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Hello,

I am going for an MRI scan later this month with & without Gadolinium. Not sure what to expect as have only had angiograms until now. Has anyone had this and is the effect of heat in your head and face similar to an angiogram? I'm told the fluid will be injected through my hand or arm with this rather than through my groin.

Also a bit worried about scan as I am quite claustrophobic. Can anyone tell me how much of your body goes into the machine please?

Thank you for any advice that you can offer.

Michelle x

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Hi Michelle -

In Canada some of the scans require the dye. In my case I always end up with an IV because my veins are small (and apparently have curves). They say the dye will feel like a cooling sensation, but I feel it as heat near the injection site.

I am slightly claustrophobic too. They have offered me Ativan, but I have gone without figuring if I get thru it once, there's nothing to worry about next time (and I've had 4 or 5 next times).

The machine they use in Toronto is tube like with an opening at one end. I go in head first and generally keep my eyes closed and think about something that makes me happy. Originally I planned to think of the cottage since it is my happy place, but the machine bangs a lot (they give me ear plugs) so I tend to think about my trip to New York City instead. They may strap in your head a bit. I am put in a head rest type thing with foam on either side to hold my head firm.

I hope this helps! It takes about 45-60 minutes and here you get to hold a panic button. Breathe deep, and try to view it as a little rest/nap time. I hope that helps!

Kelly

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Michelle -

The ones I'm in your arms are inside, but I have room to have them laying on the bed part beside me. As long as

I don't raise them I'm not touching the tube.

The Ativan they offered me is a relaxing agent, but I had never used it before and apparently in some people it can make them hyper so that factored into my decision not to use it. Perhaps they can let you try out the medication before the MRI so you can make sure it will have the right effect? In my case they didn't offer til just before the first one so I couldn't ensure I wouldn't be hyper and I did NOT want to find out while having the MRI.

When I close my eyes I try to view it as getting ready to sleep so I don't feel trapped. Ask them if they are able to talk on speaker with you while you are in. I've had a couple where the person running it would say "this is a loud section. This scan is XX minutes" The whole process is a number of scans. Typically they let me know when they are going to push the dye through the IV.

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Michelle I am also claustraphobic & have had 2 MRI's . It's a good idea to tell the scanner you are nervous/anxious & maybe to take a cd of muisc you like. On both scans I had the Bridget Jones Soundtrack but it didn't really distract me as the machine is pretty noisy!

as I am of a larger build the scanner is a snug fit & my arms were on my tummy/sides & the whole of you has to go in even if they are only scanning your head. There is a mirror above your head angled so you can see the scanner & they blow cool air on your face so you don't overheat. You also have a squeezy button for them to stop the scan at any time, I did stop it once as I needed to cough & they ask you to stay still. On both scans I had a blindfold so I couldn't see even if I opened my eyes. I just concentrated on the fact that I needed to know what was wrong with me & this was the only way to do it as my CT had been clear!!

I've had cat scans with contrast so I imagine it will feel the same with the MRI that hot flushed feeling as the dye circulates but it's over quickly

If you need to know anything else please ask!!

Edited by bagpuss
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Gill & Kelly, thank you both for the info.

Even sitting here thinking about being inside the machine brings on feelings of panic. I feel a bit pathetic especially as my son has had to go through several MRIs recently - he is much braver than me! I'll be very glad when it's over, more so if the results are good. I think i'll ask my GP for something calming before I go as I really think I might need it. I don't want to end up freaking out in the machine & having to reschedule the appointment as it's a 400 mile round trip :roll:

Michelle x

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Gill & Kelly, thank you both for the info.

Even sitting here thinking about being inside the machine brings on feelings of panic.

That is exactly how I felt before the MRI for my anni, was terrified & didn't want to go, panicky not sleeping etc & to be honest the thought of it was worse than the actula scan. It's not pathetic either, I struggled with lifts for quite a while so a scan like this induced total panic- I was going to ask for something to calm me but that would have meant I couldn't drive myself so I bit the bullet. The best thing is to tell the scanner as they are used to nervous people & better to tell tehm beforehand so they can be prepared rather than try & do the scan & not be abe to.

Huge huge (()) & it will be fine, if I can do it anyone can lol xxx

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Hi Michelle

I have had the dye injected during a CT scan but not with an MRi scan, which gave me a warm feeling (I felt like I had peed) and they did advise it would feel like that.

I have had a couple of MRi scans now and I was also scared before the first one, however I would rather have 20 minutes of that than have to go through an angiogram again.

With my first MRi I was so large that I was just within the weight limit to use the machine! It was very 'snug' to say the least. Having lost more than 2 stone when I had my second MRi it was much easier and obviously less snug! ;)

I was put into the scanner head first and went in backwards up to the top of my legs - I also had a buzzer to press if I needed to stop the scan and come out, but I felt that if I had pressed it at any time I would just have to go through it all again; so I just kept still, kept counting to 60 (to count away the minutes) and got through it.

I had to keep my eyes open during both of my scans, and was not offered any music, just earplugs. It is noisy in there, as if you have your head inside a cement mixer with a load of builders banging on the outside of it with different implements! But is is bearable and is over sooner than you think.

Good luck for your scan.

