When I had my 1st MRI about
5 years ago, I found out I had claustrophobia when my head went into the MRI. I toughed it out, but it was a real challenge for me.
Just had my 2nd MRI and I wanted to share some tricks I used that helped with my claustrophobia. If you also have this problem, give them a try. You can always take a sedative if you have someone else to drive, but I was driving myself and I had a 2 hour drive to get home.
- Go to a facility that has a wide MRI or open if you can find one. With a wide MRI, your head goes partly into the MRI tube, but you can still see outside a little bit with your peripheral vision.
- Keep your eyes closed. Aa soon as my head got close to entering the tube, I closed my eyes and kept them closed.
- For both MRIs, headphones and choice of music were available. You can't hear the music much of the time over the scan noise, but it is still nice to select music you really like.
- Ask the technician how long it will take. Mine said about 25 minutes. It helped me to know that I just had to lie still with my eyes closed for 25 minutes and it was over.
- Ask the technician if he can keep you posted on time. I asked if he could give me a count about every 5 minutes.
- My tech would come over the speaker just before a scan started and tell me about how long it was. I think the shortest was about 30 seconds and the longest a little over 5 minutes. I found knowing how long it was helped me relax.
- They may have glasses that allow you to see out the far end of the tube why laying down. I tried them on and decided against them, but you might find them helpful.
6/13/18 PSA 11.84. free psa 4.19, %fp 35.39
MRI - 1/14 Negative
PSA: 4.6 (6/2011), 6.6 (4/2012), 5.3 (8/2012), 5.2 (12/2012), 4.9 (6/2013), 6.0 (7/2013), 6.0 (9/2013), 4.6 (1/2014)
Free PSA: 7/2013 - 1.13, % Free 18.20%, Probability Cancer 17%
Free PSA 1/2014 - .98, % free 21.3%, Prob Cancer 10%
PCA3 6/2013 - 12, Probability of Cancer - Low
DRE: 2 out of 3 doctors identified small hard spot. 7/2