PDA

View Full Version : Please tell me what your MRI was like!



mfarraday
04-06-2013, 01:21 AM
I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable
2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated
3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.
4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment
5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.
6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness
7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

I'd also appreciate a website - I've already googled a couple of times - where such anecdotes about this procedure are shared.

Thanks. You can either post here or send via PM. :)

M.

kkbe
04-06-2013, 02:26 AM
I'm just full of (useless? :)) information today. I've had more MRI's than most, probably. Lumbar. So. . .


I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy,

Yep, noisy. They give you earplugs. The tech generally tells you how long each bit is gonna last, 5 minutes, 7, whatever.

or the opposite, boring,

I've never been bored. More likely, I'm trying not to move, praying I don't have an itchy nose or weird fit of coughing, whilst simultaneously talking myself down before I succumb to irrational claustrophobia. Hoping my back doesn't hurt too much because you really are not supposed to move.

frightening,

Not "frightening," but it can get a bit distressing.

too hot/stuffy in there,

Never hot. Not stuffy.

too cold, constricting,

Always cold, generally I've had to be in one of those flimsy hospital gown thingies and they keep the temp cooler, seems like. Constricting, not physically--you have minimal space above your face, couple of inches. Generally my arms are brushing the side of the thing.

or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable

Techs have generally been pleasant and professional, explaining everything they're doing, talking to me after each round of those noisy whatever they are, informing me of how much time is left.
2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated

Never on the same day. Like I said, I have had multiple MRI's for the same area.

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.

I saw what was squishing the nerve root. That was interesting. Saw the hardware--that's kinda nifty.

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment

You mean, besides "earplugs"? :) Nope.

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.

Nope, but I was concerned about that, being as I do have plates and screws. Titanium, no worries.

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness

I was surprised that I felt semi-claustrophobic. Not enough to take anything. My main issue was pain, laying that long with my knees only slightly bent, it hurt my back. You have to tough it out. So, pain meds before, but not sedatives.

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

Nope, not with that procedure. :)

I'd also appreciate a website - I've already googled a couple of times - where such anecdotes about this procedure are shared.

Thanks.

You are wecome.

You can either post here or send via PM. :)

M.

mfarraday
04-06-2013, 02:30 AM
Thanks kkbe! I appreciate it. :) I have atopic dermatitis so I really can't imagine being still that long without scratching. I think it'd be a nightmare for me. I've heard it can get stuffy and that would make it even worse for me.

Thanks again.

Witch_turtle
04-06-2013, 02:37 AM
I had an MRI once, for my head. Even though I'd gone to the place without any jewellery, I still felt really nervous for some reason--they were *so* insistent that I have no metal on me. They gave me a set of "scrub" type clothes to wear, and they were ENORMOUS on me. That was probably the worst part. I felt like a little child playing dress up in some really big adult's clothes.

As for the procedure itself, it was really loud, just a really loud buzzing/thrumming kind f noise. They actually gave me earbuds and put on the radio for me, and would talk to me through the headphones too, just to tell me what they were doing and how much longer I had to wait and such.

It's a very small space but there was a tilted mirror above my face so that I could see out, and see the technicians in their little booth. They were nice, friendly, professional, as kkbe said.

They give you a thing to hold with a panic button on it, so that if you feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable you can press it and they'll take you out right away.

I didn't get to look at the results. When I went to see my doctor for a follow up, she told me everything was fine, except I had a cyst in my left sinus cavity. *shrug*.

mfarraday
04-06-2013, 02:53 AM
thanks witch_turtle. kind of wish there was a youtube video of the inside view of the machine during the procedure. darn...

LJD
04-06-2013, 03:35 AM
They gave me a set of "scrub" type clothes to wear, and they were ENORMOUS on me. That was probably the worst part. I felt like a little child playing dress up in some really big adult's clothes.

As for the procedure itself, it was really loud, just a really loud buzzing/thrumming kind f noise. They actually gave me earbuds and put on the radio for me, and would talk to me through the headphones too, just to tell me what they were doing and how much longer I had to wait and such.

It's a very small space but there was a tilted mirror above my face so that I could see out, and see the technicians in their little booth. They were nice, friendly, professional, as kkbe said.

They give you a thing to hold with a panic button on it, so that if you feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable you can press it and they'll take you out right away.

I didn't get to look at the results.

This sounds like my experience. They gave me pants and a gown (or maybe it was pajamas shirt) in size XL or something, and I'm an XS woman. I could barely walk down the hall from the change room to the MRI machine in what I was wearing, trying to hold it all up.

In my case it was part of a study, and I never heard anything about the results. If there were abnormalities, however, supposedly they would have told me.

I was definitely warned about claustrophobia--well, I was warned not to participate in this part of the study if I had such problems. Not moving at all for 20 minutes was slightly uncomfortable, as was the enclosed space, but this was all pretty mild for me.

edit: oh yeah, and this was of my head.

sunandshadow
04-06-2013, 03:38 AM
I had an MRI of my liver. The worst part was drinking the barium milkshake. The vanilla one tastes like vanilla cake batter but a little metallic so I had the consistent feeling I ought not to be drinking it. Banana one was if anything worse. And you're not supposed to drink water to rinse your mouth out because it dilutes the barium. Then the contrast IV they gave me was the type that makes you feel flushed/aroused/kinda like you have to pee, so that was sort of an interesting distraction, lol. Pretty similar to the effect a bottle of beer has on me. The actual machine part was fine. They would have let me in there with shoes on but I realized the zippers were metal, so I went in in socks. The temperature was fine. It was a little noisy but not more than a washing machine. I had to hold my breath for each scan; they told me when to hold it through a speaker in the machine. I got slightly lightheaded from repeatedly holding my breath, but as soon as that part was done the lightheadedness went away. One part I think is nice is that unless you are having your head or neck scanned they try to position you so your head is out or at least half out.

sunandshadow
04-06-2013, 03:44 AM
thanks witch_turtle. kind of wish there was a youtube video of the inside view of the machine during the procedure. darn...
There isn't much to see when you are inside, just this beige or grey plastic curve above you with a speaker grille. It was far enough away from my face not to be mentally uncomfortable. Kinda like sleeping in a bunk in a trailer.

