Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Making Alzheimer's Personal

Alzheimer’s disease is more than a news story for me. It’s very personal. This disease is making headlines this week because of a story about famed restaurateur Barbara Smith aka B. Smith who was diagnosed in 2014. Her husband, Dan Gasby, is coping in a nontraditional way and many people have strong opinions about his choice. It’s become the latest “what would you do?” reminding me of what I could not do.
My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1980. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that progresses slowly causing problems with memory, language and disorientation. My grandmother successfully hid her mental lapses from us for a while. Then, one day, she almost burned her house down because she forgot about the food frying on her gas burner. Her doctor insisted the family be informed about her condition. HIPAA privacy laws be damned.
 As fate would so decree, the closest living relative was me. I am the only child of an only child. My father and grandfather died before I was promoted to middle school.  At the time of my grandmother’s diagnosis, I was a teenager living with the parents I still call Mom and Dad.
I remember traveling to grandmother’s house with my mother. We convened in the kitchen around the square table with the yellow Formica top and ribbed aluminum trim. The room smelled faintly of Pine Sol. It always had the aroma of food or Pine Sol.  The discussion was brief. There weren’t many options. Of the ones presented, my grandmother chose the nursing home. And we could not change her mind.
Yet, as I watched her wipe the same spot on her countertop, the faded, floral dish towel winding around, over and over, I knew she preferred to remain in her home.  Inimitable and independent, a college educated African-American woman born in 1899. She only bowed her head to pray. For so many reasons, it was a sad day. 
At that time, there were mostly good moments filling mostly good days. So she packed her things herself and stored them away. The first few months in the nursing home, she seemed depressed, but she was lucid. Our visits became increasingly difficult as she struggled to recognize me. Sometimes she seemed perfectly fine except that her conversation was from a period fifteen years in the past. As the months went by, she seemed to spend more and more time reminiscing. 
I thought she did that because it was a happier time, when her husband and son were alive. Then, it occurred to me that she was still packing–packing her memories–starting with the most recent. When she was done, she stored them, too, and locked them behind eyes that didn’t focus and a mouth that didn’t speak. 
Years went by.  I would visit her warm body as often as I could.  It was clear to me that her mind was like the living room in her old house. I was not allowed entry to either. Eventually, she stopped swallowing.  The remaining hours of her life seemed as short as the space between the last letter of this sentence and the period.
Perhaps you wonder why I share this story, so personal and still so painful. Frankly, I’m storing my memories, too, and I never want them locked away where no one, including me, can retrieve them.
@drmoeanderson. 2019 All rights reserved. Monica F. Anderson
Author of “Success Is A Side Effect”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Old Is The New Hip

Let's start with the obvious. I'm no spring chicken. For example, I'm old enough to use that phrase "spring chicken" but too young to have any idea what that expression means. Okay. Now, I have to look it up. Squirrel! Shiny thing! BRB...

If you're wondering also, here you go. Spring Chicken  

Anyway, I am now very confident that, by definition, I am no spring chicken. I am a certified Boomer or as my grandson told me recently, "memOe, you're old." He was smiling when he said that as if he believes I can handle the truth. I thought about his statement a moment while the faces of a dozen "old' people flashed through my mind. I thought of amazing, active people like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Pastor Shirley "You Name It!" Caesar, Betty White, Peter Tuchman and Senator Bernie Sanders. Old is the new hip, I decided.

Yes, I'm old and I like old people. Not everyone likes old people. During the Christmas holidays, I saw an ad for an incredibly horrible game known as "Greedy Grandma." WTH?! In this game, a white haired grandma is sitting in a rocker with a tray of cookies in her lap. Players try to steal the cookies without waking grandma. Seriously, we're teaching children to steal from their grandmother? Wait for it. Yes, it gets worse. If you awaken the emaciated grandma, her arms and legs fly into the air as her ill fitting dentures fly out of her mouth. I kid you not! Who thinks it's funny to startle an edentulous, old woman as she naps peacefully in her recliner? It's bad enough reindeer are running over old ladies walking down the street, now it's not safe to take a nap in the house. I am not making this up. Bashing seniors is a thing now.

