I have said before that I have 24/7 nursing care. They work 12 hour shifts from 7 AM to 7 PM and then from 7 PM to 7 AM. I also have a personal care attendant (PCA) every day from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. They work for a home care agency where they come out to my house for their shift. The PCAs and nurses do most everything for me including giving me a bed bath or shower, getting me dressed, getting me into and out of my wheelchair etc.
One problem that occurs sometimes is not having nursing staff. If a nurse calls in or we do not have one for a shift, my family steps in to do the job. Sometimes we are able to get a nurse to cover the shift; either one that works here or someone to just fill in. For this weekend, we got all three. The Friday night shift, Saturday day shift and Sunday day shift were all open as of the beginning of last week. We were able to get a nurse that we didn't know to work the Friday night shift. The only thing about that is that they don't know my cares so I only got about two hours of sleep trying to orient her. Yesterday, my dad came over to work half of the shift and my mom worked the other half. I am very thankful that my family knows my cares and is able to fill in when we need it. A nurse that usually works with me 3 days each week picked up the open shift today. It is great that she is willing to work overtime to help me and my family out.
Having people take care of me is not the easiest thing ever. I have someone with me all day every day taking care of me. I have no privacy and very little independence. Sometimes I get irrigated or annoyed with the nurses, but that's only because 12 hours is a long time to spend with one person. I'm very fortunate to have as good of nursing care as I do. I have heard stories of others who have not had as much luck as me. If I didn't have the trache or vent I wouldn't need 24/7 care. Sometimes I am glad I do because if I didn't have nurses I don't think I would be able to get as good of care as I do and it would be up to my family to do everything for me. It would be harder to do the things that I do. I just want to say thank you to all the people that have helped take care of me including my family, nurses, and PCAs.