View Full Version : Got an MRi next week and really claustrophobic

17-01-10, 01:50
As the title says I have an MRI and am geting scared.

I am really claustophobic

They wont do any more CT scans as I have had too many in the last year and exposed to too much radiation apparently.

The MRI is to look at a tumour on my adrenal gland and I am really worried about it cos I hate being shut in


17-01-10, 02:25
Let me be the first to wish you well. Reading through all your past experiences I think you've been through a lot worse and come out in one piece!

I hope it is good news and wish you all the best Nic. Sure you'll be fine. X

17-01-10, 10:32
Hello Nicola,

You aren't alone in being apprehensive about your MRI. I work in a hospital and have known lots of people to be afraid because of claustrophobia - but the majority of them have gone and done it - which I think you will!! You seem a strong person to me and I think you'll overcome your fear. And it'll be a step closer to getting a clearer diagnosis, which I hope is a good one. Good luck:hugs:
Myra x

17-01-10, 11:19
Hi Nic,

I had one a couple of years ago, and i can relate to the claustraphobia, i made sure i had taken some diazepam, also i asked if i could go into the machine feet first as opposed to head first, so that my head was always closest to the outside, and when it was time to come out, my head was out before everythng else, which REALLY helped. i was given headphones with the radio playing, and you are still able to hear the staff when they give you instruction, one other thing i would srongly advise is to keep your eyes shut, right from the moment you start to move into the machine, i made the mistake of peeking out one eye, and it was pretty close , so i shut my eyes quickly , this along with the going in feet first really helps with the claustarophobia, just concentrate on your breathing and keeping your eyes closed.Even with my eyes closed it felt bright as there was lights inside, and it didnt feel hot, quite bright and airy,the other thing is that when it starts taking the pictures, it is loud and rattling , but ok.
I could do it again if i Had too, it wasnt as awful as i anticiapted and the times goes by fairly quickly.
Hope this helps, you will be fine, let us know how it goes..



17-01-10, 13:30
I had a head mri scan lasdt week and altho |I was scared rigid it wasnt half as bad as i expected and was over in 10 mins However only my head was in so it didnt feel so clausrophobic. |The nurses are very kind especially if you tell them how scared you are.

Love Joy

17-01-10, 14:29
Hi Nic

I had one last year and I was pertified but I was on anti depressants at the time so I think they did not help. I took a beta blocker before I went in which really helped.

Like someone else said PLEASE keep your eyes shut as soon as you lay down.

They did talk to you through the head phones which helps, but what I did not like was they kept telling me how many minutes I had left which may be a good or bad thing dependant on you.

I also told them I was really scared and anxious before it so they kept asking me if I was OK throughout it.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

Sharona :bighug1:

anx mum
17-01-10, 14:58
Hi nicola had mri test not nice if ur clastrophobic u have a buzzer if it gets too much and they play music in background think it lasts about 20mins. I just closed my eyes if its too much they can give u a sedative. Good luck x

17-01-10, 16:02
:hugs:Hi Nicola, I took my NMP teddy in with me:blush:as long as my head was still i could hug teddy.
First try I went in an 'open scanner' about 2 seconds and i wanted out :roflmao:The 'open bit was at the side - i could put my arm out BUT could not SEE out cos i had to keep my head still:ohmy:

Best bit of info IF you have to press the buzzer to come out - DO your best to make sure that you press in the QUIET bit. that means that picture has been taken and you won't have to do that bit again.
I thought the noises resmbled = the drill next door used to remove chimney breast = and the noise of the final spin on teh washing machine:ohmy:
Best wishes

17-01-10, 17:43
Aww thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

They are letting Alex come in with me as well so that may help.

I am sure it will be fine - it is just cos I hate being shut in that I worry so much. I will try and get them to let me in feet first as well and will keep my eyes shut.

Thanks everyone.

It is on Thursday so I will let you all know how it goes.

18-01-10, 01:22
Hi Nic
I have had a fully body/head, MRI before and like the others say, it is better to keep your eyes closed and try and relax as much as possible.
The machine can be quite noisy but headphones are provided. I wish someone had told me this before because I was panicking the machine was breaking down. :lac:
I am quite claustrophobic and panic over everything, but I found the staff were really kind and reassuring to me and there was also a buzzer you can press for immediate assistance, which helped.You are being constantly monitored so nothing can happen.
If I had to have it done again I would maybe ask for a sedative but that's just me because of claustrophobia :wacko:
I hope it all goes well for you.
All the best.

