How can I be less anxious about my MRI with contrast?

Posted by cookiepic @cookiepic, Jan 7 6:24pm

I am scheduled for an mri on the 17th. I am nervous about laying there for 45 mintues or more with Degenerative disc disease with my neck but also the contrast element. Is it safe? I'm a Google reader which is bad so l have read pros and cons.

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@cookiepic HI and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! I just saw this posting and even though I’m in the autoimmune group, i sure know MRIs. I have one 4 times a year of my brain. There are a couple of things to know: 1. the MRI is very loud but doesn’t touch you at all. They will give you ear protectors that muffle the sound somewhat, 2. Ask for a light blanket since it can be cool, 3. It is a small, tight space. I always ask my doctor for 5 mg of Valium which helps SO much. Talk with your doctor, you may want more so that you can really relax and not think about your degenerative disk disease. I usually take the pill as in leave the house so. It’s working by the time of my appointment. If you know of some relaxation techniques or mantras, be sure to use them. And DONT listen to any horror stories! It’s a very do-able test. My next MRI is on Tuesday!
Be sure to get back to me with any more questions and tell me how your MRI went
What worries you the most about the contrast?

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@becsbuddy

@cookiepic HI and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! I just saw this posting and even though I’m in the autoimmune group, i sure know MRIs. I have one 4 times a year of my brain. There are a couple of things to know: 1. the MRI is very loud but doesn’t touch you at all. They will give you ear protectors that muffle the sound somewhat, 2. Ask for a light blanket since it can be cool, 3. It is a small, tight space. I always ask my doctor for 5 mg of Valium which helps SO much. Talk with your doctor, you may want more so that you can really relax and not think about your degenerative disk disease. I usually take the pill as in leave the house so. It’s working by the time of my appointment. If you know of some relaxation techniques or mantras, be sure to use them. And DONT listen to any horror stories! It’s a very do-able test. My next MRI is on Tuesday!
Be sure to get back to me with any more questions and tell me how your MRI went
What worries you the most about the contrast?

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for all your info. I read to much on Google and read how the contrast can cause problems. I worry about getting dizzy from being on my neck for so long. How long does it take with contrast?
I take xanax for anxiety too begin with .25 and don't know if l can take 2. Might be too much. I am going to a place that is an open mri. Last month was getting one done on my neck and only lasted 15 mintues. Between helmet on my head, mouth piece and enclosed machine l just couldn't do it. This one is on my ears and brain. Any input is a help. Thank you

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I have had 3 MRI's but I will only do with an open MRI. The close one's freak me out:) Also, have your doctor prescribing you some Xanax
should assist in reducing your anxiety. Bottom-line, if you don't get it, how will the experts definitively know the REAL ISSUE. Good luck and once it is over, you can say you did it !

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@cookiepic

Thank you so much for all your info. I read to much on Google and read how the contrast can cause problems. I worry about getting dizzy from being on my neck for so long. How long does it take with contrast?
I take xanax for anxiety too begin with .25 and don't know if l can take 2. Might be too much. I am going to a place that is an open mri. Last month was getting one done on my neck and only lasted 15 mintues. Between helmet on my head, mouth piece and enclosed machine l just couldn't do it. This one is on my ears and brain. Any input is a help. Thank you

Jump to this post

Hello @cookiepic

I'm also an experienced MRI user. It's a great test and unlike X-Rays and CT scans there is no radiation, which is very important. I've had the contrast as well with no problems. There can be a feeling of warmth when the contrast is administered, however, the tech will explain it in advance. This is a remarkable diagnostic tool and well worth the noise and inconvenience.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @cookiepic

I'm also an experienced MRI user. It's a great test and unlike X-Rays and CT scans there is no radiation, which is very important. I've had the contrast as well with no problems. There can be a feeling of warmth when the contrast is administered, however, the tech will explain it in advance. This is a remarkable diagnostic tool and well worth the noise and inconvenience.

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Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it as I'm very nervous.

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I have had many MRI's with and without contrast. Has never been a problem. At Mayo, they give you option of headphones with music. I am weird and actually don't mind them. In fact, I like them because it means I will hopefully get some good info about my body. Good luck!

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@cookiepic I really think your best bet is to have a talk with your doctor about the amount of sedation you can take. You certainly don’t want to pick a dose yourself! And, you will have someone drive you home! As for added time to do the contrast, there really isn’t any added time. It just takes a minute to give you the contrast.
So, you’ve had an MRI before? Was it also an open MRI? We’re you given any sedation to help you relax? I suggest an appointment with your doctor to discuss the entire situation. You should calmly explain that ‘you just cant do it’. You know that you need the MRI to help diagnose your problem, so maybe they can help figure out a solution for you.
I’m always here for you (virtually), but you must have the necessary talks with the doctors. Take your laptop, or iPad, or phone to the doctor’s appointment, and call up Mayo Clinic Connect. Know that all the members are backing you up!
Will you call the doctor first thing Monday morning?

