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Old Today, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
20,042 posts, read 13,172,930 times
Reputation: 26679

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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.
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Old Today, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Southern California
20,821 posts, read 6,961,546 times
Reputation: 13998
I think I've had 4 total MRI's, two for back after hip replacement in 2011 or so. It showed a mess, but what does one do for the mess...live with it, regardless of MRI or not. I'm not about to do back surgery.

Then an MRI to finally find knee infection in 2017. That finally got me on a major IV of abx drugs.

I have no issues with the whole procedure of MRI's, as I just psych myself for it. Wear the earphones or whatever they give us and did them. Go into meditation and block out negative thinking.

I think I had one years ago for the back issues too....

So many talk about the fear and angst of these, but I had no issues. Working on the mind for years has helped with the mind over matter stuff.

Last edited by jaminhealth; Today at 05:31 PM..
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Old Today, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Wine Country
5,027 posts, read 6,096,276 times
Reputation: 8994
I have had two and I was very nervous about them because I am claustrophobic. I forgot to request the valium the first time but actually did okay. I just keep my mind busy and I was calmly breathing. At one point I started to get a little freaked out but I calmed myself down. The second one I did not opt for the valium because I knew what to expect. The second one was longer than the first but I got through it okay.
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Old Today, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,292 posts, read 7,575,523 times
Reputation: 18330
I've had several. I know that it's close quarters in there but I also know that without the test I might not receive the proper treatment.

I suggest that you opt for the Valium and take a sleep mask with you to the test. Put the mask on BEFORE you enter the machine and resist all urges to remove it while you're in there. The machine makes noise but you can request your choice of music be played to help you focus on something besides the noise. Good luck.
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Old Today, 05:24 PM
 
Location: on the wind
5,187 posts, read 2,015,993 times
Reputation: 18257
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.
I'm not claustrophobic (actually I found the whole thing pretty interesting...sorry, I know that doesn't help too much! ) but a few friends who are said it helped to read about how the exam and the machine actually work. They didn't overthink what was going on, were less anxious about "unknowns". The technicians can provide cushions to make you more comfortable. Also think they can provide earphones and music to help distract you. Tell your doctor about your fears ahead of time...its common and they know what can help. You'll get through it! Good luck!
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Old Today, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Islip,NY
17,131 posts, read 20,166,993 times
Reputation: 17709
I had one for my knee but I wasn't completely enclosed. It was fine. If you are that worried I'd drive the 1 hour for the open MRI.
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Old Today, 06:20 PM
 
7,507 posts, read 3,115,493 times
Reputation: 10383
I had a pet scan and MRI. Had to take Ativan for both. That’s the only way I could get through it. The MRI was longer and they were an hour behind. Well, I had already took two Ativan and luckily I had more in the car. I took two more and I was worried they would stop working before I got out of there.
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Old Today, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Maryland
434 posts, read 900,363 times
Reputation: 794
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.
No big deal. All you have to do is close your eyes before you go in the MRI and don't open them till you're finished. You won't feel confined at all. I've had over 20 MRIs, so I do know a bit about the process.
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Old Today, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Hockey Rulez, Texas
588 posts, read 156,826 times
Reputation: 1011
I am not claustrophobic. But, the tube is small. It really is not bad. Just keep your eyes closed the entire time. It's not bad. The time goes by fast, and it never seems to be as long as they claim it will be.

I've had probably 10 MRIs over the years.

at my last MRI - I called around and paid cash - because it was taking too much time to have my insurance give the approval. However, I was told by 2 doctors that the open MRIs do not give as good of an image. My primary doctor told me that she had to send someone back recently, because of the quality loss.

I would urge you try try and hang in there for a regular MRI, if you do not want to have to maybe pay for it 2x, possibly. Also, I have had 2 MRIs for my knee - not show anything significant. And, I just had to have surgery to look inside and see the problems with the cartilage. And that was with a regular MRI. If you want to have the test done - get the best image you possibly can
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Old Today, 06:51 PM
 
Location: EPWV
10,496 posts, read 5,948,861 times
Reputation: 11802
I've had a couple. The person doing the MRI can speak to you while you're inside (at least the ones I've had) and often times that can be comforting to know. They'll tell you about the machine making some noise. It' s like the garbage collectors picking up the cans and banging them around, or maybe someone knocking on a garbage can. They let you listen to music. You get to pick from a list. You can choose the volume too. Although I don't think they'll let you listen to it too loud for worry that it would harm your hearing.
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