I needed a MRI on my small bowel as I have crohns disease. I was pretty nervous as I am very claustrophobic so I spoke to my doctor and she gave me 4mg of diazepam to take half an hour before procedure.

On the day I asked one of the radiographers when I was allowed to take the pills but she said I couldn't as I didn't have anyone with me/to pick me up. MY GP didn't mention this even though I told her no one was available to pick me up and that I was getting train back. I just assumed that 4mg is a low dose and it's not like being properly sedated. I explained to the radiographers my anxiety but they just wouldn't let me do it. They weren't horrible or anything in fact one of them was very nice and supportive but they just had to do what they've been told to do.

So they showed me the machine and said I'd be going in feet first which calmed me a bit and also that although the total scan time would be 20 minutes it would be divided in half. For the second half it would be with the dye injected.

After having the pre procedure drink which is very tolerable when mixed with orange squash I got on the bed and was slid into the tube. I'm not going to lie, it is claustrophobic but as I could see a bit of the room behind me it wasn't that bad. They let me wear ear plugs under headphones so it could be as quiet as possible but no music sadly! and then it was just a matter of holding your breath a load of times. The dye makes your mouth a bit dry and your eyes a little blurred, which I only really noticed when I stood up after the procedure. That literally only lasted a minute. Also the drink is known to make you want to go for number 2 a lot. However I didn't need it until I got home which surprised me.

So I didn't really need the diazepam after all. However I think head first would have been too much for me. I would need it to be an open MRI or to have a sufficent amount of valium. Those that have my anxiety and require a scan where they go in feet first you more than likely wont need any pills but if you feel you do, have someone to pick you up. If you're going in head first I would advise you google places with open MRIs. Because drs are very strict with how much valium they give and a lot of people dont even feel an effect from a few pills.