ElaineA
04-06-2013, 03:44 AM
Although I had that same "itch fear" kkbe described, I wasn't the least bothered by my MRI (shoulder). I had headphones with classical music (I think I got to choose). They interrupted often to describe "what's next."

I thought the sound inside the tube was like the sound inside a submarine in old movies. You know that sort of thudding, clanging-from-afar noise?

Diver
04-06-2013, 03:48 AM
MRI's use 'varying' magnetic fields to generate the images (gradients). To generate the 'varying' magnetic fields, coils are used. Electricity pulses run through the coils, and they literally bang on the MRI scanner.

It is this vibration that causes the noise

The vibration is akin to the vibration you feel when touching the hood of a car with the engine on.

For some - particularly for recurring patients in longer exams- the vibration is actually relaxing. Many fall asleep! I have :)

Since you asked for videos...

These are actual scanning noises:
exam noises (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCV1GWeUhGQ)

On another, nerdier note:
mri music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRm5mD2YxQ)

Regarding the danger of metal objects...
metal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BBx8BwLhqg)

Hope this can get you started.

You might want to search for MRI accidents. Google is your friend.

ps: MRI's actually uses two kinds of magnetic forces. Main fixed magnetic force and gradients.

kkbe
04-06-2013, 04:42 AM
I clicked on the MRI sound effect. . . ugh, brings back memories. . .

BradyH1861
04-06-2013, 04:43 AM
I had one done on my lower back. It was very noisy and a little cold. I had (have) a herniated disc and laying flat on my back for the duration of the procedure was tough, even though they put a pillow under my knees to take some of the pressure off.

slhuang
04-06-2013, 04:46 AM
Basically, what everybody else said. ::points upward::

I've had a bunch of MRIs, most 45 minutes or longer. I think I've fallen asleep during every one (but I fall asleep at the drop of a hat because I never sleep enough, so if I'm still for long enough it'll happen!). This, I think, is probably unusual, as they are QUITE loud (BRRR BRRRR BRRR BRRR noise all the way through). The room is usually cold, but they've always given me a blanket. Techs have always been pleasant and professional.

I'm not claustrophobic, and to me the space seemed quite large, so I had no issues. In fact, I like MRIs much better than CAT scans or other scans I've had. Less uncomfortable. (Obviously, since I've always fallen asleep!) Really the only annoying part for me was the noise, though I could imagine discomfort if you're claustrophobic or have difficulty staying still.

slhuang
04-06-2013, 04:48 AM
For some - particularly for recurring patients in longer exams- the vibration is actually relaxing. Many fall asleep! I have :)


Ha, I didn't see this -- I guess it's not as unusual as I thought!

Maybe for some of us the noise becomes white noise after a while. :sleepy:

hillcountryannie
04-06-2013, 05:04 AM
The techs were super nice when I had an MRI on my pelvis. I, too, had over-sized scrub pants and hospital gown. I had to put all my stuff in a locker outside the area.

I had two MRI's, one without contrast and then one with. They give the contrast via IV, and the IV popped out, so they had to re-insert it in the other arm.

It was very loud and they gave me headphones, but the music didn't really cover up the clicking. It was very, very cold in the room, so they gave me a blanket.

Oh, and before the test they asked me if I could be pregnant. There was a chance, so they sent me over to the lab (scrubs on, in an outpatient center...haha) to have blood work done.

Canotila
04-06-2013, 05:20 AM
On another, nerdier note:
mri music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRm5mD2YxQ)


That is brilliant.

The result of my MRI was that my brain was "unremarkable". Ha ha. Apparently when you're getting an MRI that's a good thing.

Al Stevens
04-06-2013, 05:25 AM
I've had two. On the brain. The first time they asked me what kind of music I like. I said jazz. Big mistake. I had to listen to Kenny G for the duration.

The second time I said, no music.

milkweed
04-06-2013, 06:03 AM
Thanks kkbe! I appreciate it. :) I have atopic dermatitis so I really can't imagine being still that long without scratching. I think it'd be a nightmare for me. I've heard it can get stuffy and that would make it even worse for me.

Thanks again.


there are the open MRI's now which is what my last MRI was, coincidentially it was on the same day as my very last every closed MRI!!!

I was in the closed MRI tube, with my head bolted down in one of those frames, and the "female" technician and I'm using that term VERY loosely here right now left the room telling me to "press the button if I needed anything"

Well I did end up needing something. And I did press that button. First time I waited a minute, and nada, second time about thirty seconds, and nada... this is a good 15-20 minutes into the MRI, and then I pressed it again, and again, and again.

Well as you can guess panic started to set in which was not good because not only was I bolted down but my arm was falling asleep and turning blue. Somehow I managed my other hand up to my head and unscrewed the clamp thingy and managed to get free.

I then proceeded to run for my life out of the clinic, remember the panic? Anyway, my best friend was with me and managed to corner me and remind me I was wearing only a hospital gown and to inform me I was giving quite the show. Sooooo, I returned to my cubby, got dressed and proceeded to leave in an orderly manner.

