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All About Resilience & Rubella – Episode 46 with Courtenay Turner

Welcome back to the All About Audiology podcast. I’m your host, Dr Lilach Saperstein and this is the show where we discuss topics on how audiology affects your life. Some guests come on and share their personal story and their relationship with their journey through hearing loss or being a parent to a child with hearing loss. Other times we have expert guests come and discuss and share their wisdom that they have from experience on a specific topic.

For example, the most recent episode with Dr. Melissa Karp was about sound sensitivities and we touched on auditory processing order. These are topics that people have so many questions about. And I love that when we have these conversations on the podcast, it’s really a way to get to know the topic and understand some of the most common questions, but in a really simple and conversational way so that you don’t really, necessarily realize that you are learning, but you are!

And I’ve also had listeners share with me that even if they don’t have a specific connection or interest in the topic of the episode, they still listen because they feel like so many of the things we discuss can apply to other areas of their life, to parenting, medical advocacy, to learning to stand up for yourself and use your voice.

Well, today’s guest is Courtenay Turner and she shares her story of resilience and what it is like to have hearing loss all throughout growing up that wasn’t necessarily known about or treated and how her life changed once she was able to get the care that she needed.

We’re also going to be having the next several episodes, which are more personal stories, people sharing their journeys which is just my favorite kind of interview to do because I love talking to fascinating and wonderful people around the world and sharing those conversations with you and hearing how they resonate with you. What stood out? What advice do you feel really applies to you? Sometimes you feel that you just really needed to hear that. And I love when that happens in our community.

So, absolutely, tell me how it sits with you. Come and leave your comments on the podcast at Leave a review on iTunes and join our community on Facebook, on Instagram and share your story with audiology.

Dr. Lilach Saperstein: “So, welcome Courtenay and I hope you enjoy this episode.”

Courtenay Turner: “Thank you so much for having me.”

LS: “I’m so excited to hear your story. Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about yourself and what was this right at the beginning of your life, this rubella?”

CT: “Yeah. So, my mother contracted German measles during her first trimester of pregnancy. So, I was born with congenital rubella. I was one of the very fortunate. Lots of rubella babies do not primarily do as well as I did. However, it rendered me with several medical complications not limited to but including bilateral hearing impairment. We actually did not find out that I was hearing impaired until I was about six years old. I got hearing aids at the age of six. I had learned to speak by reading lips.”

LS: “Wow!”

CT: “So, yeah actually my first sound when I did get hearing aids. I stepped outside and asked my mom, ‘What’s that sound?’ It was birds chirping. I had never heard it before. I always get very nostalgic when I think about that. But I had several other complications. I was born with cataracts in my left eye. I am blind in one eye. I can tell you if the lights are on or off. I used to have a little bit more vision but I developed glaucoma, which attacked a lot of the optic nerve. So, my vision was compromised at that point, not that I was ever really functioning because the discrepancy between the two eyes was so great. So, when the strong eye is open, that one takes over. I was also born with hypotonic limbs, which means the muscles in my limbs didn’t develop. My growth was stunted, asymmetrical bone development, fine and graphic motor impairment. I am missing two teeth. There were lots and lots of challenges.”

LS: “Yeah, your parents were very busy with you. Hahaha.”

CT: “They were busy. They actually told my mom that the best she could hope for was to find a nice institution for me to spend my life.”

LS: “Wow!”

CT: “Yeah. Could you imagine? My mom was not taking no for an answer. She didn’t believe it. So, I’m very grateful for that.”

LS: “That’s incredible. So, I can see where you get the whole idea, you know, talking about resilience and overcoming things. You just didn’t let that stand in your way. So, I’m interested in the language development, where you said you learned to read lips, like how much were you able to hear?”

