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Old 08-12-2004, 05:46 PM   #1
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I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

Today I went for an MRI. Had no idea I was claustrophobic. I just freaked during the procedure and had to quit. She said there when I heard noises like a jackhammer, that is when the actual imaging was being done. And that she would do several sequences from 30 seconds to 6.5 minutes. I did one 30 second sequence OK. then during the first 6.5 minute segment, I was getting just a little panicky. I tried counting and got up to about 500. Seemed like a LONG time. When she finished that segment, I asked if she could roll me out for a little bit. She said if she did that, it would "set us back a little." Then I said, "Just get me out of here!" Once she rolled me out, I knew I couldn't go back in.

I might add that I've had problems with anxiety in the past (3 years ago) and used to shake violently. Had to take meds. But that was a while ago.

She said she could give me Valium, but since I had nobody to drive me home, she couldn't do that.

So I am rescheduled next Monday. Going to take Hubby along and they said he could be in the room and hold my foot. And they will give 10 mg of valium along with chlorhydrate (?) which makes you sleepy. But they don't want you completely asleep.

It's important that I get this MRI, and besides that, I'm going to have to pay whether she finishes or not!! So that's good incentive.

So I'm just looking for encouragment. PLEASE, if you have a scary story, don't tell me!! I'm just looking for encouragment from people who took the drugs and then were fine.

In case you are wondering, my doctor said she doesn't like Open MRI's because the film isn't as good. But I SURE see why someone invented the open mri machine!

 
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

Hi, I do the same thing every time I am put in one. They give me Valiums (Dizipan) for it. Ask your doctor for them. You can also try a cold washcloth over your eyes. Is this a open MRI or closed tube type? Ask for the open if not. They are still close to the face but you can see out the sides of them. You should be able to have your own music too, to listen to.

Good Luck. Diane

 
Old 08-12-2004, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

Diane,

Thanks for the reply. This is a closed tube. My doctor said she doesn't like open MRI images. You mentioned music. I'm wondering how you hear the music with that jackhammer noise. It was quite loud. The lady gave me earplugs to wear. What strength valium did they give you? She said she'd give me 10 mg and some chlorhydrate (?) to make me sleepy.

 
Old 08-12-2004, 07:36 PM   #4
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

I took Xanax and don't even remember going in or coming out. I was totally relaxed. I knew that I would freak out so I set it up with my husband to drive me and the doc for the meds. They usually offer you VAlium, but like you said, you have to have someone to drive you. The noise is horrible but not as bad to me as the elevator music. You can bring a disc and ask them to play it.

I don't even shut the door when I use the restroom at home. I am WAY claustrophobic and managed two of these now with Xanax.

You can do it. That is great that your husband will be there for moral support

 
Old 08-12-2004, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

PLM,
Not to worry.
I freaked on my first one, and my head wasn't even in, the noise really got to me.

The second one, I took a valium, wore earplugs, then put the headset with music on over that and had them turn it up. I was fine. It was actually a fine experience, completely opposite of the first. Oh, they also gave me lots of pillows in the right places on the second one so I was really comfortable. Pesonally I think it was the valium that did the trick

Good luck, sounds like you'll do fine this time around.
Julie
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Old 08-12-2004, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

Yes, the medication and your husband's presence should do wonders. BTW, xanax and valium are equivalent medications (in the same family), so one should also have a driver after xanax.

Standingman

 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:08 PM   #7
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

I have another question about the headsets with music. The lady here never mentioned those, so I wonder if they don't offer them. I would think they would have to be the ones to control the sound, so they could turn it down while they talked to you in between the pictures and rattling. So those of you who had headsets, was this something built into the machine?

If you brought your own little headset and played it, you wouldn't be able to turn down the sound to hear the lady.

I was reading about MRIs on the web tonight. Several facilities have great websites. They talk about giving you medication and letting you lay on a cot about an hour, then they come get you, etc. This place I went is a little facility and I don't think they have many "extras".

 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:23 PM   #8
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

The first one I had freaked me out, but the third didn't bother me at all. I'm having another on Monday, to see what damage has been done by a failed IDET. Heh. If there was room, I'd bring a good book. But seriously.....They do get easier the more you have them and become accustomed to the noises and bangs.

