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MRI follow up/claustrophobia


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18 months on I’ve finally got the date for my first MRI: next Wednesday evening. Problem is I’m claustrophobic. I’ve read loads about it and quite honestly I’m freaking myself out. The thought of being in the tube was bad enough now I’ve found I have to wear a ‘coil’ helmet thing on my head. Are any of you claustrophobic and if so how did you cope?

Sally xx

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Hi Sally, you really need to get in contact with your GP.....give them a call first thing tomorrow. Tell them that you're claustrophobic and freaking out ... they may be able to help you with a sedative that takes the edge off your fear ... as long as someone is able to drive you home...I'm not a medic but your fear is really common, so get help.

 

I've never heard about wearing a "coil" helmet and not sure where you've got this info from? Remember that you always have a buzzer in your hand when you go into the scanner ....you can press it any time, if you need to get out of the scanner and the staff will come running.

 

Be honest with your GP and phone them tomorrow...you need this scan, but you also need to make sure that you're as relaxed as possible ... also tell the nurses that you have a phobia, before you go in ... they're normally pretty lovely, but you need to let them know.

 

I also don't like the scanner .... I know how you're feeling, but step away from the internet and don't search. Put that call into your GP tomorrow.....be honest and make your life easier. You don't have to do the "brave" thing ... most of us truly don't like the scanner and we've been there ... Hugs lovely. xx

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I have had a mri last August and had a thing over my face with loads of holes in just so you don't move i hate scanners but I went in closed my eyes and breathed I am claustrophobic but I managed ok xxx

 

Hope it goes well xxx

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Thanks Karen and Jess for your replies. Yes I’ll have to get something from the doc I think. I’m fine with CT as you don’t go right in. Apparently the thing you wear on your head is what makes the signals work (yes I’m guilty of internet searching). Does the whole thing take long just to check the coils?

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Sally, no ... that's not right ... it's something that just keeps your head in one place whilst they take the scan pics. It's certainly not metal ...what in the earth have you read? Step away from the internet and stop searching..x

 

There's also a mirror above your head, so that you can see the nurses who are taking your scan pics and working behind you in the window ... cool air is also blown in.... and remember that you will have a hand held squeezy button that you can press and the scanner will stop and the nurses will come running ... It's only your head that goes in ... not your whole body. 

 

I can't answer about the length of time ... give the hospital a ring and they'll be able to help with the length of the scan, as they will have others booked in after you ... How long do you think it will be?

 

Get some peace of mind and call the Doc in the morning. Please just be honest with the Doc ... it's more common than you believe, but there's help out there ... so don't panic or struggle when you don't have to ... 

 

Hugs lovely...I know where you're coming from ... xx

 

 

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Thanks Karen. I give myself a good talking to saying it’s fine and not to be worried but being shut in is my bete noir.

 

When I was 9 my sister and I were stuck in a lift: only for a short time and it didn’t really bother me then but I wonder whether that has affected me as an adult.

 

Needless to say I haven’t been in a lift for years. I never lock the door in a public loo which has led to a few awkward moments although usually I can keep my foot on the door and so on. I’ll let you know how I get on. Then it’s the wait for the result.

 

Hey ho these things are sent to try us xx

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Sally, I totally understand ....promise me that you'll give the GP a call in the morning? ... You're not alone and it's not a sign of weakness ... I still have help with the scanner and flying as well (not that we can fly at the minute!) ... I waited far too long to get help ... don't be me ... x 

 

The main thing is, that you manage to get your scan done and get some peace of mind ... you'll be okay ... just pick up that phone! xx

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Agree with everything Karen says. It is common to feel like this. The first one after my bleed was playing the local radio station so you could hear it during the scan. That was great, but the show was people phoning in to tell funny stories so it was very difficult to stay still and not laugh ;)

 

I find that closing my eyes from the second you lie down until it's all over is good as well. 

 

Be kind to yourself. Remember everything you're feeling is absolutely normal.

 

 

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Yes, I never thought I was claustrophobic until I had my first MRI (before my SAH). I freaked out. I pressed the button and yelled “Get me out now!” They did. I told the technician that it felt like I was being buried. He sorta smiled and told me to look through to see that it was open at the other end. I felt very embarrassed, but he assured me that it was a common feeling.

 

He was very helpful. He asked me what was my biggest fear. I said ~ that I wouldn’t get enough oxygen. He said, okay we can help with that fear. Then, he brought oxygen tubing and positioned it right near on my chin resting on my chest. It was blowing air. He also asked if I would like a cloth over my eyes. And, I had ear plugs placed in my ears. He was very patient.

 

I finally went back in and finished the MRI. Now, I just ask for all of those accommodations whenever an MRI is scheduled and I have not had any problems! I kind of have to hold the tubing when going through as it does tug a bit. I hope you find what works for you to make it more comfortable. ~ Kathy

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Hi my mom really panicked because I told her there was a mirror there wasn't in hers and there wasn't in my last one I dont know why or where it was but it panicked me a bit so don't expect one but I did still have the button to press if I needed to come out xxx

 

Close your eyes and think of a time you were really happy and just let your mind go there it didn't take long xxx

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Just come out of hospital. Unfortunately my scan was delayed by 40 minutes which didn’t help.

 

Staff were so helpful and kind. She put the head cage thing on and I couldn’t handle it so she thought what she could do instead and used a different device which didn’t come over my face. My husband stayed with me the whole time. I was crushing his hand!

 

Unfortunately the headphones weren’t working with sound as we found out afterwards that the cable wasn’t attached.

 

The third scan was the longest and seemed to go on forever. When that stopped I had to press the buzzer as I had reached the end of my tolerance of the whole experience. But they’d finished anyway which was good. Still it’s all over now and I’m exhausted. 

 

Thanks everyone for all your kind support. I really appreciate it. 
Sally xx

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Sorry for the delay, but Yippee ~ it is over!

 

I hope that during the rest of your day you were able to relax. I also was given the choice to listen to music or have ear plugs during several MRIs ~ the music never was loud enough. So, I always ask for ear plugs now and it does help. You did well. 👍

 

Kathy

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Bless you Sally and just glad it's all over for you now .... well done and I know how difficult it is! x

 

Never be afraid to ask for help to work out your problems ... it's not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength ... we worry far too much about how people will judge us, but over the years and from this website, I've seen too many people struggle and that comes first hand from my own experience. It took me a long time to ask for help...and that's my only regret.

 

Is it common how you've felt? Yes, it is and I've always hoped that within our little online community, that people are honest with their posts and fears too ... Well done Sally, you've helped another person in future weeks, months and years to realise that they're pretty normal! 

 

Sleep well. x

 

 

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