View Full Version : MRI next Monday

19-04-10, 11:38

I have an MRI brain scan next Monday any I am beginning to panic big time, first because I am extremely claustrophobic and secondly about the results.

I have posted before on the Health Anxiety Forum and have had some great support.

About a year ago I had a brain MRI and a lesion was found on my brain stem, and at the time I was told there was nothing to worry about. About Feb this year I started to get daily headaches and have had them most days since then. I wrote to my neuro who wants me to repeat the scan, this my GP has arranged for next week at hospital.

I am so worried about not being able to cope with the scan, and then the wait for the results. I know I need the scan but should I take some valium before the test I have never used it before and even the effect of the valium may make me panic more. Any advice would be very welcome,Peter

sarah jayne
19-04-10, 12:42
Hi, i can understand why you are anxious, mri's are horrible things. Ive got one tomorrow, it will be my fourth in less than 3 years. They are good though, i think its brilliant how they work, they can even pick up lesions as small as 2 mm. The worst part of it for me is the noise, i hate it, and like you im claustrophobic. I always close my eyes and pretend im club with horrid banging music lol. Like you ive had daily headaches but mine have been since last summer, im sure anxiety is the reason. You could have a word with your doc about taking something to calm you beforehand but if you do then you wouls need someone to drive you..
If you ever need a chat then pm me.
Sarah x

19-04-10, 12:45
i too hate enclosed spaces . but ive had 3 MRI scans . what i do is never open my eyes when im in the scanner and i pretend im on a lovely beach somewhere ( with a lot of noise in the background lol ).....take care and i hope the results are favourable xx

margaret jones
19-04-10, 20:11
Hi not pleasant but very good diagnostic scan i would check with your Dr re Valium i had mine without any sedation but i did not know what to expect i think if i needed another i would try a little valium

Hope all goes well for you
Take Care Maggiexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

19-04-10, 20:22
Hi there.
I understand your anxieties, i have had 2 MRI's and they were not pleasant at all. I do not like being out of control and being on that table, pinned in did it for me but i am ok with enclosed spaces.
You are stronger than you think and you have done this before and won. Please try and believe in yourself, you can do this, you are strong!
And when you have achieved this goal you will be so very proud of yourself for doing it.
We will all be sending you hugs and good wishes and be ready to congratulate you afterwards.
Now if i can just talk to myself like that....... lol.x

19-04-10, 20:56
Wish you all the very best Peter. Lots of people on here to support you through this.

20-04-10, 19:07

Well I have made a very large cardboard box into a MRI scanner size, it is totally enclosed from my head to my belly, I lay totally flat (which I hate for some reason), I am putting myself in it once a day so to get used to confined spaces. The first time my head was spinning but today I felt better. I have no idea if it will help on the day but you never know.

I talked to the MRI hospital today and they said I will be getting a contrast injection, they say this way at least they should not have to rescan. Has anyone else tried using a enclosed space to get used to it prior to the test, Peter

21-04-10, 15:00
I've had several MRI's and was equally worried about the results (I had two MRI's 3 weeks ago).

I was very nervous before and during, convinced that they would find something like MS or a tumour. They found neither.

I guess my advice is this: you might feel very uncomfortable during the MRI, but tell yourself it will only last a short time (20-30mins) and that it is being done for your total benefit, and that you are doing the right thing by having it checked. :o)

Good luck with it. Let us know how it goes. :)

26-04-10, 15:28
Hi, I have also posted this in the health forum, but wanted to add it here in case you do not visit that forum, also my experience may be of help to others planning to have a scan.

Thank you to everyone, and your kind words of encouragement, it mean a lot.

The scan was a little delayed as there was an emergency patient from A&E that needed a scan, the staff bothered to come out to tell us and we spent the extra half hour in the hospital garden soaking up the sun.

We explained how claustrophobic I was and they did all they could to help me. I was able to bring a friend into the scan with me to hold my hand, this made all the difference, with out it I am not sure I would have coped.

It was not the best experience, but as people here suggested I kept my eyes shut ALL the way from getting on the couch to get back on, I saw nothing.

I knew it would be noisy which it was but didn't want ear plugs as they make me even more claustrophobic, they did say they had to make me ware them due to health and safety, then the technician said, to hell with it if it makes you feel better forget them.

The test was made up with, first setting the scanner up, this took, about 4-5 mins then several scans, each lasting between 2-7 mins. I was told if I wanted a rest at any time I was just to push the buzzer, and if possible try to leave it for when there is no noise this way the scan will not have to be repeated. The whole scan lasted about 35 mins, I was at the clinic about 2 hours total.

I did the scan without having to hit the panic button, yes I was terrified, my mouth was dry and I found it hard to swallow, all the panic symptoms, and this afternoon I feel I have run the London Marathon twice!, all my muscles ache, and I feel exhausted, but the feeling of achievement far out weighs all that.

I did not opt to have the valium although my GP had given me a couple, my advice for anyone going for one of these scans is, keep your eyes closed from the moment you get on the couch to the moment you finish, but take a friend or loved one with you into the scan, it makes all the difference. Be upfront with the staff and tell them before you go that you are very anxious, they have seen it all before and will normally do all they can to help.

I was so impressed that we brought them a box of Roses chocolates for all there help, I think they do a wonderful job, even though our local hospital may not rate in the highest in the Governments League Tables I can not fault there caring and helpful attitude.

My next hurdle is waiting for the results, I am dreading that big time, but one thing at a time. You guys have helped me loads with your encouraging words and good wishes. Peter