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Coping with an MRI
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Coping with an MRI

I have to go in for a brain MRI next week and I am very nervous about it, having done this once before and not handled it so well.  Anyone have any tips to handle it better?  They said no music was allowed during the MRI.

Also, can anyone tell me how long these things tend to last?  Is it reasonable to expect a brain MRI to take only about 15-20 minutes, or is it generally much longer?

I would really appreciate any responses, please
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165308_tn?1323190145
I know how much you were fearing going for an MRI....I know that they sometimes can give a person a valium or something like it to help with the anxiety.....however, since it is an MRI on your head, I am not sure if they will give you that option...call and ask.  I know MANY people who have had to be on something before going for an MRI.....

what exactly is your fear?  What they will find?  The close space?  The loud noise?  Maybe if you can pinpoint what causes you the most anxiety we can come up with ideas on how to deal with it.  TAKE A DEEP BREATH....YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT......IT IS ONLY ABOUT 15 MINUTES OR SO....

I hate to say this, but I actually fell asleep during mine....no drugs or anything.  I just considered it a good place to rest, I guess.
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Avatar_f_tn
My friend was in a car accident last week and was sent for an MRI the next day.  She said it took about 15 mins but she was allowed to listen to music.  The MRI had a sound-system built into the machine which I thought was pretty standard these days - I dont think she could choose what to listen too but listening to something WAS an option.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you again for your comforting words, it really helps during times like these when it's easy to lose perspective.  To answer your question about what scares me about an MRI, it's really not being in control.  It's knowing that I can't get out or move when I might need to.  That and of course fearing the results.

Fortunately, after doing more research into this, I did discover that I could get a "short-bore magnet" type of MRI, which is supposed to be less confining without reduced-quality images like it sounds like you get from an "open MRI."  I'm not sure whether it will be that different from the type of MRI I had last time around, but the radiologist I spoke with over the phone was very reassuring about what to expect, and he did say probably only around 15 minutes.

I'm also going to try to have someone in the room with me, which should be helpful assuming they allow that person to come in.  But it sounds like they do not allow music inside.  I'll let you know how it goes, thank you again for your support!
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165308_tn?1323190145
I am pretty sure that you do not have a brain tumor, but it is great that the doctor will follow through with all tests to rule everything else out.  What day is the MRI?  Please let me know.
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Avatar_n_tn
The MRI is tomorrow afternoon, I'll be glad to get it over with soon and hopefully the results will be in by the end of the week so I can sleep easier next weekend.  I'll let you know what happens, thanks again!
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165308_tn?1323190145
How did it go?  Thinking of you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Believe it or not, the MRI wasn't that bad.  Of course, it helped that they let me bring my wife into the room, and just knowing she was there made a big difference, but it really didn't seem as bad as I thought it would be.  It's funny how the anticipation of something is worse than the actual thing you were worrying about.

I'll get the results tomorrow when I go to see the neurologist in the morning, I guess that's the hardest part.  I'll let you know what I find out, I hope it's good news.

Thanks again for thinking of me!
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Avatar_n_tn
Just to follow up, the MRI didn't find anything wrong.  Of course, I continue to feel the dizziness and related symptoms, but it's nice to know that it's likely not a brain tumor (I assume that the MRI would have shown it if it was there).
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband just panicked and refused to stay to do an MRI of his brain.  He has a history of anxiety, especially in any medical situations where he has to be on his back and cannot move for any length of time at all, like an MRI. (Not currently on any meds; handles difficult situations with mind over matter.)  The doctor had given him 5 mg diazepam to be taken 30 min. prior to MRI, but an hour before the scheduled time, my husband was ready to drive home, so we went by the doctor's office and begged for something more.  The doc gave another script for 5 mg diazepam.  Husband had taken both by 45 min. prior to appt. but could not stay for MRI.  He fled 8 min. before the appt. time.  He was trembling, sweating, had dry mouth, couldn't sit up, etc.  He says he is not claustrophobic, but that he cannot bear to be forced to lie on his back (feels like a turtle or a beetle on his back!) for the length of time needed for the MRI.  Afterward, I spoke with the doctor and asked about giving him something stronger or IV (such as the "twilight sleep" IV he's had for extended dental treatments?), but he wasn't open to the idea of setting him up in a situation where he'd have to be monitored like in surgery.  He did suggest an open MRI, but since my husband insists it's not claustrophobia, I told the doc I didn't think that would help.  Any suggestions on how to get him through this MRI?  The anticipation from the time the appt. is made until the MRI a few days later is possibly the worst part for him.  Help!
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1536110_tn?1292520320
I AM claustrophobic and have already walked out on one MRI appointment. I was on my back and in the machine. I started yelling "Get me out of here." The MRI guy was cooperative and let me out. I'm going to the Doctor today and going to give it another try. I'll try the mind over matter thing. haha. Wish me luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
When I had my MRI, the first two times I went, I couldn't even get in the machine. I felt totally embarassed. I went home and I practiced for it. I know, I know, that sounds crazy. It is crazy but it helped. At first I would go under the big stone coffee table for one minute and I was uncomfortable with that. Then I started to increase the time underneath and then I would raise my head by having a pillow under my head and then towels so i got to the point where my face was just a couple of inches from the table. Then I put things around my head to close it in a little. I know this all sounds totally irratinal and it is BUT it helped but not quite enough. At my doctor's suggestion, I bought a lavender eye pillow to put over my eyes to relax and sooth me. The lavender scent helps people with anxiety, stress and insomnia. I went to a touch of satin http://www.atouchofsatin.com and bought a lavender eye pillow. That did the trick for me. It calmed me down because it was cool to my eyes and face and the flaxseed just surrounded my eyes and temples and almost put me to sleep. I can't recommend them enough. It made all the difference in the world. Give them a try!
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