That's when the other techs decided they needed to tackle me. I managed to escape, yelling yeah right I'd rather die of a stroke, never again, as I tore through the clinic to get away from these monsters.

Turns out my tech went to lunch. Oh and she didn't just go to lunch as in going to the break room or even the cafeteria at the clinic, no she left the premisis and went to a resturaunt to have lunch!

Because I was full of something they put in my veins, prior to the MRI scan, and I was actually having a scan to see what damage had been done from an aneurysm I had had earlier in the week, my doctor made the effort to track me down. I informed him at that point I didn't care if I died or not there was no way, no how, they were going to get me back into that tube. :rant:

No problems they have something called an open MRI, no tube no problem. So I agreed on the condition of no bolting me down to anything and that I could leave at any point I wanted to. No problems whatever you want...

So I went checked it out and it was indeed all very open, no body parts to fall alseep, and no need to bolt my head down. I never did find out why the first tech did that, oh and yes she was fired for that stint. I'm very well known back in Xray now as "the one that got away", I do believe "high flight risk" is on my medical chart now as well. :evil

It's all very star treky looking, yes it's louder than the closed MRI but they give you headphones to deal with that.

Hope this helps!

CEtchison
04-06-2013, 07:00 AM
Three MRI's.

The first was in a traditional hospital setting. Closed MRI. Headphones with music. Jackhammering. All that good fun stuff. Nothing real exciting about it.

Now the second was unheard of at the time. I was five months pregnant and had ruptured a disc at L5/S1. The radiologist, OB/GYN and spinal orthopedist argued about it for weeks. This was in early 2000 so there was no research at the time regarding pregnancy and MRIs. Studies now show there are no long term effects, but trust me when I say there was one hell of a shouting match via conference call. For the record, the radiologist was the one against having the MRI.

Even more fun, since one MRI scanner was down, they used a mobile MRI. So they put me in my dressing gown and paraded me through radiology, down the hall, through the main lobby, past the cafeteria where we went outside to where the MRI trailer was parked. Did I mention this was Baylor, a big trauma hospital in Dallas? So let me tell you, I had one hell of an audience. lol Then the tech had to shove my pregnant butt into a tube. As always the warning... don't move or we'll have to repeat the scan. And of course, when all the jackhammering started the baby woke up and started kicking around. I remember laying in that thing thinking this kid is causing me problems already, I'm never going to get out of this machine. But thankfully, she didn't interfere too much. The cool thing about having the portable MRI was that you walked past the screens where the tech's sit to get to the scanner. So when all was said and done, I got to see my baby via MRI on the way out. :)

The third one was an open MRI and far more boring than the other two. It still cracks me up to think my father had to take valium even for an open MRI. Damn, pansy. lol

Ketzel
04-06-2013, 08:35 AM
I've had two MRIs, both closed, for knee and hip injuries. The techs were very nice. I am mildly claustrophobic and the test worried me, but the tech explained that the body part to be scanned had to be 3 feet into the tube. So with my knee being scanned, my whole head was out of the tube and with my hip being scanned, my head was just inside and I could see out if I rolled my eyes up. That was enough to stop me from panicking, so I refused the Valium, but I had the panic button in my hand the whole time.

They warned me not to wear any jewelry on the day of the appointments but no one told me anything about metal getting into the machine. I did worry about having a dental implant but they said that was not a problem.

It was cold and noisy [rattle BANG BANG, rattle rattle BANGBANGBANG] but the techs kept talking me through and joking with me in the intervals.

crunchyblanket
04-06-2013, 09:20 PM
Three MRI's for arthritis, two for my knee, one for my pelvis. Closed MRI's for all three. One of them was an arthrogram, which involved injecting a contrast dye into the hip joint. Hurt like crazy and couldn't walk properly for about three hours.

You change into a gown and make sure all jewellery is removed. For the normal MRI's, a tech walked me into the scan room, which was large and quite cold. The MRI machine was in the middle. He told me to lay down on the bench and fiddled a bit with this foam contraption which was supposed to keep my knee in place. He gave me a set of headphones and a panic alarm in case I felt claustrophobic.

The bench sort of slides into the machine. For the knee MRI's I was cut off at the hips, so most of my upper body was free of the machine and I could watch the little red numbers count down on the top. There's a whole lot of banging and buzzing and clicking while they scan you, and sometimes they stop to adjust the position of the bench.

The first MRI I had, they played Britney Spears. The second was Adele. On both occasions, I think I'd have preferred the sound of the machine.

After roughly 15 minutes they slide the bench out of the machine and let you go. Get changed and that's that.

On those occasions, the techs were helpful and friendly but slightly distant, which didn't bother me at all.

The third MRI, with the contrast, was a bit different. Before they took me to the scan room they had to do an ultrasound guided injection into the hip joint. They bring in the US machine and a sonographer finds the joint, and a doctor first injects a local anaesthetic (you can see the needle entering on the ultrasound, it's kind of creepy) and then the dye (which is excruciating - they have to fill the entire joint cavity and it felt a little like my hip was going to explode.) The poor doctor was a trainee, a cute American guy who must have been really quite alarmed at how much I yelped because he kept apologising. A little Asian nurse held my hand while they did it. Afterwards, I found I couldn't bear weight on that hip so the nurse and an ultrasound tech had to help me hobble the two minutes from the US room to the MRI. When I got there, the MRI tech took over and had to physically help me up onto the bench. He could see I was in a lot of pain and offered to stay with me. He was very sweet :) I declined music this time, and they gave me the headphones anyway to help cancel out the noise.

