MRI Experience

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Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello All!

Yesterday I had my MRI, and while it was my 4th or 5th one or so….it was a little different experience for me. Maybe this type experience has been shared before with other members, but I wanted to share this, as it may help other members and visitors to understand what may go on while getting one.

First, the usual,…all clothing came off except a pair of shorts and a shirt, and socks…..all metal has to be removed. Since I had a "Stint" implant they had to make sure it was the type that could be allowed for the MRI. I also had on my paperwork that I had cancer at one time (Melanoma 2007)….so this in important as well.

Before I get into this too far, I did ask a question when I was signing in, and that was what was the cost without Insurance for the MRI's. The lady at the counter said she had the price list right there and shared that the "Cervical" MRI was $1865….and the Lumbar was $1985. For those of you with out Insurance, I thought this information might be of some value to you. Of course, this was here in a facility here in Wichita KS, and I'm sure the prices can vary from state to state, and facility to facility, but it should be close. Now, one thing that may affect the price, is the type of machine they use…Im not sure. Mine was done on a Tube type machine. There is also what they call an open machine, which looks like a giant press.

I was scheduled for both a cervical and a lumbar MRI here, and that was done for two reasons,…one,... I have pain in both areas, and two,….My Dr thought I may not be able to get another MRI ever again once the pain pump is implanted. After a little research on my own….I think he is wrong,…however, I believe I still needed both of the MRI's anyway. So no Biggy!

As I stepped into the room they showed me a bottle and said they would be injecting me with it. I asked why, and she said since I had had cancer before, that anytime I get an MRI,... I should always have it done with "Contrast" and without "Contrast" ….as it would show up any cancer if it was on the bones. That was news to me…but I understood it. I know there are other reasons they do both, but if you have a cancer history…that is one of the reasons.

Now comes the fun part!….as I laid down, the nurse strapped a plastic housing over my head and that in itself was unnerving to me. I had never had any problems before, but when they went to put me in…I sorta freaked out, and asked to be removed pronto! That's odd!…I had never felt that way before…and I was embarrassed and apologized over and over to the nurses. I thought for sure I could do this…and we tried three more times…only to be removed. I was at my wits end here, and stumped!

I will say the nurses were some of the best I have ever been around…were very understanding about it all. What they suggested was a shot of "Benadryl" ….but that I needed a driver, and approval from my DR….so a couple of phone calls and I was receiving 50mg of "Benadryl". Within 5min or so…I became very relaxed….almost to the point of falling asleep. I will have to say that the "Benadryl burned as it went in….but that quite a short time later. One more thing they did was to put a wash cloth over my eyes….and that in itself was a comfort as well. They also gave me a emergency button I could push if needed.

An hour later I was done, both lumbar and cervical, with contrast and without contrast. The wife was waiting in the reception area…..we were handed a copy of the images…and we were off to eat a early dinner.

I cannot tell you how ashamed and embarrassed I was after all of that….as I had never had it happen before. I have been in many a tight place in my life, so this surprised me to no end. However, I suppose it does happen…and lucky for me I happened to have some wonderful tech's there. I hope this experience will help someone here, and if not…well it's just another story here on the forum.

Take care,

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/14/2012 7:35:44 PM (GMT-7)


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Mikey,
 
I'm sorry you went through all that - dang!  YES, I've been through that... I think there was a thread many months ago on this... the last MRI I had - I freaked out, too... had to be yanked out - I was 200 degrees.  They had to get ice packs for my face, neck, etc.  Oh yeah - I was embarrassed, too.  I had to take something as well for it to resume.  I was NOT going back in there w/out something!
 
All that said - they are probably used to it, right?  I'm glad you had an understanding tech, too.
 
Sorry to cut this short; Ally is trying to type w/ me!  But I'm glad you got the MRI done...thanks for sharing your story; I was wondering how it went.  Keep us updated on results! 