18-01-10, 08:31
hi nic

i found the worst bit was going in but once i was in i managed to calm myself down and it was noisy but thats all

19-01-10, 00:22
Thanks Poppy and Den.

I would prefer no sedation so will just go for it and what is the worst that can happen lol.

I am not even worried about the results - this is just a rescan to make sure the tumour hasn't changed at all.

19-01-10, 13:19
dont think they give you sedation as there are no doctors present anyway


20-01-10, 00:11
I am not keen on sedation Joy and there was no mention of it so I am guessing they don't offer it.

20-01-10, 00:19
My heart goes out to you Nicola. I often used to think what I'd ever do if I had to have an MRI myself. Usually imagined I'd freak out. However , a couple of years agoI had a similar scan for a blood clot on my lung and had to be sandwiches in a machine that resembled a sun bed and would normally have sent me crazy. Yet when it came to it, the desire to get the result overcame the anxiety of the moment.

With the MRI, they do give you a panic buzzer and in some places you can even have your own relaxation cd played through the headphones if you request it. The newer machines are also much more roomy in comparison to the old.

I suspect you will surprise even yourself and very often the worry is more about the prospective outcome and results than actual clausterophobia at the time.

Wishing you well and will look out for an update from you.
Very best. WIth you in spirit.


Going home
20-01-10, 00:22

My brother has a condition called issac's syndrome and has to have regular scans like this, but the hospital he goes to in liverpool has one of the new MRi scanners which is like a sun bed, it has open sides so you're not enclosed. Apparently there are only 3 or 4 in the country and I think he said Cheltenham was another town that had one.

I'm not sure if the liverpool hospital is called Walton General or Fazakerly because he attends both, but I can ask him if you want (not sure which part of the country you live in sorry)

best wishes
GH xx

20-01-10, 00:28
Thanks Rozie and GH

Rozie - you have actually helped me there cos I used to go on a sun bed so perhaps I can imagine it is that lol and I am getting a lovely tan whilst there.

I think it is also the hospital enviornment that scares me having spent 8 weeks in this particular hospital last year. I wanted the scan done in Addenbrookes which is where my Crohn's care is now but because the original scan was done at Bedford hospital I have to go there and I don't think they have the latest hi-tech scanners.

Thanks GH - as you probably just read they are making me go back to Bedford hospital. I used to have private health care but not anymore so maybe that would have been better for me but I have no qualms with the NHS just Bedford hospital lol.

20-01-10, 00:31
Oh and one more thing - they asked me about metal in my body which I do have as I have a metal stent in my artery following a heart attack. They said it was fine but does anyone know why it matters.

I can just imagine myself being stuck to the machine cos the of the magnets :roflmao:

Now that would be a sight wouldn't it.

I know that I am getting a bit stressed cos my Crohn's is causing me grief today and that is caused by the anxiety but I will get through it I know I will - we all just worry with something new don't we?

Going home
20-01-10, 00:40
:D You're actually right about the magnetic aspect! Apparently its different depending on what stent they used, and that its always a good idea to tell the operator that you have one and which one it is. Also how long youve had it as i think the magnetic effect happens more when the stent is new. So you might just get the tan without the buzz!!

GH xx

20-01-10, 00:44
Cool so I will be stuck to the top or bottom of the scanner and they will have to prise me off. :roflmao:

We have to laugh don't we. :winks:

20-01-10, 15:21
:hugs:Just to wish you good luck for tomorrow:hugs:
You know it will be OK :blush:
I loved the bit where you said Alex is being allowed to come in with you :ohmy:
2 people in one machine????:yesyes:
Love and best wishes

20-01-10, 19:36
Good luck tomorrow Nic It'll soon be over

Love Joy

20-01-10, 21:18
Sorry i havent been around for a while mate i need to catch up, just wanted to send you a hug and hope everything goes well for you .



20-01-10, 21:49
Just to let you know, nic is a bit poorly at the moment, but wants to thank you all for your good wishes.

di xx

20-01-10, 21:58
Get better soon Nic. X

20-01-10, 21:59

Sending you loads of love and luck for tomorrow mate. I know you are dreading it but try to remember it's just for a short time and then you can leave and go back to the comfort of your own home.

I completey understand your fear because i am claustrophobic too!

I know you have been poorly the past few days so please try to get lots of rest.

