Ep 1: My Story | The Courtenay Turner Podcast
Courtenay Turner [00:00]
Hi, and welcome to The Courtenay Turner podcast. I’m your host, Courtenay, and I’m super passionate about moving and thinking. On this show, we are going to dive into all things health, fitness, personal development, lifestyle, and political socio cultural. I’ve always been fascinated by people. I love learning from the experiences and stories of others. This has been a treat for me. And I hope this is enjoyable and useful for you.
Courtenay Turner [00:26]
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or any way that I can make this a better experience for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out, hey, they’re finally doing this. And super excited to embark on this journey with all of you. And I thought it makes sense for me to start by sharing my personal story. I’m so sorry, saying this, I am a huge believer that one of the things about being human is that none of us escape struggles, challenges, you know, hardships, obstacles in life, that that is a guarantee.
Courtenay Turner [01:02]
However, I think one of the incredible things that he means is our ability to thrive, surmount, you know, the greatest of odds, and also to not only learn from our own experiences, but to learn from the experiences of others. And I think that’s actually something that makes us really unique as a species, you know, I don’t think there are really other creatures that learn from other people’s lessons, and other people’s or other beings, even lessons and hardships and experiences. compositive too.
Courtenay Turner [01:40]
So I think that is something that can be have that’s really unique, and it’s something that we should absolutely take advantage of. And it is part of why I feel it’s really important for me to share my story, because I hope that it will inspire people and hoping that maybe people can learn from me.
Courtenay Turner [02:04]
Because while none of us get out of here without you know, suffering and struggling, and hardship, my story’s definitely somewhat unique in that a lot of my struggles started from birth, I was faced with tremendous physical challenges from a really early age. So I will start also by saying that we are all one in a trillion chance of being born. So we are all miracles, we all have tremendous capacity, unique gifts. You know, so for us, this is a particularly tough time, I think it’s an unprecedent, time to time, a lot of uncertainty. And so, during those times people question a lot.
Courtenay Turner [02:54]
I think that the thing that really helps people is to have a sense of gratitude. And to be really grateful and acknowledge how unique we are, and how unique each and every person is that everybody has. For all the struggles they have for everything they may be dealing with. There’s also unique gifts and something special you have to offer. So I will be sharing my story. Um, so I was born with something called congenital rubella. What that means is that my mom had her measles during the first trimester of pregnancy. And that whole story is a little bit crazy.
Courtenay Turner [03:37]
Neither of my parents were vaccinated, and my father wasn’t vaccinated. He actually contracted the measles and gave it to my mom. He caught it from his doctor from my mom’s doctor sorry, the OB GYN who he was friends with, basically tos together and socialized and the doctor’s wife had been traveling and contracting with German soldiers and give to my father. My father was really sick. He had a fever, delirious fever of over 104 for over a week, and my mom had really mild symptoms, like a rash on her chest.
Courtenay Turner [04:16]
She was pretty convinced though that even though her symptoms were very mild, but she had contracted German measles for my father. They can’t test whether or not you have it, but they can test the titer to see if the baby has it has been affected. They tested it. They tested it as being 112. But it was really wonderful. Anyone who’s dyslexic? I want I’m very grateful for this because Have you read the title correctly? I would have been aborted. That would have been the advice my mother would have received because Lucia Bella babies do not survive very long.
Courtenay Turner [04:55]
If they do their quality of life is very dismal. There’s really no way No, no, there’s a wide range of what the symptoms and the quality of life might be. And so typically, at least at that time, that is what they would have offered. So I’m very grateful that he made a mistake. And I’m here to share this with all of you. And so I’ll tell you a little bit about some of the challenges that I faced. I was born on a Super Bowl Sunday, in middle of a blizzard, and I was not arriving conveniently, I don’t know that I’ve learned my lesson on still valid tardiness on occasion.