Get some rest today!  --Tina

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16301
   Posted 1/14/2012 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, SE so now you are claustaphobic, join the ranks, its awful especially when having MRI's and CT's. They have to give me 20mg of valium before I can stay in a scanner 5 minutes, lol. Do not be embarrassed about it ither, lots of us are that way. Oh, this was your first contrast scan, I have had more than my fair share of those things, get that warm feeling all over.

Just so you know, I was under the impression no more MRI's because of my pump, well we can still have MRI's with our pumps if they are Medtronic brand. I read it straight out of one of their books at a radiology facility I go to for scans. My prior PM dr is the one that told me this and surprisingly enough not many drs are aware of this. Now, granted sometimes the scanner can make your alarm go off and you have to go back to your dr so it can be reprogrammed, which they recommend you do even if the alarm does not go off. The technician was kind enough to show me the info about the pumps and MRI's.

The fees you quoted are pretty standard and in, line for the MRI. There is also a fee for the radiologist that reads the films, they used to charge $350 to $400 to read them.

I hope you get good news on the MRI's. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

msOuchie
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 1/14/2012 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Well, I can also say that you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about SE.  As mentioned, they are used to this and expect this to happen sometimes.  The techs are very nice.  We all have some phobias(I have a few).  I've had claustraphobia since I was little, so I doubt very much that anyone would be successful in talking me into getting into an MRI machine while conscious.  smilewinkgrin   So, I consider you brave.  Strange that you didn't mention the noise of the MRI.
 
My Mom had an MRI done for the lumbar and cervical also in the spring.  She got to wear a gown though. She didn't have anything to relax her although she was worried, of course.  They did give her ear plugs.  I was allowed to sit near the observation window not far from her and the machine.  They gave me a pair of earmuffs/headphone type of thing to put over my ears.  I could still hear the loud machine noise.  It didn't seem to bother Mom any though.  I was proud of her.  I would not do good at all.  Putting something over the eyes is a good idea. idea
 
Good luck with the results.   
Type 1 Diabetes - Heart murmur - Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) - Asthma - Raynauds - other stuff

Folic Acid - Fosavance - Methotrexate - Tramadol - Pantoloc(as irritation preventative) - Levemir - Indomethacin - Salbutamol - Actemra - Prednisone - Humalog - Fluconazole - Systane Ultra - Aspirin(81 mgs.) - depo Medrol injection - One A Day Multi Vit. - Cod Liver Oil Capsules - other otcs

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2012 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks both of you! Claustrophobia runs in my family big time….but it had never bothered me before. At least I know something can be done to help a person get through it. I was worried about radiation, but the Tech said there is none involved. I too was worried about getting hot in it after reading some of the other members experience's. They assured me I would be fine, however I was worried about the screws in the plates for the fusion. I think all these little worries built up, and the fact that they had my head tied down firmly added to the trauma. Once in you cannot move, even if you wanted to.

I wanted to make it clear, that my experience was not what I considered a bad one, because of poor nursing skills. They were the best Tech's I have come across to date. The facility was rather new as well, in a great part of town.

I did ask the Tech's about the pumps, and she said they have them turned off prior to the MRI, and then have them turned back on and the programming checked before you leave. I'm not sure how they go about that, …Im guessing they must have someone certified to do this there?

I dont want anyone to think this is a post,…making the procedure of mine a complaint or one of great drama, because it wasn't. It was just a different experience for me, and I wanted to share for those who may be getting ready to have an MRI done in the near future.

I couldn't have been more pleased with how I was treated there, and it is really a simple process to go through. The reports should take a few days to hit my Dr's office, and I did get a copy of it, and have viewed them on my home computer. Now, I myself do not know how to read the images, and I can only wonder what all the information means, but I can see how a person may worry if all areas of the spine do not look uniform. At the double fusion area…it looks like a big mess to me, but again…I'm not a Tech that knows how to read them. All I know is that I'm in a lot of pain in that area, and my shoulder as well.

The sooner I can get the test done for the pump the better, as I'm eager to see if I can get some relief there.

