in need of some advise about MRIs

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jilly
jilly Member Posts: 503
edited 18. Jan 2011, 13:05 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone I need to ask for some advise, some of you may remember me I seem to have asked for lots of help lately .
I have arthritis and have been seeing the doctor . She thinks i have sjorgens syndrome or another imfammatory arthritis. I am seeing the RA specialist and ENT next month. She says i need a MRI . I should have had one last year when i had a lot of problems with the arthritis and my voice but i am terrified of having it done . I am really fightened of enclosed spaces.
My question is how do i get through it i know i will have to have it done , but '' how'' that is the question.
Any ideas please, can they give me something :?: jilly :oops:

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  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have had a few MRIs, but only of my knees: I have been fed in up to my shoulders, that's all. The machine is like a huge doughnut, you lie on the bed and are then fed into the hole (part-way or all the way, depending on what is being scanned). When you arrive you are interviewed and asked a number of questions, usually to do with false teeth/replacement parts/pacemakers etc then taken thro to the 'engine room' (as it were). They can talk to you via an intercom, and you have a button you can press if you need to alert them to anything. Posher hsopitals give you headphones and music to listen to - these machines are very noisy. My hospital just gives you the headphones, most dull. I have had up to four scans per visit, each one takes about five minutes, with a breather for the machine (and me) in between each one. You have to lie still, obviously, but you do not feel a thing (apart from a little cold, maybe, those rooms are not that warm - I ask for a blanket for my tooties, they get very chilly). Then you go home. It is very straightforward, it doesn't hurt, but it is noisy. My hospital sends out information leaflets before each appointment, I am sure yours will do the same. hileena likes to plaster the machine with her underwear - much to my amusement! I am sure she will tell you about that. :smile: It will be fine, jilly, even if you are fully in you can see out, and they can see you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jilly
    jilly Member Posts: 503
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi again DD , is the machine very tight close to your face can you move about, i have had CT scans they are ok they dont come near your face. The noise wont worry me but the thought that i cant get out if i want or it is close to my face will make me terrified . Daft i know i dont know why i cant stand someone holding me down , never could. Anyway thanks for the help at least i know how it goes now...........jilly :oops:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I really cannot say as I have never been fed all the way in. I guess it depends on your definition of close: is your nose brushing the roof of the tunnel? No, it isn't. If you are that alarmed you could ring the MRI department and ask them if you could go and have a look. I know that you can see out of the 'tube', if I had to go all the way in well, I would just shut my eyes and ignore what was happening. I frequently do that anyway, especially when I'm driving. :smile: It honestly is no big deal - it hurt my knees 'cos they had to be forced flat (my knees don't do flat any more) but the rest of it was fine. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly

    I have MRI scans 3 times now. The first two only my legs went inside but the last one it was my head that went in.
    Like you I was terrified because i don't like the thought of such a small space.
    I got through that one by closing my eyes as soon as I started entering it and didn't open them till it was time to come out.
    I listened to their radio through their headphones although you could hardly hear it as the machine is very loud. I pretended I ws on a spanish resort that wasn't quite finished and it was the construction men working. :lol: I also breathed deeply and then let my mind run away again, thinking of my family and the people who were in my pocket from the forum :smile:
    They do give you a panic button and if you press it the procedure will stop. You are asked to lay very still and my mri scans lasted 20 mins for my neck and 40 mins for my stump (leg). I am now waiting for a CT scan and perhaps you can tell me what to expect :grin: They don't look too bad :?:

    You will be ok , and there will be lots of us in your pocket.
    I can honestly say (I am a scaredy cat) It wasn't that bad at all. Hope this helps you.
    Juliepf x
  • jilly
    jilly Member Posts: 503
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi juliepf thanks for the help, you asked about the CT scans they are nothing just like a polo mint so dont worry at all you will think nothing of it. As for the MRI i will have to try and do like you think of something to get my head into. thanks a lot for your help /..........jilly
  • jilly
    jilly Member Posts: 503
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    thanks DD for all your advise i will have to get my head sorted i think ................jilly x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Well, to be brutal about it, yes, you will have to get your head sorted but that is easier said than, I do realise that. The MRI is a wonderful diagnostic tool, it will give the doctor a great deal of information about your arthritis and that is important. You should not move about at all whilst it's going on otherwise no clear picture can be taken, you do need to lie still, but you can stretch and twitch a bit in between each 'take'. You are not strapped in in any way, why would you be? Which bit of you is being scanned? If it is your legs then no, you won't be fed all the way in, not in my experience, anyway. It is, honestly, fine. I don't mind em: OK, they're noisy and I hurt after but any excuse to lay about for 20 minutes or so is fine in my book! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jilly
    jilly Member Posts: 503
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    DD, It is my neck , shoulders so i think from what you say i will have to go all the way in , do you think i could go in feet first and only start it when they get up to my shoulders that way i will still have my head near the end . at least i think so perhaps they do that anyway , i think i could live with that if i could see out . Anyway thanks you would think at 60 i would be old enough to do this . all the best jilly
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I suspect they will do you head first, thus leaving most of your body outside the machine, but I honestly don't know as I am not an MRI nurse! I think you could ring the department and ask, they might be able to help you on that one. You will be able to see out, the 'tunnel' part is open at both ends - what did they do for your CT scan? I've never had one of those - enlighten me, please, in case there is any similarity. jilly, it is OK to be apprehensive if not a little nervous, but these things are not that bad. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,315
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly, when my S had to have an MRI scan (he has autism) the clinic nurse arranged for us to go and look at scanner and meet the staff before the actual day of the appointment. The nurse demonstrated what it was like to lie on the scanner and then I asked if I could show him me going inside - as he would relate more to this. The staff were great. Theymust be used to people who find the idea daunting - and have ways to help. I think you should definitely contact clinic who referred you or the MRI dept and ask to arrange this. They will also be able to answer your questions about how much of your body will be inside the scanner.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwXJNXNcLNs is a link to a short video about having and MRI. If you think it might be useful watch it.

