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I'm Scared! Has anyone had n MRI?

(42 Posts)
hellymelly Tue 11-Aug-09 22:26:10

I am due for an MRI this week and I am getting rather frightened.My fears (aside from the fear that they will find something hideous of course) Are a)that the MRI will somehow pull out my teeth as I have a metal retainer glued to my teeth post orthodontics.
b) that I will indeed be injected with the "contast medium " mentioned as sometimes neccessary in my letter.When is it needed?Does anyone know? I have been having problems with my neck,that is what the MRI is for.
of course C) is the possibility of them finding something,lord knows what.
So any advice very welcome,I am really frightened! (will I have to wear a buttock revealing gown thing? AAArghh..)

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:33:02

Have you told them about the retainer?? Not all metals are magnetic so this may be fine, it's worth phoning them and checking though.

I've had a MRI, I's also a radiography student, it's a lot like sticking your head in a washing machine that doesn't go round, they give you headphones to 'block' out some of the noise. Contrast just shows up your arteries so they can distinguish it from other things, they don't always give this, it's an injection but can make you feel like you've weed.
If they find something then they find something, 99% of the time they don't though. If they do then cross that bridge when you come to it, the chances are that they won't though.
If you wear clothes with no metal, then you won't need to change but it depends on their policy. Make sure you have no jewellery on.

DEMissmiling Tue 11-Aug-09 22:34:58

Ok will admit i have gotten lost as to whether i have had MRIs or just CTs. Think i have had both. Cant answer your question about the retainer - recommend you give the unit a ring (there is usually a helpful phone no).
I have never had to wear a special gown but have had to remove all things metal and electrical (it was left in a locker outside room).
All i remember is lying in a machine that was very noisy and passing out when i tried to stand up becaues i had been lying down so long. The test itself is nothing to worry about.
Of couse they are going to find something to start of with there will be your spine, blood vessels etc. Anything else is not going to be changed by worring about it. But by having this test anything that needs something doing about will be picked up.
I believe that the contrast medium is for highlighting soft tissue (?) If i have gotten this right it would be if they think there is a problem with that.

Sorry if cause more worry then help not intent but head is now spinning and need to lie down (migraine meds just kicked in) Someone wise will be along shortly

weegiemum Tue 11-Aug-09 22:35:05

I had one 3 years ago and I had to be sedated as I couldn't deal with the "coffin" like feel of the machine.

SO I had a nice little dose and woke up to discover my kidneys were working fine!

Was woozy after and had to be taken home.

Hope it all goes well.

DEMissmiling Tue 11-Aug-09 22:35:24

I see someone has already. Good.

treedelivery Tue 11-Aug-09 22:35:25

I have, whilst preggers. It was really really fine. Sort of interesting in a 'not much happens' kind of way. It is noisy but you soon get used to it.

CMOTdibbler Tue 11-Aug-09 22:35:52

It won't pull your teeth out. They are very, very careful about metal going into the scanner as a) it doesn't do people any good if things fly around and b) its a right bugger getting them off the magnet.

The contrast media is used when they need to enhance what they are seeing - it is taken up more in some bits than others.

The worst bit of an MRI is that it is cold and noisy. And the gown is grim wink

dancingqueeen Tue 11-Aug-09 22:37:45

I had an MRI, it was on my knee though. they will check about any metal bits in the pre checks they do - and if you're worried then tell them and then they can (i hope) put your mind at rest.

not sure about the 'contrast medium' but I didn't have it for my knee. hopefully someone will explain

but the MRI experience for me wasn't scary, just very loud (even with the head phones on the machine makes as loud noise) and a bit boring! (you have to lie still for I think about 20 mins or so.

I really don't think there's anything at all to worry about the test itself, its one of the most unscary bearable tests you can have in my experience.

think you may wear the gown thing, but you're given privacy to change etc! (and no need to be buttock wearing, you can keep your knickers on - but not bras due to the metal I think)

so don't worry about the test itself, and I really hope the outcome of the test is reassuring

hellymelly Tue 11-Aug-09 22:38:43

Yes I told the receptionist about the retainer but she didn't ask what metal it is(and I don't know anyway) She said she thought it would be ok but sounded rather vague about it which worried me.The contrast medium thing freaked me out,the thought of anything in my bloodstream UUHHg and the thought of having a line in as I am a wussy wuss (in case you haven't guessed already)So I am worrying about it.Funnily enough I didn't imagine it would be noisy!So that is good to know.

