Doc Sick Day

        This was an unusual day for me. For one, I did not post a song of the day on FaceBook. There was a reason.

        I awoke this AM with profound vertigo. A few associated symptoms made me think it might be a stroke.  I spent the day in the hospital and I am scheduled for some more tests Monday with a subspecialist. I am home now and I’m a touch better.

        I will tell you what I know. This indeed was a stroke-like neurological illness. There are some more studies that need to be done. It is extremely unlikely I have something wrong that is going to do me in. It is likely this will keep me out if the doc gig for several weeks; a first in my career. I will let you know more when I know more.

        I don’t want you guys to worry too much. Believe me, there are a lot of folks worse off. If you feel like you have to do something for me tell a friend to buy “The Mandolin Case.” In it I embedded every lesson I could on how to live with integrity but still not be trampled on. I love my wife’s long-term motto; “We try to live a life of grace and dignity.”

        I do not know what all of the future holds, but I know these things for certain.

1. My prayers assure me my place in Eternity is secure.

2. My wife and children love me.

3. I had the best staff you could hope for; the same nurses for almost thirty years. Great people.

4. I had the finest extended bluegrass family ever. Darin and Brooke are like young’uns and Wayne and Kristin are like siblings. (except they are married to each other) Moose was like a brother and Horace like a second  father. There are so many more I can’t name ’em all.

5. God gave me wonderful gift years ago; the ability to read books and fill in bubbles on tests, and then allowed to me transfer that into an uncanny ability to diagnose my people with accuracy. I wasn’t the best in the world, but I was good. I am proud of me for this: I used that gift to help people without fail. I never used the gift as a vehicle to take advantage of people, run with women, or have bunch of fancy unneeded toys. I never made that much money but it was more than enough. My motto was one wife, many mandolins. I had three mandolins. (They are all promised) Whenever my time on earth has elapsed I have no regrets because I did my best at every turn.

6. With the exception of John Starling I played as much music as any doctor who ever lived.

7. As far as I know I am the only successful physician bluegrass fiction writer in the world, and “The Mandolin Case” has exceeded my wildest dreams. (see above)

        One more thing, If y’all write I may not be able to get to each one of you with a personal note for a while, but I do appreciate every one of you who ever read a word of mine and gave it serious consideration.

        I’ll be back when I’m a little better and I have any more news. 

Thanks so much,

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: memorable gigs, Thought of the Day, Writing


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

46 Comments on “Doc Sick Day”

  1. Simpkins Says:

    Dr.B, We will be keeping you in our prayers, please please keep us posted on your status, If you need anything at all please let me know.

    Jeremiah 33 : 3

  2. Angie Simpson Says:

    Hey Dr. B. I will be praying for you. Your article was very well thought out so I think you’re doing pretty good 🙂 But seriously, I am glad you have no regrets and know the Lord Jesus which is the most important thing for all of us because for all of us – life is short.
    I thank you for taking such good care of my brother and my Dad.
    I haven’t started reading your book yet but plan too soon. I am working on one I had already started reading before I got yours.
    Hang in there and take it easy! You deserve a rest.
    Some scriptures that give me comfort and hope – John 3:16, Jeremiah 33:3, Isaiah 41:10 and 40:31, Psalm 56:3 and my favorite Psalm 46.

  3. GrannyPam Says:

    I am sorry to hear this, and will be praying for you and your family. I hope it was just a blip on the radar. I had something similar a few weeks back, and it turned out to be just a bug; I hope the same for you.

  4. kcleighton Says:

    Dr. B–my thoughts are with you and wishing for your speedy recovery my sweet new friend.

  5. drtombibey Says:


    Bless every one of you for your kind thoughts and prayers. I’m in a rough spot on Earth, but all is oerfect in Heaven. By all accounts I am a ways off from the gate.

    Dr. B

  6. Carmen Claypool Says:

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Bless your heart, kid. Me and Marfar still have faith that things will improve and we will someday do our California tour and stop in Missouri to visit.

      Dr. B

  7. guitar-ed and feathered friend Says:

    Dr. B,

    Please know that you and Marta are like family to us. We love you guys and will keep you in thoughts and prayers during this time. You are a special doctor, musician, writer and most of all special person. We are proud to call you, friend! M and J

  8. Ponder Says:

    Doc – this is not hardly the kind of post of yours I like to read. When you are ready, I have livermush, eggs, toast and black coffee, or whatever else you want.

  9. Felix Miller Says:

    Sorry to read of your illness. Barbara and I will hold you in our prayers,and we are glad to see that your prognosis is so hopeful.

