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Old 09-15-2003, 06:16 PM   #1
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Post medical tests and claustrophobia

I posted the other day about having another enlarged/painless lymph node in my neck for about a month now. I've also been having nite sweats and have been extremely fatigued as well as short of breath. I also have a nagging cough that has been hanging on for about 2 weeks. Since I have a history where I had 3 lymph nodes removed last year my ENT is keeping an eye on me. I haven't seen her in months,(which I should see her every month), but I'm afraid to go back because I'm afraid she'll send me for an MRI. Last time I attempted to get an OPEN MRI I didn't take the zanax like I was suppose to and when they rolled me under the machine I flipped out and never went back.

I really have 2 questions, first, does anyone here have problems with claustrophobia and how did you handle it?? The second question is if you did have cancer and had to have radiation treatments, I heard they bolt your head to the table, is this true and how did you make it through??? I know this sounds crazy, but my claustrophobia is so severe that I worry if anything like this was to happen to me I'd be too afraid to get treatment.


 
Old 09-17-2003, 08:09 PM   #2
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Hi Bella67

I havent written to anyone on this board before but when I read yours I had to go register, etc, so I could tell you that my husband didnt know he had a problem with confined spaces until last year when he had to get an MRI to see why he was having a sore neck. He went alone to the hosp and they stuck him in a closed MRI machine and turned it on and out he came and came home swearing to never do it again. I called his doctor and he gave him some Valium to take 30 mins before we went for the open MRI and I stood there the whole time and held his hand. He did just fine. Maybe you should take the zanex and get someone to hold your hand - if you dont have someone - ask a nurse. What really helped him was that I found a towel in there and put it across his eyes and he was fine. But I think he couldnt have done it without it. You can just close your eyes and pretend its not in front of your face. He asked them to not lock his head in place. They dont have to do that. Just dont move while the thumping is going on. It just a big camera and all its doing is taking your picture -. I had an open MRI done on my shoulder last month - it was easy but I didnt have my head clamped down...just ask them not to and they will work with you...Hope this helps you....


 
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Old 09-18-2003, 05:48 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your reply! Not too many ppl understand being claustrophobic. My H said he found it ridiculous that I couldn't put aside my anxiety to just get the test done, but it's more than that. Once I'm in that enclosed space my brain is saying "OMG, I can't move no matter what and I'm stuck in here... GET OUT".. lol Seriously, I have such a panic, but you are right, I should have taken the xanax as prescribed. I just didn't think one pill could help. I also did NOT like having my neck clamped down. When I did panic and was screaming to be let out of the machine I jumped up so quick that I popped the clamp on my neck. I never even felt a thing! I really appreciate you being so sensitive about this subject and taking the time to answer my questions.

How is your hubby doin' by the way?? I hope he is fine

 
Old 09-19-2003, 04:59 AM   #4
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bella67
GrandmaSam is right. They should work with you. Claustraphobia is a terrible thing. My husband has it and my mother. When my husband had his mri a couple weeks ago, they gave him some glasses. He started to panic so they worked with him. I don't know exactly how that helped him, but it did. When I Went for mine I started to panic a little, and I just closed my eyes and tried to think of something else. My mother has to be medicated before also. So get some medication and find a place that will work with you. Good luck!
Michele

 
Old 09-21-2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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bella67
You asked about myt husband - he is fine...just a sore neck...I tell him its because he is he is so short -5'6" and all his friends are 6'2". I imagine its arthritis from 30 years of working as a lineman for an electric company and having to climb poles and look up all the time.
He didnt know he was claustophobic unil he had the MRI. Your husband may have it too and not know it. Wouldnt that be funny. Men and their logical brain - dont you just want to clobber them sometime? LOL
Since he isnt too sympathatic about you r problem - ask a friend to go with you and hold your hand. I called his doctor and had him give him 10 mg of Valium and it worked. Didnt knowk him out but really took the edge off of his nerves so that he could then reason with himself about having to lay there. I broke my shoulder in March and last month had to have an open MRI on my arm. I found it very relaxing and even went to sleep but of course they didnt block my head but my arm began to ache terribly and I finally had to call the nurse and she said "You only have 10 mins more". I told her that if I was kissing a good looking man - `10 mins wouldnt seem too long, but pain in my arm was a different story. But I managed to do it but i kept moving it as best I could to get some blood flowing again....so the pictures were unconclusive. When I went in for the results, he shot it full of novacaine and cprtisone and it didnt hurt for about 6 wks. Now, why didnt he do that the day I had the MRI?....Thats why they are called "practicing physicians". Now, you go on in there and get that checked....you are going to kick yourself if you dont - and I will be waiting for the results. I will pray for you to get through it and that is nothing serious. Ask God to hold your hand...He will Remember He says "Fear not, for I am with you." Turst Him - He will never fail you.......Sam

 
Old 09-21-2003, 05:38 PM   #6
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GrandmaSam, Glad to hear your hubby is doing fine, and yes, men aren't always the most sensitive creatures on the planet. That's why women give birth instead of men.. lol You're so very sweet too with your kind words and good blessings. Mamu, same goes for you also! I really appreciate the support and advice. I see my ENT on Saturday, so we'll see what she says.

hugs and take care!

 
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