That MRI took a bit longer - twenty, twenty-five minutes, maybe.

Saoirse
04-06-2013, 09:51 PM
I've had... *counts* 2 MRIs. Both were closed. One was my hand and one was my shoulder. I am VERY claustrophobic and usually take anti-anxiety meds to help it.

My first one, they told me it would be noisy, but they didn't describe the noises, so the first few crashes and bangs and such scared the crap out of me. I believe I might have jumped a few times, but my hand was in this foam thing so I don't think it moved (they would have made me do it over if it had). That time, I did my usual meditation thing - counting backward from 100 and breathing deep to get through it. It was about 45 minutes. I had earphones but no music. The techs were all very nice.

Second time was quite painful b/c my shoulder was wedged into an uncomfortable position. The nurse who had me change was quite rude. I asked her if I could have some water to take my anti-anxiety pill with, and she acted like I was crazy for asking. I said, "Well, if I *don't* take it, I will freak out on you." So she let me have the water and I took my pill. This time I got earphones and music. I knew what the noises sounded like so I wasn't scared. I did, however, do my meditation thing again. It was prolly about 45 minutes. Although it felt like forever. I am *really* good at holding still due to having so many tests over the years, so there's no real worry there.

Personally, I hate MRIs and only get them when there's no other choice.

Also, I have wires, screws, and plates in my jaw from jaw surgery at 15 and that's always been a concern. I guess titanium isn't a problem, but I was supposed to get an MRI of my eye socket recently and my doctor decided against it and ordered a CAT scan instead. I guess there would be some risk b/c the place they are scanning is so close to my jaws? I've heard of people being burnt and things flying around. Kind of scary.

Becky Black
04-06-2013, 11:35 PM
I had one last year, on my lower back. I had to wear a hospital gown and no jewellery, or my glasses. I wasn't even allowed to wear makeup - apparently it can contain ferrous compounds that will distort the image. Yes, I had to go out in public with no makeup on. The horror!

It was a closed MRI and very tight quarters. The inside of the tube was very close to may face when inside. Since it was my lower back I was quite far through the machine though, and the top of my head was out of the other end. I could tip my head back and see the ceiling of the room. I had to lie very still during the scan. I don't know if it was the machine or something, but after a while my back got quite warm. (Pleasantly so, since it happened to be appalling snowy weather that day!)

The technician was in a room to the side and talked to me through headphones, telling me what was going to happen next and making sure I was feeling okay. It wasn't just one long noise going on. It would be one noise for two minutes, a different one for five minutes, etc. She told me each time the type of noise to expect and how long it would last. They let me either choose music or bring along my own CD, which I did. But it was useless really. It didn't block the noise out. I wouldn't bother if I had another one.

I didn't feel claustrophobic at all. I didn't want a sedative or anything. I kept my eyes closed most of the time though, so that probably helped. It was almost relaxing - aside from the noise. I could have gone to sleep without that!

muse
04-07-2013, 02:19 AM
I've had 3 or 4 MRI's (can't remember, they've kinda blurred together) all for neck/back issues, all closed. For every one of them I've kept my eyes shut the whole time. OK, peeked once and never again! The walls were so close it was frightening.

It definitely can be claustrophobic. The noise sounded like I was stuck in an industrial washer/dryer. (Not that I've ever been stuck in one, but yanno...that's what I guess an industrial washer/dryer would sound from the inside.:Shrug:)

1st MRI I had music piped through earphones, the others, nothing. Each time the nurses explained everything to me before I went in - no jewellery, no moving etc.

Other than it being painful to lie flat for any length of time, the scan itself is painless, if daunting. I have them quite a bit to check on the progression of my AS.

Kitti
04-07-2013, 02:23 AM
I've had a couple of MRIs on my knees. They've always let me wear my own clothes, I'm assuming because I showed up with no metal not even in my bra (yay for sports bras and soccer shorts).

It's always been in a open MRI machine and I've had trouble with some stupid red light that was always right in front of my face but I wasn't supposed to look directly at. They always gave me headphones and let me choose what station I wanted to be on.

Biggest thing, as other people have said, is the need to keep totally still. The MRI feels like it's taking forever and it's freakishly hard not to even twitch as it goes on and on and on....

The most "entertaining" part of my various MRI experiences is I usually show up on crutches but of course crutches are metal and aren't allowed in the exam room. There have been some interesting hopping/carrying experiences. Though I did have one tech sneak my crutches in a few feet so I didn't have to get as far after I was done with the MRI.

Techs have all been super friendly and helpful. Most of them can also be convinced to give you a quick, unofficial "obvious problems" summary of what they've seen on the scan.

jaksen
04-07-2013, 05:15 AM
I've had five. I go to sleep in them. I know, I know. They bang-bang-bang, and knock-knock, but I fall asleep. I've had doctors, nurses, attendants call my name, squeeze my arm to wake me up. It's not common, they say.

My primary care doctor, though, says he's fallen asleep in them, too.

And btw, I am laying face down when this happens. So my experience, atypical.

flapperphilosopher
04-07-2013, 05:58 AM
I've had one. Like others have said, kind of weird noises, like whirrrr, CLUNK. Headphones with music. It was "adult contemporary" or something, so bland it was annoying me. I've had lots of medical stuff done and I was mostly just bored because it took so long and there was nothing to look at. The tech was super nice.

Tocotin
04-07-2013, 06:05 AM
I had one MRI, of the brain. It's a weird story. I had a horrible headache for a month, in summer. After that one month it went away without a trace... not. My hair had been straight prior to that. After the headache, my hair got curly. No explanation for this at all.

