A Gucci Neck…


I am starting week 3 with a continuing saga of neck pain so I have decided to seek professional help. After a short phone consultation with a seriously good neck surgeon, he suggested that I get a neck x-ray before coming in to see him for a check-up. I was at a lunch meeting wearing my nearly standard issue walking shorts, but I had decided to put on a linen shirt with a collar, that reads “dress up” since I am most likely to be spotted in a GAP t-shirt these days more than anything else. From the meeting, I headed to the closest medical office that said they could do a neck x-ray without much of a wait. A medical technician asked me to open up my shirt a little, stand against a “wall” and he proceeded to aim the xray at me, forgot to make me don the lead weight and took an x-ray. He left the room for a few minutes to see if it was okay. He returned with a more experienced sounding technician who in hushed tones said, and I translate loosely, “no…. you should use 68 not 80, do this, do that, do it again.” In other words, “whoops!”… So I had to do a “re-shoot”, and stood for another xray. A few minutes later, the technician returned to say that “he had to do it yet again, because something was in the way… could I take off my shirt completely for the third try?”


At this stage, I told him if he intended to practice all afternoon I might go sterile from all the nuclear waves and he gave me this look like, and I loosely translate his look as, “OMG, I forgot the lead apron!” and he reached for the lead apron for me to wear to protect my nuts and organs, I gather (the waist down, that is). So I took off my shirt completely and he glanced at the tag and said, and I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, “Ay GUCCI pala, baka yung tunay lang na brand ang lumalabas sa x-ray!” translated as “Oh, it’s a GUCCI, maybe only genuine brands show up on the x-ray!” Hahaha. If I didn’t have a wicked pain in the neck, I would have laughed at the absurdity of it all. I told him he just screwed up the first two x-rays so he was looking for a scapegoat and I assured him my GAP shirt tags would also have the same impact on his film. At any rate, I stood for two more x-rays (four total) and now I hope he finally got it right. Only my doctor will be able to judge that. But on the short ride home I realized this was my most favorite linen shirt of all time, something I purchased 14+ years ago (good linen gets better with age) before the teen was even born. I wore this shirt to casual business gatherings, the teen’s baptism, her first communion, parties, wakes and many other memorable events over the years. You know you are getting old when you can look at particular articles of clothing and associate key life events with them. Now I will remember it for causing my x-ray to read “Gucci Neck”. Heeheehee. And for all of you doctors, nurses and med-techs out there, no, I will not tell you where I got my neck x-rayed! :)


49 Responses

  1. Very funny story!=) This made me laugh in spite of all the work related stress! But the lead part was scary, I don’t want to be experimented on for x-rays hehehe! Reminded me a lot like some comedy skit of some sort=)

    I’ll be having a fill of hometown leche flan tonight hehehe! I hope I get to taste one made out from fresh milk by accident hihihihi!=)

  2. Hi MM, what a funny story!

    Hmn, any chance that the label/thread has metal in it? Metallic thread maybe?

  3. OMG 4x xray in a day!!! I wonder what is the limit before you are declared radioactive risk to the environment :).

  4. Am glad you now went for professional help.A lot of health concerns are addressed when we go for the doctor’s advise and care early. Hope it’s just a simple thing. Praying..
    As for the technicians…you were patient MM….hats off.

  5. you were THAT patient? i would have screamed at t hat technician!
    as for the shirt, the label must have been embroidered in real gold thread considering how much you must have paid for it

  6. sonia, in retrospect, yes, I was more patient than normal. I should have given him 4 brain x-rays in return…. :) risa, the tag looks totally normal so I doubt it had ANYTHING to do with the re-shoots.

  7. my guess also that the label might contain metallic thread…my kids have the nasty habit of asking me to take off tags from their shirts (signature or not) in order not to feel itchy…notice that when sometimes, you don’t get the whole tag out, the more itchy it becomes and the culprit more often than not is a bit of metallic thread hanging there…

  8. smiles4angels, are you serious, it’s upside down? I was wondering about that… but I put the label on the bottom when I took the photo! Hahaha. Gosh, I hope your diagnosis is right! Thanks!

  9. So are you radioactive now, glow in the dark? You should publish the name of that xray facility as a warning to others in light of their incompetence.

