Imagine waking up one morning and forgetting your life, just like that. No memories of the past, no clue of your individuality and absolutely unaware and scared of the present. Imagine the horror and the dilemma. Your entire world will fall apart right in front of you and you would stand there helpless, watching it tumble.
47-year-old, Michaela Armer from Poulton-Le-Fylde lost her Lancashire (non-metropolitan county, England) accent one day. Two years ago, she woke up and realised that she wasn’t speaking right and it happened days after an MRI scan.
“Two weeks after the MRI scan I began to notice I was getting my words wrong. I would say things like ‘bag tea’ instead of ‘tea bag’.”
“Two weeks later I realised I couldn’t even say my own name.”
Michaela Armer is the mother of two and before she wakes up in the morning, she doesn’t know he doesn’t know what accent she’ll have that day. Sometimes she is Polish, sometimes Chinese, the other times she’s French, Italian, Filipino or South African.
“Some may laugh or mock me through no fault of my own. It’s hard, I feel like I’ve lost a part of my identity.”
Armer suffers from a rare condition called ‘foreign accent syndrome’. According to Daily Mail, it is a speech disorder that causes a sudden change of speech so that a native speaker is perceived to speak with a ‘foreign’ accent.
The disorder has not only affected the way she speaks, it has forced her to quit her job as well. She suffers tremors, is bound to a wheelchair, and can’t drive anymore. Her whole life has changed. She says that people make fun of her and hurl racist comments at her.
“I’ve had people say I sound Chinese all the time. I’ve had people ringing at work laughing down the phone saying ‘can I have chicken fried rice?’. It happens all the time.”
Doctors suggest that the part of the brain that controls language might have been affected by the MRI scan. She says that it just gets very difficult to get though the day as people talk around her, about her.
“It’s so frustrating waking up in the morning and not knowing how you’re going to sound.”
You can watch Ms Armer talking about her condition and putting on a few accents in the video below.
Armer is living with her 71-year-old partner, who respects her and makes her feel loved. He is an awe of how she puts up a smile everyday, when inside her head, she is going through a lot.
May you see better days Ms Armer. Get well, soon.