David Russell: Americans Waking Up

A FORMER American beauty queen has told how she's mocked for "sounding like a Spice Girl" after waking up from a migraine with a British accent - despite having never left the USA.

Michelle Myers, 45, of Phoenix, Arizona, said her accent is now so strong that her daughter Rose, 16, calls her "Mummy" rather than the US version "Mommy", leading people to think she was raised across the pond.

 Michelle Myers woke up after suffering a bad headache and discovered she had a totally different accent>PA Real Life>
Michelle Myers woke up after suffering a bad headache and discovered she had a totally different accent

The single mum-of-seven was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome, a rare condition causing sufferers to talk with a foreign intonation while still speaking their native language, in April 2016.

Michelle, 45, said: “I’d had a splitting headache and when I woke up, my voice was that of a completely different person.

"I found it really difficult to begin with and people would think it was a joke, saying things like, ‘You sound like a Spice Girl,’ or, ‘Are you Mary Poppins?’

"It was hard, because I was really struggling. I have come to terms with the fact I might sound like this forever. I realise it’s part of me now.”

 The single mum-of-seven was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome in April 2016>PA Real Life>
The single mum-of-seven was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome in April 2016

Michelle, is now an author and public speaker, as well as mum to Destiny, 22, Diamond, 19, David, 17, Rose, 16, twins Tyler and Tyson, 14, and Sunshine, 13.

She started suffering with severe headaches in 2011. The excruciating pain would last for days, but doctors put it down to her hormones.

In May 2011 she experienced a particularly bad headache and tried to shake it off by having a nap.

But when she woke up, she noticed her tongue felt different and when she tried to speak, her voice sounded alien.

“I started screaming and my family came in," she recalled.

 Michelle, now an author and public speaker, was mocked for 'sounding like a Spice Girl'>PA Real Life>
Michelle, now an author and public speaker, was mocked for 'sounding like a Spice Girl'

"At first they thought I was just joking around, because I am a funny person. But I started crying and they realised something was really wrong.

"It was a joke in my family that I’m terrible at accents, so I think when they heard how good it was, they knew I wasn’t kidding!

“I was scared to go to the doctor, though, because I thought he’d say I was just crazy, if I started sounding Irish, as I did at that point.”

After eight days, during which she hid at home, feeling self-conscious, Michelle’s voice returned to normal.

With no further symptoms, she put the incident to the back of her mind, until it happened again three years later.

WHAT IS FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME?

THE condition is a speech impairment caused by a neurological disorder, a stroke for example, which results in the person suddenly speaking with a different accent.

It can also be down to a psychological issue.

Those affected usually experience a change in tongue and vocal chord movement, usually after a head injury or a stroke.

The condition has been reported in medicine for 150 years.

Intonation, rhythm and pitch of speech all have the potential to be affected by the syndrome.

Speech can sound more "sing-song" or more plain and monotonous.

For most people, the condition disappears spontaneously as they recover from a head injury or stroke.

If the syndrome is a result of injury, treatment relies on speed, coordination and movement therapies.

If the syndrome is psychologically based, talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapies are used.

She explained: “I had moved to California and was on a swing in my back garden when, suddenly, my head started hurting really badly.

“My ears were ringing and I felt pressure in my head. I passed out on the swing, and when I woke up, my face felt funny on the right side and my left hand felt tingly.

"I hollered and this time came out with an Australian accent. My mother was insisting that I should go to the doctor, but I was still reluctant and it went away after a day or so again, so I just tried to forget it.”

But a year later in May 2015, Michelle told how one day her eyesight went funny, leaving her unable to see out of her right eye at all, while her whole left side stopped functioning.

 Michelle, pictured with her kids Destiny, 22, Diamond, 19, David, 17, Rose, 16, twins Tyler and Tyson, 14, and Sunshine, 13>PA Real Life>
Michelle, pictured with her kids Destiny, 22, Diamond, 19, David, 17, Rose, 16, twins Tyler and Tyson, 14, and Sunshine, 13

"My brother drove me to the emergency room. I was losing my cognitive function," she said.