  10. Yes, it is. Its the skull that is the one below. From the looks of this photo, it seems to be a muscle spasm. Of course, this is just one view. There would be other things to look at that couldn’t be seen at this size. Your neck surgeon would probably want the films. :)

    The 68 or 80 would probably mean the amount of radiation… I’m not a rad tech but talking to them almost everyday, the gist is… they use different amounts based on what is required to be seen (bone/soft tissues/contrast) and sometimes the amount of fat a person has.

    The radiation travels in a straight line, so probably your safe there. But speaking of the other effects the different tissues respond differently to radiation. We are exposed daily from natural ones, but a basic xray would be around 10x the amount of the natural one. From what I remember is that a person can have around 100 xrays a year and still be considered as exposed to safe (the parameters of that study I can’t recall)level of radiation. And thats for basic xrays (chest xray, spine xray) But still, it helps to be on the safe side. A tip for those who go to the hospital… we consider distance (more than 6 feet) over barrier as the best way to avoid. Of course except if you are the patient. :)

  11. Hi MM,
    Your upside down xray looks OK to me too (from this one view!!). Maybe not as lordotic (neck looks a bit straighter and stiffer than the neck’s natural curve — on this upside down view…) . Kudos for being so patient with the decidedly incompetent techies. Hope all goes well at the ENT MD office!!!

  12. ideally , you will have to take off your top and wear a patient’s gown or paper gown. i’m not surprised sa pilipinas , baka they don’t provide that, you know tipid.. sorry you got extra nuked, but you should be fine , our pt’s get xrayed everday sometimes 2x-3x a day!

  13. That’s strange, as Butsoy said, each time I’ve had an X-ray done, I’ve had to remove my top and wear a hospital gown. Wonder why they didn’t ask you to do that from the start?

    I hope your neck gets better very soon!

  14. Whatever x-ray machine they used is a good one for spotting a designer’s label right on the spot! Your health is important to me as it will really affect the future blogs and the energy of my day. I careless what the House and Senate are up to with their economic stimulus or bailout plans. Your daily blogs that I care most about! Hoping there is nothing serious with your neck. If I have a neck problem I will start with an orthopedic doctor first rather than an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon could see my neck like a fountain of money and you know what I mean by this. I never know if the wife or girl friend has a need for a new car or a set of Cartier earrings and ring with a matching pendant.

  15. And Bettyq’s health too meant a lot to me for her generosity and wealth of knowledge she contributes to this site.

  16. My sister the nurse says patients should only get x-rays once a year. Two times is a bit much BUT THREE???

    Sue. Sue. Sue.

  17. I second Maria Clara on seeing an ortho doctor first. Had neck and arm pains too and an MRI showed nerves being pinched by the neck bone. Asked the ortho doc if it needs to be operated on but he said that the risk far outweigh whatever I was feeling right now so he just put me on physical therapy and a couple of meds. A little slip up on neck surgery can cause paralysis.

  18. You are too funny, Maria Clara! I am in the same boat like you are. …Is it tday or tom . that Harper is going to announce his budget thingy. I should watch it but I would rather check out MM’s daily posts instead…It also helps, MMto know your ortho guy. i.e. give him LECHE FLAN!!!! I SUPPIED my ortho specialist …my chocolate cake and Indian candy each time I had a check-up…so when I needed to be referred to the ortho surgeon, he sent me to the BEST one in B.C. and it took me only a few months to see him.

  19. Bettyq: What can I say. You are a woman of substance and deep knowledge. You know the easy way around the doctor’s office. They call it here bribery but I call it professional courtesies! Way to go Bettyq!

  20. OK…Is it bribery if they ask for it? You are most certainly correct…I say it is professonal courtesy, too, as I don’t want to be rude when the doctor asked me what is it that he smells (i had a few packs of indian candy in my knapsack and I guess he had a whiff of the smoky scent. So of course, I HAD TO OFFER him some if he wanted to taste it. My mistake! He liked it. and guess what, he said, if he supplied me the salmon, could I smoke them for him!!!!! Since I give the Indian Candy to my neighbours anyway when I get the itch to smoke salmon, I figured what is 1 more salmon to smoke.

