Going in for the MRI can someone tell me what to expect ? I am tremendously claustrophobic !
My MRI took about 25 minutes with a contrast dye injection for the last 5 minutes. The Urology Oncology specialist nurse contacted me later with details such as Pi-Rad, volume of the prostate and how this related to the PSA figure. A decision will then be made on whether a biopsy is necessary (my biopsy was inconclusive). The MRI used was different from the usual model in that I had to use steps to get onto the bed.
Where your in the tube and need to not move, I usually close my eyes and take a nap. The clicking sound is annoying but not to bad.
You could ask for an open MRI -
Google it and look at pictures.
Both MRI’s took about 35 minutes. It’s typically broken up in about 7 sections some as long as about 7-9 minutes and some as short as a minute. It wasn’t bad and this is my advice. 1. Ask the tech to announce each section as the amount of time so you have an idea what’s going on and may help you relax and you can calculate elapsed time overall. 2. Request a towel to cover your eyes before you are led in. When the towel is placed over your eyes, close your eyes at that time and not when you are in the tube. I think it’s helpful to get updates. 3. I find the music option useless because you can’t hear it and you can’t really engage with the tech. I did it both ways and I don’t find the music helpful. I was also told afterwards that if your prostate is bigger, the MRI will take longer. So the tech may say it’ll take 55 minutes initially because he/she doesn’t know what your prostate size is. If yours is average, 28-32 or so, it’ll be closer to about 35 minutes.
Ask the doctor for a Xanax.
My father had severe claustrophobia and the doctor gave him valium and he was fine. (long time ago)
They usually ask you if you suffer from claustrophobia. If your answer is yes, they will give you a xanax of valium before.
30 min in the tube can seem eternal from someone with claustrophobia
Hey Jager, I agree with ejc61 - best to go in with your eyes closed (and/or covered with a towel) and keep them closed the entire time. Then relax and go to your happy place!
I often have patients with claustrophobia who worry about having an MRI. We try hypnosis in the weeks leading up to it and this seems to help. You need to remember that claustrophobia for humans is actually normal - it used to keep us alive 1000's of years ago!! If we were cornered we were usually killed by our enemies or eaten by wild predators..... Even though we don't have those problems any more, its hard for the primitive part of the brain to change.
I agree with the others - tell them. They may give you a Valium.
Here are some things that may help:
- Keep your eyes closed going in and while you are in there.
- Remember when you were stuck with a boring person or in a boring meeting - how you day dreamed about a holiday you had etc. Start doing this "daydreaming" in the background a few minutes before they lay you down and continue while in the MRI.
- Rehearse going into an MRI in your mind in the days leading up to it and then coming out at the end and feeling calm - so when you go in, your brain will think you have done this successfully many times previously
- don't tell yourself "I can't get out" as this will wake up the primitive brain even further. Especially as you actually can get out. If you ask, they will pull you out. Knowing you can get out anytime will let you stay in. Its a message to your primitive brain that you are actually not trapped.
And remember - don't feel bad about this. If you were born 3000 years ago, having severe claustrophobia would have kept you alive and the non-claustrophobics would have been the ones in danger....
I dont know how many MRIs i have had over the past 40 years or so but i never had a problem lying in the tube for however long they took. Then one day i went for another and after 5 minutes had to get out of there...no idea what changed...maybe aging. Anyway since then get a 5mg Valium before the MRI and it has been easy peasy ever since. There is just no reason to go through the nervous leadup to an MRI if you have ANY concern about it. Get the med and take a nap! Good luck.
I had one that was tight requiring me to take a dose of Xanax. 2nd one was more open and I didn’t need it. You sound like someone that could use it every time. It really helps.
All the ideas are good. If you gat a sedative ((valium, atarax, lorazepam, etc.) you will need someone to drive you home. Take abt 30 min before the procedure. I think the biggest surprise is how noisy it is when the magnets are spinning. Towel, cloth eye mask (no metal) may help. You wi surprise yourself, Jager. Just hunt for for your happy place.
I too am claustrophobic. Took me by surprise. My first attempt at MRI had to be aborted as a result. Had to be put out with anesthesiologist to get it done. Insurance paid.
I am not at all claustrophobic, but being therein was not the most comfortable experience for me.
I fought it by the ways that have been already mentioned.
Closed my eyes and brought into memory times of my youth when me and my wife were traveling with a tiny canadian tent, back-packers specs.
After this, felt that I could spend the night there.
At the imaging department they will no doubt ask you if you are claustrophobic. They have ways to help with that. That in mind, you might ask for a prescription for something that will relax you before you go in. When I've had MRIs they usually ask what kind of music I want to hear via headphones, with a choice of various pop, classical, and new age. I would suggest classical or new age, not hard rock! The headphones also can help to distract you from the noise. MRIs are very noisy. Good luck!
claustrophobic ... not a problem out in the open some imaging equipment moves around you. About 7 minutes later you are up and moving. Good luck
I feared an MRI being claustrophobic, so I decided to practice being in a closed space by setting up a row of dining room chairs and placing cardboard on the sides.... it was even more constrictive than the MRI tube.. after about a week of practice I could stay in for 20 minutes no problem, and later did fine with the MRI.
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