MRI of head - Help

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Danielle, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Danielle

    Danielle New Member


    I have been having headaches since January. I went to a new doctor and she is very good. She ordered an MRI of my head. What should I expect? I don't think I am clausterphobic ( don't know how to spell it) but I am a little nervous. What are your experiences? I'm also a little worried about what they may find if anything.

  2. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    Tell your doc that you are claustrophobic BEFORE you get into that machine! Have him/her write you out a rx for a few valiums so you can take them about 15 minutes before your test.

    The MRI's usually last between 20-40 minutes, depending on what they are looking for and how big of an area they are scanning.

    You'll be in a capsule-like tube, and they'll give you head phones so you can listen to music. I'd definitely recommend something soft, but whatever makes you feel better and distracted from being in the machine.

    It's painless, unless you are like some of us who have a bad spine and can't lie still that long! Otherwise, you should be fine. Just don't forget something to sedate you! Good luck. PG
  3. KelB

    KelB New Member

    Hi there. I've had a couple in the last year, so here are my experiences if they help.

    First, I had to make sure I was wearing nothing metallic, as it interferes with the MRI machine. So no bra, no metal eyelets, no zips etc. I wore a baggy tracksuit (hid the sagging chest so I didn't have to change in hospital!). I had to take my shoes off for the first one, but not the second one.

    You're laid on your back on a table and your head is put comfortably into a headrest with a kind of cage arrangement around it. You're given ear defenders (earplugs or headphone-types), because it gets a bit noisy. Your legs are arranged into a comfy position. Just tell them if you think anything will get achey and they can give you extra support. I had a cushion under my knees for the second one, which was really comfy for me. You're then slid backwards into the machine, which is a kind of big upright donut-shaped thing.

    You're given a button to press so that if you start to feel that it's too much, you can press it and the nurses will get you out of the machine for a break. However, there is a microphone & speaker inside the machine plus a camera, so the doctors can always see and hear you if you need to say anything.

    I was warned "This next scan will take x minutes", at which point you have to keep very still. As your head is held firmly on the headrest, that's not difficult!

    When the scan starts, it sounds like someone drumming on something metal right next to your ears - it's pretty loud, but not unbearable. It made me jump every time it started, even though I was expecting it. My individual scans lasted anything from one to five minutes at a time. They did several of these on each occasion.

    After each scan, one of the nurses would ask if I was OK and did I need a break. I went through the set (the first lot took 45 minutes, the second only 15 minutes) without a break.

    I do get a bit claustrophobic. I coped by closing my eyes as soon as they slid me into the machine, so I couldn't see that I was in a tight place. I did lots of visualisation about being on a beach. I also know that I would have panicked if I'd tried to move my head and couldn't, so I made sure that I kept absolutely still from the point when my head was put in the headrest. I didn't have any problems with the claustrophobia as a result.

    When I was slid out of the machine, they let me sit up very slowly. I didn't feel anything other than a little giddy and I get that when I've been lying on my back anyway. I was fine to go straight home.

    Hope that helps and good luck. Let us know how it goes.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/06/2005]
  4. tanu

    tanu New Member

    hi,i had the same fears so they said a CT scan would be more appropriate.On reaching there i realised that i was claustrophobic and refused to enter.They then rescheduled me for the scan under sedation.They gave me a shot of Valium and the rest was history...
    So good luck.They wont force you for anything you dont want.
    In the test you dont feel a thing except clicking noises for which they give you ear plugs.This is what others told me.I was asleep so i dont know anything.
    I am sure it will be normal,they usually are.I wonder why have they scheduled a MRI?Have they tried any treatment ?.What are they suspecting?It is usually common things -Tension headaches,Migrines.Chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia pts have a lot of headaches.99.9%benign.So dont worry.Let us know how it went and what were the results.They may be doing it to protect their backs-liability issues.Everyboby here overinvestigates.
  5. cats3

    cats3 New Member

    You might want to check to see if they have an open MRI
    that way you won't be enclosed like a regular MRI machine
    A lot more places like hospitals and x ray places are using open MRIs

    Good Luck
  6. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    ... I had one because of sudden onset of severe headaches .. nothing showed up though .. phew ! ... it is a little close in the tube .. but as the others said .. you have earphones on and music so the loud thumping doesn't drive you mad .. and a panic button .. and they check on you by way of the microphone .. the only thing that scared me was just before the magnetics started my heart did one huge thump itself .. but I was fine .. they do a lot of these every day .. so far I think we have all survived .. but being tense is natural ! Try not to worry !
    Fudge : )
  7. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I had two head MRI's done

    The first one was a closed MRI tube and I took Xanax to get through it - the machine was very loud, sounded like a jack hammer

    The machine goes through series of tests, so for instance the first test will take maybe 8 minutes and you have to lie very still and not talk for that length of time

    The 2nd MRI I had done was in an Open MRI - the machine was much quieter and even soothing to me - it was like the sound of soft tom-toms

    I made my husband come with me and sit at the MRI table beside me and hold onto my leg - he counted out the length of each scan for me, so I knew how long I would have to endure

    Good Luck - the pictures are AMAZING - My doctor on MOnday looked up an old MRI I had done on his computer (amazing that they can do this) and I was just in awe
  8. Danielle

    Danielle New Member

    They are checking me for new onset migraines. I think they may be due to eye strain or sinus. Only 2 of them have been so bad that I've thrown up. I'm just wooried about a tumor or something.

  9. zoemurr

    zoemurr New Member

    I would imagine there is one around. I had it this way and it was no big deal at all. (Huge headaches here too.. found nothing.)I didn't even ask. I think they just try to get use it for as many people as they can.


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