Feb. 12 (UPI) — An Arizona woman who has woken up with different accents three times in the past seven years said doctors traced the unusual condition to a rare disease.
Michelle Myers, a former beauty queen and mother of seven from Buckeye, said she has never even left the United States, but she woke from a headache-induced nap about seven years ago to find she was speaking with an Irish accent.
Myers said the accent lasted about a week, but about three years later the same thing happened again and she woke with an Australian accent, which also lasted about a week.
Myers said she suffered a headache so severe in 2015 that her right eye went temporarily blind and she couldn’t move the left side of her body. She was taken to the emergency room, where she woke up with a British accent that has been with her ever since.
“Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” Myers told KNXV-TV. “They send in the psychiatrist at the hospital and make sure you’re not a loon.”
Doctors said Myers isn’t “a loon” and she isn’t faking it, she has a condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome, which usually follows a stroke or other condition that causes neurological damage.
Myers suffers from a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which includes rupturing blood vessels, easy bruising and painful joints.
“When I was a little girl I used to always go to my mom and say, ‘my bones hurt,” Myers said.
The former Miss Black Austin Texas said the condition has changed the way she pronounces her children’s names.
“I’m sad,” she said of recalling how she used to speak. “I feel like a different person. The person I am now has been through so much compared to this person.”
Myers said she wants peopled to take her condition seriously.
“Some people think it’s physiological; others think it’s psychological. People like me — we don’t care which one it is. We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that’s going to hurt me, help me.”