Medical History Repeats Itself

        My daughter says some things never change and I am one of  them.  I saw a patient not long ago who reminded me of that fact.

        This lady’s mom was one of my first patients.  The mother had several chronic medical conditions.  I looked after her until she died and was always impressed with her outlook on things.  In spite of her medical troubles the lady was a fun person to be around, and always had a joke or a story.

        I saw the daughter last week.  She has the exact same list of medical conditions.  She deals with them with equal grace.  Not only has she come to look just like her mom, she also tells funny stories, laughs just like her, and even has the same mannerisms and inflections in her voice.  Their idiosyncratic similarities are downright spooky. 

          I treat her with similar meds as what I used with her mother.  I think we would do just as well with the old ones, but the administrators and bureaucrats get upset if you don’t look modern, and I am afraid they might fuss at her or not cover her regimen. 

         One time I explained treatment options for her kidney stone and she said, “Dr. B you do what you gotta do.  I don’t care if you have to latch an alligator to my ass to help me.”  It was what her mom used to say when she had a stone.  Like her mom, my patient likes my music and comes out to our shows when we play. 

        I guess Marie is right.  Some things never change and I am one of them.  So are my people.  It makes being a small town doc all kinds of fun and such an honor and privilege.

Dr. B

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8 Comments on “Medical History Repeats Itself”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Sometimes, those similarities are entirely inescapable. I don’t associate with my biological people anymore, but I know that I still do certain things (standing, crane-like, with one foot on top of the other when I’m still, for instance) that they do. I think it’s written in the genes.

    Is there a protocol for alligator therapy?

  2. drtombibey Says:


    When I do like my people I am proud of I am happy. When I start to think like our black sheep, I try to forget that!

    I have yet to see the alligator therapy recommended in an official text of medicine, so I have been been reluctant to try it out.

    Dr. B

  3. H. L. Dyer Says:

    *snort* I don’t think I’ll be able to look at an alligator the same again. What a great line!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and good luck with your book!

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Hey Doc Dyer,

    Thanks for dropping by. I have the coolest patients. They are an endless source of inspiration and material.

    Dr. B

  5. Dr. B,
    Genetics are an incredible thing, aren’t they? Bad, on the one hand, because the daughter has the same medical conditions as her mom, but good on the other hand because she’s also inherited the positive outlook and the looks and mannerisms of her mother. Must be fascinating to see these sorts of patients come and go.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    ms slightly,

    The country Doc gig is indeed a fascinating journey. The longer I am at it, the more I think there is not much new on the planet.

    The good news is most human beings are good folks. You have to watch out for the bad ones though. After all these years, I am not a bit cynical but I am realistic.

    Dr. B

  7. Terro Says:

    Hi Dr. B,
    Discovered you by way of JenX and love your stories.
    I have a new blog for educators, writers, mothers, and women–a broad mix.
    I’m going to feature tips for music in the classroom or at home with chldren. Hav eyou any thoughts you’d like to share? I’d love to post you as a guest on the subject.
    Take a look==it’s a babe of a blog.

  8. drtombibey Says:


    Hey thanks for the visit. Will come over and check out your blog.

    If you see something on mine that will help your kids, feel free to use it. My only request is that you post a comment to my blog to ask for official permission, but I would consider it an honor.

    My blog is always free, and is going to stay that way. I am sure when my book, ‘The Mandolin Case,’ comes out my agent and the publisher will take a different postion about it. (By then they will have a lot invested!)

    You might check out the Rangatang story. Look under the short story category. It is the oldest one there, around Nov 2007.

    The story is 100% Southern, but makes some universal points. I sent it to some high school kids in Mississippi, and we became pen pals over it.

    It is the story that got me hooked as a writer. When I sent it, their assignment was to be an editor for a novelist. One of them wrote, “I can’t believe a famous writer would talk to us little kids in Saltillo Mississippi.”

    I told my agent, “Wait a minute, man. We have to get that straitened out. I’m not a famous writer.”

    He said, “You are now. Any time you touch people far away with your words, then you my friend have become a famous writer.”

    I ended up going to Mississippi to visit them, and they were delightful.

    Dr. B

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