It Takes a Village

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Parenting is so very hard. I’m pretty sure it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m responsible for someone else’s health, safety, and the future outcome – that can be overwhelming at times, especially if you feel in over your head. Especially, if your children are struggling. And, right now, my girls are struggling. Not with the normal trouble sleeping at night or being whiney or fighting or complaining over every little thing. Those things are hard, but those things I can handle. No, my girls are struggling with big things. With panic attacks and anxiety and, apparently, PTSD from a part of our story that I wish was so very different. But, as I can’t change the journey we are on, I can hope to change the effects of that journey. So, here we are. In the middle of big, hard things that feel over our head.

I hope that this is never something that you encounter. I hope this article is not something you ever have to refer to or use. But, I also know that I’m not the only one. There are so many different levels of hard and journeys that feel all uphill and storms that find their way into the middle of our perfect happily ever after.

So, I wanted to compile some resources. Some places and people that are trained and qualified to help us with the hard that blindsides us from left field. A place parents could come to when they feel like they are at their wit’s end. A place where the community comes together and you find a village to help you help your children become their best versions… help them hold onto their childhood.

This is not to say these are the only resources available, but these are some that we have used and have helped and are continuing to help us along this way. If anyone knows of others that have helped them, or something that I have missed, please add in the comments below for additional resources.

Achieve Pediatric Therapy and Rehab

(806) 853-9740

5211 79th St, Lubbock, TX 79424

achievepediatrics.com

Achieve offers a specialized team of therapists that use a holistic and caring approach to improve the quality of life for children living with developmental delays, learning disabilities, sensory integration dysfunction, ADD/ADHD, autism, meal-time and feeding difficulties, and other special needs, allowing them to achieve success in all activities of their daily lives. Achieve offers occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy services. Therapy services provided are individualized and tailored to meet the needs of each child served. Parent/caregiver education is also provided to ensure the best possible outcome. They say their responsibility is to provide the best service possible to their families and patients by helping them navigate the therapy process, including assisting in understanding insurance, working with their schedules, and helping them find a therapist that fits with their specific needs.

Both of my girls have used speech therapy here as well as some additional help with food aversions and sensory issues. I have been most pleased with their progress and that they enjoy going! The staff is very creative in finding a solution that works for each child’s individual needs even if what works one day, does not work the next! And it’s always helpful that my girls look forward to their sessions!

Kelly Martin, MEd, LPC-S, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor

Founder, The Playroom Lubbock

(806) 340-0715

www.playroomlubbock.com

Children naturally communicate through play. Play therapy is counseling for kids using play as a way to communicate their needs and desires. Children communicate about their world and process their life experiences through play and through a safe and understanding relationship with the play therapist. 

“Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development.” (Association for Play Therapy)

We used Kelly’s services for both girls right after we lost our daughter, Sayge when they were three and five years old. We have returned to her to help with new issues that have arrived as the girls have gotten older, six and nine, and their brains have developed more and process things differently. Both girls see Kelly as a friend and my oldest has exclaimed her complete trust in Kelly and in being confident in opening up to her about her struggles.

Kelly also offers a kids yoga program in the summers that will be soon expanding. Yoga has helped center my girls as well as teach them about self-calming methods and life balance. 

Sylvan Learning of Lubbock

4601 S Loop 289 #23

(806) 749-6533

locations.sylvanlearning.com

Because of their grief, both my girls struggled with keeping up in their schoolwork. And honestly, I was not mentally in a place where I could help them effectively. So, both girls fell WAY behind. Due to a PTSD diagnosis, one of them has struggled with memory retention, and I was so concerned she would not be able to ever grasp what was being taught to her. Which is so hard, because I know they are smart. I know that they have beautiful brains that are aching for knowledge. Sylvan has been a lifesaver. The program that they use works at the child’s own pace and doesn’t let them move forward until they have mastered their current skill set. Both girls are on the path to not only catching up but excel past their current grade level! I just have to drop them off into the capable and caring hands of teachers that actually know what they are doing. It’s less stress for all of us!

Foundation Health and Wellness

6701 Aberdeen Ave #11

(806) 687-9355

fhwlubbock.com

Chiropractic treatment can be used to treat a wide variety of physical issues, such as migraines and headaches, chronic pain, carpal tunnel, pain due to injury or muscle strain, and much more. All three of my babies received chiropractic adjustments from Jared Carey at FHW. I believe this aided in helping them sleep better and overall comfort. Going through the birth canal can be hard on their little bodies, too! There are many different chiropractic companies to choose from and do good work, but there are some additional things that FHW provides that can not be found anywhere else.

