Anyone ever have an MRI?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm having one Monday, and not looking forward to it. This started about 3 years ago when I went to Job Development Services for our county, a placement place for people who have trouble with working. I've always had weird neuro symptoms (from childhood) and have had trouble multitasking and holding a job. Job Services made me go to a neuropsychologist and I did. In my follow up visit this year, I got a different neuropsychologist who was really nice. He said I should have an MRI so that maybe they can see why I have so much trouble in certain areas. Since I've had neuro symptoms since childhood (with just a few, such as sometimes stuttering, starting in my 20's (I'm 53) he'd like to see if anything shows up to give him a clue as to why I've always struggled so much with job. It is possible I'm on the Spectrum, but the Neuropsychs mostly feel it's a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) because they say I'm way too friendly for the spectrum, yet, when I test, there are serious executive function problems, along with a high verbal IQ. My mom died of brain cancer at 75, so I'm scared witless, although the neurologist who ordered the test doesn't think I have any symptoms of that or a brain tumor. She doesn't even think anything will show up at all. In my 20's the questioned possible mild MS, and I still have very minor MS symptoms, but they never worsened. I'm being a baby about this. I'm afraid to go, ready to cancel. I'm not afraid of the test (although it doesn't sound like much fun). I'm afraid of the results, although my brain function has not diminished at all, according to all my testing. In fact, due to getting compensatory help, I actually scored better in a few categories this year. I'm not afraid of MS. I could deal with a mild case of MS. I'm afraid of the darn brain tumors that took my mother's life. Thanks for listening to the vent. (by the way, I'm on Disability for the slew of neuro problems that really make it hard for me to work. I had a two week "Work Evaluation" three years ago and thought I aced it, but I was told I have A LOT of trouble with transitioning and would need a job coach, which the county has none of, thus the Disability). I didn't go there even thinking "disability." I got it on the first try. In order to get services from Job Development Services you need to apply for SSI first. Confused yet?
  2. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    Yes, I've had several MRI's over the years due to my MS. To me, there is nothing to the test. You lay there, they slide you under the machine. It makes a loud drumming sound while they do the test. It actually put me to sleep once.

    I have MS. It's the relapsing/remitting kind. Thankfully, I've been doing pretty good. If you find you do have MS, there are good support groups out there, and the National MS Society is a wealth of information.

    I wish I could calm your nerves about the possibility of a brain tumor. Even if it were, I know of one woman at church who had a tumor removed and she is fine. My mom's best friend's son had brain cancer, they could not remove it all, and even though he has some neuro problems, he still works...and it's been like 5 years I think. (I hope I'm not scaring you with- this info--I'm trying to make you feel better.)

    Let us know how it goes, OK?

  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I have had several also, they always gave me head phones and music, I fell asleep once also!!!
    I have had a couple for knee injuries, one for a nerve issue, and one when they were trying to determine why I was having such extreme migraines, I had one for 14 days straight after easy child's birth... they were worried about brain tumors, luckily it was just those horrid hormones.

    Good luck the MRI isn't that bad just loud... I was afraid of the results every time it is only natural. We have too much depending on us to get sick or be hurt... I know that is how I always feel. I hope your's comes out negative.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Don't cancel. The MRI isn't that bad. If you are claustophobic, your physician can give you a script for valium to take just prior to help you relax. It's better to know what's going on, then to sit in wonder. If there is something wrong, you can take the steps to treating it now before it worsens. Chances of a tumor are slim. If it is MS and it's mild, you can get early therapy and take the right steps (like diet) to keep it at bay for as long as possible. It's not the end. Good luck.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I've had a few MRI's over the years. At first it bothered me - then I started meditating.

    I breeze through them now. I have a MRI on a semi regular basis for neurological issues that I've had since I was 18.

