Sunday, 14 December 2014

Asking For Help

It's another wine bottling day today. Kate will be here any minute. Brad is coming in an hour or so, along with Brian and Dan, and perhaps some others. We will clean bottles, fill them, cork them, label them, and put decorative wrap caps on them. Then we will leave them sit for at bit, in some cases not long, in others for a few months, and then reverse the whole process, enjoying the delicious fruits of our labours.

Of course when I say "we" in all of this, I mean mostly "they". The only part I really get to enjoy is the drinking part. As I have become weaker, I am less able to do any of the real work in making and bottling wine. In fact the last time we bottled, I was shunted into the living room and basically told to keep out of the way. I can do some of the stuff, but mostly me and my wheelchair are just a nuisance to those more able-bodied doing the work.

I am starting to get a sense of closing in on myself, as I look at this situation and many others. It's starting to look easier just to stay at home and let things happen around me, rather than getting out and making things happen. It's part of the self-inflicted isolation that happens to a lot people with ALS or other illnesses. We become "shut-ins", we remain home alone while the world goes by right out side our door.

This wine bottling session is actually a part of that feeling. I am beginning to think that it is just too much trouble, that I have to ask for help all too often, just to make wine that I mostly serve or give to other people. I am feeling like I am starting to become a burden, on my daughter, on the rest of my family, on my friends. I am now almost constantly asking for help with something, asking someone to come over and do this or do that. Kate probably gets the worst of it; she is over here twice in most weeks and I feel like I am always asking her to do something.

I don't want to be a nuisance. I don't want to be forever asking for help, forever looking to others to make things happen for me. I don't want to have to ask for help when I want to make wine, to rack wine, to bottle wine. I don't want to have to ask for help unloading stuff from my truck or putting stuff away in my storage locker. I don't want to have to ask for help with something as simple as emptying the dishwasher.

Asking for help has become a way of life for me these days. I am getting rather tired of asking, of needing. But I am still going to try to make wine. Other things might slip, but winemaking is something worth asking for help with. I'll do it for a while yet.


  1. I am sure that your friends and family are eager to help you. I would be if only I lived there. Especially when you share the fruits of all their labour. :>)

  2. Richard you know it can take forever to get things done, even as you have more 'spare time' than ever in your life. I would like to post a comment en retard to your entry on December 1, that your blog is repetitive. ALS IS repetitive, every new day presents us with new changes and challenges (read disappointments) - 'this is the last day I pick up the cat', or 'this is the last day I lift my laptop'. These can be huge headlines! I try to be present and grateful for the beauty and laughter in my days, but this doesn't mean I don't shed a few tears over having to pull out the box spring because I no longer can get into bed myself. I was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. Richard we are 'out there'. Keep writing, we are reading - even on your 'no headline' days.