I'm sorry you had such a hard time with this one today. I will hope that now you know what to expect, the next one will go much easier.

Stormygale

 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:27 PM   #9
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

I have had many MRI's and never had a problem until my last one on my cervical spine. I was in so much pain as c4-7 were terribly herniated and I never thought it would end. Mid way through it I started having a panic attack badly. I get them now and again, hadn't had one that bad in over a year. At any rate they were bout 3/4 the way done and I did all I could to stay in there. I got through the one and when they asked if I was ok I told them no get me out I'm panicing. By the time they got me out I was in tears and hyperventilating.
Needless to say they rescheduled the last part a few days later and prior to the MRI I took my pain medication, a muscle relaxer and xanax and hubby drove me. I made it through it just fine, almost fell asleep in fact. LOL

You'll be fine if they medicate, they shouldn't have to start it over just one big one to get a starting point or reference point and then finish up what they didn't get previously.

Good luck!

 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:47 PM   #10
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

They gave me Xanax I took it when I got there and after about 30 min they took me in and I remember everything they said and did.... but it didnt bother me at all, I just kept my eyes closed and was totally fine, was completely relaxed, they let me listen to music, The music was built into the machine so they could turn the sound up and down to talk to me, they ask what kind of music I liked so they put it on a radio station of my choosing....covered me up with a blanket... put a pillow under my knees and my head ...I was totally relaxed.... then after about 20 min of scans they brought me out, injected me with contrast, and then put me back in and took about 10 min more of scans....and I was outta there...piece of cake...This is my third MRI.... I found out after my 1st one that I needed sedation to make it through one....So now I just tell them I need sedation, and they just have me be there like 30-40 minutes ahead of my appointment time...

Good Luck to ya.....

Last edited by TexasWildRose04; 08-12-2004 at 08:53 PM.

 
Old 08-12-2004, 09:14 PM   #11
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

The first one I had I started screaming inside the tube and pounded on it, started crying and the whole embarrassing bit. The next one I took a xanax and then asked for a washcloth to put over my eyes and I did much better. I didn't know I was that freaky about those either. I've had several since and even tho I know it will be ok I am apprehensive right down to the wire, I have anxiety disorder to. I told my dr once that if they ever needed to put an oxygen mask on me someday to make sure I'm unconscious or someone will lose their b---s, they make me more claustrophobic than the mri.

 
Old 08-12-2004, 09:59 PM   #12
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

Hi there:

I am claustraphopic(sp) to and I just had my first MRI last month. Listen to all the great ideas you read hear they really do work. My doc gave me something for the anxiety and when I went in they gave me head phones with one of our local radio stations on. I was allowed to pick which one I wanted. When I felt myself start to panic I would imagine my self and my DH riding down the Oregon coast highway on our mororcycle I would really relax and was able to get thru it. Keeping your eyes closed the whole time really helps also. Good luck I am sure that you can do this you are lucky your DH is allowed to come in with you.

Take care:
Janice

 
Old 08-13-2004, 03:05 AM   #13
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

They provide the headsets, and usually have several choices of music. The one that I was in, they could hear you if you talked and kept you apprised of the progress through the headset. It really helps cut down on the noise, plus those little foam earplugs too. You're going to ace this

Let us know how it went.
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:18 AM   #14
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

I have been through 4 mris in the past year, including one on my brain. Luckily, I have gone through most of the very easily, in fact for some reason, I have found the solitude and confinement to be almost relaxing. Howerver, I went for one last week on my lumbar spine and the pain from laying flat that long, just about made it impossible to tolerate it this time. I wasn't afraid of them before, but just knowing they want to do a thoracic set has got me worried. Maybe meds will help with that also?

 
Old 08-13-2004, 09:13 AM   #15
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Re: I freaked out during MRI. Looking for encouragement!

dpaz, I wonder if you took some strong pain killer like Lortab or Vicodin about a half hour before would help. They are great for pain and they also knock me out! Did they give you a support under your knees so you weren't laying completely flat? You could also ask your doctor if you could take something like Lortab AND xanax or valium. Don't know about mixing the two, but doc or pharmacist would know.

 
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