Thinking of you mate
Loads of love


20-01-10, 22:56
Our turn to give back some of the support that you give us with this site.

We will all be thinking of you tomorrow, now get some rest and let the mole, hamster or whatever it is take good care of you. :winks:

We'll see you when you're better. :hugs:

20-01-10, 23:13
Sorry your not feeling so good nic, wishing you good luck and best wishes for tommorow x P x :flowers:

21-01-10, 19:07
Aww thanks everyone. I have just got up after having a sleep. :yesyes:

I had a bad last night last night cos I went out for a big business meal at lunchtime so had 3 courses at a lovely Italian restaurant. Big mistake. I was in agony last night with stomach/bowel pains and being sick and Alex had to take me to the out of hours doctors at the local hospital who fortunately let me home with some anti-sickness drugs and some Tramadol (pain killers).

I was doubled up in pain but after being sick quite a lot felt better and now I just have a bearable pain in my bowels.

That will teach me for eating too much I guess.

So I am back on my Crohn's Modulen drinks again for now and no real food.

So today I had the MRI scan and was a bit worried but determined to through with it.

I didn't realise how tight it was ! I thought it would be as wide as a CT scanner but longer but it was tiny inside. They tried 3 times and the 3rd time managed to get me all the way in but no way could I stay there for 30 minutes.:scared15:

I think it was cos my arms were touching the sides so I felt so trapped.

They had to bring me out and abandon it. They said I could try it again with sedation after talking to my GP but I am not sure I want to go back there ever again. Horrid things.

So I failed to get that done. :weep:

Thanks for all the well wishes and to Lisa, Di and Sue for the texts as well.

I guess me and MRI scanners are never going to see eye to eye :winks:

21-01-10, 19:48
dear Nic I'm sorry that you have had to go through all this. Sending many gentle hugs. Jane

21-01-10, 19:51
Nicola no-one can say you didn't try, so well done! It does sound really unpleasant, whether or not you suffer from claustrophobia. I hope your Crohn's settles down again, you've been through the mill.

22-01-10, 17:57
Hi June - I didn't go through with it - maybe you misread the post lol.

22-01-10, 18:41
Hi Nic

Hope you are feeling better today:hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs:

I was just wondering - are you allowed anything to distract yourself while in the scan? or does it interfer with the machinery?

I was thinking of something like a little MP3 player? I bet something like listening to a comedian (my choice chubby brown) would certainly help.

I would probably need something like a sledge hammer over the head to distract me though lol !

Joking apart i feel for ya mate!
Love and hugs

27-01-10, 23:48
Aww thanks everyone

Just an update on this :

I went to see doc and she said that she will contact the hospital and ask about the options for me.

They could admit me as a day patient and heavily sedate me to do it, or maybe an ultra sound or another CT scan but she was reluctant to suggest that because I have had 4 or 5 in the last year and the radiation is 400 times that of an X-ray.

She doubted they would find anything wrong with the adrenal gland a year on and it was probably all ok but appreciated that I worried about it all.

So now I have to wait and see what they suggest next.

Thanks for all the support peeps.

29-06-10, 18:17
Good luck Nic hun. If you have a really favourite piece of music on cd take that with you to listen to. You can do it, the machine isn't so bad really its pretty open, you'll be okay hun hugs

29-06-10, 20:10
Oh I forgot to update this since Jan lol.

They decided not to do another scan and said if I had problems with my adrenal gland it would have shown symptoms by now so basically they are just leaving it.

13-09-10, 18:57
Hi Nicola,
I know this is an old post, but thought I'd reply anyway, I've had 3 MRI's, they've changed the machine's now, at least at the hospital I was in (Alexandra Hospital Cheadle) and this tube is much bigger now, you still get the claustrophobic feeling because of all the headgear and stuff you have on, but with the headphones (radio station) and closing my eyes, I was fine in them.

13-09-10, 19:24
Thanks Liquid - I think I need one as big as a CT scanner lol

13-10-10, 18:52
I know this is an old thread but I have an MRI every six months and I hate it. I am not thin by any stretch of the imagination so it is a tight squeeze, you can have an open MRI in Cardiff (and other places I am sure) and it was under 300.

Mind you watching these miners coming up that tube I feel like a wimp.

My MRI dept plays music of choice through headphones.

13-10-10, 19:00
It is a pity they don't do it on the NHS with a bigger one though lol