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MRI experience ( Terror)
Old 12-17-2019, 05:03 PM   #1
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MRI experience ( Terror)

Just got back from an MRI. Never had one so this was a totally new experience. I was certain that I a not claustrophobic .....until...... they slid me into the "tube". Shear instant terror, complete panic attack. My brain was screaming " GET ME OUT" like nothing I had ever experienced. Totally illogical and embarrassing but I could not control myself. I am a logical engineer that completely understands the workings and safety of the MRI BUT every fiber of my brain was in pure panic mode. I've stepped on numerous rattlesnakes, been struck ( dry bite) , chased out of a river by a gator and robbed at gunpoint BUT nothing compares to this feeling. The adrenaline rush was so bad that I have been shaking and shook up for 3 hours.
I am hoping that an OPEN MRI is an option otherwise I guess I'll have to be fully sedated. Does anyone else have MRI experiences like this and, if so, what did you end up doing ??
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:12 PM   #2
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I've had two MRIs before and although I didn't experience any fear from it, in every case they did offer sedation for exactly the reasons you experienced. At least you now know to ask for it.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:16 PM   #3
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Try again with sedation. It is not pleasant. We understand.

My MRI went OK but I have to admit all the sounds were very disturbing. Next time, I want some kind of noise cancellation (unless they are looking at my head.)

Please don't be ashamed in any way. This is normal. I made it through, but I felt like I was on the edge the entire time.

P.S. There are people here who insist on being 100% awake during colonoscopy. NOT ME! Propofol me. The same goes with MRI. There is no shame in needing some sedation.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:21 PM   #4
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No MRI, but I have had multiple CT scans and PET scans.

No fear whatsoever, other than the 1st time when I had a reaction to the injected iodine solution and my throat closed up.

They sounded an alarm, and the nurses rushed in to give an injection of Benadryl, which took effect immediately.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:28 PM   #5
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The nurse told me about sedation but that had to be prescribed prior to the appt. I had no idea I would need it so it wasn't prescribed. Plus my level of panic was such that even the nurse said that a sedative would probably not make any difference. Based on her 20 years as an MRI tech she said it was OPEN or full sedation for me. Now I need to wait for my Dr to call back.
BTW...4 hours later and I'm still wired up from the adrenaline hit...
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:35 PM   #6
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It wasn’t that bad for me, but as JoeWras said, on the edge. Couldn’t wait to get it over with. I’m definitely looking for an open mri if I need one again. Hope you feel better soon. I’ve had panic attacks before and it is not a good day when they happen. Breathing and mental yoga help a lot. Do anything you know how to calm you mind. You will be okay.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:37 PM   #7
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I've had too many MRIs. One wasn't fun as a nerve became pinched, the reason for the MRI, and caused extreme pain. The panic button in my left hand was there, unfortunately I couldn't press it because of the same nerve.

I understand the panic it's very real. Many folks go through it, that's why they have options like open MRI or a little bit of something to keep you relaxed.

Open MRI is open, no tube. You lay on a bed with the other unit above you and open sides. As long as your doctor is okay with it it's a good option to try.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
It wasn’t that bad for me, but as JoeWras said, on the edge. Couldn’t wait to get it over with. I’m definitely looking for an open mri if I need one again. Hope you feel better soon. I’ve had panic attacks before and it is not a good day when they happen. Breathing and mental yoga help a lot. Do anything you know how to calm you mind. You will be okay.




Bourbon !!!!! Several bourbons matter of fact!!!
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:42 PM   #9
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It's the enclosed space & noise. When I had one done, I had enough time to mentally prepare for it. I was uncomfortable but I able to get through it. My wife is a bit claustrophobic. Nothing major but it's still an issue. Her's came up fast. To her it was a lot tougher, even with a mild sedative. Almost a year later, she still talks about how bad it was.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:42 PM   #10
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I used to do MRIs for testing purposes. I got paid $80 to have an MRI done for about 45 minutes. This was at a GE facility that manufactures the MRIs. I did several of them, once a month. Never had any issue. That being said, do what you need to do to feel comfortable. Nothing wrong with asking for sedation if needed.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:44 PM   #11
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We need video ����������❤️
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:54 PM   #12
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Bourbon !!!!! Several bourbons matter of fact!!!
That would likely be okay for a one time event. For me, I’d have had a drinking problem before I got things under control.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:57 PM   #13
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I did OK with mine but my late husband was a bit claustrophobic and had to get sedation.

I've had only one- they asked what type of music I preferred, I selected Classic Rock, and in between the chirps and the beeps they started ZZ Topp's "I got a girl that lives on a hill..."

Wow, have things changed since I first heard that song. It helps if you keep a sense of humor.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:01 PM   #14
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I have had 3. I take a Xanax before I go. I need them to fly also.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:01 PM   #15
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I just had one and they put in earplugs and draped a cloth across my eyes. It felt like I was just lying on a table hearing some weird noises. I did not even feel any movement when they slid me in. It might have been different if I could see my surroundings.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:06 PM   #16
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It hit me too as I slid into the chamber. A few deep breaths and closing my eyes were enough for me to settle down - kept my eyes closed tight, I did! Need to ask for a cloth/eye shades next time.
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Try to Relax
Old 12-17-2019, 06:11 PM   #17
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Try to Relax

I've had a few and the first one was unpleasant, so in preparation for the other ones, I did several things:

1.) Before the MRI and as I'm on the "shelf," I practice diaphragmatic breathing, usually to a four count. This would be four counts when inhaling, hold the breath for four counts, exhale for four counts and don't inhale for four more counts before beginning again. This is commonly referred to as "box breathing."

2.) As I begin the scan, I close my eyes and remember scenes which brought me great pleasure. For example, I like to think of setting off from a dock in Jone's Inlet, with a rising sun in the East and perfectly flat seas, noticing the translucent mists as they rise from the water while listening to the screech of seagulls and the gentle lapping of the water against the hull while I maneuver my boat out into the channel for a day of fluke fishing.

3.) I also remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to have these scans, as so many people in the World die well before their time due to the sad "luck" of where they were born.

4.) Finally, I remind myself that as anxiety-provoking as these scans may be, no one has ever died from one and they will be over shortly.

For me, these strategies get me through the scans. Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:23 PM   #18
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I get a yearly MRI for breast cancer detection - the scans are face-down, and I've never opened my eyes in the tube because I don't want to know how close it is. Last time I declined music because I can barely hear it over the banging. A warm blanket makes the experience a bit less jarring.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:29 PM   #19
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Mr. A. had an MRI a couple of years ago. I was in the room with him, and the nurse gave us both earplugs, which somewhat lessened the din. That thing is noisy!! Afterward, we agreed that it was something like certain types of "modern" (as in mid-century experimental composers) music. There's no melody, but you can detect certain "themes" over and over.

He has no phobias that I know of (although he hates mice), so that wasn't an issue at all.
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:00 PM   #20
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I have that kind of surprise claustrophobia, never know when it's going to hit. Once on a work "teambuilder" we went indoor go kart racing.

Had to wear a motorcycle style helmet for the first time ever. Holy crap had that same panic attack just trying one on. I was so embarrassed, and as the only girl in the group, I felt I could not NOT go racing. One guy was left in the room with me, saw I had..issues, and patiently helped me suggesting a helmet a bit bigger, and that I just carry it until the last minute when I was in the cart. That worked, thankfully.

So yeah...if the MRI is for your back or head try open, get good music or sedation. My last MRI was my knee so I was only in half way, but I don't think I could do a full one.
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