/, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Jill's Journal, Pelvic Pain, Self Care/Atara Schimmel’s Stunning Angel Project Raises Awareness For Pelvic Pain

Atara Schimmel’s Stunning Angel Project Raises Awareness For Pelvic Pain

ataraIf a picture speaks a thousand words, then the art of Atara Schimmel speaks volumes about pelvic pain and pudendal neuralgia. She’s just won the ADA poster contest sponsored by the city of Boston for her entry “We Will Be Heard,” one of her Project Angel series which is dedicated to raising awareness for pelvic pain.

Atara proves that art and artistic expression are powerful vehicles that patients can use to express their pain, frustration, emotions and thoughts in a healthy and often profound way. Better yet, that art can become a powerful tool to educate others about pelvic pain. I love her designs and her work!

Her story resonates deeply with the pelvic pain and pudendal neuralgia community. In the video below, she shares that her symptoms slowly began after she joined a gym and started a new aerobics and kick boxing program that, in hindsight, likely damaged her pelvic floor muscles. The first sign was a pinching sensation deep inside her vagina, as if tweezers were pulling on her cervix.

Not surprisingly, her doctors couldn’t figure it out  with several suggesting that the pain was not real and “all in her head.”  She was eventually crippled by the pain and couldn’t do basic life activities. She saw more than 20 doctors in Israel who, she says, were ignorant about the pelvic floor and pelvic pain and treated her almost cruelly at times. Sounds familiar, right?

After returning to the US, she finally found a physical therapist who found muscles so tight that they were squeezing her nerves. After years of searching, she finally found a physician (Dr. Valovska at the Brigham and Women’s Pain Clinic – Boston, MA) and a therapy (nortryptline) that has helped.

Atara faced the same plight that many patients struggle with. Many medical care providers simply haven’t received any training on pelvic floor dysfunction, pudendal nerve entrapment and/or genital pain. She’s on a mission to change that.  She’s trying to get pudendal neuralgia, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, endometriosis, pelvic floor dysfunction, PGAD and pelvic pain into the national spotlight by asking the various medical specialty organizations to create position statements and for medical schools to teach about them. It’s a big job but she’s a very determined woman!

Thank you Atara for sharing your story and giving us some of the most beautiful patient centric art!  You’re truly inspiring!

See more of Atara’s Art

The Project Angel Gallery –  A stunning collection of angel figures, each with an inspiring mention! Seriously, I’d love to have some of these  as posters in the ICN office, or as Tee-Shirts or postcards that we can send out!

The Faces of Pudendal Neuralgia – These self portraits speak to the pain and agony that she has struggled with in her fight to find relief for pudendal neuralgia and pelvic pain.

The Advocacy and Awareness Exhibit

By |2017-01-31T10:10:42+00:00July 22nd, 2015|Awareness, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Jill's Journal, Pelvic Pain, Self Care|Comments Off on Atara Schimmel’s Stunning Angel Project Raises Awareness For Pelvic Pain

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.