Anyway, I was scared, not because I'm claustrophobic or anything like that, but because I'm afraid of machines and to be put inside one is a stuff of nightmares for me. It was okay though, if you don't count the horrible muzak. I'd rather have listened to the noise. Also, I didn't get much explanation, because they tend not to give you too much here in Japan, but the guy who did it for me was very nice and gave me a panic button. The button was all sweaty at the end :D but it did calm me down.

shaldna
04-07-2013, 01:17 PM
I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable

They were really good on every occassion I've dealt with them - they know how scary it can be. In addition, although it didn't apply to me, the local hospital even has books and displays for kids who are getting an MRI explaining about it.



2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated

I'll have to keep getting them for the rest of my life to keep a check on a medical condition.



3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.

The results take a while to come back - I think I had to wait a month or so for mine, and even then I didn't get to see the actual scans etc, just a doctors report forwarded to me.


4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment

No. They explained very briefly what would happen. but didn't get into details about specifics.



5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.

On my first one I had a full on panic attack. That was unpleasant. I asked about the metal objects - I have a lot of piercings and was worried I might have missed one when taking them out - the tech told me that it's not a case of it 'ripping' out immediately - that it builds, and you'll feel a tugging to alert you long before the object would be ripped out.

I was also worried because I have a couple of 20 year old metal teeth fillings, but was assured that they dont' react - and they didn't.

I was asked a lot fo questions about any medial treatment, such as operations etc I'd had - whether I'd had any plates, wires, staples or implants such as a pacemaker etc installed - it's really very thorough.


6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness

The hospital I went to don't like to sedate people unless necessary because it adds another level of potential problems, although they do offer a mild oral sedative to patients. I didn't take it. They talked through how clostrophobic it might seem and talked me through how to use the panic button etc.

That said, I wasn't prepared for how bad it was. You go into the tube head first, then you are raised up until you are almost touching the top - it's almost coffin like in feeling. you have earphones on to try and drown the noise - hey were playing the radio for me down them, but the MRI was so loud that I couldn't hear it. the noise of the machine is incredible - it's a loud, repetitive banging - a bit like a jack hammer. and it doesn't let up.

There's no way someone is sleeping in and MRI -it's loud and scary, and they will only give you a mild sedative - nothing that will make you sleepy, just take the edge off your anxiety.


[quote[7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason. [/quote]

My first MRI should have ended early following my panic attack, but I was so bad that I physically couldn't squeeze the button hard enough to set it off.

I'm better now, but I still hate it - I get sweaty and shaky and weak,.

Edited to add that all my MRIs are brain related - if that makes a difference.

shaldna
04-07-2013, 01:19 PM
I had one MRI, of the brain. It's a weird story. I had a horrible headache for a month, in summer. After that one month it went away without a trace... not. My hair had been straight prior to that. After the headache, my hair got curly. No explanation for this at all.

I've heard of that happening - one of my aunts had poker straight hair when she was a kid, then she got measles, got REALLY ill, and when she recovered her hair was curly.

sunandshadow
04-07-2013, 02:20 PM
Hair often changes texture around puberty and menopause due to hormone fluctuations, and hormone fluctuations can also cause headaches (pregnancy hormones can do this too, though I'd assume any hair texture change would go away after the pregnancy ended, if not earlier).

High fevers are known to cause mild brain damage, but that's usually associated with learning disabilities, I haven't heard anything about it being associated with hormone issues.

Jersey Chick
04-07-2013, 06:26 PM
I had an MRI done on my left knee about three years ago. I went to a radiology group instead of the hospital and was able to wear my own clothes (I think I wore sweats over a pair of shorts, but I don't really remember. I just know I didn't have to change.) IIRC, it took about half an hour and I was only into the machine up to my hip, which is good because I'm claustrophobic. They gave me earphones, but I don't remember what I was listening to, so it couldn't have been all good or all bad. :)

The machine clunked and thunked, but nothing too hard or loud and just as I was dozing off, we were done. Turns out I have too much cartilage in my left knee and I'll have to have the excess taken out one of these days. :(

All in all, it was an okay experience. Just kind of noisy. I've definitely been through worse tests.

crunchyblanket
04-07-2013, 06:44 PM
Turns out I have too much cartilage in my left knee and I'll have to have the excess taken out one of these days.


Oh, hey, lend me some? I'm running out :D

WeaselFire
04-09-2013, 12:45 AM
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable

Always helpful (12 MRIs to date)


2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated

Once when I started coughing in the middle.


3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.

Always interesting. Not sure what you're looking for here.


4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment

Never.


5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.

Never.


6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness

Valium pill before most.


7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

Vomited once, that ended it. :)

Jeff

Jersey Chick
04-09-2013, 01:10 AM
Oh, hey, lend me some? I'm running out :D
I'm going to ask my doctor to put in my right knee. I had most of that cartilage removed when I tore it when I was 14. I figure everything will balance out then. :D

Dave Hardy
04-10-2013, 12:48 AM
I had an MRI of my liver. The worst part was drinking the barium milkshake. The vanilla one tastes like vanilla cake batter but a little metallic so I had the consistent feeling I ought not to be drinking it. Banana one was if anything worse. And you're not supposed to drink water to rinse your mouth out because it dilutes the barium.

I had an MRI for my chest a few years back. I found the "milkshake" to be nasty. The flavor wasn't bad, but the texture bothered me. It was like eating vanilla-flavored axle grease.

