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Endometriosis UK
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Tips on anxiety over MRI scan

Hi all,

Going for an MRI scan at the end of the month so Consultant can see how far Endo has spread and how much of my bits he is going to be removing. Currently talking anywhere between one ovary with cyst, both ovaries or a full hysterectomy!

Any advice on how to make the scan process as easy as possible for me?

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Hi I have had loads of MRI scans as had to have them very 3 months and now every 6 months. What is it that Is worrying you and I'll answer as best I can. Or message me if there is anything specific x

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Hi & thanks for your reply.

The whole being in an enclosed space thing is a big worry for me. Never had any type of scan, other than an ultrasound. I'm just scared :( x

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Understandable. It's really not as bad as people say tho. You have to have no metal on you.. I have learned the lesson of wearing leggings and best top and then I don't have to get changed in a gown. No jewellery remember.

I have to have a contrast in me for the scan and am in for about 40 mins but sure yours won't be this long.

They put head phones on you so u can listen to the radio. Each MRI is different but but I have to hold my breath at certain times during it but the radiographer will speak to you if needed from their control room. Make sure u are 100% comfy before it begins as u need to lay still (I always get an itch on my nose haha)

I normally do a shopping list in my head or think if a nice holiday or something to pass the time whilst I'm having it done.

It is very noisey (No one warned me of this) so don't be surprised (like a washing machine on spin) and some knocking noises.

Tell them you are worried and never had one as I'm sure they are used to people worrying. It will be over before you know it and hopefully on your way to finding out the answers. Try not to stress x

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Hi ya sorry your having a hard time. I have had over 40 mri scans and I'm only 29. Not for endo but for brain and spinal issue. I was was worrying for my first few but I can honestly say it is fine. I like to keep my eyes closed before they even put me in the scanner as then I don't feel so inclosed. They put head phones on you but I like to try and list films in my head or something that I have to count....don't know why but it helps me. Xxx

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When I had my mri for endo check I too was nervous about the enclosed space . I got changed into a gown at their request and chose my music . I got into place and they put head phones on me . They explained that I would also only go sort of up to near my head so j wasn't fully inside so I could still see out. And on the roof bit was a lovely moving picture of a beautiful blue sky to watch and they have s camera watching you at all times and will keep asking if you're doing ok. It is noisy and for me being scared I can't believe to say but I fell asleep at one point. I was in about half an hour too! Good luck in sure everything will be ok xxx

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It's interesting hearing other people's experiences of MRI. I had mine for kidneys, was fully in (head first) and had a bloody panic attack due to the enclosed space. If I was you feeling nervous I would ask if it's possible to go feet first. I had headphones on but no music. If music/radio/podcast is possible i think that would be a great help. I loved the tip about wearing leggings and a top. I just did whatever they asked so wore the robe. I always feel more anxious wearing those things as I feel like it's so 'medical' and not me so I'd phone them to discuss if any of these things are possible that could make you feel more relaxed. Do remember while in the MRI you can speak to them at any point so if you start feeling very anxious do tell them and they'll bring you out for a short break like they did with me. I think anything that makes you feel more in control is a huge help. I can't have the dye as I have asthma so next time I go I think I'd speak to the hospital in advance and speak to my gp to see if I could take a diazepam before the appointment. I think I'd sail through if I'd taken a relaxant and listened to an album or something while in there! As when I had mine they were checking for cancer (was clear) I got myself into a right state just listening to the machine and worrying about what they could see! Def give them a call and speak to your gp and ask them about the tips folk have mentioned here. The more you know about it and are prepared the easier the experience will be xx

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I had my first one today and was extremely nervous as I am claustrophobic, I explained this and they were very comforting. My mum came in the room with me even though I’m 39 ha ha and I will admit when they started putting me in (feet first) I started panicking and saying I don’t like it and breathing rapidily, they instantly stopped and reassured me they wasn’t putting my head in the tunnel part just the opening, so if I looked up and back I could see the ceiling and my Mum behind me which instantly calmed me down, I also put my arms above my head so they didn’t go in the machine, which made me feel less restricted. I was in about 40 minutes and although very noisy it was no where near as bad as I imagined it would be. They also give you a panic button to squeeze so if it gets too much they can bring you out quickly. I also had busopan and a contrast dye injected as they suspect recto vaginal endo.

Best of luck and don’t worry it’s not as scary as you think xx

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It’s a scan.... you will go through much worse when you are diagnosed.... but it will make things better in the long run.... just try to remember that

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Thank you guys, for your reassuring words.

Jinka, I am aware it is just a scan and I will potentially be dealing with worse, but, tbh, I am less anxious about the 'rest' than the scan.

I will keep in mind the useful tips you have all suggested. It seems shutting my eyes and having another focus seems the way to go.

Take care & thanks

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Hi I have claustrophobia but have had 3 MRI and your heads out to it is fine ask for some soothing music or take your own best of luck try the breathing exercise it will help x

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