Patient’s Prayer

        I had a patient today who said a prayer right there in the exam room.

        She thanked the Good Lord for my patience in tending to my patients.

        She asked that I continue to be blessed with a good mind and to read and study to be able to look after them.  Given I am in a heavy duty study right now, and one of my greatest fears is that I might not keep up and get outdated, I found that part a special comfort.

        She asked the Lord to let me enjoy my music so I could get my mind off my patients for a while and relax.  Can you beat that?  The women was right on target.  I have to get away some to survive, and music is how I do it.

        She didn’t ask for any help on my golf game.  I am glad she didn’t.  It would be way too trivial and not in keeping with the serious nature of her requests.  Besides, even prayer wouldn’t help my game now- too old.

        I was touched.  When I am at work it is my job to look after everybody else.  It never occurs to me to look after myself, and here she was sent to do it for me.  Bless patients like her,  she’s a good’un.

Dr. B

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12 Comments on “Patient’s Prayer”

  1. pticester Says:

    We should all be as focused on our “source” as your patient. God bless her and you.

  2. drtombibey Says:


    You know this is a very humble simple woman, and yet it was if she was reading my mind. I guess the Good Lord sent her to encourage and bless me for the day.

    Dr. B

  3. mrschili Says:

    Doc, every once in a while, the Universe guides me to remind my nearly-napping yoga students that it’s terribly important that we take care of ourselves first. It’s not a selfish thing – we can’t give what we don’t have, and if we don’t take care of ourselves the way we should, we empty out and are no good to anyone else. There’s a REASON the stewardesses tell us to put our own oxygen mask on first…

    I’m so happy this happened to you, and I’m happy you were able to recognize the truth in it.

  4. drtombibey Says:


    What is interesting is it fell right on the heels of a weekend when my wife and I spend some time in discussion of why I needed to take more time off at this age than I used to. I love medicine but a done quit or dead Dr. B ain’t much good to anyone, and I want to keep practicing a while. My problem has often been how to be moderate about it.

    Better listen to my wife, my patients, and my teachers, huh?

    Dr. B

  5. Cindy Carter Says:

    Since I have been reading your blog, I have been in awe of you. You care. Often when we care, we forget about ourselves and only think of others.

    You can’t treat others if your aren’t up to par. It is a blessing that you have your music and your writing to give your some peace and a place to vent.

    My brother, a thorasic surgeon, runs for relaxation He also volunteers to travel two weeks every year to South America to treat those less fortunate. When his girls were young, he took them with him to see how the other half lives, so to speak. They all grew into wonderful and caring women.

    Bless you Dr. B!

  6. whodoesshethinksheisanyway Says:

    I had a residential kid who prayed at night. One night I asked her what she prayed for. Among other things she said she prayed for me. I asked her why and she said “Because it must be hard work taking care of all us bratty kids. I figured you could use the help.” It was one of the sweetest things a kid has said to me. I thanked her and left her room with a full heart.
    It sure is nice to know that the people we look after are looking after us too.

  7. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Cindy,

    Shoot fire don’t be in awe of me. I was just one lucky country boy who loved books and could fill in the right bubbles on those standardized tests. Otherwise I might have starved to death. I consider being a Doc a privilege, and try to live up it, imperfect as we humans are.

    I am in awe of farmers or house builders. Can you imagine growing or building all that stuff that sustains and shelters people! I dig the teachers too- would have been lost without ’em.

    Those thoracic folks have a tough road also.

    Dr. B

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Auntie,

    What a fine compliment- empathy is a wonderful thing.

    I like the way your kid friend thinks and prays. I’ll take all the help I can get in this old world.

    Dr. B

  9. amberfireinus Says:

    That is so amazingly sweet. Sweet that she said those things, and sweet that you could accept them in the spirit with which they were meant.

    I have to remind myself often that doctors are like all of us and do have the stresses us mere mortals have. Its a good reminder to us all…


  10. Ted Lehmann Says:

    In today’s NY Times science section there’s an article describing how some scientists are beginning to doubt they’ll ever be able to explain the Universe. My first reaction was to wonder if maybe they weren’t barking up the wrong tree. Getting back to first principles might lead even the most rational and “scientific” person to examine whether their isn’t something (or one) before the big bang. – Ted

  11. drtombibey Says:


    My patients have always been my friends. As I get older, both my patients and I have come to realize we are all mortal and in this together. Ain’t none of us gonna get out of here alive- we just gotta do the best we can while we are here.

    If I do that on earth, I have been promised I’ll be a perfect musician for eternity. No need for Docs there.

    Dr. B

  12. drtombibey Says:


    I think the answers are in the Book, the music, and the arts, though I am not smart enough to understand it all. Don’t get me wrong- science has many practical applications to make life better, and I am the first to partake of them. I just don’t think it addresses all human questions.

    I ain’t found all the answers yet, but I love the journey and the quest to try to find them.

    Dr. B

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