WLS Center.com E-Newsletter
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Issue # 9
From the Desk of Barbara Thompson
Author of "Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person
Hiding Inside You"
** In this issue **
* Question of the Month
* Post-Op Corner: Hair Loss
* Recipe: Chicken Stir Fry
* New Research Article
* On the Road Again!
* Success Story: Gary Harwood
* Poem: I Dreamed I Was Pretty by Sheila Swan
Insurance problems can be the most troublesome of all in your
weight loss journey. If you cannot get insurance approval, then
you are forced into making some tough decisions. Do you accept the
denial and say there is no hope for you and accept your fate of
being overweight the rest of your life? Or do you fight the
insurance company and appeal or hire an attorney? Or do you switch
insurance companies, perhaps waiting an extra year because your
weight is considered a pre-existing condition? Or do you self-pay
and pray that you have no complications?
Weight loss surgery is covered in about 75% of cases, but if
you are in the 25% that is not, then it can truly be a struggle.
Some insurance companies will just say "no" on the
chance that you will accept their decision. Only 30% of denials
are appealed. Many appeals are won by the insured, so it is worth
pursuing. Sometimes a "no" is only a request for more
information. Therefore do not let a denial devastate you.
Hopefully you will find some help in this issue of my
newsletter and in future issues.
**Question of the Month**
We are going to try something new this month. In keeping with
our theme of insurance, if anyone has any innovative ways they
have dealt with their insurance company, any particular advice or
important tips or anything they would like to share with the rest
of the Newsletter subscribers regarding insurance issues, please
send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com
and I will post as many as I can! Please feel free to include any
stories about how you fought with your insurance company and won.
Anyone (like me) who received insurance approval in 2 days need
not reply (LOL). Remember that this is your newsletter also, so
please help by contributing.
** Post-Op Corner **
There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that one third
of the people who have weight loss surgery lose up to one half of
their hair. It actually comes out in handfuls. The hair loss
usually starts around the third or fourth month. It seems to be
caused by the body's reaction to the trauma of surgery.
The bad news continues. There doesn't seem to be much you can
do about it. Keeping up your protein, taking zinc pills and biotin
may help a little, but not enough to really make much of a
difference for most patients. Minoxidil products may limit how
much you will lose, but if your body reacts this way, the use of
these products and medication will not help.
I have never known anyone who has lost all of his or her hair;
so don't think that this surgery will result in your looking like
a cue ball! Getting your hair cut in a shorter style makes it look
fuller, so that is an option. Not everyone experiences hair loss.
But if it is you, it can be very traumatic while you are going
through it. I was one of the lucky ones. I didn't experience any
hair loss at all.
Now, here is the good news. It comes back because the hair loss
is only temporary. Around the fifth or sixth month, it starts to
grow back in. Soon you have your normal head of hair back. And you
can then breathe a sigh of relief!
This was an excerpt from my book, "Weight Loss Surgery,
Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You," available by Clicking
** Recipes **
Thanks so much to Gary Kent for the following Chicken stir-fry
This one is very special as I just had it served to me on
Tuesday when my wife was initiated into the honor society at her
college for having a high grade point average. It took some force
to get the cook to give it to me but when I informed him of my
special dietary needs, he finally verbally gave it to me. It is a
one-dish meal that all post-ops can eat and it is good!
Chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
Bell peppers [red, green, yellow]
Squash cut into bite size pieces
Zucchini cut into bite size pieces
Red onion chopped
Cauliflower chopped into bite size pieces
Broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
Boil the chicken until done. Steam all the other ingredients
together so as to mix the flavors. When this is done, add the
chicken and mix well, allowing this mixture to blend over low
Now to make the sauce, combine:
1 teaspoon honey
Add this mixture to meat and vegetables and allow to simmer for
a few minutes. It is a very tasty dish and I am looking forward to
making it here at home. I'm sorry that the amounts are not better
set, but I really did have to force the cook to give me this much.
Besides he said they always made such a large amount that I would
have to vary the amounts to taste.
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future
issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com
** On the Road Again! **
I will be in Charlottesville, VA on April 8th speaking to the
patients and guests of Dr. Schirmer of the University of Virginia.
The seminar will be held in the Camp Heart Auditorium and is open
to the public, so if you are in the area, plan on joining us.
I will also be returning to New York in the near future,
although the details are not complete yet. Speaking events are in
the planning stages in Astabula, Ohio and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
I would love to meet any of you from those areas. Details to
US Surgical, the corporation that supplies laparoscopic
equipment, is very generously helping to sponsor me to speak at
support groups of practices that they supply. If your surgeon's
practice uses US Surgical's equipment, and your group would like
me to speak, please contact me at Barbara@wlscenter.com
** And now a word from the
sponsor of this Newsletter **
Are you looking for some productive reading during the long
winter nights? The book, "Weight Loss Surgery: Finding the
Thin Person Hiding Inside You" is a "must have" for
any patient going through this surgery. People from all over the
USA and Canada are using this as their daily guidebook to become
thin through weight loss surgery. Many surgeons and other medical
professionals are recommending it to their patients as a valuable
source of information on how to prepare for surgery and how to
live your life afterwards. See what everyone is talking about by
ordering your copy today. Click Here
for order information.
** Success Stories **
I had the great pleasure of meeting Gary Harwood and his wife
when I spoke in Springfield, OH in September. I watched as Gary
walked through the archway of "Stars" as everyone
celebrated their tremendous weight loss success. Gary looked great
then. And he looks even better now. Thank you, Gary for sharing
your story with us.
My name is Gary Harwood. I am 48 years old and live with my
wife of 23 years in New Carlisle, Ohio. I've had a weight problem
all my life. I was over 10 pounds at birth. My Mother's side of
the family was all big and some were morbidly obese. My PCP says
that much of the blame for my weight could be credited to
genetics. I, of course, helped the genetics out with my love for
I've tried most all the diets; Herbalife, Slim Fast, Success,
Atkins, Fat Burner, Grapefruit Diet, Air Force Diet, Cabbage Soup
Diet, Shaklee, Fasting (better left for spiritual matters),
Diabetic Exchange Diet, Overeater's Anonymous, Prescription Drugs,
Over-the-counter drugs, Diet Workshop, Weight Watchers (they still
want me back), and on and on. I had success with most of them but
re-gained all I had lost plus more. After a lifetime of ups and
downs I landed at a whopping 480 pounds in August of 2000.
to read the rest of his story:
I love good news. If you have good news, a success story to
share, or inspiration, please send it to me at Barbara@wlscenter.com
so that I can include it in future issues.