Courtenay Turner [05:41]
So my, they tried to induce labor so that my dad could watch the game with his friend, the doctor. And when they shot the epidural, my I had a research crown. So my mom was tired of spinal headache. The first two weeks of my life, she couldn’t hold me she couldn’t lift her head.
Courtenay Turner [06:02]
But when she did, she noticed that when I was rolling up in the top of my head, and she was very concerned, ask them to do all the tests, but the hospital knew that the doctor had made a mistake. And so they were covering for him. And they kept saying the tests were normal. When they in fact, that was not true. And they weren’t covering for him. They kept telling my mom that, you know, baby’s eyes don’t focus because she was asking, why is one I’ve only know from the top of my head.
Courtenay Turner [06:32]
He said, you know, normal visas don’t focus and should we why focusing why, you know, why isn’t the other. And she realized that my maternal grandfather, her father had cataracts at the time, and she said that my left eye looked a lot like his, she finally found a doctor who bombed that I was born with cataracts in my left eye, and they had to remove the cataract. cataract removal back then was very different than this today. Today, it was a routine procedure is minimally invasive. That was not the case back then.
Courtenay Turner [07:12]
So they pulled the IRS, they left debris, and they had to go back in and do what’s called a retinal cleanup. And so when they did that, a few months later, I was only three months old, when we did that first cataract procedure, they found a developing mutation mine, resaved mine, and they confirmed that I was indeed born with congenital rubella. At the time, they weren’t sure what other symptoms or the severity of the condition with me, but they were pretty sure that there would be other complications.
Courtenay Turner [07:49]
They pretty much told my mom the best she could hope for me. They weren’t. We told her the best that they could hope was to find nice institutions for my life. Why don’t you leave? My mom did not take that for an answer. And she was very determined to keep searching for help, and hope. And so we kept going around all the doctors trying to figure out what was going on. And some of the other symptoms that we realized or that I’m significantly hearing impaired, I actually learned how to speak by reading lips, we didn’t know the severity of my hearing loss at the time.
Courtenay Turner [08:30]
I didn’t get hearing me so almost six years old. But it is a very significant hearing loss. So without when hearing me I do not hear very much. I can give you an example. I was in college and the fire alarm went off. And that’s a really loud sound. Right? And I had roommates and they woke me up to tell me you know, fire alarm, and I could hear the slimy distinctive look, the appointing point of me hear me and I was like, Oh, these are my hearing aids squeaking something we’d be back and I was worried that I was waking everybody up.
Courtenay Turner [09:07]
No man put them in. And so I put them in and all of a sudden you hear the fire alarm super loud, super loud. Um, so that gives you a sense of you know, it’s a pretty significant hearing loss. The first time we got hearing me the first thing I actually heard when I stepped outside Mom, what does that noise and my mom told me birds chirping I had never heard it before the Special Thanks okay very like Missy I want to think about that so awesome. So I’m really grateful for modern technology but I was born in a kind of in between time you know their their Avella vaccine had been around for quite a while there were very few rebel be left.
Courtenay Turner [09:50]
Meaning how many rebel clinics at the time was actually only one I went to Roosevelt Institute in New York City. But anyway It was really that in between period where there wasn’t much of the modern medicine modern technology just yet. But also, you know, people really weren’t faced with, at least not in this country, most people was faced with congenital rubella vaccine. It was an interesting time. Some of the other challenges are my growth was stunted I was born asymmetrical bone development, fine graphic motor impairment, missing tinti and hypotonic limbs.
Courtenay Turner [10:33]
This is very low to tell, because a lot of times we put children who are born with hypotonia, into a whole library, and then their muscles atrophy. Fortunately, we had a, we found a baby nurse who suggested put me into a wet sandbox, she had this theory that the wet sandbox would be resistance because you have to fight against the sand. And that they would put toys that were just like slightly outside of my reach. And that I would have to reach for them, which you can see as a very determined personality, and that I would reach for the toys. And she said kids love sand anyway, so it might be fun for her. So that was the hope.
