Smarty Moms we have a story to share with you about Kathleen Aliff, a 27-year-old Charlotte, NC native, who’s already been through more health challenges than many people experience in a lifetime.
Endometriosis – which affects about 5 million American women – can occur in teenagers and adult women of all ages, but most typically occurs in women between the ages of 25 and 40. A family history of endometriosis, especially in a mother or sister, increases a woman’s likelihood of developing it herself.
“I remember one day getting out of the shower and blacking out, collapsing on the bathroom floor,” Kathleen recalls. “I was in an out of the Emergency Department because of my pain; no one knew what was wrong with me.” Ultimately, she was diagnosed with Stage IV (severe) Endometriosis.
In March 2011, with the pain recurring, Kathleen established a relationship with what she refers to as her “Pelvic Pain Heaven:” CMC-Mercy Women’s Center for Pelvic Health.
OB/Gyn Elizabeth Morgan, MD and Physical Therapist Shannon Cormier, PT, DPT both specialize in pelvic pain and care for patients in the Women’s Center for Pelvic Health. They were instrumental in Kathleen’s ability to manage her pain.
“Dr. Morgan saved my life. She is understanding, compassionate; an uber-patient advocate. She is my angel,” Kathleen says enthusiastically. “And I give Shannon credit for helping me work through my pain so I could live a quality life.”
By fall 2011, Kathleen needed surgery to remove the growing Endometriosis. She worked with surgeon Kevin Stepp, MD and the team to determine a treatment plan for before, during and after surgery.
In a procedure at CMC-Mercy, Dr. Stepp used the da Vinci Surgical Robot to clean out the Endometriosis using a minimally invasive technique.
The Endometriosis was completely removed and Kathleen was up on her feet the day after surgery!
Today, Kathleen is, simply, enjoying life again. She and her husband Ben can enjoy a trip to the park with their little one, Brittany Spaniel Bella.
“I feel fantastic,” Kathleen says. “The biggest thing, really, is that I can enjoy life again. I’m not being controlled by my pain. I feel freed.”
Watch Kathleen’s video at www.cmc-mercy.org/pelvichealth