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@becsbuddy

@cookiepic I really think your best bet is to have a talk with your doctor about the amount of sedation you can take. You certainly don’t want to pick a dose yourself! And, you will have someone drive you home! As for added time to do the contrast, there really isn’t any added time. It just takes a minute to give you the contrast.
So, you’ve had an MRI before? Was it also an open MRI? We’re you given any sedation to help you relax? I suggest an appointment with your doctor to discuss the entire situation. You should calmly explain that ‘you just cant do it’. You know that you need the MRI to help diagnose your problem, so maybe they can help figure out a solution for you.
I’m always here for you (virtually), but you must have the necessary talks with the doctors. Take your laptop, or iPad, or phone to the doctor’s appointment, and call up Mayo Clinic Connect. Know that all the members are backing you up!
Will you call the doctor first thing Monday morning?

Jump to this post

I will talk to doctor about how much xanax l can take. I've never had a mri. Tried last month for my neck and didn't go well. Lasted 15 minutes. But l don't think l took enough of my xanax. This mri is my ears and brain. ENT calling for this test.

REPLY
@becsbuddy

@cookiepic HI and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! I just saw this posting and even though I’m in the autoimmune group, i sure know MRIs. I have one 4 times a year of my brain. There are a couple of things to know: 1. the MRI is very loud but doesn’t touch you at all. They will give you ear protectors that muffle the sound somewhat, 2. Ask for a light blanket since it can be cool, 3. It is a small, tight space. I always ask my doctor for 5 mg of Valium which helps SO much. Talk with your doctor, you may want more so that you can really relax and not think about your degenerative disk disease. I usually take the pill as in leave the house so. It’s working by the time of my appointment. If you know of some relaxation techniques or mantras, be sure to use them. And DONT listen to any horror stories! It’s a very do-able test. My next MRI is on Tuesday!
Be sure to get back to me with any more questions and tell me how your MRI went
What worries you the most about the contrast?

Jump to this post

Can they give you a pillow for your neck? I'm thinking not bendy it's a head mri

REPLY
@cookiepic

I will talk to doctor about how much xanax l can take. I've never had a mri. Tried last month for my neck and didn't go well. Lasted 15 minutes. But l don't think l took enough of my xanax. This mri is my ears and brain. ENT calling for this test.

Jump to this post

@cookiepic

I have panic attacks in closed MRI. .. but most times they give the best pictures. I had a MRI of my neck a week or so ago. I took valium to help me. I took it about an hour and a half before the MRI.. I have a swallowing problem and sometimes it takes a bit for the pill to take effect. I was in the tube for 45-50 minutes. I also took my thoughts to pleasant places and that really helps.

I have had brain MRIs before. With the head they will wedge you in well so you cannot move… but it is not uncomfortable. They will put an IV in before procedure so they can put the dye contrast in … it will be warm feeling when the dye goes in.

Take enough of your relaxant and far enough in advance that it will do its job. … control your breathing and concentrate on pleasant things are my best advice.

ZeeGee

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@fourof5zs

@cookiepic

I have panic attacks in closed MRI. .. but most times they give the best pictures. I had a MRI of my neck a week or so ago. I took valium to help me. I took it about an hour and a half before the MRI.. I have a swallowing problem and sometimes it takes a bit for the pill to take effect. I was in the tube for 45-50 minutes. I also took my thoughts to pleasant places and that really helps.

I have had brain MRIs before. With the head they will wedge you in well so you cannot move… but it is not uncomfortable. They will put an IV in before procedure so they can put the dye contrast in … it will be warm feeling when the dye goes in.

Take enough of your relaxant and far enough in advance that it will do its job. … control your breathing and concentrate on pleasant things are my best advice.

ZeeGee

Jump to this post

Thank you. I am very nervous of being on my neck for a length of time. I have xanax which l guess will do the job.

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@cookiepic

Thank you. I am very nervous of being on my neck for a length of time. I have xanax which l guess will do the job.

Jump to this post

@cookiepic
I have never taken xanax, but think it would work.

You should tell them you have a neck problem. .. they will then take the extra precautions needed. Here they try to help you feel comfortable. My neck hurts a lot and they aligned me well and being it was of my neck they stabilized it with a piece of foam and I think it was like hand towel or similar between my head and the side of the foam.

I reminisced of a trip we took in 2008 … from Georgia up the Oregon Coast to see my brother ,,, through Utah, Colorado, Arkansas and on … lots of beauty for me to remember and keep me calm and pass the time during the MRI.

I did well during my MRI .. I think you will too.

I have panic attacks in crowds … I ran out of Walmart one day this past spring…. all of a sudden a lot of people around me… crowding and noise got to me .. could not breathe through the mask either. I did not need whatever I was looking for that bad. I did better a few months later going in there with my husband.

I have no idea where my panic attacks come from… I deal better with them than I used to, but sometimes like that time in Walmart I don't. I am not on any medication for it other than the occasional valium for an MRI. I practice breathing and relaxing my mind.

I am sure all will go well with your MRI .. most of it is just your mindset. You can do it. 🎉

ZeeGee

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