Courtenay Turner [11:17]
The hope was that it would create enough neuromuscular stimulus, and then the resistance would eventually lead to hypertrophy. And fortunately, that didn’t work. And so going into my whole life story, because that will take a while, I’ll tell you the some of the things, you know, that I’m super grateful for is that we did a lot of exercises. And you know, a lot of them were very movement oriented. Some of them were more intellectual visual stimulation, and they were integral to my healing and to my development. Um, and so was the support and the hope of my family, you know, the doctors that were supportive.
Courtenay Turner [12:04]
You know, the technology like hearing aids and contacts, I wore Patrick for my site, and I every other day of my childhood. One of the things that we did, actually, my mom came up with this idea, and my grandfather built it and balance me. And they would make it narrower each week that I had completed it successfully. So they would build the beam, I had to walk on it every day, whether or not I had to patch over my eye or I didn’t. And they didn’t have hearing aids yet. So essentially, I walked on this beam, every other day, I was blind and deaf walking on the scene virtually.
Courtenay Turner [12:42]
When I completed it, then my role was that the team got more challenging. Um, but it was a really, really useful tool in helping me to build proprioception. I don’t get motion parallax, I can account for, you know, like, lack of good perception. intellectually, basically, I measure my dream on vision against my periphery, my periphery is about 60% of what people who have two eyes would be, but I do have some peripheral vision. And so I measure my direct vision against the peripheral vision. And then I get a sense of what their perception would be. Obviously, I’m not doing like a formal calculation in my head all the time. But it is a subconscious calculation, I can account for that, when it can’t account for his motion parallax.
Courtenay Turner [13:35]
That is to give you an example of like, if somebody’s playing catch, you know, to determine where that ball would land or where, where to hold your hand, you know, love or like lacrosse ball, I played the girl to know where to hold it. That is something I cannot account for where even when you’re jumping, knowing where you’re going to land. Um, but developing my sphere developing my proprioception, it has been largely instrumental and really helpful in helping me and compensate for these things and also helping me to build my vestibular sense, which is challenged my theory.
Courtenay Turner [14:14]
Of course, you know, the hypertonia. So the more you can develop your peace, fear, the more you can compensate and adapt. And so, movement has been a huge part of my development, my healing process, because, you know, I think the mind and body are so integrated. Um, you know, certainly so many studies have been done, like one of the biggest tools we have for preventing cognitive decline is actually movement. And I call it movement, not like exercise training, because really, it is about movement. So it doesn’t have to be formal training in the gym. It has to be ways that you challenge yourself and that mind body is integrated and involved in that.
Courtenay Turner [15:01]
So I won’t go on for too much longer, I will be continuing to share more and more of my story. But I wanted to give you kind of a sense of some of the physical challenges that I’ve faced and had to overcome and that I still deal with today. And my hope is really, in sharing all of this with you, is to show the testament of the human spirit, to show that whatever challenges you’re facing, you know, you’re not alone, we all have challenges, you never know what someone is dealing with. But we are also all incredibly gifted, capable, and have the capacity to overcome tremendous odds.
Courtenay Turner [15:49]
I am hoping to explore, you know, other people’s stories of overcoming and finding their voice. So, through this journey, and in talking to other people, I’m going to explore lots of, you know, obviously, mental physical healing, development and improvement. And that is one of my huge passion, but also, you know, personal development, psychological, philosophical, you know, and cultural lifestyle from many different angles. Because I think that, you know, you’re here to explore, to learn to grow, and to evolve individually and as a species, and if I can help contribute toward that, and anyway, then, I feel I have served.
Courtenay Turner [16:40]
So I hope you enjoyed this. I hope that it was useful to you in some way. And I’d love to hear your feedback. I’d love to hear if you have any questions. If there are things you’d like me to talk about on future episodes, then yeah, definitely reach out and connect with me. I look forward to hearing from all of you