This is post two in a series of sharing your inspiring stories in my quest to take over the negative news media by sharing positive, inspiring stories from others who are…
doing what they can, with what they have, where they are.
Today we meet Erica Oldham M.D. an impressive woman I heard speak at a Women2Know event. I love her attitude of living each day well and I think you will too..
Janet: Tell us about yourself.
Erica: I am in my mid 40s, married and a retired internal medicine physician. Although I am a very independent person I am also very social. I believe in living life to its fullest and I have always had a very positive attitude. I have very little fear in life and believe it is best to take the unfamiliar road, try the unknown food and travel to the exotic destination. I am very passionate about world travel, have a great appreciation for food and love animals. I try to be a kind and thoughtful person and believe it very important to give back through volunteerism and to promote positive change in the world..
There’s a common thought that we can overcome obstacles… I’ve found that sometimes we can and sometimes we can’t, but we can learn to live well even with difficult obstacles. What obstacles have you learned to live with and/or overcome?
At age 13 I was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy called FSH. This disease is not life threatening but has caused muscle weakness and secondary arthritis. I can only walk short distances and often require a wheelchair. Most activities of daily living require more energy for me to complete then the average person.
With that said I believe we all have challenges in life and often it is ones attitude that is a bigger obstacle then the actual challenge. I have encountered people who are unable to deal with a very small issue or challenge and also those that rise to the occasion without difficulty when faced with extreme challenges.
I believe in looking to oneself to achieve and conquer and it is the individual that has all the power to determine their course in life..
What do you do that others are surprised you do?
Some folks are surprised that I went to medical school, residency and practiced medicine without any special accommodation and graduated with honors. I used my life experiences, dealing with a chronic illness to become a better doctor. I understood the importance of taking the time to listen to patients and to educate and involve people in their own medical care.
Secondly I have traveled the world with my husband Dan. If you think of the most impractical places to take a wheelchair, we have probably already been there. We have traveled extensively to locations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America some of them extremely remote.
Dan and I have learned to improvise when needed and it is not unusual to find him piggy backing me through a jungle or up an ancient flight of steps. we believe in embracing the culture and food of the destinations we travel and always try the unknown.
What dreams and goals do you have for yourself for now and into the future?
I believe it is important to plan for your future financially but I believe in living your dreams in the present. Life is short and I think too many people spend too much time planning for the future but forget to live right now.
What does a well-lived day look like for you?
Everyday for me is a well lived day because I am being true to myself, doing what I want to do in life in the present and trying to give back. I enjoy life, it is that simple.
Leave your comments or thoughts for Erica below.
Sharing stories is how we grow, how we are inspired and how we learn to live well.
If interested in sharing your (or someone else’s) story,
head over to the YOUR STORY page, there’s place on the bench for you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*More of Your Inspiring Stories
Chris Kaag—Doing What He Can, Because He Can!
Troy Roland—Hockey and Running, Because He Can! Running at Age 72 and Age 84—Because They Can! Beverly Shantz, Living and Laughing—Because She Can! Roni Noone does Fitbloggin’—Because She Can! Consistency Helps Dawn do Anything—Because She Can! Michele Lynn—Believed She Can… and She Did!
Running Truly is for all Ages .