I am no girlie woose...I've lived and worked full time for the last ten years with disability and RA. walked with a frame, been through major surgery.
The one panic attack in my life was in an MRI tunnel but I got over it.
Three years ago I had an MRI scan for my back, it was a breeze.
Two years ago I had another MRI scan for my back, had a panic attack and had to come out of the tunnel. The two young female operators were brilliant held my hand calmed me down so that I went back in the tunnel and the scan was completed.
Today I went for another MRI scan for my back. I had concerns this time around because of my previous experience and because I now have active RA. My GP gave me valium to take one hour prior to scan. I was concerned about lying still for 15 minutes, knowing it would cause pain, would I be able to keep still. Worried that I cannot grip with either hand so would I be able to hold onto the emergency button or indeed be able to press it should I need to come out..worried about the close confines of the tunnel.
I was taken through by a chap who asked if I had been MRI'd before. I replied yes twice, first time was a breeze, second time had a panic attack but did manage to go back in. I went on to say that I had taken valium but was still feeling very nervous. Throughout I spoke calmly and politely because I was scared not angry.
The chaps immediate response was well it's because you moved, if you move for only a second it will add five minutes to your scan time so don't move. Now come through here. He took my CD and told me to get onto the bed. I would like to go in feet first please ( on both previous occassions staff said no problem and moved the pillow to the other end.) This chap says oh everybody thinks feet first is best but you should go in head first your head will be near the end of the tunnel. Thats as maybe I say but it is a psychological thing, I want my head to be last in and first out of the tunnel. He continued to argue I just stood there feeling very upset but saying nothing. A woman came from behind the screen and said feet first is fine as she moved the pillow to which the chap said Oh I am going to see to the in-patient. I duly got onto the bed and said could I please try out the emergency button to which she said I will give it to you in a moment shoving the earphones onto my head. I pushed them off saying I need to try the button because ,.....whoosh the earphones were rammed back in place I will give it to you she says.....yes but I need to know ....can you hear your music, breathe deep and slow, don't huff or puff it will make you panic.......too late mate. Close to tears and fighting for breath I said I can't do this please get me off.....ok she says next time get a sedative!!
During my trainig as a nurse, we students were made to experience much of what the patients had to go through, we practised injections on oranges then each other, we bed bathed each other, passed naso-gastric tubes on each other groan, gag! It was good practise for making us more empathetic.
I think all these MRI operators should have to lie in the tunnel for 20 minutes having been given a dose of RA and compressed spine first..I wonder how they would cope.
When I relayed this info to my 38 year old son, he said he was sorry I had had such a rough time, though he didn't understand why I couldn't go in the tunnel, after all it is perfectly safe in there.....this from the tough guy father of three who still needs me or his wife to go into a blood test with him !!
Thought for the day
Don't criticize anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes
that way you will be a mile away in a new pair of shoes if they react badly !!
wilko roger and out