View Full Version : lying flat in the mri scan? im really scared

19-05-09, 10:43
im due to have a scan on my head tomorrow morning, i fear being trapped in anything or anywhere so im scared of this. also, im really worrying about whether i will be able to handle lying flat for any length of time because i have post nasal drip and lump in throat feeling and to top it off i think im coming down with a cold.
im considering not even going but my partner will be fuming as he has booked time off work to take me.

19-05-09, 12:24
Linny try closing your eyes and thinking of a beautiful relaxing place - a real one or an imaginary one. Add flowers, sun, water, anything you like. Create your own ideal place in your head. By the time you've done that, it will be over! Good luck

20-05-09, 17:13
Hope this procedure went well for you - just noticed this post was from yesterday.

You will know by now that they give you buzzer to hold on to, so if you're having any difficulties at all you can press the buzzer and someone will come and help you - but you won't need to, it'll be ok.

20-05-09, 19:13

I have have to have one soon and I am already getting anxious but I decided taht I am going to close my eyes befoe I go in.

Good liuck, let me know how it went.


20-05-09, 19:21
Hi Linny

I hope everything went well with the scan today.


miss diagnosis
22-05-09, 13:05
I had one of these done before. its really not as bad as you think it will be.
Its bright on the inside and they play music. in fact i think you can bring your own cd if you want :-)

22-05-09, 20:50
im due to have a scan on my head tomorrow morning, i fear being trapped in anything or anywhere so im scared of this. also, im really worrying about whether i will be able to handle lying flat for any length of time because i have post nasal drip and lump in throat feeling and to top it off i think im coming down with a cold.
im considering not even going but my partner will be fuming as he has booked time off work to take me.

I have the same problem only mine is my back. I tried to have it done a year ago but failed miserably. Im due to have another one next week and Im dreading it. But my consultant has told me I can have it done under general aneasthetic if all else fails so that might be an option for you if you really can't cope with it. They also tell me that they can do the actual images much quicker these days so should only take 10 mins. They also have sleep masks and someone who will stay with you. All you can do is try. My partner has just gone into hospital for 6 weeks!!! So won't be there.
Good luck I hope it goes well for you. Private message me if you like and let me know how you get on. And I wil do the same.

11-06-09, 10:10
just wanted to update this and say that it wasnt half as bad as i thought. becvause it was my head i only got put half way in to the machine so i could see out. there was a mirror above me as well reflecting the window of the office where the scan lady went. so anyone who needs one, dont be afraid, if i can do it anyone can! its really not so bad once your under it.

08-07-09, 18:38
Hi there
I am posting this,as the comments by Linny helped me a lot,so i think it is only fair i should try and do the same!.
I went for an MRI scan on Monday pm.I had been in a terrible state of panic for the two days before because i suffer from claustrophobia and catarhh.So the prospect of lying on my back in a tunnel was about as bad as it could get.
The first thing i did was go to my GP on Monday morning and asked her for some sedatives,she gave me 3 tablets.I took one there and then,and another before i left for the scan.I did NOT need the third,as the first two had made me feel so relaxed.I had no feelings of anxiety or panic at all.
So that is the first thing i would recommend,your GP will be only too happy to help.
As to the scan itself,it was very informal,no people in masks or white coats,i was allowed to keep my own clothes on and all the staff were very friendly and took lots of time to explain everything.
Because it was a head scan they only needed to slide me in up to my waist,and as the entrance is quite widely flared i could see the outside a bit.Actually the scanner was nowhere near as long or narrow as i had feared.
There was a mirror above me in which i could see the people at the computer in the office, a few yards away and i did not really feel that i was in a tunnel at all!!.
The scans started almost immediately and lasted about 4 minutes each,in between they turned down the music in my headphones to chat and ask if i was ok.The noise was not as bad as i thought it would be,it could be heard over the music but it was just like being in the kitchen when the washing machine is going.I was in the scanner for 17 minutes,and the time flew.
I hope this post helps aleviate some of the anxiety that i know other people will experience.
Best regards

16-12-10, 14:51
I also was helped by members posts so feel I should add a few tips that worked for me.
Yes, I too took 2 valium that morning which did calm me down but my fear of the enclosed space was a hard one to fight. I saw on one help site a mention of using eyeshades, I did and they were brilliant! I was lucky enough to have some very black ones in a soft fabric that didn't slip (unlike the nyloney airline ones tend to do). I knew if my eyes even flickered for a second in there, to reveal the contours of the scanner I might loose it, but with the eyeshades it was perfectly dark. Another tip, if you are clausterphobic, make sure your earphones and arms are perfectly settled before you go in. If you feel you need to adjust your arms/hands in there you could easily touch the sides of the unit, then again you would become aware of the closeness. The staff are very patient and accommodating and will let you settle yourself comfortably before they move you into the scanner. One last tip - if you feel you can listen to the music make sure they turn the volume up a tiny notch louder than is comfortable outside, as the noise inside can blot it out a bit. The noise isn't that awful, if feels like it is inside in the centre of the dome raher that right by your ear. It sounds a bit like a faulty washing machine!!