CT: “I have like maybe an 80% hearing loss without my hearing aids. It’s pretty significant. And both ears are about the same. One ear gets more clarity the other ear gets more volume, they kind of balance out, you know. I think it’s like, when you look at the graph, like some frequencies are higher in one ear versus the other. And the other frequencies are higher in the other ear. They’re almost the same, essentially.

Yeah, so I did learn how to speak by reading lips, my first accent was actually almost British, because all of my baby nurses were from British islands. And so, I was watching how their mouth moved, and they move very differently. They’re much more closed and that affects the sound. So, not that my speech was super clear, but it was much more akin to that when I was first learning how to speak.”

LS: “That’s very interesting about the accents, because you’re watching their mouth movements. Wow!”

CT: “Yeah, so I did get hearing aids when I was about six years old. And that was a really interesting story because I was getting chronic ear infections as a kid. And so, of course, when I had an ear infection, I had even more trouble hearing. And my ears were clogged on top of already being hearing impaired. And my hearing loss is nerve deafness. There wasn’t a whole lot that could be done, other than hearing aids. But I had these chronic ear infections. And I remember one time I had an ear infection, and I would always talk to my mom while she did the dishes, and she was doing the dishes. And every time she turned away, she’d go put a dish in. I was like, ‘What, what? I beg you pardon, what?’ And she said, ‘You know what? Maybe we should look into getting you hearing aids just for when you have an ear infection, you know, so you don’t have to keep asking why.’ And we actually had a neighbor who lived diagonally behind us who wore hearing aids. She was very mildly hearing impaired but she was very immersed in the Deaf culture and wore hearing aids, and we were very aware of it.

And so, my mom said maybe I should get hearing aids like her so that you’re not struggling so much. We went to the audiologist and they said she’s got a really significant hearing loss. She needs them full time. I don’t know how she’s even talking. And yeah, so I did get hearing aids at that point, and I remember when you talked about speech development, so I did learn to speak through reading lips, but you know, I definitely struggled with a lot of differentiation in certain words. And I remember in first grade, I got 100 on every spelling test. And then we got to the “S, H, C” chapter and I failed the test. And my teacher and I were very close. Like she ended up going to all of my roller rink birthday parties for years after, gave me like all these ceramic birthday gifts. We were very close. She was totally baffled. Like, ‘I don’t understand what happened. What’s going on?’ I remember, she pulled me to the side and she kept telling me to say, “chair, share.” And I was like, ‘share’, it just made no sense to me. Over and over again, she kept saying it. I’m like, ‘I don’t get it. There is no difference to me.’ And I remember getting so frustrated. I remember it. I was so frustrated. Like there is no difference. It’s share, you know, whatever word I made up but I just couldn’t tell the difference.

So, we went to speech therapy. My speech therapist Nance, her name is Nancy but I called her Nance was actually from San Francisco. So, I just think it’s interesting because growing up people always thought I have a California accent and it makes sense because I grew up in Southern California, but it’s kind of funny. But they would always tell me when I’m really tired or drunk, I sound British. And I’m like, well, this makes sense. You know, I learned how to speak from somebody who’s from California. And my initial speech patterns came from, you know, British people. So, it makes sense.”

LS: “It just goes to show how your environment affects what your input is. If you’re spending hours and hours a day with someone who’s helping you learn to speak and they speak a certain way, you’re gonna learn that way. I can’t imagine how much you were compensating, like how hard you had to work in order to do anything with that level of hearing loss and no awareness of it for so long.”

CT: “Totally. Even now, there’s tremendous compensation. You know, when I first moved to California, I had a roommate I lived with for literally four months and she was Russian-Israeli. She had a very thick thick accent. And one day she says to me, ‘Is my accent so terrible because you never understand anything I’m saying?’ And I said to her, ‘No, it’s not you, it’ me. I’m deaf.’ And she says, ‘You don’t have to make excuses. I know my accent is really bad.’ “

LS: “Way to bury the lead! You don’t tell people that!”