LeonieSoSleepy Tue 11-Aug-09 22:41:27

Message withdrawn

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:42:22

You don't have to look wink

receptionists do know a bit, it will be checked with the radiographer though before you go into the room. I think the metal they use to make a retainer is not magnetic though so it should be OK. Don't worry about the contrast, they don't always give it.

It's very noisey, practice switching off and close your eyes, it's quicker this way. smile

hellymelly Tue 11-Aug-09 22:44:07

I unfortunately saw an episode of House where lots of bits of metal flew out of the person and stuck to the magnet.Can't remember if said person was dead.Mentioned this to the receptionist in a "silly old me ha ha ha,worrying about House" sort of way.She didn't laugh.Probably thinks I am mad person.
20 minutes is quite a while in a scary machine-I was thinking 5,or ten tops.Gawd I am really in a state about it.Thanks for all the postings though!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:45:13

That sounds painful leoni sad

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:47:08

House is a made up TV programme helly. It's made to be OTT because it wants people to watch it, the safety checks are really high here, even the staff are metal free.

LeonieSoSleepy Tue 11-Aug-09 22:47:38

Message withdrawn

RedLollyYellowLolly Tue 11-Aug-09 22:49:09

I had an MRI yesterday. I've just had a call to say I have to go back on Thursday to have another with contrast.

Re the retainer. They will sit you down and go through a list: jewellery to remove, plates in bones, possiblity of shrapnel hmm. This should be with a radiographer who will defitely be able to answer your question properly.

I had an MRI on my wrist so had to lie on my stomach with arm above my head (think superman) and was in the "tube" about up to my hips. Had to remove necklace, ring and watch but underwired bra not a problem apparantly so no need for a gown in my case.

It's cold and yes, very noisy. Odd sorts of noises, it can get a bit "trippy". You have to lie very still and will be given a sort of panic button to press if you, well, panic... You will be given some sort of ear defenders - I had to have ear plugs as I had my head to one side but some people are offered music I think. They talk to you though speakers which helps you feel a bit less alone. It will be over with soon, just breathe deep and try to zone out.

No help re the contrast (perhaps you can pop back and tell me?). From what I've read you feel cold running though the veins and maybe a slight metallic taste in the mouth. If they do it midway through your exam just be glad they aren't going to decide to do it at a later date!

Good luck smile

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:52:04

The shrapnel question is because they are sticking you into a giant magnet RedLolly. The magnet pulls it, no matter where it is. Welders have to have an x-ray before they have an MRI to make sure there's no little fragments inside them.

mumof2222222222222222boys Tue 11-Aug-09 22:52:19

I had one years ago for my knee. It was fine, no issues...BUT it was extremely cold. I moved my toes to stop them freezing at the wrong moment, so they had to repeat some of it.

My advice? Wear woolly socks!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 22:54:21

It's cold because it needs to be wink, they do it on purpose.

RedLollyYellowLolly Tue 11-Aug-09 22:59:04

I know about the metal Fluffy, the hmm was just at the likelihood of a 35 year old woman having a shrapnel injury. But of course the questionnaire has to cover all angles.

The magnet must be reasonably focussed however right? As my bra and zip on skirt were both considered OK.

PS I saw that episode of House too. I think the guy did survive the MRI though not sure if he made it though the rest of the show... grin

hellymelly Tue 11-Aug-09 23:00:14

Oh yes,they asked about metal fragments in the eyes,which I may have had,but the eye hospital pulled in out (they though it was a rusty metal fragment)they said tiny particles of rust could be left but they would work their way out,so I have that to worry about as well.
I do realise House is fictional,but it does pray on the mind somewhat (I still have not recovered from an episode of "Bodies " I watched whilst pregnant.)

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 11-Aug-09 23:02:49

helly - don't worry you will be fine. I recommend just shutting your eyes and zoning out if you can - pretend you are having a nap.
Try not to move about if you can help it, as they may have to start again which just prolongs the whole thing!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 23:04:00

Haaa, no!!, there's a certain amount of control which is distance related but not alot to be honest. That's why the staff can't wear metal, it's kept switched on all the time and requires constant cooling to stop it from overheating.
It's our policy here to allow no metal (including the staff) apart from specific things, cetain types of metal are not magnetic so this should include zips maybe. Policies vary betwteen trusts.

hellymelly Tue 11-Aug-09 23:06:27

I wasn't worried at all until I got the letter about it,and then my best friend said that she was meant to have one but is too scared the FEAR set in and now I am ina cold panic whenever I think about it.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 11-Aug-09 23:07:33

I've had one, honestly, it's not scary. smile

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