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Old Yesterday, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Teach an Fhir Bholg
12,133 posts, read 13,475,625 times
Reputation: 32768

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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I've been told I need an MRI to properly diagnose arthritis in my lower back. I am claustrophobic! This MRI will be a closed MRI, and I will need to remain totally still for 45 minutes. They will give me a valium if I request, although I have to request it beforehand. I am also concerned about pain, as I will remain totally still lying on my back. The need for a MRI has thrown me for a loop. I have seen Xrays that plainly show arthritis in my lower back. I suppose the need an MRI is for better diagnosis and treatment?

I also have the option of having an open MRI, but would have to drive an hour away to have it done.

If you have any experience with this, I'd appreciate hearing about your experience. I am resigned to doing it, but I am anxious about not freaking out inside that thing, and about the pain I might experience. I can call to schedule, and I can ask more questions about the procedure then.

I've looked at pics of both closed MRI an open MRI machines. Some of the open MRI machines look almost like the regular ones. Others look totally different. I am inclined to tough it out with the regular MRI, but the thought of entering head first into that machine give me anxious feelings.
At this point in my life I have had so many MRIs of the spine I couldn't even estimate. However, the first ones were all in the old enclosed machines and I was freaked out in anticipation. Thus, I am very sympathetic. The first few times I took 5 mg. of Valium supplied by myself. I do not recall anyone ever offering me one.

The types of machines seem to vary quite a bit nowadays, so I am not surprised that you are not clear about what is open and what is regular. All I can say is that in the past decade or a bit more I have not used Valium, and the machines have a wider tube diameter than they did back in the 20th century. The most recent ones I have used have your head quite far back in the tube almost to the rear opening, so that relieves the claustrophobia quite a bit.

I have a very badly damaged spine, and I still really only experience discomfort, not pain.

I don't know what your relationship is with the doctor who requested this MRI, but I would want to know why is an MRI necessary? I already have several fusions in the lower spine and other junk, so this mitigates to some extent the impact of arthritis in the lumbar spine. Perhaps you have considerably more pain from the arthritis than I do, and - for all I know - your doctor may suspect that the arthritis is affecting the nerves directly. But I would want to know why an MRI.
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Old Yesterday, 11:47 AM
 
2,055 posts, read 841,985 times
Reputation: 8290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini1963 View Post
I had to have an MRI for migraines and I am claustrophobic, too. The first time, even with a mild dose of Xanax (provided by the facility), I had to bail and could not get through it. (It was an otherwise very-high-stress period of my life, as well.) The second time, my physician sister suggested that I bring a wash cloth and drape it over my eyes - like the sleep-mask suggestion earlier in this thread. I did that (BEFORE going into the tube), and I believe there was also a higher dose of Xanax, and I made it through fine. Taking away my ability to see how confined I was made a huge difference. (I don't think simply keeping my eyes shut for the whole time would work for me.) I was also allowed to make a tape/CD, but I don't think I used it. Last thing: The same physician sister suggested that you think of all the MRI's clanking noises as "a friendly washing machine." Funny and it helps.
Xanax is great for anxiety, but it is NOT a sedative. I think in a situation like this the Valium or something similar is a better option for many, if not most, people. Xanax isn't intended to treat intense short term anxiety like this. Valium and other tranquilizers are more appropriate.
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Southern California
4,745 posts, read 7,736,662 times
Reputation: 4143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post
(I'll go back & read others' posts, but I'll post mine in here so far.)

2 in total. About 10 yrs ago, had a quick MRI on my ankle from an Achilles tendon rupture & it went fine & pretty quick.

I got my 1st ever non-contrast brain MRI done a few days ago for some off & on dizziness or vertigo-type feeling & will see the neuro about it next week. The technician also did an MRI on the inner ears too. I chose not to do the contrast part of it. I heard to avoid doing contrast as much you possibly can.