CT: “I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not deaf, but like, really, I’m significantly hearing impaired’ and she didn’t believe me. She was like, ‘No, no, I’ll work on my accent.’ And I, you know, I took my hearing aids out and I showed her and she said, ‘Oh, shoot. Is that why when I go into the other room, or I turn away, you don’t hear me? You read lips?’ I’m not aware at this point how much I still depend on it but I do. It’s been really hard now with everybody wearing a mask. I have no idea what people are saying. I’m like, ‘Okay.’ Yeah.”

LS: “It’s definitely a challenge. We’re all talking about that and how the ones with the little window with the plastic, that’s a great idea. But you’re really coming up with the fog issue. And so, then it’s like, well, it’s very clever, but what how do you deal with the fog? And then people are having all sorts of ideas like put shaving cream on it, so it doesn’t fog up and I was like, but then you’re inhaling that shaving cream. I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea. Hahaha. Right? So, there are still a couple of kinks to work out. It’s just important to be safe above all.

But communication is definitely challenged. So, tell me more about what happened as you continued on in school.”

CT: “School was definitely challenging because I’m visually impaired as well. And I have the graphic motor impairments. So, I write very slowly. So, it’s really hard for me to see the board, try and read the teachers lips and write. It’s actually almost impossible for me. I’m very fortunate that through most of my schooling I could kind of get by. I just did whatever I could do to get by. When I got to college, I was like, you know what, I want to do really well. So, I am going to ask for note-taker and that will make my life so much easier. And I’m legally entitled to it. So, I went and I asked and I remember whoever it was that I asked, you know, for these accommodations, he looked at me and said, ‘You are doing fine.’ And I remember I got so mad, I said, ‘Well, what if I wanted to do great!’

He was like, ‘You’re doing fine. Why are we concerned? If you’re having problems, you can come back.’ And I remember being so angry, because I saw these other people who were visibly, you know, like in wheelchairs, but they didn’t have hearing challenges. They didn’t need note takers. You know, they may have had other challenges and, you know, I fully respect that they should get accommodated for those challenges. But I remember being so upset that they weren’t helping me because it didn’t serve an agenda, like I wasn’t physically challenged, and my grades were fine. So, it was kind of like, ‘Well, why bother?’

And that’s not really right. You know, just because I was able to compensate doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have done better or been better served, if I had gotten accommodations. The amount of effort that I had to put in and really what I was missing in the process, you know, just because I was able to compensate and I was fortunate enough to have the aptitude to be able to compensate, and I’m very grateful for that. There’s still so much more that I could have ascertained if I had had help. So, I remember that day being really frustrating. And I remember it being the first time where I had really made that conscious effort. I think, before that, I was really just kind of like, okay, I’ll just do what I can do. And yeah, I did do fine so it was okay.”

LS: “And how did that experience affect your self advocacy in other situations? You finally put your hat in the ring and said, I’m going to go and ask for help and then you got turned down?”

CT: “I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it, but I think it must have had a huge impact because I’ve never really advocated after that. And I pretty recently actually was going to go back to school, do my postback and go down a medical path. I was not 100% sure what path that would be, whether it be naturopathic or PA (Physician Assistant) but you know, looking to do my postback in the medical field. I had been discouraged from doing any medical or law degree, because I had a major spike in the intraocular pressure with glaucoma when I was in college and my eye doctor at the time said mostly to my mom, but you know, he strongly urged me as well to not go down that path because he was afraid I would lose vision in my strong eye from all the strain, with that kind of amount of reading.

But then recently I was like, ‘No, I think we can get big print, we can do stuff on the computer.’ And I had gone back for some classes. And I remember it was again a huge challenge. I sat up in front, I was trying to see the board. And I remember trying to advocate but one of the professor’s I couldn’t hear him at all. He was sitting behind his desk, and his lips would be covered right here. And so then he would turn away or go to the board and I’m like, so now I get none of what he’s saying really. And I can barely see the board. I was taking my phone to take screenshots and then zooming them and then trying to take notes. And I got so frustrated. I was like, this is just not worth it for me. It’s taking the fun out of the learning.

