Foreign Accent Speech Changes with Video

On May 12th of 2012, I am celebrating the anniversary of a milestone in my life, namely just completing my third year with Foreign Accent Syndrome. It was such a dramatic change in my life that I am thankful I have some audio/video captured to show a bit of the journey for the sake of medical documentation as well as public information.

For those who have not heard my “old” voice (a.k.a. “normal voice”, “real” or “original” voice) here are a couple of pieces wherein I am being interviewed, and another where I am the interviewer as well as much more normal speech patterns.

February 3, 2007 –Before foreign accent: This is a video of me being interviewed after giving a seminar on using new media tool of Flickr and tagging photographs for better communication across the world wide web.

 

May 24,2008 — Here I am both interviewing AND filming a piece about a local ministry that accurately reflects my normal speech BEFORE I got Foreign Accent Syndrome:

THEN IT HAPPENED — MAY 12, 2009 — FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME changes my speech and a big part of me is gone!

May 26, 2009 — 2 weeks – my first radio interview in which I actually tell about how I got it and with my brand new voice!  http://ellen5e.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/wibcinterview090526.mov

June 15, 2009 — 1 month after onset of Foreign Accent Syndrome: here I had an impromptu meet-up with Fishers Fran who occasionally has “bouts of Foreign Accented Speech” when she goes through multiple sclerosis type symptoms. She coined the phrase “flipping” for those times when she goes through it. Most of the time she is normal speaking. She found me via the Indianapolis radio station where I was routinely interviewed.

The June 19,2009 (1 month) video greeting is glued to the top of my Ellen5e.com web site.

 

November 12, 2009 –6 months after onset:

 

May 13, 2010 — at the One Year Mark with Foreign Accent Syndrome:

 

November 13, 2010 — One and a half years with FAS:

 

November 20, 2011 — Two and a half years with FAS (I am behind the camera asking the questions):

 

This is a pretty good library of audio/video documentation for now. I shall have to record some newer material for my actual “FAS birthday”. So you’ll just have to check back later.

I know that part of it is getting more comfortable with unusual sound and speech patterns as well as my avoiding using those words that I know are my “bad” words. Those being the particularly heavy accented or hard to pronounce words that stop a listener from hearing what I am trying to say because they are so hung up on its sound that they are busy figuring out from what country I originate.

In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your observations about what you think of this bizarre Foreign Accent Syndrome. How would you describe my speech? What language do you think dominates the accent? Do you notice a change over time?

Please allow me to thank you in advance for ANY observations you have. Because your unfiltered input helps me better gauge how the general population views those of us with such a rare condition that takes away a part of our identity by making us sound like someone else.

Spaghetti Legs

My legs are spaghetti! There hasn’t been any explanation a lot of debilitating physical trials that I am dealing with lately . In February I had dizziness, and spells of not breathing.  On March 17th I had the symptoms of a heart attack and then started having severe problems walking, thinking and severe fatigue. The weakness is overwhelming and very frustrating.

During a follow up appointment the doctor was performing some routine neurological tests when I realized I had a bad problem. I was not able to balance when standing unsupported and my legs close together–could NOT do it! As soon as I lifted my hands from the support of the exam table and the countertop to stand unsupported; my right leg automatically widened its stance. “No. Put your feet close together,” the doctor repeated, “Now, lift your hands”. Immediately, it happened again! But this time when I forced my right foot closer to my left one, my right leg felt very wobbly and started to shake. On the third try my right leg shook violently and then folded like a ladder. “Oh, oh”… I began to cry as I realized this was not good. I was okay if  I took a wider stance, locked my right knee or had my hand on the counter or a piece of solid furniture, but I was unable to stand independently with my feet close together?

Since I was having super bad fatigue and that makes my Foreign Accent speech much worse, the doctor continued the questions and observations with my husband. They drew a little blood and said to watch for signs of stroke.

The next few days brought increased functioning challenges to the point where I went into the hospital ER and overnight stay. MRI, CT and other tests didn’t show a stroke or tumor, but the medical professionals did not have an explanation for what is happening.

On March 18th I started “wall-walking” (my hand lightly resting along the wall as I walk unless I start to lose balance). Within two days it had gotten much worse; I would “cruise” with “furniture walking” just like a toddler I needed the security of a solid piece of support to grab or catch me if the leg whimped out.

Within four days, I went from unsteady walking to super weak, unreliable right leg and extreme weakness that would not pass even when non-weightbearing. I began to feel as though I was actually losing muscle. I especially became fearful when I would wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning and feel weak/paralyzed in my legs.

Just trying to extend out my leg for five seconds from a seated position was causing a shake and took incredible effort. I was way too weak!! So the neurologist that I saw about a year ago in regard to FAS and headaches saw me for this new problem. She also, did not have an explanation, but ruled out the severe diagnoses of cancer or stroke. The doctor referred me to Physical Therapy treatment and then to follow up with a Psychologist that deals with neurological patients. The latter of which can’t even see me for the first time until eight more weeks!

In the meantime… I am going to PT (physical therapy) and trying to work on my gate. I will talk about that in another post.

It has been a challenge to try to do things by using a walker and getting so extremely tired after doing the smallest little thing. Have you ever thought about how a person prepares their dinner, carries their plate, or vacuums their home?

As difficult as it is to walk, the challenge of keeping my spirit from being sucked down by the sinkhole of no energy and weakness is even harder. The focus of my prayers has been on God . . .  WHAT is going on? WHY is this happening? WHAT am I supposed to do? When symptoms seem to be worsening and not improving, I find it more difficult to “take every thought captive” and aligning it to what God says is TRUE!

I know that depression is a natural reaction to chronic medical conditions, but I am determined to avoid the medical world’s tendency to automatically take an antidepressant pill to deal with the effects. Rather, I am thinking SUPERnaturally; by God’s grace I will remain grounded in God’s Word and in prayer so that I can endure the trial and grow through it rather than be taken down by it.

When the twinges of sorrow and pain grasp me, I  remember that I am held even closer and tighter by our Almighty God who is my strength.

These verses in the Scriptures are very encouraging — James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

This promises that the very reason I am going through this trial is because I was already lacking in something that I will be rewarded with as I continue to run the race . . . even if on spaghetti legs.  TGBG

At the Cross: Dark Lightning. Bright Hope.

20120406-164604.jpg

A great darkness swallowed up the daylight. Lightening pierced the sky as the nails pierced the Savior. The wrath of God fell upon that man. The holiness of God demanded death as the price for sin. All men have sinned… except THIS One.

Jesus paid it all! This spotless Lamb of God sacrificed Himself so that we who were under God’s wrath could now be receivers of God’s love!

The moment had come for which Jesus Christ came. Betrayed, separated from those He loved, wrongly accused, beaten, humiliated, and hung upon a cross for all to watch die.

Can you see Him? Do you know Him? Do you realize that He did this because He was the ONLY One who could?

“IT IS FINISHED,” Jesus declared just before His death.

The very earth shook. Pay attention!! The curtain in the temple separating man from God was torn in two — from top to bottom. The only sinless man to ever walk this earth took upon Himself the punishment for the sins of all time.

We who believe now have access to God through Jesus Christ Our Savior!

Oh what a cost. Oh, what a Savior! There never has been such a great demonstration of sacrifice and love which has given us our joyous life with God; both now and in our hope in the future.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I would really like to hear about your own personal thoughts on these things. Will you please consider responding via a comment?

Have a blessed time of remembrance <3 +