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2012 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
oh!…very good detail that needs to be addressed MsOuchie! tongue

Yes the sound!….I happen to work in a machine shop and have done so for 35yrs…and of course we have to wear earplugs. Since Im used to high noise areas, it did not bother me, and I did bring my own set of earplugs to wear while in the machine. I have had several MRI's in the past, so noise was not a worry or an issue for me. I would advise anyone getting one of these to bring a set of earplugs with you just in case they do not offer them.

One more little tip was,... that one of the Tech's offered to stay in the room with me, but I declined the offer. Nice to know though, if needed!

…and as a closer comment I would suggest wearing a long sleeved shirt next time, not for warmth, but to allow your arms to move freely along the walls of the machine as they position it from time to time. My skin stuck to the walls, and it grabbed the sidewalls. I also suffer from a small bit of tendonitis in each elbow, and it can be quite painful when this happens.

Thanks!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/14/2012 1:05:30 PM (GMT-7)


Betsey Ross
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 1/14/2012 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh SE

I am glad that you persurvered through the MRI. You did indeed have understanding techs.

I new the scans were expensive but that would wipe out our savings. I dont have insurance but everything was covered by W/C over the last 1 1/2 years from my work accident.

In another year I will get Medicare then I have to by supplemental insurance.

Please let us know what your results of your scans.

I hope you get relief from your pain soon.

Soft Hugs
betsey
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of tibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected leg continously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/ metal removed in July//then total knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take oxycontin,flexeril,cymbalta,vicadin for BT

msOuchie
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 1/14/2012 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh HaHa, thanks for explaining why you didn't mention the loud MRI noise originally SE. That explains it. :)
Type 1 Diabetes - Heart murmur - Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) - Asthma - Raynauds - other stuff

Folic Acid - Fosavance - Methotrexate - Tramadol - Pantoloc(as irritation preventative) - Levemir - Indomethacin - Salbutamol - Actemra - Prednisone - Humalog - Fluconazole - Systane Ultra - Aspirin(81 mgs.) - depo Medrol injection - One A Day Multi Vit. - Cod Liver Oil Capsules - other otcs

sos007
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh Michael.....samething happened to me, the two I had I was fine but by the end of the second I was starting to freak out but the third was the worse they also had to medicate me...hope I never need another! I had never concidered myself claustrophobic but my mom is and I guess I am too. So no need to feel embarassed I am sure it happens all the time.

Thanks for sharing, Amy
Chronic Pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey SE....I'm so sorry you had to deal with this. I am happy that you were able to complete the testing. I had a strange reaction in my last one too and that was the muscle spasms that came with the vibrations. I thought I was going to have to end it too, but I made it through. Perhaps I should have stopped because some of the films weren't able to be read due to the movement. I didn't move on my own, but the muscles tensed up in my lower back during the procedure and I couldn't relax them.

I alway have them place a cloth over my eyes and turn up the air flow to the highest level. It's especially important when they are using the contrast or the head brace because those kind of freak me out. I always feel like a tube of lipstick when they put me in too...being twisted into a tube and left there until they move me out.

Thanks for posting this one! I hate that you had problems, but I appreciate you sharing your situation with us.

I hope you find your answers in the reading! I won't say I hope they don't find anything, because it's better to know what is wrong and you had it done for a reason. I just hope that it is a small condition that can be easily fixed.

Best of luck to you my friend!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Again, Thank you all for your comments!

Retiredmom, I think the wash-cloth over the eyes was key in my ability to stick with it. If I had tried it the first time around, I might not have needed the injection. I also heard one of the Tech's mention that they were going to turn on the air as high as it would go….and I never realized this was a possibility or that it even existed.

This is the reason, I brought this to the forum here. All of these comments may help others with these suggestions, and personal experience's by you members.