For instance, the Theta Chamber: Alive Innovations states that the Theta Chamber treats neurological problems at their deepest levels. There are a number of different ways this machine can be used to stimulate neurological health and healing. One of the main modalities is used to help patients recover from repetitive, unhealthy habits, such as addictions. It is also effective with mental/emotional instabilities, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

https://aliveinnovations.com/holistic-healing-equipment/theta-chamber/

Light bed: The LED Light Bed accelerates the body’s natural healing mechanisms while simultaneously combating toxins and foreign pathogens. Activated ATP stimulates white blood cells that work to repair damaged tissues, and increases collagen production that builds elasticity in the skin and can aid in wound healing.

https://aliveinnovations.com/holistic-healing-equipment/

Hyperbaric Theta Cube: According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. Your blood carries this oxygen throughout your body. This helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

https://aliveinnovations.com/holistic-healing-equipment/hyperbaric-cube/

AO scanner: Using European technology, the AO Scan Full Body Analyzer helps practitioners determine the root cause of a symptom by scanning the entire body of the patient.  A vitals scan performs a full body scan of over 550 functions of the body in less than a minute. A 24-page report is generated that practitioners and patients can use to make educated decisions regarding additional comprehensive body scans and further treatments.

https://aliveinnovations.com/holistic-healing-equipment/ao-body-scanner/

Refuge Services

8405 South M.L.K. Jr Blvd

(806) 748-7202

refugeservices.org

Refuge Services is a horse ranch right on the outskirts of town that provides hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, Equine-assisted psychotherapy, and Veteran programs. My daughters are participating in some of these therapies currently and I have seen drastic improvements with their moods and anxiety. It is something I don’t feel a lot of people know about and is way underutilized. Their website states “hippotherapy can help many children with physical or cognitive disabilities, whether mild or severe. Walking, endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination may improve. Fine and gross motor skills may increase, as well as the attention span and communication skills of the child. Including amputations, autism, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, cardiovascular accident, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, post-polio, speech impairments, stroke, emotional disabilities, Spina Bifida, hearing impairments, spinal cord injuries, learning disabilities, and visual impairment.”

Xtreme Karate

5015 University Ave, Suite A9A

(806) 319-5081

https://www.facebook.com/XtremeKarateLubbock/

Another resource that we have fully utilized is Xtreme Karate. Gracelyn has benefited from this most in helping her gain self-confidence, self-control, and a healthy way to work through anger and aggression. As kind-hearted as she is, grief still builds up as frustration that is hard for a nine-year-old brain to process. There have been so many times where she has come to me asking for help to get out all of these angry feelings. And, although play therapy can help, learning a healthy way to focus that energy and release it is also so positive for her. (And her momma!) Xtreme Karate is not like some other sport system, where they just take your money and throw your kid into the middle of it. The black belt teachers are very in tune with each child’s level and needs and where they are coming from. They focus on teaching them skills and situations to help overcome current struggles and prepare them with skills to help them succeed in the future. This place has been a life-changer for us and I highly recommend every child go through their program, whether they are struggling with big things, or not. 

Last, but not least, another fun one that we like is:

Soothing Foot Spa and Tea Bar

5217 82nd St suite 115

(806) 783-0500

Organicfacts.net states that “the benefits of reflexology include its ability to stimulate nerve function, increase energy, boost circulation, induce a deep state of relaxation, and eliminate toxins from the body. Moreover, it helps stimulate the central nervous system, prevent migraines, and treat urinary tract conditions. This type of massage speeds up recovery after an injury or surgery, reduces sleep disorders, and relieves depression and pain. It also helps in relieving side effects associated with cancer treatment and even soothe the pain of pregnancy, even the one occurring after delivery.” Soothing Foot Spa and Tea Bar provides a soothing environment for reflexology and relaxation and a thirty-minute foot massage! Can we just pause for a moment to thank God for bringing this glorious service into our big town of Lubbock, Texas? Praise the Lord, people. Everything about this is amazing.  My husband and I, and both my kids have received treatments here and have thoroughly enjoyed our experience and the price. If anything, this is a great gift option for something different and is a fun outing for you and your daughters or even a date night. And it always lifts the spirits!

So, if you reach a point in your parenthood when your heart is breaking for your child that is hurting big but your words can’t reach them and your love isn’t enough to rescue them, know that you can still do more. Know that there is still hope waiting for you. And what a difference can still be made. Know that right now doesn’t have to be forever. Reaching out to others, saying you need help, that you can’t do this alone, maybe one of the best, biggest things you could ever do for them. And always remember, you are never in this alone. This band of mothers is here for you. Always. 

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Jena Massie
Hello all! I am a mother of three girls. Gracelyn is 8, Alise is 6, and Sayge went to Heaven at 7 weeks old. (SUIDS, which pretty much means they have no idea why she died) I was a social worker/admissions coordinator at Carillon Nursing Home in my previous life, and had quit to stay home to raise my kiddos after we had our youngest. I’m very active in kickboxing, Karate, and sparring. I know, crazy, but it has been my saving grace in dealing with the loss of our daughter. I have a fb page we had created to give out information for her funeral that turned into Letters to Sayge, and an instagram account Whispersofcourage where I try to infuse hope into the idea of going through life after the loss of a child. I also am a Lubbock coordinator for the West TX Chapter of a group called Hope Mommies that provides local support for mothers and families who has suffered child loss. I grew up on a farm in a small town. Met my husband, Shawn, in college at ACU, who I have been married to for 13 years and counting and is the love of my life. My main goal is simply to make a difference in the lives of others, while living this life to the fullest, and sharing the hope of Christ along the way.