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I have to have an MRI this week - quite a long one.

Terrified.

I am getting some prescribed Diazepam to help.

Just thinking out loud really, as I know what a brilliantly supportive forum this is.

And best wishes to all who ever have any sort of difficult times in their lives or those close to them.

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15 minutes ago, PCM said:

I have to have an MRI this week - quite a long one.

Terrified.

I am getting some prescribed Diazepam to help.

Just thinking out loud really, as I know what a brilliantly supportive forum this is.

And best wishes to all who ever have any sort of difficult times in their lives or those close to them.

I've had two, and if it's the claustrophobia you're concerned about I certainly understand. I found the staff so reassuring, and being told to just press the button if you feel some kind of panic helps so much.  The second time I fell asleep! It makes some strange noises and if you just keep your eyes closed, without the temptation to "peak" it'll be fine. Now that I've had two I wouldn't be concerned about another, you can have music played if you prefer but I chose not to. You'll be fine.

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You will be in good hands Piers, try not to worry. I had a triple heart bypass six years ago. The care I received and witnessed was the NHS at its best. Stay strong and positive. My thoughts are with you.

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30 minutes ago, PCM said:

I have to have an MRI this week - quite a long one.

Terrified.

I am getting some prescribed Diazepam to help.

Just thinking out loud really, as I know what a brilliantly supportive forum this is.

And best wishes to all who ever have any sort of difficult times in their lives or those close to them.


I’ve had one and it is a bit confining, rather like a CT Scan.  But apparently many people just doze off if it’s a long one.  The main emotion I felt was boredom!

It will help if you fully understand the procedure..  This link is to the relevant NHS site.

The only thing to note is that it’s important that the radiographer is aware of any aneurysm clips, pacemakers, metal joints and fillings and such like.  And you should remove any jewellery.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/mri-scan/

In terms of your ultimate health, you’re much better off having a scan than not!

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I suppose it's more the outcome and results of the scan that's worrying you Piers and if that's the case then I'm afraid that there's not much I can say other than good luck and we'll all be rooting for you.

However, I know that a lot of people are apprehensive about the machine itself and the noise it makes. My mother in law had one scan and hated it so much that she swore she'd never have another one, whereas I've had three and it doesn't bother me at all. It does make some loud and strange noises and for those who have a tendency towards feeling claustrophobic, the confined space along with this noise can certainly cause anxiety, but you can choose to have music playing if you want to and they also give you a panic button in case it gets too much.

I'm an avid music lover but I didn't bother with it during the scan because I also love (real) technology as well as sci-fi stuff, so as the scanner was banging, bleeping and squeaking, firstly I was thinking about what it was actually doing in reality and then my mind wandered to the point where I was in a starfighter, battling to save Planet Earth from an alien invasion :laughing:

As in most walks of life, knowledge is power, so have a look here at how the machines work and what the noises are.

The scans I've had in the past have all been to do with my back injury but, like David above, I also had a triple bypass in August 2014 and the staff were brilliant. I have no doubt whatsoever that they will look after you and make you feel at ease.

Good luck my friend, hope it all goes well.

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@PCM

I’ve had three or four over the past decade. The older machines are quite noisy, but the newer ones are much better. Neither get over the feeling of claustrophobia though, should that be an issue for you.

I’d suggest speaking candidly about your nervousness with the operator. In my experience they’ll do everything they can to put you at ease and will let you know exactly how long each stage will take. They’ll speak to you through the headphones too, guiding you through. It really helps.

Good luck. We all know how horrid things like this are and empathise with you. Fingers crossed it isn’t as bad as you fear it will be and that the results are reassuring.

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42 minutes ago, The-Acre said:

I've had two, and if it's the claustrophobia you're concerned about I certainly understand. I found the staff so reassuring, and being told to just press the button if you feel some kind of panic helps so much.  The second time I fell asleep! It makes some strange noises and if you just keep your eyes closed, without the temptation to "peak" it'll be fine. Now that I've had two I wouldn't be concerned about another, you can have music played if you prefer but I chose not to. You'll be fine.

