: I cannot earn the money to pay for my rent, bills, hospital and doctor expenses, prescriptions, or even groceries. I literally have nothing left. Through it all, my family has not been able to see me as they live in Tennessee and can't afford to come down and be with me through this time. As bad as I felt that they could not come and be with me in that hospital and through these appointments, I know they felt worse. I was blessed to have frequent visitors with me throughout my stay, and blessed to have God with me all the time so I was never alone. With all these blessings, I hate to ask for anything more. I've always cringed at the thought that I may burden anyone else with anything that I've always tried to be the rock for other people, never trying to burden anyone else by asking for their help. But, I've been praying a lot lately, and trying to grow the strength and courage to ask for help. I found out through my conversations with God that it takes so much courage and strength to humble oneself and ask for help, for mercy. That's what I am trying to do today. I want to be candid and open so that all who read this and may help me know who it is they are helping, and why. 

I am someone who, in my entire life, has rarely asked anyone for help. I have never asked for help when I knew I could not quickly repay my debt. For the first time, I am swallowing my pride and reaching out a very tired hand for help. I cannot offer you anything in return but the solemn promise that should you help, I will gladly pay it forward as soon as I am able.

With love and God's light, 
Tia Bailiff


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Tia Marie
Savannah, GA

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