I had gone and asked for accommodations once again. And they were like, we’ll have somebody in the class who’s already taking notes to send their notes to you. And I actually found out and I was so upset about this, but I found out that I have a friend who her job is to do the captioning for the school that I was at. And that’s what she does. And I didn’t even know that her services existed when I went to advocate, they didn’t tell me that that existed. They were like, yeah, we’ll have somebody in your class, take notes and send it to you.”

LS: “I mean, if it’s an official, just for our listeners, if it’s an official relationship that the student has permission from the department, they can hire someone who’s a student in the class, and then they need to pay them to compensate them for their service. That’s like, all around that story doesn’t suit anybody.”

CT: “When I found out that that was my friend’s job, I found this out like long after taking class and because I had kind of given up, you know It was like, I’m going to do the best I can in this class, get whatever I can but I’m not continuing because I was getting zero help. And it was so frustrating. I really was catching like 10% of what the professor was saying. But then I found out that this was actually her job at that school and I didn’t even know her services existed when I had specifically gone down to the department and requested. So, yeah, that was years later, but in college I kind of just gave up and I’ve never been one to fight for any kind of advocacy. I’ve always just kind of done whatever I could do. You know?”

LS: “Well, I mean, I did hear you say that you lived with someone for four months and never told them you had hearing loss. Hahaha. So, that was a clue.”

CT: “So, actually I have a really funny story. In college, there was a guy who I was introduced to at a party. Gorgeous guy, he was Captain of the lacrosse team. I had a huge crush on him and my friend introduces me to him and so I introduced myself, assuming he doesn’t know who I am, of course, right? And he’s like, ‘Yeah, just go ahead. Just ignore me like you always do.’ I’m like, what are you talking about? And he’s like, ‘Please, you sit across from me in class, like I see you every day.’ And I knew this, but I didn’t think he knew who I was. And I said, ‘I never ignored you.’ So, he says, ‘Yeah, you always ignore me. Like I always say, ‘Hello’, when you’re on the main path in school.’ And I said, ‘You know, if you’ve ever said hello, I didn’t see you or didn’t hear you.’ And he said, ‘Right. So, make sure you tell me you’re like, deaf or something.’ And I was like, ‘Well…’

We ended up having an argument back and forth. And I took my hearing aids out and I showed him and he was like, ‘Wow, I’m kind of a-hole.’ I didn’t say anything. But it’s really interesting. That’s a funny story but its really interesting, other people’s perspective because, you know, it’s not something any other people expect. They don’t expect somebody doesn’t hear you. They usually take it personally, like they’re offended, you didn’t understand me or you’re not listening, you’re not paying attention.

And I remember even as very little kid I was always dealing with that. People would say, ‘You’re playing games, you’re not paying attention.’ Like, no, I’m really not hearing you.”

LS: “And that’s why it’s so important when we speak to people who need hearing aids and don’t want to get them or their children need hearing aids and they have a lot of resistance and stigma. The person is going to get resistance and stigma one way or the other. Either it’s going to be about hearing aids, and why do you need to wear those and all the stories about that, or it’s going to be like you said about their behavior, that they miss things and they don’t get the jokes. And when everyone’s whispering about this other kid, they miss it. So, then there’s like social implications for that. So yeah, that’s super, super important.”

CT: “Totally. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been much more vocal about it. Mostly for other people. You know, I don’t want them to feel like I’m not listening, not paying attention, or for us to have communication blocks. It’s for them to understand, okay, I am hearing impaired, there may be things I miss, especially if I’m far away, or I’m not facing you, and I can’t read your lips, you know. So, that they’re aware, I think it just makes both of our lives easier.”