Reading the other posts Phil makes you realise how common it is. I too was apprehensive as enclosed spaces not my thing hence the 450🤣. But not being as brave as others I chose classical music and an eye mask 🤗. In actual fact being asked not to move was the hardest part as you inevitably have the phantom itch! My scan was because I was suspected of having Hodgkins Lymphoma which has an outcome a bit more problematic than say dandruff, so I too had less than positive thoughts from time to time. But my eventual outcome was positive and I was given an all clear. I guess the lesson is before the technology of a scan was available I wouldn't have known for sure and endured that for months maybe years but now 60 minutes or so of discomfort and you're done👍when placed in such situations Phil I also ask myself "what would John Wayne do" 🐴 😉

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40 minutes ago, Herbie said:

As in most walks of life, knowledge is power, so have a look here at how the machines work and what the noises are.

An excellent link, Herbs, and an important observation.  The fears are the anticipation of the unknown and far removed from the reality.

Mine was so long ago that I can barely recall it all!

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Piers hi, I fully understand your initial worries and concerns and thoughts

BUT there's absolutely nowt to concern yourself over at all .....  I've had a few this past year or so with my cancer diagnosis and radiotherapy and an op ...... believe me you're better off having the scans and actually knowing what's in store for you to then go thru' a little more DISCOMFORT, coz that's all it all is when you know the end result is that, hopefully, you'll wake up every morning being thankful for a wonderful day ahead of you ....... coz, that's what it will be, every darned day will be another wonderful day  ahead of you    whatever the weather and the skies have to offer ,,,,,,,,,,  it will be another wonderful, amazing, fulfilling day

Those MRI scans are a     'walk in the park'  ....  take yourself for a coffee and a bun afterwards ..  treat yourself .......  you'll have earnt it :yes:

Best wishes whatever

Malc

 

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7 minutes ago, Malc said:

Piers hi, I fully understand your initial worries and concerns and thoughts

BUT there's absolutely nowt to concern yourself over at all .....  I've had a few this past year or so with my cancer diagnosis and radiotherapy and an op ...... believe me you're better off having the scans and actually knowing what's in store for you to then go thru' a little more DISCOMFORT, coz that's all it all is when you know the end result is that, hopefully, you'll wake up every morning being thankful for a wonderful day ahead of you ....... coz, that's what it will be, every darned day will be another wonderful day  ahead of you    whatever the weather and the skies have to offer ,,,,,,,,,,  it will be another wonderful, amazing, fulfilling day

Those MRI scans are a     'walk in the park'  ....  take yourself for a coffee and a bun afterwards ..  treat yourself .......  you'll have earnt it :yes:

Best wishes whatever

Malc

 

As Leonardo said, "Make each day count!"

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I've had 3 and they weren't too bad.

I am mildly claustrophobic, but I just kept my eyes shut and all was good.  There are the occasional banging noises, but with headphones on they aren't overly loud.  I did actually fall asleep more than once, even though I can normal never sleep on my back.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is not to wrap up too warmly.  It is quite possible the procedure will warm you up a bit so I was quite sweaty by the time it had finished.  It was a nice feeling though as it is a gentle heat, which probably helped me fall asleep.

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Oh and Piers, I forgot to mention

It's probably a great idea to have someone accompany you on the trip to the hospital ..  firstly not to worry about the car and parking ..  and secondly to share that cuppa with afterwards :thumbsup:

You have absolutely nothing to worry about with the MRI   scan, rest assured

Malc

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4 hours ago, Phil xxkr said:

Reading the other posts Phil makes you realise how common it is. I too was apprehensive as enclosed spaces not my thing hence the 450🤣. But not being as brave as others I chose classical music and an eye mask 🤗. In actual fact being asked not to move was the hardest part as you inevitably have the phantom itch! My scan was because I was suspected of having Hodgkins Lymphoma which has an outcome a bit more problematic than say dandruff, so I too had less than positive thoughts from time to time. But my eventual outcome was positive and I was given an all clear. I guess the lesson is before the technology of a scan was available I wouldn't have known for sure and endured that for months maybe years but now 60 minutes or so of discomfort and you're done👍when placed in such situations Phil I also ask myself "what would John Wayne do" 🐴 😉

Oh yes, I forgot about the itch! It's like when I'm walking back from the local shops with a dog on the lead in one hand and shopping in the other, an itch is inevitable!