16-12-10, 15:06
I forgot to mention that it can get a bit hot in there. The lady allowed me to leave on the lycra type vest and lycra T shirt I was wearing (as my scan was a pelvic one) and the heat I felt in there, as a result, did make me anxious as I wasn't sure if the heat was going to increase as the time wore on (it didn't). Thats all, hope it helps someone.

07-02-11, 16:06
I was going to start a thread about me having an MRI in a couple of weeks but I might as well tag onto this one!! Im due an MRI in a couple of weeks to look at my brain. I had one a year ago which because of my bad claustrophobia wasnt easy for me. I also had a cage put over my head to keep my head still. I was afraid to see how far I had been put inside the scanner, if I had only gone up to my waist as one of the previous posts had said I think I would of been ok but was too scared to open my eyes when I was inside in case I lost it. The girl who assisted me in getting into the scanner wasnt very sympathetic and didnt say much when I said i was claustrophobic so Im hoping to get someone different this time. The noise didnt bother me at all, bit like a distant pneumatic drill while music was being played.This time Ive been to my GP and hes given me 3 Valium so hopefully I will be ok. I do have severe claustrophobia, I dont even like the bedroom door closed or the sheet over my face in bed, so I did very well to get through a 20 min scan last time, although I did tremble and on getting out burst into tears, saying never again!

30-05-14, 01:28
Over the years I have had three MRIs without incident but all of a sudden I can' t allow myself to be put in the machine. This is not life or death so far as I know, we're imaging my shoulder down to the elbow. After my first rejection, my doctor gave me Lorazepam before the second with seemingly no effect. I thought about seeing a psychiatrist and haven't ruled that out and I'm looking into an "open" machine and am lucky enough to be able to travel to access one but make no mistake, this is no joke.
I have black belts in ju jitsu and taekwon do, have sparred, full contact, with men twice my size. Have bungy jumped at Victoria Gorge, parachuted and have hang glided and yet...

26-02-18, 03:51
I know some of these are old posts, but I wanted to add to the conversation a bit. I was also terrified of getting an MRI on my head. And the more I read on posts the worse I felt. Just the idea of lying flat and still and in a tube with that head piece on, made me panic. I got through it and it was pretty easy to do. Here is what I did the week before my MRI.
1. I looked a bit into meditation. Simple just concentrating on my breathing.
In and out, in and out. Focusing on just breathing. If my mind started to wander to panic, I told my mind (the monkey brain chatter mind) to focus on the breathing. That works a bit.
2. I got an order for 1mg of Xanax that I planned to take 30 minutes before my test.
3. I got a box that was big enough to fit my upper torso into. I found an MRI sounds video on YOUTUBE. First day I got in the box. Lying flat up to my navel. Played the sounds and try to lie there. First day I could only do 1 minute. By the 4th day I was able to lie in there for 10 minutes. Desensitizing yourself. This is important.
4. Told myself that this test was needed to rule out big issues. I had to do and was lucky this test is around in todays world.
5. I practiced telling myself, "you got this. You got this.You are excited.once you do this it will be something you overcame and beat!"
Day of the exam I was a bit nervous but not crazy panicked. I was prepared.
I took my XANAX. It made me feel a bit loopy by the time I walked in. Not out of it, just more relaxed. But I was glad I had desensitized myself and I knew what the sounds were.
I told the MRI guy I took a xanax and was nervous. He was slow and let me lead the way. I refused the headphones because I wanted to hear the sounds.
This is important. The sounds of the machine REALLY HELP YOU. I also used the mirror above my head. It's actually great to see your hands and your feet and the MRI person in the window.
I was a bit anxious but as soon as the sounds started I focused on the sounds. I imagined they were birds and machines and construction building a huge building. The MRI person talks to you between each break. "This next one is 2 minutes." Then imagine those sounds being something cool. I even moved my hands to the sounds. They give you a rubber ball and I moved the ball into time with the sounds like it was a dancing bird. I think he saw me and kind of smiled. IT WORKS. Don't just lie there waiting for it to be over. Play games with each section. Each section has as different sound and they are COOL SOUNDS!! And before you know it, he says, "1 more scan and we're done." The Xanax helps the time to faster as well because you kind of drift in and out a bit. And when you are done you are so proud you did it. My wife promise me a huge amazing lunch when we were done. Have a carrot at the end of the test. Something you look forward to. A reward. TRUST ME--If I can do this and do it with almost no problem--YOU CAN DO IT! Play games in there, focus on the sounds and your hands with that ball. Breath and if you can desensitize yourself a bit. And honestly it's not that tight. People on the internet make it sound worse than it is. YOU GOT THIS!!!!!