"I would try to say something and completely different words would come out. It was like I couldn’t process words.”

The next morning Michelle woke up and found that most of her cognitive function had returned, but she was speaking with an English accent - and her voice didn't return to normal.

She said: “We’ve never been overseas, but my family keep teasing me, saying I sound like I have emigrated to America from England.

“During the election season, I would voice my opinions about politics and people would tell me off, saying, ‘You aren’t from here.'

"Sometimes people can be quite hostile. I try to explain that I am American and they say, ‘Why, because you got your green card?’ thinking I’m foreign but have married a US citizen."

 After the latest episode, Michelle's voice failed to return to normal>PA Real Life>
After the latest episode, Michelle's voice failed to return to normal
 She has no idea what has caused the condition>PA Real Life>
She has no idea what has caused the condition

She said sometimes she's asked if she's her children's nanny, and her younger kids have started picking up her British accent.

Michelle added that she has no idea how this happened.

“For most people with the condition, it’s caused by a brain injury or a stroke, but all my MRI scans came back clear,” she said.

“The only thing the doctors noticed was that I have a smaller than normal brain stem, but that could just be something I was born with.

“I have been diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines – meaning my headaches are accompanied by temporary weakness on one side of the body and numbness. But doctors aren’t sure how exactly the migraines relate to foreign accent syndrome.”

 Michelle was Miss Black Austin Texas when she was younger, but said she doesn't feel like that person anymore>PA Real Life>
Michelle was Miss Black Austin Texas when she was younger, but said she doesn't feel like that person anymore

Initially, Michelle struggled to come to terms with her new voice and fell into a deep depression, but now she had learned to embrace it.

She said: “I felt like I lost a person. I named my son, Tyler, but I pronounce his name completely differently now.

“I was Miss Black Austin Texas when I was younger, but I feel like I’m not that person anymore.

MOST READ IN FABULOUS

>

Three's a Crowd

'Awkward' or 'addictive'? People reveal what threesomes are REALLY like >

VAGI-WHAT?

It needs exercise & has something in common with sharks...9 facts about vaginas >

DOUBLE TAKE

These photos will leave you baffled... so can YOU figure out what's going on? >

FAIR PLAY?

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are banned from playing with this toy >

Tatt's AWFUL

Horrified woman told the tattoo she got for late mum is NOT what she thought >

THAT'S A BIT RICH!

What the royal family DO all day… and the bizarre way the Queen is woken

“I have some amazing family and friends, who’ve helped me to realise I’m still the same person – I just sound different. I do see old videos sometimes and tear up a little bit.

“In my work as a public speaker and advocate, I think it can actually help, too. I believe everything happens for a reason, so, maybe this happened because it helps me to break the ice with people.”

Last year we told how a mum woke up speaking a different accent, from Italian to Chinese, every day after the bizarre condition struck her overnight.

In 2016 a west country woman who woke from a stroke and spoke with a Chinese accent said her voice is returning after seven years.


Trending Hairstyles

Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5528992/american-beauty-queen-woke-migraine-british-accent/

American former beauty queen mocked for ‘sounding like a Spice Girl’ after waking up from a migraine with a BRITISH accent
Must Watch: Trailer for David O. Russell's Con Film 'American Hustle'
David O. Russell Talks ‘American Hustle,’ Enchantment, Opera, Musicals, The Immersion of Christian Bale & More
What Happened To Norma's Brain?
American former beauty queen wakes up sounding ‘like a Spice Girl’ after suffering a severe migraine – and her new accent makes everyone think she’s BRITISH
OSCARS: David O. Russell On Nomination Hot Streak: “I Don’t Know If You Could Force It To Ever Happen Again”
Amy Adams says 'American Hustle' director David O. Russell made her cry on set: 'I was really just devastated'
George Clooney: He's Made Up with "American Hustle" Director David O. Russell
New AMERICAN GODS Comic Series Gets Gorgeous Con Exclusive Cover
David O. Russell Reflects on His Career and Talks the Importance of I HEART HUCKABEES, the Awards Process, NAILED, Delving into TV, and More at SBIFF