    Speedy
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • jilly
    jilly Member Posts: 503
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi speedy , i have watched the clip it helps a lot the lady went in feet first , i could manage if that was as far in that it went . thanks very much it is a great help i feel a lot better now .

    DD the CT scan is just like a polo and very big so it was'nt a problem it was'nt near my body , you wouldnt bother about it at all . thanks very much for your help.

    you are all lovely helpful people ,as one of you said i will put you all in my pocket for the ride ....................jilly
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Let us know when the appointment is for, then we will know when to turn up! The jitters are completely understandable, jilly, the first time for anything is always the most difficult: the first time you smoke or drink, the first time you get overdrawn at the bank, your first murder - ooooooops, didn't mean to put that one! :smile: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly

    I am terrified of everything too so you are so not alone!!

    I closed my eyes the whole time so i didn't 'see' how enclosed it was. I listened to teh music and counted the music each record lasts about 3 ins so five is 15 and MRIs take about 20 mins.

    If it'a any help my daughter managed one a month or so back on her brain. They put a cage over her head too. I reckon I can do it if she can :lol:

    Will jump in your pocket anytime you need me if it helps.

    Love

    Toni xx
  • nanarose
    nanarose Member Posts: 117
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly.

    I have bad claustrophobia and had an MRI scan last year. I have to be honest and say it wasn't a pleasant experience, but not because it was painful at all, it's the fear of feeling enclosed.
    I did find it slightly uncomfortable as it was my shoulder being scanned but the rest of me at that time was pretty sore too.
    I would make sure that you have taken your usual painkillers beforehand, to make you as relaxed as you can be.

    I would imagine you will go in head first, as I did. I got a pillow put under my knees, and a light blanket was laid over my legs.

    A good tip is to wear nothing which has metal in it, so no jeans or a bra! That way you don't have to change into a gown. I wore jogging bottoms and a cotton shirt.

    I agree totally what Toni said. I closed my eyes as soon as they started to move me into the machine, and didn't open them again until I was outside the machine again.
    I listened to nice reassuring music, and counted the tracks down. I could feel myself panicking at one point, as my claustrophia is really bad, but did some deep breathing exercises and really concentrated on the words of the music I had chosen, to take my mind off what was going on.

    Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. Good luck, and try and keep calm; it will be over before you know it. x
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 11,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly,

    have had a few MRI's back in the days when it was all metal and very noisy and modern times with the internal covers and less noisy.

    I am iffy about closed in spaces and no windows......

    Had a full spine one recentlyish. Took 50 mins and started with the head and in etc... there isn';t too much room but depending on what bit they are doing you can still see the room so i concentrated on that till the middle bit.

    I did explain to them before i hate being closed in and they said if it got too much to hit the buzzer and they would let me have a rest. In the end I realized it had to be done and juts gritted my teeth and tried to listen to the radio......

    When I came out i just burst into to tears for a min and then was ok again.

    if tis likely to be really bad and you don';t have to drive in your self maybe you could ask your gp for something to help calm you?

    For me I kept saying its only for a few more mins and I will be out.... Its not too bad flower and its so helpful if you can stick it out its better for you to have it. Cris x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi jilly, 'tis only me wondering how you are feeling today - slightly better about it all, I hope. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jacqmun
    jacqmun Member Posts: 65
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly :grin::grin:
    I recently had an MRI on my foot and ankle, and was only 'fed' into the machine up to my knees. As DD says it was terribly noisy and bloomin' freezin'!!! Mine took about 50 minutes.
    I noticed too that your GP thinks you may have Sjogrens Syndrome.....mine too. I am to see the ENT specialist next month. I posted on here a while ago to see if anyone has suffered smell/taste distortion, do you? as theyseem to think the effects of Sjogrens on the salivary glands and mucous membranes maybe causing this. They have given me synthetic saliva, which I an tell you is really 'yukkie'!!! :???:
    When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars
  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Jilly.

    I too am claustraphobic...
    I had mri some yrs ago and i managed that ok.. took some deep breaths and closed my eyes and i was ok..
    Today i had a bone scan and the machine has it xrayed my head was so close to my faces, inches away i started to feel panicky, but took deep breath closed my eyes till i felt it pass my face..
    So with a few deep breaths, some relaxation tecniques and closing your eyes lol.. i'm sure you'll be ok..
    I know everyones phobia is different, but i have faith you will be fine..
    Let us know when you go and we'll be with u in thought..

    Take care
    Tracy
    xxdx
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx