Posted 5/17/2007 2:59 PM (GMT -7)


I'm with you on the claustrophobia.  When you call to make the appointment, may I suggest you make the appointment and find out if maybe you can talk to one of the Radiologists and they can give you all the details as to length of time in the machine, sedative/interactions to sedative, etc.  I did that the last time I had a brain MRI back in January.  I went with a sedative.  I actually think they gave me something called Versed (and let me tell you I didn't know they put me in the machine, I don't remember being in it and I don't remember coming out).  I fell asleep almost immediately upon the IV injection and woke up a happy camper not remembering anything.  There are things that can be done to alleviate the fears of claustrophobia.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Diane (ocean1)
Soft tissue joint disorder 2007 (can't spell or pronounce the name), Lupus Sept. 2006, IBS 2004, Chronic Hives 2002.
Medications:  Allegra and Zantac; Xanax PRN; Lunesta and Ultram PRN.

Posted 5/17/2007 7:16 PM (GMT -7)
my secret to mri"s .i always wear a sleep mask.the ones you get from the drug store.they help me get through them i hope this helps you.good luck
Posted 5/17/2007 9:00 PM (GMT -7)
I had an MRI done 4 months ago. I am the biggest chicken on this planet and maybe other planets too ;-)
I psyched myself up so much, and when it was all over, I was like "is that it"!
The ppl doing MRI"s know how freaked ppl are doing them. They are equipped for us turkeys. You have a panic button and can push it when you want.
The trick to get over it, well this worked for me, I closed my eyes the entire time and thought about how I would love to win the lottery and how exactly I would go to work and tell me boss. Oh there were so many ways that conversation would go, so that kept my mind busy for the whole 30 mins....haha!
Seriously, close your eyes and think of something totally ridiculous!
I did not take a sedative, cause I went alone and they would not let me drive home after. So I braved it out.
Good will do GREAT!

Posted 5/18/2007 5:45 AM (GMT -7)
Thanks guys... I will take all of your suggestions. This is just what I needed, coping strategies. You guys are the best!! :-)
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin 2mg/day (tapering to PRN), Miralax 17g, Supplements

Posted 5/19/2007 5:21 PM (GMT -7)
My first MRI was up there with the Spanish Inquisition, but several years ago, I had so many CT scans and MRIs for a potential breast tumor (it wasn't), I had to figure out how to cope.

For me, I literally go to my "happy place" (and everyone who knows me is shocked to see me in that sort of zen state, because I'm so Type A), bring my own ear plugs (very high decible), do a lot of slow deep breathing (when I'm allowed to breath), and usually just take a nap for the sometimes up to 60 minutes that I've been in there. I never open my eyes in the machine, because then I do get really claustrophobic. I keep my eyes closed going in and coming out. Then it's all about deep relaxation for me while they go about it, and I nearly always fall asleep (which shocks the techs). And I always ask the techs to allow me time to get myself very comfortable before they start putting me in the machine (which usually takes just 5 minutes or so). I've approached complete panic a few times when they were trying to force me in too quickly without allowing me to get settled -- I'm nearly 6' tall and hardly skinny, so my panic also has to do with tight fit, which is why I need that five minutes to get my arms and elbows in close, but relaxed.

Most techs have NO interest in their patient being miserable or having a panic attack. I've found that most (I did have one bad experience) are completely open to you preparing yourself however you need it. If you have a jerk tech, ask him to stop and ask for the lead tech or supervisor so you can get another tech or get scheduled with another tech -- very few hospitals are interested in bad patient ratings or scores. The latter is easier if you're in a town or at a facility with multiple MRI centers -- it might not be that feasible with one machine and only tech that's available.

I hope this helps you -- it hasn't helped my poor mom with her MRI's (she just can't relax herself), but has helped several friends and my Dad with their MRI's.

Good luck!


SLE diagnosed 1992
Peripheral Neuropathy diagnosed 2002/2003
Type II Diabetes diagnosed 2006
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