The experience itself was fine, about 20 min. I'm not claustrophobic or needed any meds to get through it. I can sit extremely still for a long time. The technician even played soft music. It seems though that after that MRI was done, the next times I had my usual long work days on the computer (8-14 hrs), I felt more/worse dizziness after that.

Never heard of open or closed, but if you're claustrophobic, do the OPEN type.

More about dangers of contrast:

I always try my best to go all-natural when handling any health issue if possible. That Gadolinium Contrast Medium (MRI Contrast agents) is, of course, a chemical that I choose not to have in my body if I can help it. I don't want to risk the negative side effects. Here are a few of many articles out there about it:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...ast-agent.aspx

https://www.verywellhealth.com/heada...-scans-3972534

https://press.rsna.org/timssnet/medi...get.cfm?ID=810

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-...r-mri-dye.html

https://consumer.healthday.com/healt...ts-729530.html

When I got my initial MRI authorization form, it was all new to me and the statement was very general and literally said, "special picture of the brain". I was in my gown about to start the MRI w/i seconds when I found out it was originally WITH & WITHOUT contrast. My very health-conscious mom said to avoid contrast at all costs too, so I refused to take it on the original date I was supposed to. I got a new referral stating WITHOUT CONTRAST and it was approved. It took a longer wait, but that's OK.
Hmm, someone was kind to tell me only link #2 worked. They all worked for me the other day. Try these. They're slightly different from the above links, but you can find your own articles if you're interested:

https://consumer.healthday.com/healt...ts-729530.html

https://medshadow.org/features/mri-g...ontrast-agent/

https://gadoliniumtoxicity.com/help/symptoms/

https://press.rsna.org/timssnet/medi...get.cfm?ID=810
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Southern California
20,872 posts, read 6,977,681 times
Reputation: 14029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
I absolutely agree with you that one should draw their own conclusion, and I am aware that frequent and repeated injections (as described in the study) are probably not a good idea. The study's conclusion states:

"The postmenopausal women who had received multiple ESIs (approximately 14 injections with a cumulative triamcinolone dose of approximately 400 mg) showed lower BMD in the femoral neck and total femur. Although baseline BMD values are unknown in the two groups, these results suggest an association between the frequent administration of triamcinolone ESIs and low BMD values in post-menopausal women with low back pain."

I had 2 injections. Most people have only a handful. Injections are still a common and very effective therapy for myriad conditions. Many patients with pain find relief with them, hence they are worth the risk. Certainly well worth trying if they allow you to discontinue multiple medications daily (with their associated risks), not to mention avoiding surgery.
Those steroid injections carry with them too many negative issues, and then there is the osteoporosis factor with all the steroids.
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Old Yesterday, 03:09 PM
 
999 posts, read 1,899,944 times
Reputation: 861
I requested my be done in open machine
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Old Yesterday, 04:22 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,190 posts, read 14,514,161 times
Reputation: 14807
I have had 3 MRIs all for issues in the cervical spine and all were in an open MRI; the most recent one was about 3 months ago. For the first one, I had no clue, but walked in and was told where I'd be and I freaked so bad, she sent me home with instructions to get a valium from the doctor. It was OK but the valium had me so completely knocked out, I was ok as I kept falling asleep. The last 2 I also had taken a valium but it must have been a lower dose and I was slightly freaked out. During the last one (no hearing aids in so that does increase my anxiety as I am deaf without them), I was tense but ok until the last 5 or so minutes and I finally said to the technician that I was done, get me out NOW - and he did.


I do have 2 issues - claustrophobia and hearing issues. You may handle it better if you are able to hear someone talk to you. Oh, and I learned to bring a cloth for my eyes - the last one had a cloth all ready for me. That's a psychological "trick" - it keeps you from seeing the closeness of the machinery so can fool your phobic area of the brain - at least for a while.


Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.
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Old Yesterday, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,768 posts, read 20,479,427 times
Reputation: 23044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
STOP AND THINK! Which country has more healthy people with fewer health problems, Mexico or the US?

