Post # 1
So I had a doctor appointment yesterday (frequent headaches/migranes) and my doctor suggested I get an MRI done. Ok, that’s fine, I would rather be extra precautious. But the only thing, I don’t do needles. Especially IV’s. I’m petrified of them. Like anytime I have blood tests or anything, I completely pass out.
Has anyone had an MRI done? I was told that they need to put liquid in your blood stream or something through an IV…..any insight to prepare a little better would be awesome.
And I know already…..I’m a biiiig baby!
Post # 3
I’ve had numerous MRI’s over different parts of my body, and I’ve never had to have an IV or any kind of shot associated with it
Post # 4
My doctor told me that since I am having a scan done of my head that 1 scan would be done with no solution injected, and then another scan would be done with a solution injected in my blood stream to look for any blockages or something like that??
Post # 5
I’ve had x-rays and an MRI of my knee and need no IV or injection.
I had a CT scan of my abdomen that required both the drinking of a nasty chalky solution pre-scan and an IV during the scan (my recollection is that these were needed for contrast).
I think it can vary depending on what they are trying to visualize and I’ve never had anything done to my head so I can’t help you with that specific case.
Post # 6
@MsBrewer: Ohhhh, that doesn’t sound pleasant. Hopefully someone can give you their experience to help you prepare!!
Post # 7
I work with MRIs as a researcher, not as a doctor or clinician so don’t take my advice as medical advice! It looks like they’re doing something called a contrast agent. The liquid they inject allows the picture to “look better”.
If you’re seriously freaking out about the injection ask him if its possible to not do the contrast agent. Or also you could ask him if they could just look at the regular one and then determine if its necesary to have one with a injection and schedule for that one later.
I don’t know if you told him about your terrible fear of needles but if you haven’t then you should. I’m sure he doesn’t want you passing out on the MRI scanner.
you don’t really have to do anything to prepare for the MRI. Just relax and get comfy. When they prepare you on the scanner bed find a really comfortable position so that you don’t have to move afterward. Just think of it as going to sleep. Also, it depends on the MRI facility and their customs but it helps if they put a pillow or cushion underneath your knees. It makes you much more comfortable and less likely to move. The less you move the better the images and the more likely they are to find if anything is wrong!
Post # 8
It’s with and without contrast, probably. I’ve had a bunch (unfortunately) and they’re pretty uneventful. The MRI tube is the most distressing part, I just keep my eyes closed and it’s better, I can’t see how tight the space is. That probably isn’t helping, sorry. The contrast will just flow in through the IV, my mouth gets a little watery (like before you get sick), but it passes pretty quick. That’s probably just me though.
It’s good to have one done and know there’s nothing more serious wrong. Good luck. If you wear comfy clothes with no metal (zippers, snaps, buttons, etc) they may let you skip the lovely gown.
Post # 9
I’ve had migraines my whole life so I’ve had quite a few MRI’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had to have an IV though, although many times I’m in the ER for a migraine so I already have one in.
I also like to just keep my eyes closed and try not to think about it. Also, it tends to be chilly in there and they don’t want you to move, so ask for a blanket if you can! I’m always scared I’m shivering too much and I’d have to do it again.
Post # 10
You’ll be fine. I had to have the contrast shot into my heart to check for clots in my lungs. Three times.
Post # 11
Wow thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and advise!
@sweetkischa:That is mainly why I think I’m having an MRI done, just to make sure nothing is wrong. Very interesting about the gown, I thought I could just wear regular clothes! Now I will for sure wear sweat pants and a t-shirt!
@merenguito:Thank you so much for explaining everything. I hate going into things that I have no clue about. I would rather be overly informed! I guess my doctor doesn’t know about my extreme fear of needles. I think it’s gotten worse as I’ve been getting older. Strange, but it’s just how I am. And everyone thinks I’m over reacting, but I’m really not! My heart starts beating extrememly fast, and bam! I’m out!
Post # 12
I am also a needle-induced-fainter (technically it’s a “vaso vagal reaction”). I can barely get the finger prick without passing out. I actually passed out when my DOG had blood taken and I didn’t even look at the needle or see any blood!