LS: “The other thing you mentioned before about the whole concept of disabilities, and how different disabilities are different, and even the word disability upsets some people and for other people it is empowering. And they say, ‘Well, I have a disability and this is what I need. So, what’s the story? And also, I’ve noticed you that you use the term hearing impaired where a lot of other people want to use the term hard of hearing, and that they don’t feel impaired. And it’s like, there’s so much more that goes into it. That’s about your identity, how you show up in the world. And I think everyone should just do what they do. Like it’s your choice, what words you’re going to use.”

CT: “That’s actually a really interesting point because I was mainstreamed. You know, I was never immersed in a Deaf community or blind community or, you know, I was never put into any kind of disability or special needs kind of programs. And I’m very grateful for that. Honestly, I think that that while there was a lot of challenges for me to overcome, having been dealt with that, I’m having to keep up, but I’m very grateful nonetheless.

But the interesting part of it is that I’ve always felt like I was caught in between worlds because I am hearing impaired. It is an impairment. I mean, human beings are designed with two ears to hear. It’s a huge part of their functioning. You know, that’s not to say I’m less of a human or the other people who don’t hear at all. But it is something that they have a challenge with. Every human being has challenges. That is one of my challenges. I have lots of other challenges that happens to be one of them.

And so, people who are very immersed in a deaf culture, they have a community. And I know some people are, you know, almost militant about it like it’s their community and they advocate for it. And one of the great things about that is that as human beings, we’re social creatures, and we do have a need for belonging and for community and for support. And so I think it’s beautiful for people who want that to have that. Because I never grew up with that, that’s never resonated for me. But I have always been kind of in between worlds because I feel like, it’s not like they’re gonna accept me because I didn’t grow up in a Deaf community. I don’t sign.”

LS: “I’m glad you mentioned this. It’s almost exactly what Toby said. She was on one of the earlier episodes. I’ll link that in the show notes too. And she said exactly, ‘One foot in this world, on foot in that world and you’re kind of stuck in between’ no matter where you are on the spectrum, you’re always going to kind of be stuck in there. So, I think a very important part of this podcast and our community is to make room for everybody. And you know, that there should just be understanding that one person’s experience is totally not another person’s experience. And there’s so many factors: where you grow up, and what family you have, what resources you have, how much hearing loss you have, like all those things with come into it.”

CT: “Absolutely, I do think for children, it is so important that they do be, regardless of whether you mainstream them or not, that as soon as you can provide support, whether it be to get hearing aids, cochlear implant, or to, you know, whatever you can do to give them as much exposure, is so important for the brain development.”

LS: “Including if that’s going the sign language route, then you need to have enough language input for that to be meaningful.”

CT: “Absolutely. As a kid, I did a lot of mimicking, because I wasn’t hearing and some communication is nonverbal, right? So, I would just watch what people were doing and try to communicate. And I actually created something called bubble land because, you know, kids are not always super accepting and I was definitely a little bit different. And so, I thought, ‘Okay, well, I may not perfectly fit into your world. So, I’m going to create my own world and you have to be invited by me, obviously, to come into my world. And you had to blow bubbles to get there.’ I was obsessed with bubbles. I loved bubbles, and we spoke gibberish. And it was really interesting because children are masters of improv. One of the rules of improv is to say, “yes and,” never “no, but”. It was always “yes and” and they just accept the premise and go along with it.

And what was so fascinating is that we always understood each other perfectly, because so much of communication is nonverbal. And I think that that’s a huge part of whether it’s going to be sign language or whether it is going to be reading lips or speech, for the children to continue to have whatever practice that is going to be with other people. Even today, I miss things. I am so good at picking up the nonverbal cues. So, when people are talking to me through the mouth, I may not know exactly what they said, I had a really good idea because I’m so used to picking up the nonverbal cues and having had that practice with the gibberish.”

