My Sunday Prayer

        First of all, my thoughts are with the family and friends of Jennings Chestnut who just passed away after a brief illness.  I did not know him, but he was one of the mainstays of the Myrtle Beach bluegrass scene and knew a lot of my friends.  A number of my buddies are down there today, but I had commitments at home and couldn’t leave.  My heart is with them though.

        After a day as an amateur lumberjack I am reflective.  I am lucky to be a doc because sometimes I am allergic to real work.  I gotta let you in a secret though.  Most docs, me included, are driven for perfection in an impossible business beyond what is healthy.  

        I think it is why I identify with the fine artists I have been so fortunate to know.  Compared to them I am a hack player.  I have not given  it what they have and do not deserve to play at that level.  At the same time, I have some inkling of their mind.  When someone in the crowd comes up and asks a virtuoso player if they know ‘Turkey in the Straw’ I almost want to shake them.

        It’s the same way in medicine for me.  If someone wants to serve up a simplistic notion to address a complicated problem I not only won’t go along, but can get downright mean over it.  My nurses have been with me twenty-five years and can see it coming every time. They just laugh and go along, because they know it is hopeless to change old Doc now. 

        They are smarter than me.  They know in the end we are all out of here, it is all in God’s hands, and there really isn’t anything I can do about it.  But the human part of me can’t quit trying any more than the artists I know who seek unattainable perfection. 

        How ’bout y’all saying a prayer for Doc?  I hope I might do my best to find my kind and gentle side when I deal with people who aren’t cursed with the drive that propels a man to search for what is not possible.  

Dr. B

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6 Comments on “My Sunday Prayer”

  1. Martin Waddell Says:

    Actually, it’s good, dedicated, hard-working people like you who should be saying a prayer for lazy gits like me whose mottos seem to be “If there’s a short cut, use it!” and “Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow or, better still, the day after!” My lovely wife Myra is a family doctor too and, like you, she’s a perfectionist, not just in medicine, but in everything she does. What she’s doing married to me, I still don’t know after nearly 30 years. But we’re all different personalities, and I guess we all need each other’s prayers for God’s grace to iron out our individual quirks and failings. For what it’s worth, you have mine.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Bless your heart brother, you aren’t lazy. I knew a guy one time whose ambition was to be a mattress tester on the night shift. Now that’s lazy!

      We all need our spouses. If it wasn’t for my wife talking some sense into me, I’d already be dead.

      Dr. B

    • Love you, know what you mean. I’ve been working with the addicts both personally and professionally for over 48 years. I don’t accept it when everybody else gives up because I know it isn’t as simple for him/her to “just say no” I also am referred to as in “have him/her see the ole man.” I guess it because when I look at a practicing addict I only see the sober one.


      • drtombibey Says:


        Apreciate your comment. In some ways I have an addict’s personality in that I can become obsessive about things. What saved me was I saw it early on and decided to channel all that extra energy into my art. It could have gone another way.

        Dr. B

  2. newt221 Says:

    Dr. B.

    You find your way into my prayers all the time. We need to lift up our friends all the time. God, knows when we need a kick in the butt. And, He knows when we need some TLC.

    • drtombibey Says:


      As I have said many times my purpose in art was to keep all that driven behavior from killing me, dodge all the mean people, and find all the good ones.

      As we say in bluegrass, you’re one of the good’uns.

      Dr. B

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