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SKZ 07-13-2007 01:36 PM

Claustrophobia and MRIs
I was just wondering how many people hate MRIs as much as I do? I am getting my 6th one tomorrow (cervical spine) and I still dread these things. Only one time (the 1st time) did I come close to freaking out and asking to be let out of the machine. But I talked myself out of it, because I knew I would never find out what was wrong if I didnt have it. It was a longgggg 45mins! The rest of the times I took a Valium and it was tolerable. I just did visualizations of ocean waves or pictured beautiful mountain scenes. I had a 2 level ACDF last Jan. and already I have to do an MRI because they are thinking another level is presenting problems. I am trying not to let my imagination run away with me before I even know the results. I see the spinal surgeon for my 6 month appt. on Tues. the 17th. Here's to having NO MORE problems!

SpineAZ 07-13-2007 10:41 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I can do knee MRI's (recently did one) but if I have to have another neck MRI I will be begging for and taking any valium they'll give me :-)

tina0211 07-14-2007 11:26 AM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I just had my first MRI in April and I didn't think I was clastrophobic until I went into that machine! I asked to be taken out and I thought......OMG, how am I going to stand this for 30 minutes. The tech gave me a washcloth to put over my eyes so I couldn't "see." I'm telling was like magic. I was able to tolerate the procedure without feeling confined. Just a thought...

julyg 07-14-2007 07:05 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I never had claustrophobia but I swear my first cervical MRI felt like I was in a coffin.

Fot the 2nd one I changed to an open MRI center and it was a little better. Also asked for music turned up LOUD!

paradiddle 07-14-2007 09:26 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I had a knee MRI - no problem
I had a shoulder MRI - no problem
I had a Neck MRI - I was freaking out and had them pull me out - wicked anxiety - I then went through with it - like it has been said - I wasn't going to find out what my problem was unless I went through with it.

Good thing I did. Next time I want an OPEN MRI. I don't think I can handle it again. I am 6 ft 290 lbs. So I am very compact in there.

They had a framework around my head and that didn't help either. They ended up taking it off. I thought of the waves and blue sky and kept my eyes closed......

paradiddle 07-14-2007 09:28 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I like that idea of a washcloth though..... I'll bring my own.

SKZ 07-14-2007 10:21 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
They called me today and changed my appt. till Monday. Oh well

bw67 07-15-2007 06:41 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
ask to have an OPEN MRI. you're not in a tube, the sides are open, it's still a little freaky, but much less than the tube...

the facility where I had mine done also let me bring in a music cd of my fav's to help relax me...

so are you still having problems?? didn't you have fusion a few months ago??

good luck


djoyv 07-16-2007 02:08 AM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I can't take valium, but I have someone drive me and I take the medicine cabinet!
I have 'failed' an mri before...
I just succeeded last Thursday, still sleepless waiting for the results. I took 2 xanax, 2 norco, 1 topamax and a tylenol pm. I told the tech not to let me out no matter what and that I had failed before. To retake any images that I was too shakey on. She thanked me for the warning and padded me firmly with extra cushions to help prevent me from the shakes. The first 5 minutes were the worst, then I zoned out.

Now just sleepless waiting...

SKZ 07-16-2007 07:23 AM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I went to NYC in May (I was 4 months post op) they all said it would be fine. So I pulled alot of luggage, went in taxi cabs that stopped short, and came back having new symptoms of really bad pain in my shoulder blades. I am really hoping that C4-5 isnt messed up now. I had a C5-C7 ACDF. I am about to leave for the ole MRI. ick.

ember919 07-22-2007 02:47 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
Although they don't like to do it and [U]you need orders from your doctor[/U], you CAN get a 'sedation' MRI if you do it at a hospital.

I am [I]terribly[/I] claustrophobic, had used open MRI facility before but my surgeon said the images from those typically weren't as good a quality as those from standard MRI machines. However, no matter how much encouragement I got and how hard I tried, I simply could not stand being inside the regular MRI tube.

So I got IV sedation for my last MRI. Didn't last long enough and I woke up and freaked out when there were still about three minutes left, but at least it was enough for them to finally get a decent picture of my neck.

I realize it's not something everyone wants to put themselves through, but if you really, really have a problem with the MRI procedure, it's an option to consider.

SKZ 07-22-2007 03:07 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
Thanks for all the posts and ideas. I used Valium and it was fine. I kind panicked for the first minute and then it went OK. I used a washcloth over my eyes, which I think is KEY!!

nero 07-22-2007 08:36 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
I keep my eyes closed and repeat my favourite long as my eye are closed I am fine. I don't dare open them until they confirm I am done and they are there to remove me. Turns out a woman at my MRI centre was left in machine from Fri p.m to Mon a.m.; they forgeot about her. I had similar experience and after that I was really freaked out about using the machine. However, still realizing that this machine is the only evidence one has to substantiate the pain to the dr. , I grin and deal with it.

Good really is psychosomatic...I mean just pretend you are lying in a tanning bed or having to rest and destress on your bed. That would be reason enough to relax. So odd we all have to deal with that feeling though eh!


SKZ 07-23-2007 08:22 AM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
Being left ifor a weekend in one of those machines sounds like a major lawsuit to me! whew

Bran'sNana 07-23-2007 02:02 PM

Re: Claustrophobia and MRIs
Before I went I called doc and asked for a xanax. I got it but the nurse was acting like I was a BIG BABY! I heard too many stories about it, and I said, hey I got this far, I'm not going to blow it! I'm kind of small, so it wasn't bad, I did open my eyes and was fine, I was calm enough from the xanax. I'm not claustrophobic either so that helped. I thought I would get headphones but not for the neck one I guess, they were blasting my Rod Stewart singing the classic rock songs,but I could hardly hear it with the jack hammer sounds! I just chilled and thought good thoughts, it was actually kind of like being in the womb maybe....LOL!! Or a tent or something....

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