LS: “Children are amazing, and children are so adaptable. They’re so resilient and just do whatever they need to do to, like you said, get to belonging and get that connection. And sometimes that is actually a survival technique in situations where it may not be the best thing for them, but they’re gonna still do anything to get that connection. So, then when we grow up, we start to realize, hey, some of those things that I maybe did as a kid to protect myself, were not so healthy in the long run.”

CT: “Or they may have been healthy at the time. That’s the other thing that I think that we don’t always realize is that we develop coping mechanisms that may serve us at one point. And that doesn’t mean they serve us forever throughout our whole life. So, what we get to do as adults is assess which coping mechanisms are serving us and which ones aren’t. Which ones do we want to keep? Which ones do we want to shift and what new ones do you want to take on?”

LS: “I’d love to hear more about what you do now.”

CT: “So, I am in a whole transition, which lots of people are feeling while they are doing their shelter in space. But I am in the process of developing a show and I just got my teaser done. Well, it’s not completely done, but I got the first cut ready so it’s ready to pitch pretty soon. And it’s a brand that I trademarked. It is called WIM, what is movement? And we explore ways that movement helps people to heal mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

So, my premise is that all human beings are designed to move and the ways in which we do are our unique creative expressions. So, I interviewed movement artists, athletes, performance artists, everyday people who love to move and feel that it’s somehow been an integral part of their lives, healing and overcoming. So, I am working on that. I also speak and I share my story. And a lot of times when I do speaking, I perform aerial acrobatics, to show people what is possible when people thought it wasn’t. And that is really my main theme, that I want people to see past the limiting beliefs that have either been internalized or handed to them and to move past that. Because I’m not somebody who doesn’t think that we’re invincible. You know, all human beings have limitations. But often those limits are so far beyond what we think they are. And I feel like I’m a testament to that exactly. They said for me to go spend my life in an institution and here I am. So, I’m really passionate about that.”

LS: “Yeah. And when I see your Instagram stories, and you’re doing like pull ups, and I don’t know what else, hahaha.”

CT: “I do CrossFit as well, I perform aerial acrobatics, and I’m really passionate about movement. I think movement has been a huge part of my healing journey. But it’s also a huge part of life. I always say, “movement is a metaphor for life”. I was a philosophy major, I guess I’m pretty much just a philosopher. I spent most of my life studying the human psyche, whether it was the philosophical, psychological, metaphysical or physiological aspects. But I do think movement is such a huge metaphor, and it’s such a great teacher because it teaches us really about work ethic, resiliency, how to overcome obstacles and challenges. And it teaches us so much about who we are in the face of adversity. Like, how do we handle things because it’s so concrete. When you’re up against a physical challenge, it’s right there, you either tackle it or you don’t, and you get to look at what works, what doesn’t work. I always say life is all about assessing risk versus reward. And so that’s what we’re constantly doing. And if it’s worth the risk, then you have to put the work in in order to get the reward.”

LS: “That’s wonderful. Thank you, Courtenay, for coming on to the All About Audiology podcast and sharing your story with us. And before you go, I do want to ask you, if you have one piece of advice for our listeners, for parents of children with hearing loss, who are in the position of placing some of those beliefs in their children, and the professionals that work with them, what would you say to them?”

CT: “I would say, so obviously, it varies because there’s a huge spectrum of hearing and what is possible. I think the most important thing to do as a parent is one: communicate. So, even if your child is completely deaf, continue! Don’t give up communication with them because if they can see, they can see your lips moving, they can read your body language, they know you’re engaging with them. That is so important for their development, to have that connection for that learning process for the brain development. So, I think some parents get very frustrated and feel like it’s not worth it and they think, ‘they can’t hear me’ and I don’t think that’s true at all. They could feel vibrations. Playing music, dance with them, all of that stuff is so important, even if they have zero hearing. And if they have a little bit of it, they’re going to be picking up so much more than you think.

