Ellekay, just so you know, [never] have an [open] MRI done for MS related things- they are no where near as accurate as a closed one, and quite honestly, arent that different...the 'cage' people are talking about is for stability, so that you dont move your head/neck and it isnt tight, just snug around your ears....its very open, you can see thru it and it doesnt hurt.
You have a right to be nervous, we all are when we first go thru it, but trust me, if you had to do a spinal tap, [then] you could have something to be nervous about...the MRI is simple, its [all] mind over matter. If you are having valium as well, then you absolutely will relax thru the whole thing. Next time, you probably wont require valium either. IIt's all about not knowing what to expect. I suggest when the tech takes you back to do the test, that you ask them to stay in contact wtih you throughout the test (or until you fall asleep) youll hear them thru the speakers saying things like "okay, this next segment will last 2 minutes" and then you hear the machine start up...it sounds like a whirling noise, little taps and buzzes..its loud, but not scary. It doesnt move, doesnt really vibrate. you should just hear it and feel nothing. I promise once you get thru this once- it will be a piece of cake.
They can do brain and spine at the same time, takes me about 45 mins to have them both done without stopping- and that includes the contrast injection....but its not unusal to start with the brain and look for lesions first..that is where they are most likely to appear. IF you go back to your neuro and find out it showed nothing, then demand they repeat it on your spine...and btw, while you are at the MRI center, ask for copies of the films either print or CD...keep them for your records. You can get a copy of the actual report from the ordering doctor.
Be strong..this is really nothing, its just the not knowing which is bad. You'll see, its going to be okay.