Sonata
04-10-2013, 08:38 AM
I've had two. The only things I can say were unique compared with other posters' was that I work with metals (mostly precious and non-magnetic base) and that became a really big deal for one of my MRIs. They cancelled my MRI for the day, called my optometrist, and we had to go through all sorts of shenanigans to make sure I didn't have any metal in my eyes. Seriously?!?! My argument was that I think I would know if I had metal in my eyeballs. I mean a dang eyelash feels like a dagger in there. Anyway, we eventually worked out that my eyes were metal free.

The ironic part about it was that they let me wear my street clothes in and the button and rivets from my blue jeans pulled up toward the machine. Strange feeling. Guess they weren't worried about my pants getting ripped off.

I admit, I laid there picturing scenes from the likes of a B horror flick of metal shards being torn from my eye socket.

Also, I've never been claustrophobic, but that's the closest I've ever gotten.

A.P.M.
04-10-2013, 04:41 PM
I've never had an MRI myself but I do research, so I've run plenty of people in MRI machines. When its for cognitive research, it's usually fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Same machine though.

Safety is the number one priority. Participants have to fill out a checklist that inquires about any metal, including certain types of tattoos and yes, if they are metal workers. We also ask about pregnancy. I can get you a list of everything we ask if you want it. Metal objects in the body will heat up or rotate within the MRI, so it's not going to be an explosive disaster or anything, but its not pleasant. I've never had a participant who actually had metal within their body try to enter the MRI. Before running an MRI, whether research or medical, doctors or researchers must get clear information about potential metal devices from the patient. If they can't, they will not run the person. A confused person off the street who wanders into the ER and is unable to give coherent answers to an MRI tech's questions will not get an MRI.

The noise of the MRI is loud, like people have described. The noise is also dependent on the type of scanner-you can have 1.5 tesla magnets all the way up to 7 T. The higher the number, the stronger the magnetic field and the louder it is. However, most medical MRIs are 1.5T. The big ones are usually reserved for research.

We also ask if people are claustrophobic. Since its research and not medically necessary, if they say yes we usually don't run them.

Metal objects that are not attached to a person can and will fly into the scanner, toward the bore of the magnet. I once heard a funny/scary story from a senior researcher, where they were preparing to run someone. The participant claimed to understand the protocols and to have taken off all metal devices, but when he walked into the room, the gun strapped to his ankle flew into the scanner. :Wha: In cases like that, the scanner can be shut down. There is also a shut down button that can be used in emergencies-you hit it and the scanner is totally turned off. It's a pain and very expensive to turn back on, however.

Most MRI rooms will have very obvious demarcation points past which people with metal devices are not supposed to walk. The field strength increases as you approach the scanner. It will also wipe things like credit cards.

That's all I can think of for now. I hope this was helpful!

Myrealana
04-10-2013, 06:19 PM
I've had two MRIs on my knees due to injuries.


1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable

He was business-like but comforting. He wanted to get me in and out as quickly as possible.

2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated

Not until I hurt the same knee again.

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.

Not really

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment

Nope. He just warned me about the noise, asked me what radio station I'd like, and asked me to hold as still as possible. He didn't go into details and I didn't ask.

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.

I've only seen it on TV. I have metal screws in my knee, so I was worried about them affecting the scanner, but they have been in there long enough that the bone completely covers them, so my Dr said there would be no issue, and he was correct.

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness

My head was outside of the machine, since the problem was with my knee.

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

Nope

ElsaM
04-11-2013, 07:33 AM
I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.

They were all quite noisy, even with earplugs. I was given headphones the second time round and got to listen to the radio, but I couldn't hear it very well above the noise.

I found the first machine quite intimidating. It was long and very, very narrow. They pushed earplugs into my ears and then started explaining what would happen next, which made it hard to know what was going on. I had a large mask placed over my head and was then wedged in place on the bed and given a panic button to press.

The machine used on my hip was much broader and shorter, there was no mask, and in comparison was practically friendly.

Definitely not stuffy. I was given a blanket each time to keep me warm. The first two times, I think, were supposed to last around 20 minutes and that was just to make sure there was nothing obviously wrong with my brain. The third one was to look for something specific in my hip and lasted around 10 minutes.

1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable
The technicians were all very helpful and compassionate, even after we worked out I was claustrophobic.

2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated
My first MRI was of my brain, to confirm that there's nothing weird associated with my migraines. They loaded me head first into the machine and that's when I discovered I was claustrophobic. I lasted about 30 seconds and then pressed the panic button. They had to reschedule me so I could have a sedative.

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.
The brain results were particularly uninteresting, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The hip ones were more interesting in that they showed a deformity which required surgery, which is exactly what I was afraid would happen.

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment
I don't remember anyone telling me what stuff was called. For the most part they seemed to be getting me in and out as quickly as possible - there wasn't any waiting around. For the hip MRI, they did make a point of explaining that it was the latest, greatest MRI equipment, that it would only take half the time it would have previously, that it would be much less confining and less noisy - but that was probably because they knew I was claustrophobic and wanted to reassure me.

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.
Nope, not at all. I wouldn't have known it was an issue if I had seen the mythbusters episode a couple of years' earlier.

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness
Yes to the claustrophobia. I had to cancel the first one part way through because I couldn't go through with it. There was really only an inch or two clearance above my nose and I just couldn't stand it. The second time I had some sort of drip. I didn't feel particularly sedated and I was still concerned, but I didn't panic. Then I went home and slept for a really, really long time.

For the hip MRI, the doctor prescribed some pills (can't remember what) so I didn't have to be properly sedated, which meant I was able to get an appointment sooner. I took one half an hour beforehand and it worked fine, although again I didn't feel particularly sedated until afterwards.

