MRI/MRA sensory overload?

For context, I'm not in the best place I could be emotionally, hormonally, or external-circumstance-wise, so this is likely a combination of factors, not just the MRI I had today. I'm trying to work out whether I need to book future scans during the summer break, if they're meant to fall annually, or risk the wrath of payroll by booking the day after each scan off.

There's the fact that I have bits of metal in my brain, and I spent about half an hour today with my head in a NOISY tunnel of magnets, and there's the fact that I'm hypersensitive to pretty much everything since the haemorrhage. I feel properly wonky, but, because of all the 'other' stuff, I can't settle, and sleep it off, I've set up tomorrow's dinner, and laid out tomorrow's breakfast, I've re-organised the airing cupboard... this is 'me', not the brain damage.

Does anyone else feel 'off' after MRI/MRA, I know the last one that I wasn't already in hospital for knocked me sick, but it was during a school break, so I didn't have to factor in the slurring, and the vertigo, and the generally appearing drunk-at-work.

I did do the deep breathing, and I was as calm as I could be in the scanner, but, despite the earplugs and ear-defenders, the noise was nauseating. I did close my eyes, but that didn't cut the flash-glare from the fluorescent light in the room. I was as relaxed as I could be, with my head restrained (I hate that, but that's me, not the BI.)

That's my question, does anyone else feel rough the day after a scan?

10 Replies

  • I've been trying to remember last week's MRI. I was expecting something out of the ordinary as I was told it would be a T3 version (stronger/more detailed) but it was the usual cacophony except for a particular section where a funky sounding beat made me that section had to be repeated owing to 'some slight movement'.

    I had another hospital appt. the following day and I can't remember feeling 'off'. OK, I've just remembered that was the day I got home & mowed the lawn so I guess I didn't have any adverse effects !

    Did your scan involve contrast dye Gaia ? 'cause that can cause nausea and general feelings of discomfort owing to allergic reaction. x

  • No contrast dye, and I checked with the staff again, because the letter had specified MRI and MRA, apparently the MRI was enough to cover the vascular structures. (In my skewed-logic, brain tissue is quite soft, so wouldn't be much impediment to the scan, but I don't know for certain.) Various blaring, beeping, clicking, and clattering, I think it's a combination of that, and being 'held down' that makes it so unpleasant for me.

    Oh well, I knew what to expect, but STILL had to talk myself out of panicking, and I think it was probably more my emotional response than the physical scan that's the issue here. Determined not to wuss-out and ask if I can have a mild sedative for the next one, because then I'd have to stay in for monitoring, I suppose.

    Onwards and upwards, I had enough notice of the scan not to book in any massive meetings at work for the day after, I'll see if I can knock the next one back into the summer holidays, or ask for a Saturday appointment, because there's always the chance of short-notice strategy meetings being called even though I've kept the day 'clear'. (Or, potentially BECAUSE I've kept the day clear, and someone else, who doesn't have a brain injury might look in the diary, and think "Oh, she's not doing anything, we'll book her for it.")

  • Oh, I remember the nurse tried to accommodate for my head to be slightly elevated, but it meant I was squashed up against the cage, so had to lie completely flat.

    That's not good for me as I spin when lying flat and have to sit for ages before I can stand. But that was the only issue for me.

    For anyone who has a problem with the scanner I'm sure a sedative would reduce the stress and probably minimise any after-effects. :o x

  • Tell you on Weds....hope you feel better soon G x

  • Hi Gaia,

    A quick scout round the internet revealed that you are not alone in your reaction - temporary dizziness, nausea, headache and tiredness have been reported after MRI, both T1 and T3. I personally vibrate ( buzz ) in sympathy with the tones and find that I heat up a bit - this is to be expected. Unfortunately, the vibration does trigger my spasms, as I have hyper reflexes ! T3 is noted for stimulating action potentials ( involuntary movements ) in some people, mine would have been a T1, as is standard for a portable scanner but my spasms are aggravated by position, pressure and vibration. I did find the noise rather an assault this time round on spinal MRI, as opposed to brain last time but the headphones were a sloppy fit, so I came out part deaf, like after a loud club or band concert ! What worried me the most was the lack of vocal communication - I was having spasms and getting no feedback as to whether my 'holiday snaps' were getting spoilt ! I was a bit dizzy on sitting up and had to wait a moment but this is common for me as my BP doesn't always get up when I do straightaway : ) I suppose there is always the option of sedation - personally better ear protection would suit me. Not sure how sedated the sedation would leave you - presumably you would need a chaperone ? I had to go to Booths on the way back to pick up neighbours shopping, who rang up to complain how long we'd been, even though she knew I was going for the scan and was duly warned that I did not know how long I'd be, especially as hospitals often do not run to schedule due to emergencies - people can be so understanding !

    If you are likely to fall out of the scanner a bit of a jittery, wobbly wreck then you are wise to ensure some free time afterwards : ) The materials used in modern surgery are usually non magnetic and compatible with the scanner where possible - your records will be consulted.

    Hope you are feeling much better now,

    Angela x

  • Thanks, Angela.

    I think it's probably 'me', combined with the hypersensitivity from the BI. I can't stand to be restrained, especially head/neck, so the emotional impact of the scan is as bad as the noise and general unpleasantness. I was deep-breathing, and I closed my eyes this time, to try to cut out the glare from the fluorescents in the next room. (Gave myself dry-eyes last time, because I was panicking, so focused on looking at the toes of my boots through the weird visibility-screen.)

    I get that the wires in my coils won't be 'magnetic' as such, I'm in the hideous PMT-stage that makes me massively emotionally vulnerable, and work is horrific. Stepping out of it, I'm over-processing, and attaching too much relevance to the scan as a single change-factor, when I have tons of peripheral crap going on at the same time.

    I need to be mindful of posting on 'week 3 of 4', because I can't always be objective, and not over-emotive. Thank you for your response.

  • Ah the dreaded PMT - 'tis a scourge so many of us have to bear ! Considering the assault on the senses and confinement an MRI can present, I think we do well to stay put, refrain from squeezing the tempting 'bulb' in hand or loose a chain of expletives ! As Captain Sensible once observed ' We're glad it's all over ' : ) x

  • I sympathise with anyone who gets affected by MRIs. I have these regularly every couple of years and although I don't get sick or anything I do find them very claustrophobic. And its getting worse as I get older. I'm finding it difficult not to panic and get really nervous and I keep wondering when I will have to shout for them to pull me out. All I can do is close my eyes and pretend I'm somewhere else. But the noise and feeling of the mask is horrible. I haven't ever been offered a sedative but might consider asking for one next time.

  • I am perhaps unusual in that I don't mind the process at all, in fact I either find it quite interesting, or start to go to sleep (don't ask me how, I have no idea).

    I had 2 lots today. Full spine, took about an hour, trying to see whether there is anything that can explain the random loss of mobility for 2 days in August, and then 20 mins or so in the scanner next door doing the brain, presumably checking my flow diverter stent is still where Dr. Coley put it a few months back.

    I think the fact that I am musical, so find I keep trying to work out what notes and intervals the coils are making, together with my meditative practices of yoga and prayer, which mean I can happily send myself 'elsewhere' even in the face of the Messaienic symphony going on around me, are the key things that mean I don't find it distressing.

    Knackering though. Straight home and to bed.....

  • I hate MRIS. I can only handle 30 minutes at a time and split up my sessions over 2 days.

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