Not all hospitals have open MRI’s at this time. When I had to have one I didn’t have a choice unless I wanted to travel a distance to have a MRI in an open unit. I was very nervous because I am severely claustrophobic. I felt very immature and foolish but I found out that I am not the only one who suffers from this anxiety.
I was given a few tips on what to do when I had my MRI. When I arrived for my appointment, I think they may have screwed up my appointment. It seems they quickly set up an appointment for me in a mobile unit. It could have been normal but it seemed that they were hustling and bustling around and a little confused about the whole thing. I was rushed in the mobile unit and told not to move a muscle and to hold my breath at certain times when they were photographing me. I hated it and kept my eyes closed. I tried to keep perfectly still. When it was over they told me I would have to have it done over again that the pictures were not clear and I had moved. The only thing worse about having an MRI is having to have it done over again! I also told them I would not pay for another one. I wasn’t billed for the first one. I would have fought them on it if they did.
THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN HAVING TO GET A MRI IS HAVING TO GET IT DONE OVER AGAIN.
I was more prepared the next time. I told them that I was very claustrophobic and also hyperactive. They gave me a sedative and said they would talk me through it. You can also have someone that you trust come with you and be with you while it is being done. After the sedative I really didn’t care that much. I had them give me a small towel to put over my eyes. I told the technicians that I was scared and claustrophobic and they were very considerate of my feelings. I didn’t want anything over my nose or mouth but with a towel over my eyes I was not tempted to open them. If I didn’t see what was happening or what I was in it was easier.
They talked me through it. They told me when I needed to hold my breath. I was able to keep perfectly still and only once was I tempted to look. It was very helpful having friendly caring technicians in with me. Because of the sedative I was relaxed and much less fearful than I would have been without it. It was not long and the whole process was over.
IF YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT STAND HAVING A CLOSED MRI YOU HAVE OPTIONS.
If you are so claustrophobic that you cannot possibly be in a closed MRI, discuss it with your doctor. You can go some place where they have open MRI’s now. It may be worth it not to have to suffer the fear. If you have a good doctor he will consider your fears and work it out for you. There are more and more hospitals that are getting open MRI’s because many more people than you and I have this fear.