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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I am keeping appointment with neurologist to see what he says about my neck as a 2nd opinion. My pain is not that bad. I can manage. What l want to see if l can help with is the off balance l get when I'm in a neck flair up. Hopefully l will get answers from him. Orthopedic doctor said surgery is a last resort.

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@cookiepic Yes you're right, spine surgery is the last option, but when that time comes, you want to be a patient of a good spine surgeon that you would want to hire for the job. It may take several months to wait for a consultation with a good spine surgeon, and they can always follow your progress as a patient even if surgery would be further down the road. I'm sure your neurologist can advise, but they don't have surgical spine specialty training, but they should be familiar with some spine surgeons and advances in the field. Get your ducks in a row, so if you need to have spine surgery, you can have it with the surgeon of your choice, and a surgeon who only does spine surgeries. Sometimes a neurologist can also recommend a spine surgeon based on their knowledge of results in patient care. Often it's good to have several opinions, and that takes time too getting in for a consult even at Mayo. I was told it was a 3 month wait when I needed a spine surgeon at Mayo, but because of a cancellation, I was offered an appointment at 6 weeks, so I jumped at the chance. Once I was a patient there, everything proceeded efficiently and I had my needed surgery within a month. It could be a 6 week wait or a 3 month wait for a first consult with a spine specialist, then you wait even more for tests like MRIs, etc. If you were at Mayo, you'd save a lot of time because they are able to refer you for tests the same day or usually within a few days. I have waited 2-3 weeks for an MRI before (not at Mayo). I am just a patient and was impressed with the efficiency and quality of my care. It's good to discuss what you may need in the future, and what symptoms to watch out for, as well as ask for physical therapy that can help with neck spasms. Sometimes that can buy you some time without surgery. Would you check back in after your appointment and share your progress?


I close eyes and do not open them while the test is being performed. I also envision a peaceful safe place put my mind there.


I have several MRIs and the first one sounded like I was in Oscar's trash can that had been knocked over and rolled down the hill. After that the rest have been easy and not that loud. To deal with that noise I put myself on a dock with a wee bit of wind knocking the boats about. I then rigged and unrigged sailboats until it was done. Some MRIs are loud some are not, and earplugs are not always provided, so bring your own. Look at the MRI as an opportunity to spend time in a place you love, it will go faster than thinking how much you loath being there.

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