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Another MRI and Claustrophobia

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Old 09-28-2005, 01:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
flysacessna HB User
Another MRI and Claustrophobia

Well it looks like I might be needing another MRI or bone scan. The last one I had I hated it! I'm claustrophic and being in that freaking tiny tube freaked me out. I found out, afterword of course, that I can request to be sedated for an MRI. Have anyone of you had this problem or know anyone who has? If so, how do the sedate me? Anyone know anything...??? I hate this and am really freaked out again!!! Any information is greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-28-2005, 02:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 62
robinsegg26 HB User
Smile Re: Another MRI and Claustrophobia

they do have open MRI machines ... if the place you go to doesnt have one request that your doctor send u to one that does.

But if you must go. The last time I had a MRI (a few weeks ago) my doc prescribed Valium for me to take an hr before the scan and when i got there the tech gave me a washcloth and she said put it over your eyes and it helps. It really did I was in there for 2 hours and i was ok with it.

I have also heard some places let you bring CD's to listen to or they play music to try and help.

hope that helps and good luck!

Old 09-28-2005, 03:37 PM   #3
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Location: Northern Virginia
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lfoster21 HB User
Wink Re: Another MRI and Claustrophobia

I know well, what you are talking about. As the earlier post said, all the Drs. I have known gladly give you meds for sedation. My Ortho. gives me 2 valium. He says to take 1 1/2 hr. prior and 1 when I get there. I also have to have a dark mask over my eyes. I take my own, since there was 1 time that the hospital could not locate thier mask. Also, I got an eye mask that has a strap. That 1 time they couldn't find thier mask, they offered a wash rag and it fell off and I literally "freaked out". When I go in to the room, I can not look at the inside of the machine. I sit down w/ my back towards it, and put on the mask before they lay me down. They also have a panic button they will give me, if I ask. It goes inside w/ me and if I have to get out, they can be in the room and have me out w/in 10 secs. I always ask for it, but have never needed to push it. (have come close, but have always made it w/o having to do so). I also bring in my own CD and ask them to put the volume up higher than over power the noise of the machine. Once I lose focus on the music, I'm gone. If I start to realize where I heart goes wild and I start gasping for air. Not a pleasent site or I am sure you can understand.

If all else fails, ask for an open MRI, but know that they do not give the best readings. My Dr. told me that and then I did several searches on the web regarding the results and they all seemed to say the same thing. They are good for people who can not get an MRI the in the normal ones, but they are not as good or accurate when it comes to the results.

Good luck and keep us posted,


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Last edited by lfoster21; 09-28-2005 at 03:40 PM.

Old 09-28-2005, 04:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 29
TexMac HB User
Re: Another MRI and Claustrophobia

I agree. Ask the doc for a prescription. I much prefer the open MRI's too, the tech was good, asked me what my favorite music was and blasted it during. The last one was terrible: tube, no sedation. They gave me ear plugs that didn't work.

Best of luck,


Old 09-28-2005, 05:55 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 489
notpain HB User
Re: Another MRI and Claustrophobia

The machine, the facility, and the operator make a big difference. I've had 3 MRI's the last one a week ago and it was the worst of the 3 experiences.

1st scan - cervical spine. Phillips 1.5 - half open. I had headphones to listen to music - the let me pick anything I liked. The technician also talked to me through the proceedures told me how long they would be. I was sedated with 1mg Ativan - good stuff for that purpose. The duration was about half hour as I recall.

2nd scan - Brain with contrast. Same facility, 5mg Valium. About the same time - no problem

3rd Scan - Last Week, General Electric 1.5 - Closed Tube. No Sedation. No headphones - just ear plugs. Much cheaper (I had to pay for all the scans). This took about 15 minutes longer than the other two as well, and I had much difficulty hearing the technician. I'd recommend finding out what the Machine will be, if you have problems and are not allergic to the meds - take them! Also if you can get headphones and music highly recommended. Also it's good to think of anything but the proceedure you are going through. If they offer a mask for your eyes - use it. Otherwise keep your eyes closed. 5 minutes is like 15 in the tube, but everyone seems to make it just fine and you will too, the less you think about it the better off you are. And sometimes private imaging facilities are a better choice than hospitals where the equipment can be older. Call around and ask.

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