    Readiness to pass through the Eastern Gate is a wonderful thing, but pardon us for hoping you will not go that way too soon. May you keep on pickin’ and writin’ for a good many years yet.

  10. Hang in there Doc… got that gig at the end of the month….planning on you making it !!! Seriously, hope all is well and you can just lean back and pick the ol’ mando for a couple days… talk to you soon…get well quick! Elwood

  11. jel Says:

    ya can’t keep a good man down

    in my thoughts and prayers Doc!

    take care

  12. drtombibey Says:


    My prayer is that I will accept whatever role God has for me with grace and that He will prepare a way for me to continue to help my people. In answer I am told I’n not gonna die over thus illness and will live to see the opportunity to contiune as a servant, though prhaps in a slightly different role.

    Dr. B

  13. Cindy Lou Says:

    Goes without saying you are in my prayers. I hope this “thing” turns out not to be very serious. You are and have be an inspiration to many of us out here in “blogland”. And, you have become a dear, dear friend even if we have not yet met face to face. Here’s to you Dr. B. Keep us updated.

  14. Smitty Pres. of Neuse River Fan Club Says:

    Doc, caught me off guard with this one………will be in touch.Already prayed.

  15. Beth Tibbitts Says:

    Keeping you in my prayers today Dr. B. Hope everything’s ok!!

  16. Moose Dooley Says:

    NTW Tom. The best is yet to come.

  17. drtombibey Says:

    Update from Dr. B

    Ok guys, here’s the story; the good the bad and the ugly.

    I do have a brain tumor. I don’t know of any brain tumor I would classify as a “good” one, but we do need to be thankful it is is not of the highly aggressive category and is one that is responsive to both radiation and chemo therapy. Also the chemo is reported to be less toxic than the old ones and very tumor specific. They have cures on this regimin, so I do not give you false hope to say I will improve and can hold out hope for resolution. Besides it is all in God’s hands and I am fine.

    Satan tried to put a hurt on me, but the fool didn’t know the Neuroanatomy God created, and didn’t attack the cognitive part of my brain so I can still fight with words as well as ever, though my eyes limit my speed-reading abilty right now. (Sorry for the typos)

    The Devil is powerful and can attack us, but he can’t touch our souls, and mine is full of Jesus and bluegrass music. He can’t get that away from me no matter what. Don’t you know this stubborn old man just frustrates the hell out of him?

    I have much to live for, mostly my family and to try to find some way to make a dignified transition to help get all my patients taken care of until I get better, and I want to contuine to help my artist friends who have nurtured me over the years. Hey here are my candidates this year: Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Emerging Artists, Brooke Aldridge, Female vocalist, Wayne Benson Mandolin, way over due for a guy who is The Mando Voice of the second generation of bluegrass, and teacher extraordinaire, and his sweet Krisitin for Banjo again, a walking billboard for the woman who can do it all; wife, mother, pro banjo player. Bluegrass is sure richer for no longer being just a boy’s club.

    I saw a lot of tragedy as a young man years ago and decided right away to live every day like it might be my last. Nothing about this new illness changes that philosophy. As Morgan Freeman and Andy Dufrey said in “Shawshank,” “It’s time to get busy living or get busy dying.” Like them I choose living. Shawshank was a movie about hope, and I hold to hope today and will continue to do so.

    Keep the faith,

    Dr. B

    • Hang in there Dr. B…we’re backing you! and so is God! that’s a good team…bluegrass pickers and God…hope to see you again soon. Elwood

    • GrannyPam Says:

      I have faith, and I know yours is strong, too. My husband, Bill, survived chemo, surgery, radiation, surgery and radiation 11 years ago. Faith and love help. We are sending those, plus a bunch of prayers your way. God bless.

    • Anne Says:

      We got your FB message and have read your blog. We appreciate your update so much. If it is OK, and not an inconvenience, Kevin would love to talk to you. You are quite a man, Dr. B!!

  18. Libby Smith Says:

    Doc I am praying for your recovery. I have been dealing with the same illness via my brother. God has put on this earth some amazing doctors to deal with things as this. He will bless you I am sure!

  19. Dr. B- All of your friends and pals are praying for you. There is and has been genuine concern among the bluegrass family about what was ailing you. I’m convinced that with your strong faith and attitude about life, and with so many friends out here praying for you that the Lord will help you overcome this invader and “roll on”. That quote from Shawshank is perfect! And very wise.
    Prayers and best hopes!
    Governor Joe 🙂

  20. Ponder Says:

    Doc: I feel that prayers have been answered in that what you have appears very treatable. If there ends up being any changes that you have to make, I have every confidence in you. Best to you and the family.