I swear if I see one more list of "25 tragically uncool things baby boomers won't let die" I am going to spit out my dentures! Why do you care if we like cruises, sending emails, and the news? How is this impacting your life? One list actually includes investing in retirement funds as a symptom of our uncoolness. In 2018, the stock market nodded off like Drake at a Kanye concert, but planning for the future is much cooler than bullying your grandmother.
Uncool? Us? Are you serious? Don't answer. Send me an email. I'll respond from the lido deck after Rachel Maddow goes off the air.

Follow me @drmOeanderson

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved by Monica F. Anderson

Friday, November 16, 2018

About That Life! (Podcast)

Are you about that UN- life? You already know.
If U are N, then U can get out!

Check out this podcast episode!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Teaching A Dentist to Floss Ain't Easy (#Floss Dance)

I am never sure if my sons are laughing at me or with me but we have a lot of fun together. They ensure I can do the latest dance, learn the latest slang, and download the latest apps. I love the way they love me. Keeps me young and keeps us close. #family #flossing

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Listening Is The New Reading. My First Audio Book is Available on Audible and iTunes!

Listen to a sample

It took six months to record 5 hrs and 15 mins with the pronunciation, tone, clarity, dB, pace, quality, and energy acceptable to my engineer, then my producer, then aka Audible. I don't have much free time on my "off day" as I do have that day job as a dentist, along with a few million other things I do for family and community. While many people encouraged me to do an audiobook, no one paid me, pushed me, or made me practice. Words in any form (writing, speaking, blogging, vlogging, poetry, workshops) are my calling. That's how I help others which is its own reward. That's why I kept repeating words and passages over and over until they said it was "right!"

I would love to sale a million downloads and get great reviews but, if I don't, I know my time and efforts were not in vain. I had the privilege of dreaming and the power to make that dream come true with help from industry experts who patiently showed me the ropes.

Do what you enjoy doing and do it well. Opportunity is inevitable. Preparation is optional. Are you ready?

Copyright 2018 Monica F. Anderson. All Rights.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Zipline Adventure With Grandkids (Lessons in Confidence)

In one afternoon of sun and fun, I watched my oldest grandson go from shaky and fearful to bragging about his abilities as only little boys can do! We had fun. We both got exercise and I had the pleasure of coaching him through a challenging tasks with words of encouragement. In time, he will learn to in-courage himself. That's a skill we all need and it is a learned behavior. How do you teach your kids and grandkids to face their fears?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Real Beauty Tips from #RealSistersDallas (Part 4)

Part 4 is the last of this hilarious series. Silly. Fun. Real. Jaye, mOe and grandson discuss everything from hoarding to magnetic eyelashes (thumbs down). View the entire series on Dr. mOe Anderson's Youtube Channel @drmoeutube. Then, subscribe for other motivating and inspiring videos by author and speaker Dr. mOe Anderson. Thx!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Real Sisters Dallas Part 3 (Is facial cleansing harder than car washing?"

Part 3 of our LOL series on relationships, beauty tips, and busting myths! Subscribe on YT ! My real sister and I discuss real problems faced by real men and women with humor and heart. Tune in, lean back and laugh out loud! For video, visit

Check out this podcast episode!

Real Sisters Dallas Part 2 (Duchess of Sussex and Other Fun Things) #realsistersdallas

Topics in Part 2 include the Queen of England's beauty secret, Duchess Meghan Markle, argan oil, Crest Whitestrips, and my 10 year old grandson/director blurting out hilarious things from behind the camera. My real sister (Jaye Chase) and I do not have a huge budget or huge amount of time to apply make up. These are our real tips about products we really purchased and really use or threw away because they sucked. If this doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will. No disclaimer needed. This is us and all us. This is a four part series. Visit Youtube/drmoeutube for video!

Check out this podcast episode!