The second thing I’d say is do not give up hope. Do all the research possible. So, if you are given a diagnosis, let’s say you’re given a really devastating diagnosis from a doctor, you’re not going to just take that as face value, right? You’re probably going to go get a second opinion. And I strongly urge parents to do that. Do as much research is possible. Find out exactly what is their hearing? How much do they have? What are the possibilities? Why are they not hearing? Are they a candidate for cochlear implants? Can they get hearing aids? Can they get tubes? There’s so many possibilities, and I strongly encourage you to do as much research as possible. See what’s available.

The third thing that I think is super important is to build a support system. I think a lot of times when we face challenges in life, you know, it’s very easy for people to be consumed. There is like a system. It’s called power bad basically and this is biological. So, for survival reasons, human beings are much more tuned in to bad things. Because, for instance, if we are being hunted by a lion, it is much more important for us to be aware of that lion than it is to smell the roses in front of us. So, that’s why they say, it takes something like five compliments to outweigh an insult. And so a lot of times, you know, when you’re hearing a negative prognosis or diagnosis, people get very anxious and consumed by that and it feeds into the people around us. So, I think it’s really important to make sure you have support. And if the people directly around you are not persuaded and able to become your support system, go find other people for support because we need that support, especially in times of adversity.”

LS: “Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Those are three excellent tips. In fact, they’re a lot of what’s included in the free guide that I have. The five step guide to navigating your child’s hearing loss has all of those elements. So, look at that. I think I included that, I got them all. And if anybody wants to go and download that, it’s available at You can really see how I outline those steps and how you have to figure out what your next step is, but also see the whole journey at once.

Courtenay, thank you so much for coming. If anybody wants to find you or follow you, where do you hang out?”

CT: “Definitely come find me on Instagram @kineticcourtz.”

LS: “Okay and we will link that in the show notes as well.”

CT: “Thank you.”

LS: “It was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.”

Thank you so much Courtenay for coming on the show. For any of you that are on Instagram, definitely follow @kineticcourtz to watch Courtenay do some incredible things. Recently she’s been doing aerial, when there’s that giant piece of material hanging from the ceiling, and then there’s all sorts of acrobatics. It is fun, I enjoy your stories. And I just wanted to tack on to the end of this episode a little bit about rubella, because as most of you know, there is the MMR vaccine, measles, mumps, rubella. Three diseases that really have been well under control for many decades because of those vaccines. And Courtenay was born at a time that was kind of in between. It was before everyone was doing the vaccine and before there was a lot of knowledge about this. Still in other parts of the world that don’t have that kind vaccination, rubella still exists, and many tens of thousands of children contract the disease and have subsequently hearing loss as a result of rubella.

And so, the reason I wanted to just mention this is because historically, there were many, many cases of rubella, of children with congenital rubella and hearing loss and other different conditions because of it. And that was much, much more common, you know, several decades back. Around the sixties when the vaccine became more available and more widely used, this kind of changed. And so, in the context of the history of the medical, the public health sort of history of what are the causes of hearing loss, the cause of rubella did go down, but this is something that’s still exists around the world. And, in fact, Courtenay shared with me that she was born in the late seventies. However, her mom just didn’t get the vaccine. So, even though it was mostly available, this was kind of at the tail end of rubella clinics in New York City.

So, that’s just a little extra thing that I wanted to mention and hear if anyone else has experience or thoughts on the history of how rubella used to be a much more common cause of hearing loss, and thankfully has now been much reduced. In any case, I’m so, so grateful to Courtenay for sharing her inspiring message with us. And I am grateful that you are a listener to the show. As always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. If this is an episode, or anything that we mentioned today resonates with you or you want to share with a friend, please share this with your colleagues, your students, your friends, and anyone who can benefit from the conversations we’re having on the All About Audiology podcast.

And again, thank you to the patrons who support the show. You can visit to learn more about becoming a patron and the benefits that you can get over there. I can’t wait to share the next several episodes with you so stay tuned.

I’m Dr. Lilach Saperstein and this is the All About Audiology podcast.

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