Horrible MRI experience

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 11/16/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
     Had MRI scheduled for today...pelvic area and abdomen with and without contrast.  First of all, I wasn't too keen about having it with contrast in the first place, but always try to follow surgeon's orders.  I am listing the annoyances below.
     1.  When I arrived they asked if I had blood work done to show if my kidneys could tolerate the contrast.  I was never told to have blood work but, fortunately, my family doctor ordered kidney function tests about six weeks ago and this was sufficient.
     2.  The technician explained that it would take about forty five minutes to perform the tests without the contrast and then another forty five minutes with the contrast.  Not too happy about that, but hey...had to do it.
     3.  During the MRI, I felt like my small intestines had injested a tub of Mexican jumping beans....lots of activity.  Shortly afterwards, I could feel lots of output going into my bag..worried about it exploding.  I asked the technician if it were going to be much longer..was told two more minutes.   When she wheeled the table out (my arms were above my head the entire time and my back was killing me), I noticed I had been in there for an hour and a half and she STILL had not done the abdomen, just the pelvic area!
     4. The fun part...I have crummy veins.  She could NOT find a vein, stuck me once and it collapsed...tried to find another vein and I told her to forget it.  Forget the contrast, forget the abdomen...I just wanted OUT of there.  To add insult to injury, I questioned her about why I felt like I had Mexican jumping beans in my small intestines.  She asked if I had fasted.  NO....NO ONE told me I had to fast for this!!!  Good thing I didn't have an omelet and home fries for breakfast.  All I had eaten was cereal.
     I was never so glad to get out of there.  My husband and I stopped at a diner and luckily my bag hadn't burst as it was full.  Geez, Louise....I just hope the surgeon finds what he is looking for with the pelvic MRI.  Anyone else have an experience like this?  I had never had an MRI in the  past.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 11/16/2010 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I've actually never had one myself, but I am in the process of scheduling one for syncope reasons. I've had the contrast before for CT scans and just like you, I have terrible veins. They didn't collapse, but it just took forever. I'm also afraid of needles, so I was absolutely miserable.

What you said about lots of output going into your bag during the MRI concerns me. Being rather new to my ileostomy, my worst fear is the bag leaking, bursting, etc in public. It's happened before at home, but hey at home you can easily clean up with no embarassment.

I wonder if the lots of ouput was an individual occurence or if it happens quite often to ostomates. Anyone else have any experiences?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 11/16/2010 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had both MRI and CT scans with and without contrast with no problems. The nurses seem to be really bad at hitting veins and the contrast gives you a full body flush feeling. But I've never had a problem with the output.

~Nissen redo 05/10/10~
~Nissen 12/14/09~
~Colostomy 07/30/06~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 11/16/2010 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
ive had an mri but i was given meds before to calm me down for the scheduled ones and the others i had already been in the hospital and was on pain meds, so i don't remember them!
i have horrible veins too, so i totally understand that! they stick me 10 times just tryign to find something, its awful. And not only are my veins nearly nonexsistent, they also wiggle! i have had them "blow" which is awful, cause then the area where it was turns completly black, once my arm from right above my wrist to halfway up my upper arm turned completly black from a blown vein in the crook of my elbow where they tried to draw blood!
But if you drink A LOT of water before you go, that will help the veins stand out more, also, exercising makes them stand out, so (i know this is dumb, but its what im gonna do from now on, anything to keep the sticks down) do some jumping jacks or something a few minutes before your draw.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 11/17/2010 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
You can also have them wrap your arms in WARM towels for about 5 minutes before they try to find a vein!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 11/18/2010 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
sounds to me like whoever scheduled you did a crappy job of preparing you. They are always supposed to tell you what to do for tests like that. I'd be complaining to the doctor that wanted to you to get them done if i was you.
-diagnosed with UC Dec 2006 at 22
-allergic or intolerant to all 5ASAs, sulfa and 6-mp
-emergency transverse colostomy on 9/13/10 from perforated colon
-Now IBD is indeterminate tests will be done after healing if still UC J-pouch surgery, if Chron's take down of colostomy
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