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Getting through an MRI!
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Getting through an MRI!

I had absolutely no clue what an MRI involved except for what I saw on Grey's Anatonomy and even then I was just gawking at McDreamy!  So when I was asked if I was claustrophobic and said no, I wanted to change my mind within seconds of being inside!!

I honestly thought you slid into a big cylinder type thing for a minute or two and slide right back out again. I started getting suspicious when they put headphones on asking what my favourite radio station was and when the nurse said "see you in half an hour!"  Eep!!  

At first I just imagined a whole lot of angry men nailing me into a coffin and when I thought I was completely going to freak out and cause a scene I decided to get my act together and try to turn it into the most positive situation I possibly could.  I ended up being at a really bad U2 concert but it got me through somehow.

I think next time I would like to be sedated.  Does anyone do their MRIs this way and does it help significantly??

I would be great if they could combine MRI technology into float tanks don't you think?

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16 Comments Post a Comment
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582777_tn?1298460514
LOL! I can SO relate to this! I am VERY claustrophobic and when they started restraining my head I freaked out and had to sit up to collect myself before letting them strap me in again. I passed the time imaging the buzzing noises were actually words. Most of it seemed to be the word "dollar dollar dollar" repeated over and over by a loud robot with a very "American" accent (strange for me here in Oz!).

I also used a lot of yoga (ujjayi) breathing, and had my partner in the room with me, holding my hand (which meant at one point he was reaching half into the machine to keep hold of it - it's lucky he's so tall or he might not have been able to!)

I never even got given the option to listen to music! Might have to ask next time.



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Avatar_f_tn
Oh yes, that cage around your head must be the worst part!  Queensland X-Ray at the Mater will give you music!  But don't expect to hear it!!  It's funny what our creative brains come up with for survival!!  Did you get a panic button in your MRI?

That's great they let your partner in - I didn't think anyone was allowed in the room.  Gosh he must have been in lots of pain at the end of half an hour!  That's love....

Is this forum mostly Americans?  I think they must all be asleep.  Speaking of which.... goodnight!
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987762_tn?1331031553
Gosh mine took just under 2 hours, I use to work in the city and the elevator was smaller than the MRI machine, when it got stuck it took hours and hours to fix and you really got to know your fellow pasengers lol The MRI was quite roomy!

I had the radio on and it was hillarious, very hard not to laugh. I spent half the time going through the alphabet trying to practise my nouns (they are missing lol) amimals, vegitables and i was onto people when it was over. I found the experience relaxing even with the voom voom noises.

Some do get sedated because of fobias or from the inability to stay still, if you are worried about it, speak to your doctor before your next one.

Cheers...........JJ

PS This is an international forum but Americans probably out number any other country, at least it means someone is usually here 24/7
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree with ANonnyMouse.  I also use yoga breathing to get me through it.  I also use the time to just think about what is happening in my life.  Not easy to do when you have two young children and work full time!  It was forced "down time" for me.  
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572651_tn?1333939396
When I was in high school our geology club (yes, there was such a thing in the 70's) used to go spelunking.  There's nothing like going underground in caves to test whether you are claustrophic or not.... It turns out I am not.

I tend to fall asleep in the MRI - which gives my favorite researcher on the 7T lots of giggles.  It's hard to not snore when you are on your back.

If you have the problem of relaxing, they can give you something for the prep - a common one used here in the states is valium, which will take the edge off.  I don't htink they will sedate you heavily enough to force you into sleep, though I might be wrong.

I love the float tank idea  but imagine it would be hard to stay still when you feel like you could go snorkeling.

best, Lulu

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1253197_tn?1331212710
I think my first MRI was probably the worst as I had already set myself up to thinking I was claustrophobic. As I am on a clinical trial in UK I have regular monthly MRI's and have had at least ten most of them with contrast which involves the dreaded canular business which for someone who used to be needle phobic was an added negative.

I think that when you know you have to do something and that it is for the best for you, you can train yourself to overcome your fear but the key is just finding that key that unlocks the fear and thought that is inside your head.  I also think that "practice makes perfect" kind of fits also in that the more times you do something the more evidence is provided that it is Ok and you have got through it.

I tend to listen to noisy music to counteract the banging from the MRI but at the same time concentrate on my breathing and relaxing and it seems to work. I think that many people really dislike being in a confined space so you are not alone.

Cheers for now

Sarah  
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1318483_tn?1318350782

Okay, what the heck is spelunking?  In the 10 years I lived in Ohio, maybe I should already know, but I don't!  lol  I do know what cornhole is though!  I happen to love that game!  No one here in CA seems to know what it is.  Not to worry, I have my cornhole game here with me...so I brought it to the west coast!  ~grin~

I had to laugh with you, Lu!  Snorin' to the MRI. I can so relate!  No one has ever told me I have or not, but I fall asleep in the MRI every single time. hehe!  This makes absolutely no sense to me at all with all the banging and clanking going on.  

