Video Greeting from Eastside Ellen

Just a quick heavily accented video greeting for you… THANKS FOR VISITING MY SITE.

Video – Eastside Ellen Speaks About Life with Foreign Accent Syndrome.

 

I hope you will continue to pray for productive research in regard to striving to understand what causes Foreign Accent Syndrome and how it may be treated.A speech related Bible quote for you:  “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” —1 John 3:18/NIV

 

What can we do?

I see it happening again. I have a column on my Tweetdeck where I keep my ear out for people talking about Foreign Accent Syndrome. Since local doctors don’t have a protocol for how to help me, I am forced to do anything I can to help myself.

What I am seeing now is another wave of people learning of Foreign Accent Syndrome for the first time. It has been over sixteen months since my adventures into the world of a foreign sounding person started. I had so hoped that my speech would have returned as quickly and magically as it had changed. But No! I’m still having to think very hard when I speak to correct such things as “what you are looking for?” when I ask my husband what he is searching for. I make myself “fix” things, because I don’t won’t to have them get worse.

The word “people” still wants to come out “Pee-pools” and lately I’ve had a very difficult time saying “wolf”. The long “A” sound is always a tough one especially at the beginning of a word.  The word “yes-ter-day” was one of the very first words to give me repeated trouble in pronunciation as it sounds like I am slamming a stop in between each syllable…but I don’t seem to be able to smooth it out. Grr!  Then there’s probably one of the kid’s favorites… “Dar”….. as in “their dog” or “it’s over there” … only it comes out dahr.

Sorry for the side note of frustration, but as I see the Autumn leaves preparing for winter and hard times ahead, I am also in dread. My husband has been out of work from a job he had for 16 years and our income and benefits are drastically changing because of it. That means that I am even more likely to have to continue suffering on my own without any help to try and make things better.

You see it’s not just accented speech. It’s all the effort that goes into trying to correct the sounds and place the words in the proper order and put the stress and rhythm in the right place on TOP of the scrutiny I receive for sounding so profoundly different.

Here is  a link to a current article making the internet buz with comment on FAS   http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/20/when-brain-damage-makes-you-sound-foreign/?hpt=T2

As I see these people commenting on articles that they’ve just seen about Foreign Accent Syndrome, some people are genuinely shocked or intrigued. However, there are so very many who comment cruelly on the misfortune of others, saying it’s fake or a ploy for attention, or they wish they could sound a certain way like that. Oh my!

I want so very much to connect with other scientists, sufferers, speech pathologists, but I am out of resources. I am relying on my writing, the internets reach, networking and the power of prayer to try to get something positive done before a long, cold, depressing winter sets in.

I invite you to look around on this website for other articles with the tag “fas”. In particular I posted one called “WHAT IT WAS VS. WHAT IT IS“.  Many of these posts have links In which you will hear for yourself what a profound change took place in my voice within two days time.

So the question remains; what can we do? I am one who would gladly subject myself to testing for the benefit of scientific understanding, but have no insurance, research or other monies to do so… even if a doctor or university jumped on the chance to study the phenomena. Being a formerly pre-medical and now freelance graphic artist communicator, I am a trained observer so I have tons of useful data, but what authority will gather and effectively use it for the greatest benefit?  What CAN we do?

World Getting Smaller

Recently I have been amazed at just how small the world seems as I am now able to make more friends who want to learn more about foreign accent syndrome almost daily via the power of the world wide web.

If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know how frustrated I am by the limited amount of information about Foreign Accent Syndrome. I had a bit of a breakthrough last week as friends and Tweets pointed me to a newer case that has been widely publicized regarding a lady in the UK suddenly speaking with a Chinese accented voice after suffering a migraine.

The BBC did a story, CNN and other news articles suddenly popped up all over the place. I really believe I know how she feels as she is tired of the novelty of the fact that she sounds different. I know what she means when she says that she want her “real” or “old” voice back. As a result, I sought to contact Sarah and have since connected. I look forward to speaking with her by phone sometime soon, but in the meantime we are in touch across the ocean and time zones via internet.

Then, there was a television program that aired on the Science Channel, but which we don’t have that broadcasting channel. The title of the episode is called “Secret Life of the Brain: Losing Myself.” (If you discover a link or another broadcasting please let me know in the comments).  Though I have not seen it, apparently, it touched on Foreign Accent Syndrome and raised a lot of interest from people who had never heard of it before. Twitter was alive with people who couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

Through those Tweets I discovered some new contacts, one of which is a French speaking writer of medical papers who writes “The Brain From Top to Bottom” (here is a link).  Those writings helped me learn even more about the brain and how it functions or dysfunctions.

With this sudden influx of interest maybe there will be some advances in the study and dissemination of scientific research. We can share in the hope of knowing that people are taking the matter seriously. We can share our struggles and insights to encourage one another. That would be an answer to the prayers of the few who are having to endure living with such a rare disorder that so profoundly affects their identity, that is  not easily explained and to which there is no accepted treatment or cure.

Since we have used the internet to shrink the world, maybe now it is time to use that same mode to make awareness larger in the world.