No announcement yet.

Anyone else hate MRIs?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Anyone else hate MRIs?

    The first MRI I had was a brain one and it had the little mirror so I could see out. It wasn't as bad as some people made MRIs out to be.

    The second time I went was for a C-Spine and it was at a different facility. No mirror for a sight line or anything, but I didn't think about it until she put me in and I realized how closed in I was. I completely freaked out and left without getting it done.

    Now, I only get my MRIs done at the original facility (has a 3-ft chamber, new one had a 6-ft chamber) AND I need to take Xanax before I go. (Figured out the Xanax worked better after doubling a Valium dosage several times and still freaking out.) So Xanax coupled with the fact that I realized my head is right at the top of the 3-ft chamber when I get a T-Spine done, has finally gotten me to a point where I don't completely freak out and cry each time I need to go get one. Still get nervous for several days beforehand though.

    I keep reading other people's posts about episodes landing them at the ER and getting MRIs at the hospital. Seriously, getting a MRI in a strange location is more frightening to me than having an episode that might land me at the hospital.

    Any one else feel this way? I realize this is really just about me being claustrophobic, but seriously, could there be a worse condition for someone who is?

    I tend to sleep through them, not sure why

    They have to block my head in, because I doze off : ) I am very lucky that way!


      I was never claustrophobic until after my first MRI (which didn't even bother me at the time.) Now, I have to be almost totally knocked out with 1 1/2 Xanax before I'll get anywhere near that machine. (And with that many Xanax, I run the risk of sitting in the waiting area babbling about bunnies smoking cigarettes and the need for putting kittens into bigger skins so they'll grow.)

      Nope, you're not alone. I hate MRIs too.
      Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.
      Cut aspartame from my diet in 2012 and my symptoms have slowly disappeared. Interesting!
      Alpha Lipoic Acid (200 mg) + Acetyl L-carnitine (1,000 mg) = No more fatigue for me!


        I don't have a problem with MRIs...the noise is sort of hypnotic to me, and I can doze off.

        However, I empathize w/the feeling of dread. I hate dr.s offices. The minute I walk into one I go into "anxiety" mode. I can't even claim claustrophobia, I just react in a "fight or flight" mode when I go to the dr. Consequently, my BP is sky high when I'm there, but low to normal when I'm home.

        I went to a walk in (UTI) on Saturday and got a lecture from the physician about my BP...but at home it's 90/60, so I don't dare do BP meds. (to add insult to injury, this dr wanted to check for a stroke, so she was asking intelligent question like, "Do you have weakness in a limb?" "Do you have slurred speech?" Do you have blurred vision?" Uh, dr., I have MS. )

        Anyhoo, end of rant, but in the MRI, my best advice is to close your eyes and keep them closed. You mentioned how tight the tube was, but if you don't open your eyes, you don't realize it.

        I know metered breathing, or counting helps some folks deal with it. I know one person who counts the seconds, i.e. if the tech says this series will last 3 minutes, she counts to 180. She says it distracts her.

        MRIs have come a long way, back when I had my first (in the early 90s) they took an hour and a half for a brain MRI, and the sequences were much longer So maybe they'll continue to improve and they get shorter and shorter.

        Hang in there.


          Hey There Doublebutton,
          i hate MRI's. I've had three of them this year alone. The first wasn't so bad, it was just the head. I found myself getting very claustrophobic after the second one because they decided to do the head, neck and spine (took two hours) all at once. I didn't realize it would go so long. I should have taken some ativan before going. On the second and third MRI they offered me special headphones (except when they had to do the head) so I could listen to some music.


            Hello doublebuttons

            Nice to meet you, sorry it is because of MS

            I hear you about the MRI. My fear starts the minute they strap my head in place and lock that hood on my head

            We have open MRI's here but they still get me all sweaty just thinking of them

            To add insult to injury, I can't take any form of a tranquilizer, as I have a reverse reaction to them. If I take them, I could kill someone if they cross me if, I kid you not

            Then I also have a real hard time controlling my own swallowing, so my saliva and at time my nasal drip will go down my throat and choke me if I lay flat. That tiny little pillow they give you does not raise my head enough

            Wish I could give you so pearls of wisdom, but as you can see we are in the same boat, so I need them too

            Good luck to you as you walk this journey of MS


              Oh yes I do too. Take a zanax before I go also. One time, I took 2, but then a fell asleep and snored, so they had to do it again. That just added to the ordeal, so now I amat one about 1 hr. before I go. I get dd or dh to drive me, so I am able to take them. If I had to drive myself, I am not sure what I would do.
              I also had headphones for the brain one. That is not bad.