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.
Yes, thanks to the claustrophobia. I got the impression that it wasn't an unusual occurrence and the staff were very understanding.

M.
Answers above in blue.

rhymegirl
04-12-2013, 06:35 AM
I would get claustrophobic in a closed-in space so I had an Open MRI.

From what I recall, it wasn't bad at all. Yes, the machine is noisy, but they gave me headphones and asked what kind of music I liked. I picked some kind of easy listening stuff.

You do have to lie still for a while. I think the music really relaxed me so i didn't worry about moving around and I didn't.

Hendo
04-13-2013, 04:12 AM
I had one for my shoulder (rotator cuff) where the doctor put my hand on my chest before I was put into the tube. He told me to hold the buzzer there and not move it. So needless to say, after laying on my back for 20+ minutes with my hand elevated the blood drained from it and by entire arm began to go numb. It left me a little twitchy and claustrophobic and I had to hit the buzzer early to get out. He made me think that if I moved my arm the entire thing would have been ruined which turned out to not be the case. *edit* I'd like to add that I have been caving many times and this was the first time I've ever been claustrophobic in my life.


When I had a second one done for my ear I made sure that the same thing wouldn't happen again. They told me I could move my arms around as long as my head stayed still. Aside from that it was just long, slow and boring. I believe they played some nice elevator music for me lol

CrastersBabies
04-13-2013, 09:43 AM
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable.
Very helpful. Non-obtrusive. Didn't pester me too much.

2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated
Just once

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.
I was being tested for MS. I did not have it, so was very thankful for the results. It showed that I had a massive sinus infection, though. Went on antibiotics for a month.

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment
No.

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.
No

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness
I didn't get claustrophobic. I just put in my earplugs and shut my eyes and relaxed. No biggie for me.

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.
Nope

Sorry, my answers aren't great.

My stepfather has had a few MRIs and he's extremely claustrophobic. They had to blow air in there so he didn't freak out. It was the lack of wind/breeze on his face that made him really get anxious.

fdesrochers
04-15-2013, 06:37 PM
Comments in blue text below.


I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.

1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable (The technicians were really accomodating and pleasant. There was a certain detachment though; how many times do you have to say the same schpiel before it comes out a little robotic? She did get a little short with the guy in front of me though.)

2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated (Thankfully not)

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to. (My results sent the tech for a loop. I was sent as part of a group from my military base. Typically the MRI clinic sends the digital copies of the scans on DVD to the local base clinic in somethinf like 3-5 business days. What she saw in my scan prompted an immediate return and the driver had the DVD in-pocket for our return trip. A 14 x 22 mm disc bulge onto my sciatic root; surgery was my only option.)

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment (I could see them doing that for someone younger or particularly frightened. Didn't happen for me)

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine. (LOL, no. But I'd believe it after having gone through the process.)

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness (The guy before me hit the panic button a couple of times. When I went into the room, I thought, "Hey, this can't be that bad, can it? There appears to be **loads** of room." I didn't realize how much room the bench mechanism would take! Had I sneezed, I would have broken my nose on the inside of the ring. They gave us earphones and music to listen do, which was nearly unbearably loud. Once the machine kicked in, I didn't hear a note of music again until the bench slid back out. I'm not normally claustrophobic, but this thing started getting to me. I just shut my eyes and everything was right as rain. No sedatives, but a couple of shots of scotch would have gone over well!)

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason. (nope, good-to-go)

EDIT: My MRI scan was just shy of 45 minutes long.

I'd also appreciate a website - I've already googled a couple of times - where such anecdotes about this procedure are shared.

Thanks. You can either post here or send via PM. :)

M.

Cannelle
04-16-2013, 07:42 AM
I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable
2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated
3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.
4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment
5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.
6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness
7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

I'd also appreciate a website - I've already googled a couple of times - where such anecdotes about this procedure are shared.

Thanks. You can either post here or send via PM. :)

M.


I've had two this year, both for back problems (to be specific, I have degenerative disc disease and a protruding L5. Not much fun!). The first one was incredibly loud. I don't know if I had my earplugs in wrong or what, but holy crap, it was like being front row at a tech concert. My ears felt plugged (you know, like they do after you come out of a concert?) for two days after. Second was nothing like that, thankfully.

1. First tech was friendly and didn't say anything during the procedure. The second tech was also friendly and read off stuff during the procedure ("This portion will last for five minutes. You're doing great!"), which was unexpected and actually kind of irritating when I was just trying to focus and get through it.

2. I had a repeat several months later because of new symptoms, but the results were the same.

3. Results were fascinating! I got a copy of the pics, including a side-shot of my spine, where you can see my L5 disc poking out like a tongue, trying to lick my spinal cord. I posted it on Facebook immediately, lol.

4. Neither of the techs told me about the equipment.

5. No horror stories.

6. I didn't have any sedatives. I did get a little panicky about halfway through the first one. I kept my eyes closed the whole time during both, but the first time, I started to freak out a little. I managed to talk myself down and kind of daydream myself out of the panic (actually, I think I thought about my writing a little to un-freak out).

7. Both procedures were full, no early endings. Both times I had a plastic bulb to hold onto, with instructions to squeeze it if I panicked and needed to stop the procedure, but I managed to keep it together (the second time wasn't bad at all, no panicking!).

They weren't bad. The techs were really nice and very accommodating, helping me onto the table (the second MRI was during a pretty nasty flare-up, where I was having trouble walking). Second MRI, I got a blanket draped over my legs, which was nice, because it was fairly chilly in there. The worst part was having to take off my bra and lay there in just my t-shirt. I am NOT a braless chick, lol.