    Does anyone know if Silly LOLO is OK? I know he has a daughter in California.

  21. I feel for you MM, but going on to three weeks of suffering, holy moses, you have more fortitude than I do. I’d have gone crying to my doctor in two days. The worst medtech situation I’ve ever had was having my blood drawn for donation and the tech guy didn’t put the needle in right. My blood wasn’t flowing out to the container properly, he kept on jiggling the darn needle, and I was in serious pain. Finally another medtech came in, fixed it and I got out of there with a sore, bruised arm, and one less pint of blood.
    Stay strong and get well soon.

  22. hahahaha……very funny MM! For awhile I thought you had something stuck in your throat and was the cause of the neck pain.

    Levity aside, I hope your doctor diagnosed it right and you are on your way to recovery.

  23. If you turn the photo right side up, is that actually the shirt tag that appears on the lower half of the neck??? Anna et al, I have tried to email Silly Lolo at his old email address, but no answer… though he did sign off saying he was moving and would be getting a new address… I do hope he is okay as well.

  24. Just a thought only. For regular resident of this quarter, I suggest you ask them by email only to protect their privacy to provide you of their mailing address. In case, we did not hear from them let’s say for seven months, you can get in touch with one of the local residents that leaves close by or within the same state or county to send them a postcard to that missing regular member and find out what is going on. If they are AWOL (absent without leave) then they can advise so. This case we have a continuity and kind like of caring thought with regulars and see how they are doing. I miss Silly Lolo much too. Email contact information is not always reliable. They can subscribe to a new provider at a much lower rate they currently utilizing and forget to notify you.

  25. MM…he also sent me an e-mail telling me he is also in the process of moving and also has a new e-mail addy. That was the last e-mail i got from him. He never did send me though his new e-mail address.

    I am hoping to hear from someone I sent an e-mail a few minutes ago and I hope he is related to. Keeping my fingers crossed that this option yields results!

  26. and don’t forget Apicio…when is he signing in again? did he say he was going out for six months, a year or longer?

  27. I share the sentiment of Maria Clara, et al. Being a regular in this blog feels like belonging to a family so we look after each other. I miss Silly Lolo’s comments as well… and Apicio’s.

  28. have you tried consulting martin camara, the sports doctor? i’ve had a similar problem and am more than satisfied with the kind of non-intrusive treatment that he prescribed. he has a clinic along kalayaan corner makati avenue.

  29. I had a liposuction done in 2002 and I almost died due to paralytic ilius. I found out later that during the operation, the doctor punctured my stomach and the anesthesia went around my abdominal area. The anesthesia paralyzed my stomach and my intestine.I was bloated and nauseated.

    I ended up at Medical City (1 week with no good result) and Makati Medial Center for another week. At that time I paid 100 thousand for the lipo and it doubled due to my confinement.

    The surgeon said my bloating will be gone in few days yet it almost killed me. It was the same doctor who later did the lipo to the former Ms. Philippines International who died.

  30. the line transecting your sixth cervical vertebrae is not the gucci tag. i would guess it would be an “artifact” of the xray film. think about it where is the tag located? it would be behind your neck not across the side of your neck. this is a lateral view meaning taken from the side so it cant be the tag. i would guess the reading would be cervical strain with arthritic changes between the vertebrae. but if you feel pain, numbness or tingling sensation anywhere from your neck to your arms, there could be a nerve impingement which cant be seen thru xray, but an mri would be a better diagnostic tool bec it will show your nerves and discs if its bulging or not.
    and by the way all orthopaedic doctors are surgeons, there is no difference between them fyi. if you say that there is, maybe you went to a chiropractor like martin camara who someone called a sports doctor. and ENT doctors dont look at neck problems only ears nose and throat.

  31. mart, actually, Mrs. MM figured out the “tag-like” impression is actually a result of holding the film up against a table lamp and the upper rim of the lamp caused that effect… but thanks… I am always amazed by how many folks in the medical profession course through the blog… :)

  32. i’ve had bloopers with xray rin before…once a button ata on my shirt was thought of as a “mass” in my right lung.

    anyway…i totally agree about old linen…they become softer, more comfortable and comforting over time. I bought a linen shirt about 6-7 years ago and it’s still great.



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