                hate MRI's! My first one I took my happy pills from the dr as directed (learned it's more than I need!) and closed my eyes before I went in. No music headphones so I began with my blessings & thankfulness prayers, switched to singing (silently in my mind) but I never can remember all the words to any one song so I ended up singing some silly combination until I fell asleep.
                Second & third MRI's I took 1/2 dose of happy pills, again closed my eyes before I went in and slept through whole thing.
                I think I might be able to do a shorter MRI w/o happy pills IF they had music headphones to distract me.
                For me, closing my eyes before I go in & not opening them until I'm told we're done is vital. I think if I accidentally opened them in the tube I would have a panic attack.
                DX 10/2008
                Beta Babe 12/2008-07/2013
                Tecfidera 07/2013-01/2018
                Aubagio 01/18-09/20

                Ocrevus 09/20-present


                  I agree with Sheltibrat

                  I too sleep through them. If you get a nice technician they give you earphones with music - that usually helps.

                  I am an easily entertained person. I like to count how many different sounds I hear and then I usually fall asleep.
                  A perverted way of counting sheep.

                  I hope everybody just realizes it just a tool that uses big magnets. Take care and good luck.

                  P.S. I find it comforting to know they found a brain in there to look at. J.


                    I am sorry that you are having such an uncomfortable time with your mri's. What bothers you about having them done? Is it that you are physically uncomfortable while the test is being performed, or is it possible that you could be dwelling on having it or what the results may or may not show? Understanding that the test is not going to last forever, and there is a definate purpose to having the mri does take some of the anxiety away. As for the physical sensations, can you ask the tech for pillows or headphones? The techs I have found want nothing more than their patients to be comfortable. I actually find the rhythm of the machine to be soothing. Have you thought of focusing on the benefits of the mri, as opposed to the anxiety that you will possibly feel from having one? I know in my case the more I think about an event the more I can make it negative. By focusing on the outcomes and benefits, or maybe even visualizing something beautiful, I find that I am less anxious and more comfortable. I believe you will find a perfect solution!
                    with you
                    "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." ~~Rumi


                      MRI's okay, but hate the contrast IV

                      The MRI is mostly boring to me. If you ask you can usually look at the machine and see that you are only head deep in it, not full body, so claustrophobia shouldn't be too bad.

                      For the spine it's true you are deeper, but with the panic button in hand you can be out of it in seconds.

                      They used to put your head in a lock down full helmet with only eye space and mouth space. It was like a football helmet; I hated that, but now the device is much smaller.

                      The problem for me is when they give the contrast. My veins are not great and last time it took three different techs before they got a vein. I hate that.

                      Otherwise I could sleep through it.

                      You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.


                        I'm terribly claustrophobic: terribly! I know exactly where it originates, but that doesn't help. My brothers locked me up inside the back cavity of a hide-a-bed/sleeper sofa when I was little, and left me there, screaming for who knows how long. They also tied the top of my mummy bag closed when we were camping and trapped me inside, freaking out. I hate elevators too.

                        I HATE MRIs! I've tried closing my eyes before going in, tried headphones with music; I just couldn't do a closed machine. The neuro wants a stronger, closed machine for my brain and cervical MRI. I've agreed to try, but I honestly don't see any way I'll be able to manage. If it were a shorter tube or if they had movie glasses or something, I might be able to make it, but I'm thinking that I'll be booking a 2nd back-up appt for the open MRI a few days after I schedule the closed MRI. The neuro says that the open MRI isn't strong enough to pick up everything he wants to see. It'll pick up MS lesions if I have them though, right?



                 my cervical MRI along with the dreaded LP. When I had the brain MRI a few weeks ago, I did fine, until I opened my eyeballs up and then I had to talk myself off the ledge. I went to a beautiful beach and found the hottest looking Cabana boy to bring me my fill of cocktails. I'll be looking for him tomorrow too.

                          Honestly, I am nervous about the LP and not the MRI. I asked if they gave away cocktails before the MRI..NO with a chuckle was the response.

                          Wish me luck and answers.

                          Treat yourself as you would treat your dearest friend. Be kind to yourself. Be supportive.



                            Hey there doublebuttons,
                            I totally hear ya! The mention of an MRI sets me into a panick attack. I have one coming up at the end of the year and I am already having nightmares about it! I was never clastraphopic until I had to go through it for MS, now.... well let's just say we avoid all small spaces! It has gotten worse over time. For the next one however, I am going to be put to sleep. Maybe, just Maybe I will make it through all the way without making them stop every two minutes!
                            The Best things in life....aren't things!


                              Originally posted by Sheltiebrat View Post
                              They have to block my head in, because I doze off : ) I am very lucky that way!
                              Doze off? how in the world can you doze off. thing sounds like a airplane going off in your ears.

                              I don't mind them accept for the sound and the BILL when it comes in.
                              Dx: 09/2004
                              09/2011- oooppppssss still have it.