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 Piers, although  I am new to this forum, I sense a camaraderie, and believe all the members are with you.

Good luck, and very best wishes

David

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Dear 'colleagues',

I did not expect all these brilliant comments, such openness and honesty and practical wisdom.

I am truly humbled and very grateful.

I have read every word and will read them all again. They will give me courage!

Phil: yes, I think eyes closed is the way ahead. Thank you, David, for your supportive words. They mean a lot. Len, I appreciate the link you sent me and the practical items to note. Herbie, your, 'starfighter' suggestion is brilliant. I'll choose a spacecraft - and make it my transport! Yes, Ed, I will tell those in charge about my apprehensions - I'll be happy to do that. Philip, your thinking is spot on. Better to know either way; I agree. Malc, pragmatic and positive. I'll take your thoughts with me, thank you. Good advice about the 'heat', Shahpor, and duly noted! And thank you, David, I am sure you are right - what a team. Finally, thank you, John. I will reply to your PM.

Gentlemen, I thank you all and salute you all.

Your words really are appreciated.

 

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33 minutes ago, PCM said:

Dear 'colleagues',

I did not expect all these brilliant comments, such openness and honesty and practical wisdom.

I am truly humbled and very grateful.

I have read every word and will read them all again. They will give me courage!

Phil: yes, I think eyes closed is the way ahead. Thank you, David, for your supportive words. They mean a lot. Len, I appreciate the link you sent me and the practical items to note. Herbie, your, 'starfighter' suggestion is brilliant. I'll choose a spacecraft - and make it my transport! Yes, Ed, I will tell those in charge about my apprehensions - I'll be happy to do that. Philip, your thinking is spot on. Better to know either way; I agree. Malc, pragmatic and positive. I'll take your thoughts with me, thank you. Good advice about the 'heat', Shahpor, and duly noted! And thank you, David, I am sure you are right - what a team. Finally, thank you, John. I will reply to your PM.

Gentlemen, I thank you all and salute you all.

Your words really are appreciated.

 

As some of you will know I am a committed Grecophile and after reading your comment Piers I am reminded of this :

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epictetus

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6 hours ago, Shahpor said:

I've had 3 and they weren't too bad.

I am mildly claustrophobic, but I just kept my eyes shut and all was good.  There are the occasional banging noises, but with headphones on they aren't overly loud.  I did actually fall asleep more than once, even though I can normal never sleep on my back.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is not to wrap up too warmly.  It is quite possible the procedure will warm you up a bit so I was quite sweaty by the time it had finished.  It was a nice feeling though as it is a gentle heat, which probably helped me fall asleep.

This reflected my experience almost to a tee. I've had about five I think , keeping my eyes shut was paramount. I had a mild panic with the first which I guess was a touch of claustrophobia, I was simply Intrigued and wanted to take it all in before realising that was a bad idea !  Close eyes, think of good times, a holiday, just something( a little like the dentist). I've never fallen asleep so nice one   :wink3: 

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I have lost count of the number of MRI scans I have since cancer diagnosis in 2007 but it's between 12 and 14.  This is largely accounted for by my having taken part in three trials which meant preliminary and and regular after treatment follow up in Germany and the UK.