  21. Nancy Layton Says:

    Dr. B –

    Carpe diem. I first heard those words many moons ago in high school Latin class. I understood what they meant then, I truly understand and live by them now. You have a lot of folks here in the Upstate praying and thinking of you and your family. That tumor just doesn’t know who it’s dealing with – but it’ll soon be finding out.

    Keep us updated – and keep on pickin’- but wait, I don’t have to tell you that do I?


  22. Martin Waddell Says:

    Missed out on reading your blog the past few days, so I didn’t know about your illness until just now. Truly sorry to hear about your tumour. I admire your faith and courage in dealing with this more than I can put into words. I’ll be joining all the others who are already praying for you, and I’ll be getting my friends here in Argyll to do likewise.

  23. Kathy Boyd Says:

    This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read Doc.

    Prayers continue for you and your family.. . . . and when you get better let’s do some chatting via private e-mail and compare weird neurological notes.

    All my best to you and yours!


    • drtombibey Says:

      Guys, I’m a little tired and apolgize for not reesponding to each of you individually. I will someday.

      I am concerned but I am not frightened. I have faith and wonderful family and friends like ya’ll praying for me so I’ve got the best chance possible.

      Whatever happens to me please don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had as blessed a life as any man ever on earth. I feel sorry for the homeless and helpless and the unloved and the sick without access to care. I’ve had great nurses and docs and they all have treated me with compassion and dignity. When my BP went up to my all time high of 150/97 they let my wife sleep at my side and it was 120/60 in an hour with no meds.

      Keep the faith,

      Dr. B

  24. Sylvia Gilbreath Says:

    I love that your soul is filled with Jesus and Bluegrass Music, Doc. These two powerful things will ease your journey back to good health. We can’t thank you enough for the family connection you have given to us all, and we join hands to make that connection with Jesus and Bluegrass Music ever stronger. Blessings!

  25. Angie Simpson Says:

    Will keep you in my prayers. I know you can beat this with God’s help. You take care of yourself now and don’t worry about anything. 🙂
    Jeremiah 33:3
    Isaiah 41:10
    Psalm 56:3

  26. Carmen Says:

    Strong prayers going up for you, my friend.

  27. Pam Warren Says:

    Hey Dr. B –

    I may be going through chemo too. Best of luck
    with your illness. I’m sure your faith will help you through.

  28. Beverly Byrd Says:

    A man here in town, Mr. Henry, had the same thing. He is a giant of a man physically. He is a brave man. He and his wife Betty have a lot of faith. Everybody was so worried. Alot of prayers went up. It’s been about 3 yrs. He had a long recovery and walked with a cane for balance for awhile. Today he is running his furniture business and you would never know what he has gone through………. My own daughter was diagnosed with stage 3 uterine cancer on Mothers day. The Father is strong. He is taking care of her. He is taking care of you too. ………….I admire your faith and your compassion for your fellow man. I love your music. The world needs you. Congratulations on your grandbaby coming in October…………..You dont know me, my name is Beverly and I live in Georgia. I will be praying for you.

  29. Kirk Grosch Says:

    Great attitude, insight & wisdom from my fav Dr. Mando. Fully expect to spend some time with you in July at the RWB Festival in Morganton. SON!! we gonna have some fun. And if for any reason you don’t make, I’ll bring a crowd including Michael R. & Dennis J. and you know you don’t want that to happen. Just fair notice that you need to get better soon. We’re all counting on it and know that are thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Kirk & Debbi G.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Kirk and Debi,

      I plan on Sunday for sure ’cause Darin and Brooke are there then, and will do Saturday too if my Docs let me. Look for me under shade tree and give me a shake a howdy and maybe a song too, pal.

      Dr. B

  30. Cindy harrill yeargin Says:

    Hey Dr Bobby
    I just wanted you to know I am praying for you and for the lords healing touch.

  31. Teresa LeMaster Says:

    Dr. B

    Our thoughts and prayers remain with you. I told Dr Stroup about your illness, and he was so sorry to hear the news, but also said you were a strong, young, “full of life man”. If we can help with any of your patients please let us know. Dr Stroup is a lot like you, a very caring and compassionate physician, and we would gladly help you out! Remember what I told you earlier about being a good patient….you know being a health care professional/patient could be a dangerous combination!! All jokes aside…we love you, we are praying for you, and would be honored to help you in any way. Remember….it’s all about living!! I’ll keep in touch with Darin and Brooke.
    Sending lots of love, prayer and healing your way!

    Teresa LeMaster (and Buck)
    Dr Charles Stroup

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: