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JillianLindsay

Mri

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Hi all,

One of the symptoms that helped me get diagnosed with celiac disease was seizures. I say that because I think that the seizures are the only reason the doctors took me seriously enough to seek out the cause.

Anyway, I've had 4 (that we know of) seizures in the past 9 months. My CT & regular EEG were clear, so the DR wants me to have a sleep-deprived EEG & an MRI to rule out a number of things. I'm not looking forward to the sleep-deprived EEG, but that's not a big deal.

The MRI isn't really a big deal either I guess, but I've never had one before. All I know is that it's a big magnet, a small space (like a CT but longer), very loud, and I have to hold still & may feel claustrophobic. I've read studies on MRIs (I'm a psych major) but have never even seen one in real life before. Anyway, I'm a bit nervous about it and wonder if anyone who's had one before could give me any advice for how to make it go smoothly, or what do to (or not do) beforehand?

Thanks,

Jillian

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Jillian,

I've had several MRIs. I think of them as cozy and not claustrophobic. Makes it easier for me. They will have a brace for my head to make it easier to hold still. I get comfortable before it starts. All jewelry, metal items need to be removed. The first time they made me take off a medication patch but never has told me to do so again.

They gave me earplugs which probably helped with the noise but it is loud. I made a game out of trying to guess when the beat of the noise would change. It is a pounding noise that goes slow, then fast, the quiet. Would be better if it was steady so I'd get use to it. Next one I have I am going to keep a total count of the beats. Yes, it's very boring.

I get cold easily so I ask for a blanket it starts. If you need to move or something, you can just tell them. Oh, I hit the bathroom right before going in. I fold my arms over the torso so my elbows do not touch the sides of the machine. They put a pillow or bolster under my knees so it more comfortable.

After I had a stroke, they did stop the test to ask the doctor for an order for some contrast. They started an IV for this medication. Hate that worse than the MRI.

If you are claustrophobic, they can give you medication but you will need someone to drive you home.

You will do just fine. I always ask to see one of the pictures on the computer screen before I leave. Very cool to see inside my head.

The sleep deprived EEG is worse but I'm old and bedtime is early for me. DO NOT mess with my sleep! lol

Let us know how it goes and the results.

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How claustrophobic they feel depends on if it's an open or closed MRI. I've had an open MRI on my knee - totally not a big deal. And I've had an extended closed MRI on my back and on my head (sinuses).

For those last two, they doped me up, because I am *HIGHLY* claustrophobic in very tight spaces. (I kinda freak out if I don't have enough room to get my arms fairly straight. As long as I've got two to three feet around me, I'm mostly ok.) The first one, since it was over time, using a contrast agent, they used the contrast IV for valium as well. The second time, since it was just a single trip into the machine, they just had me take a pill. I used an eye mask for both of them, and kept my eyes closed (I could see a tiny bit out of the eye masks if I opened my eyes). It was totally not the end of the world, and I was able to feel "ok" about the whole thing.

If I can do that in an MRI machine, you'll be fine. If you're really concerned, do talk to them about light sedation - though you'll need someone to drive you home.

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It may help to figure out what the machine will be like, as there are different kinds...some of which may cause more worry/stress than another. Maybe call the center where its being done and discuss it, so you can manage your expectations of it better than going in not knowing what to expect?

Good luck!

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I've had a couple of closed MRIs and it wasn't too bad at all. You can speak to the technician and you can press a button if you need to get out. I found it okay because they would run one round of images for a few minutes, then they would speak to you again and run another round. This way it broke up the time nicely. I also remember singing a song in my head and that was a good distraction. Overall not too bad at all.

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I've only ever had one, and I have really severe anxiety, and get claustrophobic sometimes. But I was fine. I'm 99% sure they gave me big headphones and I brought a celiac disease that they played for me, and it helped when they talked to me sometimes during it. Let them know beforehand that you get kinda iffy about enclosed spaces, I'm sure they're used to it and probably have some suggestions.

Just relax, there are far worse tests out there!! I wish I could have had another MRI over some of the ones I've had to do in the last year...

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I had one with contrast. For me the contrast injection felt like a very warm wash over my body. Sort of like taking a strong shot of whiskey. Jsu twanted to mention it sa something else you might encoiunter. It wasn't a bad feeling at all, just warm. Kind of nice in a way. :)

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Thank you all for your replies, it is helpful to get advice & hear others' experiences :) I am lucky to have become friends with one of my profs at school who is a neuroscientist. He studies seizures for a living so I will ask him lots of questions and maybe go with him to see an MRI being done in person so I know what to expect.

I'm not claustrophobic and I'm hearing impaired so I think I'll be okay with the small space and the noise; just nervous as can be expected.

Thanks again!

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