Again, Thanks!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/15/2012 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm surpised they did not ask if you wanted your eye's covered to begin with,
I always have my eye's covered and I also get the ear plugs and I also make sure the doctor
or techs see if they can get valium as it does help....and your good on the reporting on the expensive
of those, they are up there...but a heart ultra sound costs more and is done for a littler
amount of time...they do need to justify some of these costs don't yah think...
Hope your seeing your doctor soon for the results so you can tell us about those...
Many prayers and well wishes to you and your family...Thanks for posting, miss ya around here...
Hope you can get a low pain day soon...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 1/15/2012 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you had to experience that Michael but glad you were able to get all the pics done.
Myself I have had a number of MRI's and did fine. I always close my eyes and of course use the earplugs, which really don't do much i find. The problem for me is the noise level of the machine as i suffer from severe headaches to begin with, so by the time i get done i am almost in tears and my head feels like it is going to blow up.
 
Suzane

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/15/2012 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you ladies!

It really was not all that bad,….I just could not make it in and stay put! shocked I just asked them to pull me out…tried a few more times, and went another direction to get the job done. This really baffled me, as I had never had a problem before. I could not believe I was reacting that way. Then I had to call my wife and explain it to her….but thank goodness, I did not get the "Suck it up speech" tongue She was there when I got out….bless her little heart! …and a smile on her face! Some of you that have met my wife, know I got a good one!

I did learn quite a bit yesterday going through that process, so next time I will be a little more mentally prepared for it. I think at the moment I'm more nervous about the reports. There is no way…I'm getting cut on again, unless it's for a pump!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 1/16/2012 5:22 AM (GMT -6)   
One thing I was wondering about. Did they check your kidney function with a blood test before the MRI? The contrast can be very harmful to people with kidney problems so whenever I've had an MRI with contrast they always check my kidney function first.
---Jag---


DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 1/16/2012 8:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh SE, I am sorry you had that reaction to the MRI. I have always been a little freaked out by the MRI machines, even when I was not in one. My MRI in November was tough.

Have you gotten your results yet? You are very lucky that you have such a great wife!

Mindy

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/16/2012 8:38 AM (GMT -6)   

 

       Jag...I'm not aware of any Kidney problems, and did not know that it should be done. I did,.. just donate urine a couple of months ago...to check everything out, since I take statins.

   I'm only guessing if my Dr thought there was cause for it,.. he would have ordered it.

 Thanks, Mom!...really!....I did not freak out to the point of screaming or hollering...I just asked them to pull me out, as I knew I was not going to make it through it. Between the Benadryl and the cloth over the eyes...it then went well.

 I'm thankful for all the comments, as I believe this helps other members who may be facing one of these. The more informed we all are, then so much the better.

  SE wink           



Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/16/2012 8:59:47 AM (GMT-7)


bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 1/16/2012 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
My doctor didn't order the kidney test, the hospital where I did the MRI just automatically did the blood test for the kidneys.
---Jag---


DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/16/2012 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   

 

       ...thats good information, and I will ask about it the next time I have one done.

         Thanks!

        SE


Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 1/16/2012 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michael I'm glad that you were able to get the MRIs in the end. I have to have open MRIs when I get them done because there's no way I can go back in that little tube.

The last time I had thoracic and lumbar done. The guy gave me my favorite kind of music to listen to, and I closed my eyes, and off we went.

Please let me know what the reports are.

I sure hope you get to do the trial for the pump really soon.

love and hugs
Loretta
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

Ssinss
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/17/2012 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   
After reading all this I am beginning to wonder if I have lost a large portion of my memory or the equipment at our hospital is actually just a box with an MRI label and some random person standing out of site making motor noises. Or it was the dilaudid drip. I had it done after the left colectomy I think. Makes me wonder :) just a little humor. I am glad you made it through and the information is great. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Abdominal surgeries 7ish (C section x2, Hysterectomy, Laprotomy due to scar tissue, left Colectomy, ventral hernia repair,MRSA, Ventral hernia repair removal, MRSA. Ventral hernia repair laproscopic, last surgery left a hole for months that needed to be packed. The last hernia repair was a placement of a Large abdominal mesh with unusual sensitivity to the tacks.
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