Seriously bad advice above. People die due to "medical tourism" every single year. If you're not sure WHY the doctor wants the test, ASK HIM. DON'T go running off to Mexico!

I had a gynocologist once who told me "For (whatever the procedure was, I forget what it was exactly but basically something had to be removed from the surface of my cervix), a cryocautery unit is UNNECESSARY! I use a CAUTERIZING GUN!"

And then he did. And he burned me in places that didn't need to be burned, as well as the pain of burning the whatever it was off my cervix. And he YELLED at me every time I flinched and whimpered because I was being a BABY. AND it turned out he was drunk at the time.

Doctors say all kinds of stupid things. Even American ones. ESPECIALLY American ones who can't cut it here and end up in Mexico. Mexico is the traditional haven for doctors who have lost their licenses here in the US. Possibly that has changed, one would hope so, but I'd trust a Mexican trained doctor in Mexico WAY more than I'd trust an American-trained one who ended up there.

But I'd WAY more trust the doctor I ALREADY HAVE here before I'd go running off to some 3rd world country for medical care.

ASK. It's way cheaper, not to mention far far SAFER, than running off to Mexico for god knows what reason.
After my harrowing ideal with the Baker's Cyst, I returned to my Primary Doctor in Las Vegas, from India, and I told him of the hell I had been through, and he apologized, sympathized what I had gone through, and He told me he was sorry they had jacked me around at that big Ortho Clinic. He had ordered the Ultrasound and felt that was sufficient for a diagnosis, and why the need for the MRI, let alone the MRI with contrast. This was the most painful ordeal I've suffered yet in my 68 years, painful to get out of bed, painful to get in and out of the car, painful to my clothes on. Now! If this Ortho Clinic had MRI imaging on site I probably would have had that 2nd MRI, but as it was, I had to go across town to one of these imaging centers and make a return. So what my Ortho in Tijuana (which the Poster denigrates as unfit to practice) was similar to what my Primary Dr. was telling me.

This wasn't the first time I "ran off" to Mexico, due to running into too many obstacles/roadblocks here in Las Vegas (ever know of anyone that sped off to Las Vegas for some expert medical care?), this was the 3rd time and the results were always satisfactory.

Given the usual road one takes, Xray-ultrasound-MRI-MRI with contrast, why oh why don't they just order the MRI with contrast from the gitgo!!!
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Old Yesterday, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,181 posts, read 352,700 times
Reputation: 2700
The “open” MRI is still a bit close and images are not quite as good. My doc specified the kind of MRI he wanted for images of my spine and open types wouldn’t cut it.

I think I am probably claustrophobic to some extent. The reason I say I think I am is because I close my eyes before going in and I DO NOT open them until I’m completely out of the machine. My place gave me foam ear plugs to use also.
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Old Yesterday, 05:46 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,416 posts, read 18,096,634 times
Reputation: 23358
I hate those and have immense anxiety about them and I like to avoid them at all costs . I don't care what kind of meds they give me it does not help at all and I just get so worked up about them and it makes me physically sick . I know your pain OP .
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Old Yesterday, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
5,953 posts, read 3,910,225 times
Reputation: 5151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini1963 View Post
I had to have an MRI for migraines and I am claustrophobic, too. The first time, even with a mild dose of Xanax (provided by the facility), I had to bail and could not get through it. (It was an otherwise very-high-stress period of my life, as well.) The second time, my physician sister suggested that I bring a wash cloth and drape it over my eyes - like the sleep-mask suggestion earlier in this thread. I did that (BEFORE going into the tube), and I believe there was also a higher dose of Xanax, and I made it through fine. Taking away my ability to see how confined I was made a huge difference. (I don't think simply keeping my eyes shut for the whole time would work for me.) I was also allowed to make a tape/CD, but I don't think I used it. Last thing: The same physician sister suggested that you think of all the MRI's clanking noises as "a friendly washing machine." Funny and it helps.
If you listen to a lot of techno trance you probably wouldn't even need the music.
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