Over the years though, after many faints and a couple concussions from hitting the ground, I’ve learned some tricks.
1) Unless they tell you otherwise, drink a lot of water before. It always seems to help with me.
2) I used to be really embarassed about it, but now I just go in and say, “I’m just warning you in advance, but I’m a fainter.” If you say something ahead of time, the nurses will be extra cautious. Don’t be embarassed. They’re used to it.
3) This is the one that has saved me from fainting many times. You HAVE TO be proactive about it. Before you even see the needle, insist that you lie down. Again, if you tell them you’re a fainter, they should know to recline you so that your legs are slightly higher than your head. Even if you’re just on one of those flat examination tables with your legs against the wall if it doesn’t recline. This keeps the blood moving to your head when your blood pressure drops (which essentially causes the fainting).
Seriously, do NOT be embarassed. You will get through it fine if you just speak up. The doctors actually appreciate it more because they can be prepared for it. Once I stopped being embarassed and doing the three things above, I stopped having such bad reactions to medical stimuli. I’m still a baby, but it’s gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better.
Post # 13
I just want to add that I recently had an MRI for my lumbar and cervical spine and I didn’t think I’d have that much of a problem. However, once I got in that tube…oh my Lord, was I claustrophobic. I basically had a full blown panic attack but I held it together. I stayed in – just focused on my breathing. They give you headphones to listen to music and a little squeezeball as your panic button. I asked for a cloth over my eyes the second time, it really helped. I also asked them to turn the music up. I let him know that it was not a good experience for me, so he tried to be quick and was super nice about the whole thing. Each one was about 20 – 25 mins in the machine.
I have lots of migraines, but I think mine stem from a bluging disc in my cervical spine. I’m glad I know now since I’ve been dealing with this for a LONG time.
I have not had the ones with contrast, but have been told that it makes you feel like you wet yourself (but you haven’t). Weird.
I hope everything goes well. Just breathe!
Post # 14
@KayDubs: I am SOOO glad that I;m not alone on this. I really think that I still am embarressed about this, but tomorrow when I got for this procedure, I will be sure to speak up before hand. I will mention this to my Fiance, he is going with me.
Post # 15
I just did a breast MRI with an IV and I was totally freaked out too, but I’m not a fainter.
My sister did one before me and told me all about it and it really helped.
First, my doctor prescribed me Xanex (sp?) in case I was really nervous – I was afraid I’d be claustrophobic. I never filled the prescription and I was fine but I was face-down and that helped because it was just like a massage chair. You will probably be face up.
They did the IV in a different room. This was my first IV ever and I was really nervous. I personally do not watch when they do anything and it helps me not to freak out. The worst part was walking around afterward (like to the MRI room) and getting on the table because I was so scared about bending my arm and having the needle poke me! I basically just kept my arm straight and it was fine.
The MRI techs were totally nice and joked a lot. They give you a call button that you keep in your hand to press if you need them to stop. Although if you press it while they do the contrast they have to do it all over on another day.
They also told me that when they do the contrast, you might feel like you just peed yourself! So maybe you don’t want to drink a ton of water before. I could feel the contrast start, it was kind of cold and then it felt warm inside which is why it kinda feels like peeing. Weird, I know.
My MRI took about 25-30 minutes and I would have stressed more if I really did have to pee.
Last, it’s super loud! They warn you, but my sister described it best. It’s like really loud super techno club music and a washing machine and sirens all together! : ) I kind of “sang” along to it and it made me giggle. They give you earplugs beforehand.
It was way less bad than I thought and the IV was not bad…only the prick at the beginning hurts.
Good luck! And PM me if you need any more reassurance!
Post # 16
You are all so kind and reassuring! Thank you all again for calming me down! 🙂
@JaneyD:Wow I had no idea you were in there for 25-30 minutes?! I seriously thought it was maaaayybe 5-10…..well I don’t think I’m claustophobic, but I guess I was never put in a situation before to find out…this should be interesting.
But really, everything has been helping me prepare soo much