On the 26th of December 2021, a strange event had me rethink everything that makes me who I am and everything I took for granted and makes my heart tic without me even noticing how valuable the so-called “little things” are.

It was a lovely day, and all family was en route to celebrate boxing day at Granny. My husband, Colin, was driving, and he made a quick stop at the pharmacy to pick up Granny’s prescriptions.

I remember being starving though, I had been so busy preparing the kids their breakfast and brunch and getting them ready to go that I forgot to eat altogether so we were going to stop for a snack on the way once the prescriptions had been picked up. Because the kids loved McDonalds this was where we were heading.

While the kids and I were waiting in the car for their daddy I was watching the people pass on the street. I noticed that I was seeing floating stains but did not think much about it as I get regular migraines. However, the restaurant sign on our left looked like absolute gibberish and I thought what a strange sign this restaurant had on their front. When my husband came back in the car, I asked him: “What’s the name of that restaurant?” He looked at me a bit strange but carried on driving.

Then I realised that I could not read the road signs either so I told Colin: “This is so strange I cannot read any of this!”

While I was looking by the window and every sign around us looked like gibberish to me.

Amazingly I stayed calm and told my husband or so I thought “This is strange, can you read those signs?”, “What is the name of this restaurant on our left side?”

At this point, Colin looked at me and asked if I was being silly, “Are you joking?” he kept saying, to which I responded that I did not know what he was talking about, I was not joking.

As a matter of fact, and without any warnings I lost the ability to read at first but also to communicate altogether. I had entirely forgotten my mother tongue (French) but I had not lost my internal monologue which is mostly in English those days.

My husband stopped the car as soon as he could and asked me a bunch of questions like counting from 10 to 1, etcetera. But this time I could see cheer panic in his eyes as it turned out I was talking gibberish, apparently each word was replaced by another making my sentences ineligible. I then realised that my speech was different, words were difficult to express. I was so hungry though; I asked my husband to get me food by signing basic gestures like getting my hand to my mouth. He got me a burger and after a few bites, I started to feel normal again until I was in perfect health as if nothing had happened. We decided to make an appointment with my GP and carried on with our day. The kids thought that mummy had a little bit of a brain fart and that was that. (Side note: The sign at the restaurant was reading “Fish n’ Chips”.)

The neurologist later diagnosed an Atypical Migraine, and I got treatment for it.

However, the all experience felt like a wake-up call. Everything could stop in an instant and it was time for me to share my inner world.