    Will be keeping a good thought for you on Monday. :angel:
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I've had MRI's also it is hard for me to lay still. Neat thing is my new place has the open more tunnel, YEAH!
    now you want an icky test try a EMG. i just had one last week it is the pits! Needles and electric currents passing through muscles which end up jumping all over the place ICK ICK ICK!!!!! -RM
  7. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    rejectedmom -- I also had the EMG. Did not like it. I agree with you!

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im one who cannot do the MRI. Simply cannot. Im way too claustrophobic to manage it. I thought I had overcome my fear of the machine when they invented open mri machines and I managed to have one done on my knee without a problem. Then they wanted to send me to have one done on my head, neck and spine. Ohhhh heck no!

    I went in there all prepared to do just fine. I took a driver with me, 3 mgs of ativan, and I hopped up on the table. I was sure I would be fine. All was ok until they strapped my head into that contraption and the machine started to lower and it got close to my stomach. Do remember I am a very large woman! I started to panic and screamed at them that I had to pee and they had to let me up. I never went back in that room again. There was no amount of sedation getting me back on that table unless they knocked me completely out with versed. I told my doctor that I couldnt imagine anything that a MRI would show that I was willing to go thru that for.

    Nope...not me. Never.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, don't cancel the appointment. It sounds like a good diagnostic and precautionary measure. And you don't want to drag on the "what-if" stuff any longer than you have to.
    I've always found that frettng is worse that the reality of a real test. A real test gives me something concrete to :censored2: about, LOL!
    I've had two MRIs, one for headaches and one to insert a needle to guide a lumpectomy. People warned me about the drumming sound but it didn't really bother me... I made it into a rhythm and a song and then dozed off. Good thing, because I am very claustrophobic.
    For the head films, the staff strapped my head down, so you will probably have that happen. I would have liked to have known that in advance to have been able to down a shot of whiskey or something!...but I just kept my eyes closed and kept breathing. Within a few min. I was fine.
    The 2nd one was easier in one sense because I didn't have my head strapped down, but worse because they couldn't get the needle inserted properly in my breast the first time and kept spitting me out on the table to reposition me, moving the needle (ouch!), zooming me back in again, taking more films, going back and forth until I was ready to scream.
    So the MRI itself is relatively fast.
    Keep the appointment. You'll be fine. Really.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would say it is a pretty easy test to have done and confirm or deny some diagnosis' that require early knowledge of them. So, well worth any discomfort in my mind.

    I have had 3 in the last 4 months. First one was a breeze. The tech spoke to me in between each test, she asked if I was OK, waited for me to itch or move something if I needed to.
    Second test - well I was expecting the same as the first - however the tech did not even tell me he was starting. I just heard the banging noises and realized we had begun. I never got a chance to even itch or move or relax a muscle. I ended up passing out in there and had a migraine the rest of the day.
    Third test I reported the 2nd tech and made sure I did not have him. They treated me like a VIP with music and a parascope that allowed me to see the people in the room doing the testing. The best part of that was I could see the countdown reflected in the glass from the machine I was in. So, I knew exactly how much time I had left in each test. I was able to itch and move a bit between tests. Piece of cake.

    Lesson: Be sure you confirm with your tech that they will be speaking to you in between each test. I always knew I was the type that could get through any test if I knew what to expect. But, if what I expect does not happen...that is bad.

    As far as your anxiety about the results I say this: knowing is better than ignoring. I think you will not find a case of someone not knowing of a medical condition being better off. So, get the facts and get the help if it is needed. Stay strong and hopeful!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why did you have to keep coming back for tests?

    In the logical part of my brain, I know it's been going on for too long to be anything too serious. By I do have panic disorder so I like to worry (I think!).

    Also, we've having a consultation about the results about three hours later the same day.

