I am a 43 year old woman and went to see my doctor yesterday and he explained I was going to have a CT scan done. I scheduled it for today. I read the paperwork they gave me and it stated CT not MRI. I went into the office to have the CT done. The Radiologist informed me that I was having an MRI ! Right away I noticed the machine and started a small panic. I have severe anxiety and take clononzepam. 1st I was very upset that my doctor misinformed me about having an MRI. 2nd I decided to try it. I laid down for a bit (there was complete silence). I asked if there was any type of music and he said no. I got out of the machine and relaxed and took my clononzepam. I decided to give it a try. After, what felt like 10 mts, my heart started pounding and I had to press the button to have someone get me out. Afterwards he explained to me that there was another place that had a wider MRI and it would cover less of me. I was very upset because I had a severe panic attack. He called my doctor and suggested that I take some sort of valium to relax me, but that someone would have to drive me home. I believe had I been prepared of the MRI first, then I could have had questions and maybe taken my medicince earlier that day not to mention they could have suggested that I go to the location that the machine was wider and covered less. It was an awful awful experience for me. I am scheduled to go back next Tuesday. It is 12:50am and I can't sleep; partly because the minute I laid down I started to have visions of being in that machine. It doens't help that I have Asthma.
Hey Anita, I have the same problem. I can't believe they didn't give you any music. I'm the exact same way when I get into that tube I get all sweaty and the whole time I'm worried about moving since they're taking pictures, which only makes me move. It's horrible. I've had a doctor sedate me to get an MR, but thats when I was in the hospital, I don't know if they do that to people who arn't. But I just wanted you to know that I suffer from extreme anxiety just like yours and it makes everything so frustrating.
Your anxiety over the MRI is understandable. I have Multiple Sclerosis and have had at least a dozen MRI's since I was diagnosed 13 years ago.
Did you know that you can be totally sedated for the whole MRI procedure? What part of your body is being scanned? Your doctor can arrange for you to be pre-medicated before the procedure and can have you "kinda put out," for the actual MRI. It's not like you are being put totally under and would need a breathing tube. You don't.
You CAN get through this MRI if given the proper sedation beforehand and during the procedure. An OPEN MRI can also cause less panic because it is open on both sides. Nothing on either side. Totally open. The MRI resolution is not as clear as with the closed MRI, but it can be what you wind up having to do, in order to get your needed testing. You can still be sedated with the OPEN MRI. Let your doctor know about your anxiety. You aren't the first person that has had trouble having an MRI and you won't be the last. Try not to beat yourself up over it. More people than you realize have this problem with the closed MRI.
Your doctor will give you medicine that actually will make you forget the procedure, as long as you let him know how bad your anxiety is. Trust in your doctor's. They have been through this many times before. Your problem and fears are very common.
I get through mine by closing my eyes, laying very still and saying the Lord's Prayer over and over. I never open my eyes and I do fine. If you are a large person, the open MRI may be best for you, so you don't feel any pressure on your shoulders and hips.
Good Luck to you and know that you are not alone. Please drop me a line through PM if I can help in any way to help you better understand MRI. I would be glad to help.
I wanted to echo what Heather said. I have had both a closed AND open MRI. I, too, was in the hospital when I had the closed MRI and asked for sedation which made it bearable. It wasn't total sedation - just Valium, I believe, but I kept my eyes closed the whole time too and prayed!
The next time I had to have one, I opted for the open MRI which is, at least for me (and I panic easily at these things!), not at all threatening. I had to have contrast dye which I wasn't crazy about, but I did take .25 of Xanax beforehand so that it really was a breeze!
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