Lonely Aging? Inspiration From A One-Armed Man.

Bart Simpson and the one-armed man

Even Bart needed inspiration from time to time.

Hi folks, welcome!

Inspiration from nature: owls at dusk in FitOldDog's yard.

Owls at dusk (it was really dark – I love my Rebel T4 Canon Camera). Photo by FitOldDog.

If you are having a hard time finding inspiration to help you cope with aging, remember that there are always others who have overcome greater adversity into later life, and with a smile.

Along with aging, can come a feeling of increased separation from the mainstream of society, but it can be countered by inspiration from others who have traveled a harder road, which is why I spoke to the one-armed man.

I didn’t get the one-armed man’s photo, more’s the pity, so I used a picture of some owls in our yard that Stacey kindly pointed out to me yesterday evening. This led to a subsequent conversation, when I told her the story of the one-armed man. To my surprise, Stacey said, “Kevin, that story’s an inspiration, you should blog about it.” So here it is:

FitOldDog meets the One-Armed Man

Stacey wearing a bone growth stimulator

Stacey a few months ago, recovering from spinal surgery, and she had a great attitude to the pain and discomfort – she’s wearing a bone growth stimulator, by the way. All’s well now, I’m pleased to report.

I was shopping for groceries, again (Deb says I buy too many, but I remember being hungry as a kid in post-war England, and somehow I can’t stop myself, even though that was over 50 years ago). In the produce isle I spotted a guy, probably in his 40s, with a prosthetic arm, all bars and wires, which, as he explained to me, was operated via cables attached to his shoulders. At first, this man, whose name I forget, was obviously wary of me, wondering why I was asking him about his arm. Then I explained that I also had a prosthesis, in my distal aorta, my AAA stent graft, Rupert. He immediately warmed to me upon hearing this. I also explained that if his contraption of wires and plastic failed, he could get it fixed, whereas if mine broke I’d probably croak on the spot.

Marty without arms fishing

Marty Ravellette, born without arms, just got on with his life, earned his own living, and I never heard of him complaining. A true inspiration. Click image for link to story and video.

He sympathized with my situation, though I wasn’t looking for sympathy, so I said, “No! It’s no big deal, compared to the man with no arms, who used to cut the grass all over town (Chapel Hill, NC), before he was killed in car wreck.”

Then the one-armed man (call me aorta guy, OK!), said, “You mean Marty? I knew him well. He never complained, and he was born without arms. He just got on with his life, earned his own living, and lived his life to the full. A true inspiration.

The one-armed man and I parted with a smile and a handshake, fellow admirers of Marty. I was no longer a weird stranger, which is how life can be improved, but you have to take a chance to make these contacts happen.

So! If I ever feel sorry for myself, with my gammy aorta, which I rarely do now, I think of people like Marty (and now, this one-armed man), and I smile, and get on with my day.

We all need inspiration from heroes, like Marty and The One-Armed Man, to help us along the road, sometimes.


Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. I also have a large larder but add economics to my hoarding. If for example it looks like the international commodity market have an excess of demand over supply of a product, for example coffee due to poor harvests. I buy coffee that will store for some while. Last year coffee shot up 14% and stayed up for ages. The £s I spent saved me this increased price so I effectively earned all those 14%s on other items. The interest you can get on a savings account at present is tiny. I do this across all food and household items that have a long shelf life,
    My hot tip is spaghetti. The crops are poor in the spaghetti orchards this year. HONEST
    Now that is as good as most tips on CNBC and Bloomberg!

  2. 8/14. How does one rate the posts? I admire people who can take the crappy hand Life dealt them and find a way to deal with it. Makes me ashamed for my downer moods, as my body is whole compared to so many others.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.