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January 2002 Issue


WLS E-Newsletter
A FREE publication by

Issue # 9
Circulation: 4,940


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

Dear Reader,

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 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 **

Hair Loss

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 Here

** Recipes **

Thanks so much to Gary Kent for the following Chicken stir-fry recipe.


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
Tri-color pasta
Bell peppers [red, green, yellow]
Squash cut into bite size pieces
Sliced mushrooms
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 heat.

Now to make the sauce, combine:
1 teaspoon honey
Soy sauce
Stir-fry sauce

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

** 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 follow!

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

** 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 food.

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.

Click Here 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 so that I can include it in future issues.



Copyright 2000-2013 Barbara Thompson All Rights Reserved