"You're getting a new patient, Nancy. Starting tomorrow, you'll devote all your attention to this one for the next two weeks. That's all the time you have to get him ready to return to the rodeo circuit, so it will be an intense rehab." Dr. Harris slid the file across the desk.
"But what about my other patients? I'm really making progress with Anna and Andy. They need me."
Dr. Harris shook his head. "Can't be helped. This young man is a local celebrity and his parents specifically requested that you, and only you, handle his case. It will be high profile for us and, if you're successful at getting him ready for the Finals, we'll get a lot of publicity."
"Let me guess. Cooper Saunders, right?" Damn him. Just because he was some kind of star around here shouldn't mean he got preferential treatment. As much as she liked his parents, she resented them interfering with her job. She'd spent weeks getting Anna and Andy to trust her, to respond to their treatment. Anna was finally pulling out of her depression with the help of medication and counseling sessions, and Andy seemed to be gaining control of his anger and frustrations. What would happen to them if she suddenly didn't show up for their sessions and they were turned over to someone else?
"There's nothing I can do to change your mind?" Nancy asked, knowing the answer from the firm set of Dr. Harris's jaw.
"No, I promised Mary and Jed that you would personally handle Cooper's recovery."
"Can I at least do my sessions with Andy and Anna today, so I can explain to them why they'll have a new PT?"
Dr. Harris stood, indicating the discussion was over. "No. Cooper is waiting for you in room 212. His doctor will brief you in the conference room before you get started. He's already there."
In other words, hop to it. You didn't keep the busy doctors waiting.
Nancy gritted her teeth and marched to the conference room. She couldn't wait to meet Cooper and give him a piece of her mind for messing up her other patients' treatments. She didn't even know him. And at this point, she didn't care to know him.
Shoot, he probably didn't need much more than hand-holding, anyway. Anyone could do that. Even one of his buckle bunnies.
The doctor smiled when she stepped into the room. She didn't recognize him, so not a local. Nancy sat across the table from him, where a case folder waited. "I'm Nancy Phillips."
"John Marshall." He nodded toward the folder. "We have a short time table to try to get Cooper ready for the PBR finals." He went over the particulars of Cooper's case and laid out the treatment plan. "Cooper is willing to commit one hundred percent to his treatment. You'll have his complete cooperation. If you have any questions, call me. I'll be checking on his progress daily, as well."
"Do you really think it's wise for him to ride in two weeks with these injuries?" It sounded like a recipe for disaster to her. There was no way his shoulder and pelvic injuries could heal in that amount of time, and from what she'd read, the finals involved several days of bull riding, back to back. Cooper would be lucky if he didn't end up back in the hospital after the first try.
"No, I don't, and I've told him that. But he's determined to do it." Dr. Marshall shook his head. "He's planning to retire at the end of this season and he needs the win to help finance his retirement."
"It won't be much of a retirement if he's paralyzed, or worse."
"If you can convince him not to try it, my hat's off to you. I've tried everything I can think of to talk him out of it.
After the doctor left, Nancy took a few minutes to study Cooper's file. Thirty-eight years old, he'd been riding bulls for more than twenty years. While not the oldest bull rider, he was in no shape to be thinking about trying it again. Anyone with half a brain could see he needed to give it up while he could still walk.
Determined to convince Cooper he was a fool to even think about riding another bull, Nancy headed down the hall to his room.
I don't have a cover yet, but I can tell you this picture will be on it.
Meet Cooper Saunders, professional bull rider. Yum! Can't wait to finish this book and see what you think about his story.
I'm going to invite other authors to comment with details about their February releases, too, so check back often to see what's new for next month.