A float tank...hmmm,
Addi
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Avatar_f_tn
In my opinion, if you have some one to drive you and you are offered sedation. Take it!

I was okay with the spinal MRI, I actually fell asleep for awhile, I was so tired that day, but not when it comes to with MRIs of my head. It was too loud and bangy! I ended up with a migraine (which I am prone to) and I was just about nauseous by the time it was done. I had to take the next day off from work or it may have been just the morning. I don't remember, but when I have my follow-up in a few months I will so be nice and stoned with whatever they give me!

FYI - addicted2harleys: Spelunking is Cave Exploration. :)
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1318483_tn?1318350782

Cave exploration....hmm!  How come no one ever invited me to do this when I lived in Ohio, huh?  I would have really enjoyed something like that, dimmit!  lol  :)

The only things I ever got asked to do is mushroom hunting and frog hunting!  Ewww on both!  hehe

I wonder if there are any caves here in CA I can go to?  With wheelchair access.  lmao!

Probably not.  Maybe I will just go whale watching or go check out the ephelant seals!  :)

Addi
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1253197_tn?1331212710
Aha....now we know your secret...magic mushrooms and frogs????! :)  Never seen ephelant seals either!!!!!! As for cave exploration you would not catch me in one of them if they are those thin narrow space ones..no thanks. This is written on a Sunday night without a drink so not sure where I have got mojo from.  Apologies jopella for banter with addi. xxxx
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1318483_tn?1318350782

lmoa, Sarah!  If you can go through MRI's once a month, you can surely get through those narrow space caves!  I can bring pot and pans and bang and clank them together to get the right sound effects for you, if that helps. hehe

I went and saw the ephelant seals last summer.  It is really elephant, but I like the way I say it better!  Anyways, they are quite stinky!  I guess they fart a lot from what I learned. :/

Cheers to magic mushrooms and frogs!  Nothing like natural mojo!  Gotta take advantage of that whenever you can for sure!

Too funny!  Thanks for the laugh and the shared highjacking of this thread. Teehee

Hugs,
Addi
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1453990_tn?1329235026
5 mg of Valium 1 hour before and 5 mg of Valium just before the scan.  I have to stay awake, because snoring creates motion artifact when they get to the GAD sequences.  At least that is what my doc does.

Bob
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1318483_tn?1318350782

Lol Bob.  I guess you must be a heavy snorer, if that is such a word.  :)

I must not snore or do so very lightly because they always say they got great pics and told me I how still I was.  

I am told I do snore.  But, me thinks they be lyin'.  ~grin~

Addi
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1580434_tn?1378600128
I keep my eyes closed so it doesn't bother me. I know I can get out if i had too. I don't fall asleep because I am generally fighting pain. it hurts my back and legs laying that flat. headphones would be nice!

images of my cells all lining up by magnetic force float through my head. wondering why that wouldn't make me crazier or something. I did fall asleep one time and then the loud pinging scared me awake and was afraid i messed up the MRI.

Raz
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Avatar_n_tn
I can only chime in and say I was nervous about my first scan because I didn't know what to expect.  Afterwrads I was fine, no pain, no big deal!  I have had a number more scans now including several CT scans (which I think are worse because the contrast they use makes you feel strange, I always think I've peed myself! lol) .  

Compared to all the other tests I've had in the last year I'll take MRI !  Bone Marrow Biopsy is worse by far!  painful.  When the doctor tells you "this will hurt" you know you are in for it.

I find keeping my eyes closed in the scanner, doing some yoga breathing, and thinking about your happy place works.  Try some meditation, you know, relaxing your body starting at your head and working down, or at your feet and working up.
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Avatar_f_tn
I found mine depend on the surrounding circumstances.

First one I was compleltely terrififed. They told me it'd take about 20 minutes, so I decided if I sang "wuthering heights" 6 times in a row it'd be over with. But of course the BANG BANG BANG TAP TAP TAP etc threw the singing rhythm out of whack, so I tried to find a song to match each BANG BANG sequence. I'd just figure out a beat to mathc and the silly thing would change.

Next time was at RBWH (those of you Qlders  who keep appearing in here know where i mean) - they had headphones and music and a mirror so you could see what they were doing, adn they talked to you regularly so you don't feel deserted.

My last one was the worst. The bird just shoved me in, said nothing, no music, no mirror, nothing, and I ended up freaking out. Which is daft, you'd think by the 4th one you'd not freak out.

I recommend the music if you can, or trying to count hre number of BANG BANG BANGs ( I think I got up to 400+ on one sequence).


jemm

PS, why so many Qlders lately??????????WHY?????
bar that, I'd got for drugs!
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