Kel x

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Hi Michelle

dont think there was anyone more nervious than me:roll: but like Kel says better the MRI than an angio anytime. I was always claustrophobic before the SAH but its much worse now, just shut my eyes thought nice thoughts and said that when it was over I would buy myself somthing nice, spent my time deciding on a top or make-up.....

The injection went through my arm I was in the scanner then out for the line to go in then back half way arm outside, thanfully no hot/cold feeling unlike the angio.....

Good idea talking with the GP, see what they say.....

they're all very friendly they know how nervious some of us get........

take care

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Michelle

There are very good replies to this post.

Kelley -Stated she had a buzzer, to ask to get out. I was offered an eject button also, which meant , if I couldn't cope, I could stop the machine, and get out.

Talk to the Nurse about what it intales, how long etc.

Must agree it's a lot easier that a Angiogram.

You'll be fine.

Take care

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Thank you all. I'm feeling a wee bit better knowing some of you were claustrophobic too and managed not to show yourselves up (I have visions of me pressing the button and running away screaming!!) I'm going to try thinking about other things while i'm in there so that I can be pleased with myself for achieving this after it's over.

Not sure how i'll cope with the noise, I really can't tolerate noise any more. It's always angios I've had til now and you are all right - this cannot be worse than that.

Momo it's Western General in Edinburgh that I go to. I hope they have a fancy new machine too, maybe with a pillow, a blanket, a wine bar & some stawberries :-D

Thanks again

Michelle x

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Michelle,

I had mine a few weeks back...kept eyes shut and it was over so quickly...I never had time to fall

asleep . . plus the noise was only a clonking sound.... and the men chatting.......

They say us women can talk..lol

Honestly it will be okay trust me as I am afraid of everything..and the MRI was a Glen Hoddle = Doddle

The worst thing was the queue in the cafe after ...Do not let it worry you just relax and try not to

worry , or snore lol

Love

WinB143 xx

Edited by Winb143
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Louise - I love Edinburgh for a holiday - the hospital ....ah not so much but the staff are always fantastic there!

Thank you Win. I'm going to try to find out how to print all the positive comments on this thread to take with me, reading them as I go into the machine will definitely help. I will feel like I have to be as brave as the rest of you. Thank you all again.

I am starting to feel a bit fragile in case I don't like what they find. Between check ups I can be happily in denial & think it's all fine(ish) but the fear comes back when an appointment is looming.....what if it's not ok, what if I need more surgery etc, etc. One day I hope this will all be over and I can be confident that I am fine and always will be. It seems to be an endless worry at the back of your mind.

Michelle x

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Thank you Jazzy

I see on your profile that you went through a 2nd op too. I had 2 annis coiled after the bleed & a 3rd three months later. I was told that I am high risk to develop more as it's thought I have a congenital condition. My last angio was 18 months ago & all was fine. Hopefully it still will be but I am back to the awful fear & sleepless nights. I can't get past a 3rd op being an op too far. I haven't really thought about it until I got the appointment date - i've been too busy feeling good that i've adjusted to how I am now to even contemplate any bad stuff.

Scan is 25th & i'll get results 14 days later - I hope i'll be on here saying it's all good and feeling a bit silly for being so scared.

Michelle x

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I was terrified the first time I had a conscious MRI (the 2 I had early on I was pretty out of it so I don't count them). The first time I went back was Nov 2009 which was when they found the problem that was corrected Feb 2010. The weird thing was I had been doing a lot of reading and almost expected to hear bad news. Every one I've had since I've gone in thinking nothing else can go wrong. It sucks you have to wait so long for results - my MRI scans are emailed to my neurosurgeon right away. You may want to check if they can do this and then you don't have to spend those 14 days in between fretting.

Best of luck!!!

Kelly:-D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

Just wanted to say thank you to all who replied and gave advice on this. I had the scan today and was the biggest wuss EVER! I went into the smallest hole ever and could not stop the tears streaming down my face but I thought of all the comments you left and the advice to think of other things. I may have silently cried like a big baby but kept repeating to myself 'stay calm, try to breathe, you can't go back on BTG and admit you pressed the button and failed'. I also remembered my 10yr old son had to o through this twice in January and he didn't press the button and run away.......

Thanks again - I did think of all your comments to stay in control xx

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Good job Michelle! That took courage, you must be exhausted! My mom lives 400 miles away from me so I know how hard that is to do in a round trip. The trip and the stress of the test will take a few days to bounce back from. Have a rest now.

Sandi K. Xo

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Michelle it doesn't matter how you got through it the point is you DID get through it regardless of your fear. I think you've been incredibly brave so give yourself credit for that & have a rest secure inthe knowledge it's over & done:lol:

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Hi Michelle,

Congratulations for getting through that so bravely. I had an MRI scan yesterday too and am always relieved when they're over. At least I didn't have a long journey like yourself to get to a scanner.

Now we have the unenviable wait for the results:roll: Let's keep our fingers crossed that these will be good for both of us.

Take care,

Sarah

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Hi Michelle

Well done - I know that wasn't going to be easy for you, but you did and should be very very proud of yourself. It doesn't matter that you cried or that you wanted to press the button - the fact of the matter is, you got through it - be very proud of yourself - we are :wink:

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