The first one, I went in wearing jeans, expecting them to make me wear a hospital gown. They instead had me take off my bra and just yank my pants down to my knees (with a sheet to cover myself). It was a LITTLE awkward, considering the tech was a dude, and he just kind of wandered off while I did all that, lol. No biggie for me, though, I'm not bothered by that kind of stuff, I just kind of laughed and wiggled out of my pants.

calieber
04-18-2013, 08:51 AM
Had an abdominal MRI about eight hours ago. There's a reason I didn't contribute to this thread sooner.

The tube was ... startlingly narrow. Probably about on the threshold for my claustrophobia reaction to kick in.

Tech (Vietmanese-American, judging from her name and accent) was chipper. Whether that's annoying depends on your tolerance for chipper.

I didn't have to end it entirely, but the contrast made me briefly queasy.

ETA: The results were fascinating to look at -- I got a CD-ROM with the images and a viewer, my girlfriend and I looked at it later -- but I have no idea what it all means.

Hope this helps.

laurasbadideas
04-18-2013, 09:27 AM
I've had three knee MRIs, for three different injuries. They all went approximately the same way:

First they got me into position on the table that slides into the machine. My leg was elevated slightly and then strapped in. Then they told me that it was extremely important not to move at all -- which of course made me feel like I needed to move my leg. Then they slowly slid me into the machine, feet first, up to my armpits. I chose to keep my arms outside the machine. It was noisy, but they gave me headphones and piped in music.

I found the whole experience really unpleasant. The two worst things were having to keep my leg still for 20 minutes despite having a strong urge to move it all that time, and knowing that I couldn't get out without assistance. My leg was strapped to the table, so I couldn't just pull myself out, and the table was locked into place -- even though my arms were outside, I couldn't reach the controls to unlock it.

To answer your specific questions:

1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable

They ranged from "helpful and patient" to "obviously in a hurry".

2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated

No -- I had essentially the same procedure three times, but it was for three different injuries.

3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.

Yes. They showed exactly what was wrong. I needed surgery for the third injury (I'm fine now), and the MRI results made it easy for me to understand why.

4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment

No.

5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.

No, but I'd read some or seen some in the media, so I was afraid of that.

6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness

Yes, I did. I thought about asking for a sedative, but I didn't because I wanted to be able to drive myself home.

7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

No.

Kittens Starburst
04-18-2013, 10:32 PM
I am looking for stories from people who had MRI's. I want to know if it was noisy, or the opposite, boring, frightening, too hot/stuffy in there, too cold, constricting, or not too bad. I'd really appreciate any personal anecdotes.
1) I'm interested in whether the technician was helpful or irritable
2) whether you had to have the procedure repeated
3) whether your results were interesting, although of course you don't have to get too personal if you prefer not to.
4) I'd like to know whether they taught you the names of equipment
5) if anyone told you any horror stories about metal objects flying into the machine.
6) I'd like to know if you expected to experience claustrophobia and what you did to prepare (i.e. take a sedative) and if that had any effect on you other than sleepiness
7) if you had to end the procedure early for any reason.

I'd also appreciate a website - I've already googled a couple of times - where such anecdotes about this procedure are shared.

Thanks. You can either post here or send via PM. :)

M.

Every one on here is clearly a lot braver than me. I had an MRI to scan my brain. It was bloody terrifying.

1) Cooly professional, didn't explain much at all. True, I didn't ask much.

2) I had mine for a small non-malignant tumour in the pituitary gland, so I expect I'll get another scan in time if my symptoms return despite taking the meds.

3) Interesting if you like that sort of thing. I didn't ask to see the scan, assuming I could have done, because I was a wreck afterwards.

4) No. The two of them just seemed to want to get on with it. Personally, I'm not a fan of all that stuff, so I tend not to ask.

5) Uh-oh. No.

6) Here's why I answered your post, to spread the fear! I had no expectations beforehand, but it turned out to be a really scary experience. It's like being locked inside a very bright, very noisy coffin. My whole body was inside, head first, yet gauging from a lot of replies here I'm quite confused. Seems you don't always get shut in??

You get a panic button, but you're too scared to press it because then you have to go through it all again (at least I think that's what they warned me). What's really frightening is that you're told to keep very still, but you feel the whole thing pressing in on you. I was panicking that the oxygen would run out inside this 'coffin', and I had an almost overwhelming urge to sit up, which is impossible. It also sounds like machine guns are going off - the muffling headphones are shit. If I'd known I could listen to music, I'd have endured any old guff rather than that noise.

They said the scan would take ten minutes, but I swear it took twenty. They hauled me out after what felt like ten - just when I thought I couldn't stand it any more. And then they injected me with dye and shoved me back in again! I was a bit teary, but they didn't ask. Wow, this is making me feel really sorry for myself.

7) I very much wanted to press the panic button. The only thing that stopped me was fearing I'd have to repeat the whole procedure. Plus, I did have to find out what was wrong.

laurasbadideas
04-18-2013, 10:41 PM
6) Here's why I answered your post, to spread the fear! I had no expectations beforehand, but it turned out to be a really scary experience. It's like being locked inside a very bright, very noisy coffin. My whole body was inside, head first, yet gauging from a lot of replies here I'm quite confused. Seems you don't always get shut in??


It depends on what body part they need to look at -- that part needs to be within a certain area inside the tube. So for my knee MRI, my knee had to be where your head was for your brain MRI. I remember wishing it had been my ankle instead.