I have had scans on both the 1.5 Tesla and 3 Tesla machines (no nothing to do with Musk) and both are noisy despite your usually being  given ear plugs and ear defenders where music or instructions can be given.  Sometimes you are told to exhale and not to breath in until told to do so and in other scans asked to breath and hold your breath until told to breath out. This is to aid what they call sequencing but depends on the type of scan. Sometimes you can feel a strong vibration through the platform during some sequences. Also, the patient is sometimes given contrast which aides definition.  If this is done a cannula is connected to your hand or arm before the scan starts and partway through the scan this contrast (Gadolinium) is released into your system.  Some of my MRI scans had this but not all.  Where contrast is given you feel a change of temperature in your arm and the contrast is soon excreted through your urine afterwards.

Some scanners blow cool air over your head and the table/platform you are on may move between sequences depending on the type of scan and what is being scanned.  You need to get really comfortable before the scan starts and try not to move or cough.  The latter happened during one of my scans and I was told off as it spoilt one of the sequences. You are given a button to press in an emergency if you have a problem.   Just close your eyes and relax and you will find it a doddle.  

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Piers i have just had a MRI (on my foot) so only put half way in. Like you i was apprehensive due to claustrophobia. Some machines are bigger than others. You can be sedated your GP will have to make this request. The machine i went in was quite big if i had to go with my body in i think i could tackle it. Most on here have covered what its like. All i would add its very noisy. Go for it Piers and best of luck. Wishing you all the best.

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18 hours ago, PCM said:

I have to have an MRI this week - quite a long one.

Terrified.

I am getting some prescribed Diazepam to help.

Just thinking out loud really, as I know what a brilliantly supportive forum this is.

And best wishes to all who ever have any sort of difficult times in their lives or those close to them.

There's nothing to worry about, I have had dozens over the last 65+ years, the worst thing I have always noted is that as soon the machine starts up you get an itch on your nose. Dont worry you will be OK.

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Thank you, Doog, Barry, Brent and Mike.

I hope I don't get an 'itch'!

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someone mentioned the " noise " element ......  I visited 3 hospitals in all recently for assorted MRI scans and the noise was more prevalent in the older technology machines, the newer was as quiet as a mouse ............  going to sleep was an option that didn't elude me some of the time 

cool calm and collected and not a care in the world with the brilliant NHS treatment with amazingly costly technology that in the last case with the super-doopa machine seemed to be on Lease to the NHS and I'm told popped in at about £3500 a go

Thank heaven for the NHS eh !

Malc

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33 minutes ago, Malc said:

someone mentioned the " noise " element ......  I visited 3 hospitals in all recently for assorted MRI scans and the noise was more prevalent in the older technology machines, the newer was as quiet as a mouse ............  going to sleep was an option that didn't elude me some of the time 

cool calm and collected and not a care in the world with the brilliant NHS treatment with amazingly costly technology that in the last case with the super-doopa machine seemed to be on lease to the NHS and I'm told popped in at about £3500 a go

Thank heaven for the NHS eh !

Malc

Valid points Malc but it's not heaven you need to thank it's the taxpayer who funds the enterprise. Under PAYE I chipped in for almost 50 years and continue to do so in retirement at a very handsome rate thank you very much says HMRC. (NOT!). So who's for a thank you day for the hard-pressed tax payer? 👏

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2 hours ago, Phil xxkr said:

Valid points Malc but it's not heaven you need to thank it's the taxpayer who funds the enterprise. Under PAYE I chipped in for almost 50 years and continue to do so in retirement at a very handsome rate thank you very much says HMRC. (NOT!). So who's for a thank you day for the hard-pressed tax payer? 👏

Well you insure your car and most probably your house, so how much more important paying for the NHS. You never know when you might need very expensive treatment.  If you could opt out of using the NHS and have your portion of tax for this refunded, would you not cover this risk by taking out private insurance so you would pay either way?  Actually, private insurance would cost you more, I know I have had both.  Furthermore, there are procedures that private hospitals in the UK can't provide so they have to refer patients for these to the wider embracing NHS hospitals.  Certainly, the underfunded and understaffed NHS do well with their resources Much equipment is also dated, particularly in many hospitals outside London and major towns.  So people should be paying more Tax for a service that is so much in need that it has to employ trained medical staff from other countries  to just about cope.  

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