    I will definitely take enough medications to feel no pain or I won't be able to do it, and hub will be with me, which helps a lot.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm not too afraid of being claustrophobic, I hope to sleep through it. I'm more scared of the results. And the only results that scare me are tumors and cancer. I've read a lot about MS and, if I have it, it's very mild and I'm not freaked about that. Neurologist doesn't think it's MS anyways. I did well on the preliminary neurological test, my memory is good, and it's just these annoying neuro soft signs I've had since my early 20's and make me shudder a bit.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'd not had an MRI until about five years ago, despite having these weird symptoms for 24 years now. The first big test was a myelogram - YUK! The hospital did have a CT machine, I wish they'd done one of those instead. MWM, be VERY grateful we now have access to MRI and CT instead of myelograms. I was so sick after the myelogram - I had to lie flat for days, plus I couldn't stand even dull light. And I had a baby to look after (easy child 2/difficult child 2). They came in to show me the pictures and I couldn't look at them because they were shining lights behind them. I never did see those films. I had a severe headache for the next few weeks - it was like meningitis but without fever, really (I do not exaggerate on this - I've had aseptic meningitis).

    MRI - I was nervous before my first one. I had been told so many horror stories about claustrophobia, and I DO get nervous in confined spaces. But I talked myself through it - there of course would be plenty of air (in fact, there was a mild breeze, from the ventilation). There was no way the tunnel could collapse on me because it was one solid lump of plastic (with the 'guts' of the machine sealed inside). The technician was within shouting range if I got nervous. My biggest problem was my neuralgia from the angle my arms would be, lying on my back. I told the technician about this and they carefully padded under my arms so there wouldn't be any pulling pressure on the brachial plexus (the nerve junction that causes the problem with this for me). They padded under my knees, so I would be more comfortable. And I was permitted to bring a tape of what I wanted them to play for me. Instead of bringing my favourite music, I brought a tape of a radio play I knew well. I couldn't hear it properly, but I knew it so well I could sort of hear where it was up to and mentally recite with it. Because I was also visualising the action of the play, I was able to forget about the drumming and the small space. I kept my eyes shut and imagined I was in a large, open space with a breeze on my face. basically, by avoiding opening my eyes in the tunnel (although it's quite light in there, it's nothing like a dark hole) I was able to keep telling myself that I was lying on the beach, or lying in a hammock in the rainforest.

    And afterwards - no headache for weeks. No nausea from the pain and the side effects, like I'd endured with the myelogram. Instead, I went out for a cup of coffee while I waited for the pictures to be processed.

    Nerve conduction studies and EMG - not great, I hate that electric shock feeling every second and the electrodes hurt more than acupuncture needles. I ache in my muscles from all that effort for about half an hour at least afterwards (or days if they really worked me over). Yes, after EMG I feel like I've had a fall. After the myelogram I felt like a victim of a serious mugging, with fractured skull. But after the MRI - I felt fine (apart from the usual). If anything, I felt relieved because I had done it and it hadn't hurt, one little bit.

    Have you had VERs done? (Visual Evoked Responses). That's when they wire up your scalp and you sit watching a checkerboard pattern alternating on a screen. It's often done when looking for MS, among other things. They often do it at the same time as nerve conduction studies. If you can handle that, the MRI is a piece of cake. Honestly.

  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had 3 different MRIs. Neck, mid-back and the last one was brain. That one was actually the easiest - of course I was the VIP that day.

    They provided me with a 'panic button' just in case I needed to call them quickly, played music, spoke to me alot, etc. It really was not bad at all.

    My symptom is a tingling that goes down both of my legs whenever I move my head down or to the sides. They started thinking it was a pinched nerve in the neck, then thought it was a back problem, then went the neurological approach. I also had the test someone mentioned above that sent weird pulses through my feet and hands. That was not as bad as I was told it would be.
    Anyway nothing is conclusive and the tingling is much less intense than when it first started - so I am taking the wait and see.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm having one today at 12:30. I'll have taken extra Klonopin by then :smile: I'm not scared of the test, I'm scared of the results, although I really don't have any huge symptoms of anything life threatening. My mom dying of brain cancer makes me freak out at MRIs. Even though we were told it's not hereditary...can't help being scared a bit. I'm a baby. Cya later.
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good luck to you!

    Let us know how it goes.